Signature Theatre announces its 33rd season, which highlights the organization’s long-time relationship with the legendary Stephen Sondheim. Signature has produced 31 Sondheim productions in its 32-season history – more than any other theater in North America. The 33rd season will feature three more, bringing the total of Signature-produced Sondheim musicals to 34, with all new productions of Into the Woods (November 8, 2022 – January 29, 2023), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (May 16 – July 9, 2023), and the rarely produced Pacific Overtures (March 7 – April 9, 2023). The season will also feature two additional musicals, the DC premiere of Ethan Lipton’s No Place to Go (August 30 – October 16, 2022) and Passing Strange by Stew and Heidi Rodewald (April 25 – June 18, 2023); plus, two new plays making their DC premieres, Ana Nogueira’s Which Way to the Stage (December 6, 2022 – January 22, 2023) and Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul (February 21 – April 2, 2023). More information on the 2022/23 season is available at SigTheatre.org/Subscribe.
“This past November, the world lost an icon. The death of Stephen Sondheim was a blow to everyone in the theater community. Signature Theatre would not be the same without Sondheim – he IS Signature’s ‘signature.’ This season, we are honoring the legend with the entire season in our MAX Theatre dedicated to his memory. These three shows represent the diversity and range of Sondheim,” said Signature’s Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner.
“We’re also thrilled to feature several new voices in our ARK Theatre next season,” continued Gardiner. “Sylvia Khoury’s Selling Kabul and Ana Nogueira’s Which Way to the Stage both had well-received premieres in New York this season and we are excited to produce them in their area premieres. Ethan Lipton’s No Place to Go is also receiving its area premiere and will feature a tour-de-force solo turn for one of the DMV’s favorite actors, Bobby Smith. We will close out the ARK season with Stew and Heidi Rodewald’s Tony Award-winning rock musical Passing Strange which hasn’t been seen in DC since 2010.”
The 2022/23 Season will also mark recently appointed Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard’s first Signature productions – he will direct Which Way to the Stage and Pacific Overtures. Signature also welcomes three new guest directors Shadi Ghaheri (Selling Kabul), Raymond O. Caldwell (Passing Strange) and Sarna Lapine (Sweeney Todd). Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner will helm the productions of No Place to Go and Into the Woods.
“We are delighted to also announce the return of Signature’s popular Cabaret Series,” said Managing Director Maggie Boland. “These concerts created by Director of Signature Cabarets Mark G. Meadows are always sell-out audience favorites. This year we delve into the songbooks of Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald and Joni Mitchell, and present a sequel to one of Signature’s most beloved Cabarets, Soul Divas Reprise, featuring songs made famous by vocal powerhouses from Aretha Franklin to Whitney Houston to Beyoncé and many in between.”
Signature’s special events include the Signature Seminar: To Journey’s End with Into the Woods, a five-part behind-the-scenes seminar with the cast and creative team of Sondheim’s fairytale adventure. The seminar will run from October 20 – November 6, 2022. We Shall Someday, a concert performance of an important new musical by Harrison David Rivers and Ted Shen will run from June 30 – July 2, 2022. Finally, the SigWorks: Monday Night New Play Reading series, which promotes the work of DC area playwrights with free readings and discussions and is now under the leadership of recently appointed Director of Artistic Development Anika Chapin, will continue with dates and plays to be announced at a later time.
Signature offers flexible subscription options for the 2022/23 season. Season Subscription packages are now on sale. Custom packages can be created for 3-, 4-, 5-, 6- or the full 7-show season. Season Subscription package prices begin at $58 per ticket. Benefits of subscribing include first choice of seats, savings over individual ticket prices, and discounts on extra tickets. Call Signature’s Box Office at 703-820-9771 or visit Sigtheatre.org/Subscribe
Single tickets for the entire season will go on sale later this summer.
Into the Woods
November 8, 2022 — January 29, 2023
Escape into a fantastical fairytale adventure where dreams come true, but not free.
A trove of storybook characters’ paths intertwine as they chase their deepest desires through an enchanted forest. However, once they receive their happily ever after, the unintended consequences of granted wishes unravel their worlds.
Weaving a euphoric score including the songs “Giants in the Sky,” “On the Steps of the Palace,” “No One Is Alone,” and “Children Will Listen” with a darkly humorous book, Into the Woods is a sophisticated musical twist on beloved childhood fables.
“Into the Woods features some of Sondheim’s wittiest lyrics as well as achingly beautiful melodies.”
– The Hollywood Reporter
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Directed by Matthew Gardiner
Sponsored by Michelle S. Lee and STG International
Which Way to the Stage
December 6, 2022 — January 22, 2023
A playful yet profound comedy about friendship, ambition, and what happens when dreams fall just out of reach.
Broadway superfans Jeff and Judy eagerly await their idol Idina Menzel after her performance in If/Then at the stage door every night. But when a sexy stranger enters the scene and upends their decades-long friendship, the musical theater aficionados have to go off book to rewrite their own finale.
Signature’s new Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard makes his directorial debut with this funny and touching play about the roles we perform and transcending one’s “type.”
“The best new comedy since theatres reopened.”
By Ana Nogueira
Directed by Ethan Heard
February 21 — April 2, 2023
A suspenseful drama about family and sacrifice from an exciting new voice.
In 2013, a sister secretly shelters her translator brother from an increasingly powerful Taliban while he awaits the ever-delayed arrival of a promised American visa. On the eve of his son’s birth, the walls begin to close in, threatening him, her and everyone they love in a heart-racing exposé with devastating echoes to the present day.
Breathtaking and unpredictable through the final curtain, this unflinching exploration exposes the human toll of American withdrawal.
“[Sylvia] Khoury’s delicately crafted play . . . etches the cost of tyranny, corruption and terror in intensely human terms..”
– The Berkshire Eagle
By Sylvia Khoury
Directed by Shadi Ghaheri
March 7 — April 9, 2023
A stunning exploration of tradition and transformation based on historical events.
In 1853, after 200 years of stability, Japan faces an American expedition determined to open the “floating kingdom” to trade. The isolationist island’s reckoning with the unwelcome Western influence is brilliantly illuminated through a kaleidoscope of stories about sailors, samurai, “someone in a tree,” and two friends who choose radically different paths.
This innovative epic of East meets West is one of Sondheim’s most ambitious and rarely produced musicals.
“One of the great musicals of our time.”
Music & Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Additional material by Hugh Wheeler
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick
Original Broadway Production Directed by Harold Prince and Produced by Harold Prince in association with Ruth Mitchell
Directed by Ethan Heard
April 25 — June 18, 2023
Music is the freight train to ride for this electrifying Tony Award-winning travelogue of identity, acceptance and love.
A young man discovers his musical calling and sets off for Europe, leaving behind his mother and comfortable suburban life. In his rebellion filled with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, he yearns for something in life that he thinks can only be found in art.
Bursting with energizing punk, blues, gospel, and jazz music, this rock concert spin on musical theatricality radiates with humor, passion and heart.
“Permeating everything is that thrilling score in which rock, punk, funk and gospel conduct a revival meeting that blows the roof off.”
– Rolling Stone
Book & Lyrics by Stew
Music by Stew & Heidi Rodewald
Created in Collaboration with Annie Dorsen
Directed by Raymond O. Caldwell
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Hotter Than July: Stevie Wonder
July 5 – 17, 2022
Signature heats things up for the summer months with the first cabaret in two years! Inspired by Stevie Wonder’s 1980 platinum album Hotter than July, this sizzling cabaret sets the ARK ablaze with songs from the album such as “All I Do” and “Master Blaster (Jammin’)” along with some of Stevie’s other hits like “Superstition” and “Overjoyed.”
Both Sides Now: Joni Mitchell
November 1 – 13, 2022
Folk-rock singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is one of the most influential artists of the last century and her deeply intimate songs are the soundtrack of the Woodstock generation. Hear some of her beloved chart-toppers including “Cactus Tree,” “Both Sides Now,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” “A Case of You” and so many other unforgettable tunes.
First Lady of Song: Ella Fitzgerald
January 31 – February 5, 2023
The definition of an icon, Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for over 50 years. Celebrate her phenomenal range, syncopated style, and heart of gold with a swinging cabaret bursting with her incredible songbook including “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “The Nearness of You,” “Blue Skies” and many more.
Soul Divas Reprise
June 27 – July 9, 2023
The phenomenal soul divas are back for a second act! The 2019 cabaret that sold out in record time returns as an all-new set of unbelievable voices toasts luminaries from Aretha Franklin to Whitney Houston to Beyoncé and all the incredible divas in between.