Opening Tonight — First You Dream at Signature

Signature Theatre Presents the World Premiere Theater Event

“First You Dream”: The Music of Kander & Ebb, September 10 – 27

A Highlight of Signature’s 20th Anniversary Celebration 

Direction and set design by Eric Schaeffer, and choreography by Karma Camp, starring Heidi Blickenstaff, James Clow, Eleasha Gamble, Norm Lewis, Julia Murney, and Matthew Scott

Featuring a19-Piece Orchestra

 Arlington, VA − The 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award® winning-Signature Theatre presents the world premiere theater event First You Dream”: The Music of Kander & Ebb, September 10 through 27, 2009.  A tribute to Broadway’s most celebrated songwriting partnership — from Cabaret to Chicago to Curtains — Signature pulls out the stops with Broadway’s Heidi Blickenstaff, James Clow, Norm Lewis, Julia Murney, Matthew Scott, and Eleasha Gamble and a 19-piece orchestra, plus staging and set design by Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and choreography by Karma Camp.  The Broadway touch continues with new orchestrations created by Tony Award winner William David Brohn and musical supervision and new vocal arrangements by David LoudFirst You Dream will be performed in the company’s larger yet very intimate 299-seat theater, The Max, with tickets priced at $60 and $65.

 Director Schaeffer described the world premiere: “First You Dream is Broadway razzle dazzle!  With six performers and a19 piece-orchestra, Kander and Ebb’s canon of work is brought to exciting life with over 35 songs discovered and reinvented for this theatrical event.  We’re doing numbers from all 17 of their musicals and most of their movies.  With new discoveries as well as the amazing songs that everyone knows — and brand-new orchestrations and vocal arrangements — this is Kander and Ebb like you’ve never heard before!”

With First You Dream , Signature continues its intimate relationship with the works of the great Broadway songwriting team of Fred Ebb and John Kander which received national attention during Signature’s acclaimed 2008 Kander & Ebb CelebrationFirst You Dream spans 43 years of outstanding musicals starting from Kander and Ebb’s first show, Flora, the Red Menace in 1965, through their most recent musical, The Visit, which starred Chita Rivera and George Hearn last year at Signature.

First You Dream spotlights Broadway stars Heidi Blickenstaff (The Little Mermaid, [title of show], and D.C.’s Helen Hayes Award winner for Meet John Doe), James Clow (Assassins, Company, and Peter Pan’s Captain Hook opposite Cathy Rigby), Norm Lewis (The Little Mermaid, Les Misérables, and the title role in Signature’s Sweeney Todd), Julia Murney (Wicked, The Wild Party, and Lucille Lortel nominee for Time and Again), Matthew Scott (Jersey Boys, A Catered Affair, and the title role in Signature’s Ace), and Signature favorite Eleasha Gamble (Into the Woods, Urinetown, and the Sondheim Award Gala). 

The behind-the-scenes team is led by director Eric Schaeffer who took on set design as well.  Two of musical theater’s leading creative talents, Tony Award-winning orchestrator William David Brohn (Wicked, Miss Saigon, Ragtime) with his new orchestrations, and David Loud (Curtains, Steel Pier, And the World Goes ‘Round) with musical supervision and new vocal arrangements, are complemented by the conducting of Signature’s resident musical director Jon Kalbfleisch.  Lighting design is by Mark Lanks, costume coordination by Kathleen Geldard, and choreography is by the nationally known, Washington-based choreographer Karma Camp.

First You Dream: The Kander & Ebb Concert is sponsored by the Bernard Family Foundation.  Special thanks to Macy’s for their support, with additional thanks to Bradshaw Smith of Broadway Beat.


The first performance of First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb on September 10 is Signature’s Third Annual American Musical Concert Benefit with a special reception honoring John Kander.  For more information, please contact Emily Hill at (571) 527-1828 or  Performances of First You Dream then continue through September 27 in Signature’s MAX Theatre.  Show times are Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 pm, Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm, Saturday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm.  The press performance is Saturday, September 12 at 8:00 pm.


One Response to Opening Tonight — First You Dream at Signature

  1. Loves Musicals says:

    Saw this production last night. Waaasy too long (nearly 3 hrs!), and pretty dull. Altho Kander & Ebb have written many wonderful songs, you won’t hear most of them in this concert, which could have been titled: “Kander & Ebb: The Unmemorable Songs.” (Did Eric Schaeffer think he’d be insulting the audience if he gave us more than a snippet of “Cabaret” [the song] or “New York, New York”?) The technical aspects of the production were excellent and the performers were all great — wonderful voices and energy — but the dull songs were still dull songs. Sorry, but it wasn’t a very enjoyable evening . . .

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