2013-2014

Gee's Bend

September 12 - November 3, 2013

by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder

 Helen Hayes Nomination - directed by Thomas W. Jones II

  Helen Hayes Nomination - music direction by William Knowles & William Hubbard

featuring

 Helen Hayes Nomination Best Actress in a Musical, Best Ensemble - Roz White

Helen Hayes Nomination Best Ensemble -Margo Moorer

Helen Hayes Nomination Best Ensemble -Duyen Washington

Helen Hayes Nomination Best Ensemble -Anthony Manough

Greg Holloway on Percussion

The true story of the Pettway women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Through segregation, family turmoil, and the Civil Rights Movement, the women turn to quilting to provide comfort and context for their lives. These quilts, a labor of love and necessity, turn out to be valuable works of art. Featuring three strong women and interwoven with gospel music, Gee’s Bend is a deeply personal story of family, self-discovery and artistic expression.

“Wilder weaves an equally impressive tapestry, capturing the history and daily life of these inspirational souls while threading the local melodious dialect, spiritual conviction and artistic flare through the fabric of one family’s story. Wilder’s colorful language and characters, as well as her quintessential distillation of the material make for a stirring story.” Variety

A Broadway Christmas Carol

November 21 - December 22, 2013

created by Kathy Feininger

directed and choreographed by Michael Sharp

music direction by Howard Breitbart

featuring

Tracey Stephens

Russell Sunday

Peter Boyer

A delicious cross between the classic Dickens tale and uproarious song parodies of your favorite Broadway show tunes. Laugh out loud, roll-in-the-aisles funny. Last season critics agreed that this "could easily become a Christmas tradition". It's a "can't miss way to ensure a merry holiday season" with "infectious hilarity"..."a true triumph." This season return with friends and family and experience it with delight all over again.

Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song

January 26 - March 18, 2013

conceived and directed by Maurice Hines

book by Lee Summers

music direction and arrangements by William Knowles

Featuring

Freda Payne

Wynonna Smith

Roz White

Tom Wiggin

Ella Fitzgerald, her cousin and traveling companion Georgiana, and her manager and jazz impresario Norman Granz tell her story both backstage and onstage. From a homeless street dancer to winning amateur night at the Apollo Theatre at the age of 15, from headlining with Chick Webb and his Orchestra at the Savoy Ballroom to performing Live at the Cote D’Azur, from discovering she could “scat” to mastering a new art form called “bebop,” the fascinating journey of this legendary artist. Featuring Ella’s most famous songs accompanied by MetroStage’s renowned musicians.

“If this woman was the greatest American singer, it was in part because she could turn any song into an oxygen rush of bouncing melody that reached the listener's ears as pure, untroubled joy…It's not just that her singing is beautiful. It is also liberating, transporting us into a realm of pleasure beyond all barriers, whether of race and age, of jazz and pop, of high art and low, or even, when she floats into scat, of language.” Frank Rich, New York Times, 1996

The Thousandth Night

April 3 - May 18, 2013

by Carol Wolf

directed by John Vreeke

featuring

Marcus Kyd

An actor arrested in Paris for presenting subversive material attempts to avoid his fate by playing 38 characters from the Arabian Nights, from Ali Baba to Shaherazad. A remarkable blend of comedy and pathos set in occupied France in 1943.

“an innocent caught up in the evil of the Nazi regime, juxtaposed with the frothy Arabian tales.” LA Times

Underneath the Lintel

April 17 - May 25, 2013

by Glen Berger

directed by John Vreeke

featuring

Paul Morella

A returned library book that is 113 years overdue and the obsession to find it’s owner. A clue scribbled in the margin, an unclaimed dry-cleaning ticket, tickets to the Peking Opera, a love letter written in Yiddish...Multiple clues and a world-wide search that ultimately decode the meaning of life. A metaphysical detective story that is funny and fierce, quirky and smart.

 

Ayanna Gregory in Daughter of the Revolution at MetroStage

Bobby Smith named Scene Stealer in Jacques Brel

2013 Productions Nominated for 6 Helen Hayes Awards

John Hodian & Bett Williams in The Family Circus Tour

2012-2013

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

August 30 - October 21, 2012

Production Conception, English Lyrics and Additional material by Eric Blau and Mort Shuman

Based on Jacques Brel's Lyrics and Commentary

Music by Jacques Brel

Directed by Serge Seiden - Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Director, Resident Musical

Choreographed by Matt Gardiner

Featuring

Natascia Diaz - Helen Hayes Award, Oustanding Actress in a Resident Musical

Bobby Smith - Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Actor in a Resident Musical

Sam Ludwig

Bayla Whitten

Additional Helen Hayes Nominations

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical

Outstanding Resident Musical

Jenny Cartney, Oustanding Musical Direction, Resident Musical

Jacques Brel's music is as timeless and universal as it was when it was introduced to English-speaking audiences in 1968 at the Village Gate. Themes of love and loss, youthful hopes and dreams, old age and death. A remarkable blen of ballads and tangos, boleros, rock and classics all done with poetry and passion, transcending time, place and language.

A Broadway Christmas Carol

November 15 - December 23, 2012

created by Kathy Feininger

directed and choreographed by Michael Sharp

music direction by Jacob Kidder and Howard Breitbart

featuring

Tracey Stephens

Russel Sunday

Michael Sharp

A delicious cross between the classic Dickens tale and uproarious song parodies of your favorite Broadway show tunes. Laugh out loud, roll-in-the-aisles funny. A perfect holiday outing. It's a "can't miss way to ensure a merry holiday season" with "infectious hilarity"..."a true triumph." A holiday tradition at MetroStage. Return with friends and family and experience it with delight all over again.

"a kinetic, toe-tapping holiday confection" DCTheareScene

"high-octane, vaudevillian comedy" Washington Examiner

Ladies Swing the Blues, a jazz fable

January 24 - March 17, 2013

Book and Lyrics by Thomas W. Jones II

Original Music by William Knowles

featuring

Sandy Bainum

Anthony Manough

Yvette Spears

Roz White

Lori Williams - Helen Hayes Nomination Best Actress in a Musical

The year is 1955. The place is New York City's 52nd Street, the cultural mecca of jazz in the universe. Explore the jazz folklore, mythologies and backstage stories of the 40's and 50's at a gathering to commemorate the passing of jazz legend Charlie Parker. A place where music and mythology mingle in one unforgettable evening.

Four jazz divas in the tradition of Billie Holliday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and Peggy Lee gather in a dressing room waiting to go on. From their lips we hear the tapestry of bebop, blues, and jazz in music, and the collective storytelling that gave rise to the mythic folklore of jazz mythology about Miles, Monk, Bird, Basie, Ellington and others including the one mysteriously known as the Jazz Baroness. Experience the many colorful personalities that define one of the most pivotal music periods of the 20th century.

Ghost-Writer

April 25 - June 2, 2013

by Michael Hollinger

directecd by John Vreeke

featuring

Susan Lynskey - Helen Hayes Nomination Best Actress in a Play

Paul Morella

Helen Hedman

Novelist Franklin Woolsey dies mid-sentence, but Myra, his typist, (think Henry James and his typist in the early twentieth century) continues to take dictation, causing great consternation from his wife, his publisher and the general public. Where are these words coming from? A drama about the writing process, creativity and love - with a little punctuation thrown in for good measure.

"a love story of the utmost restraint, an unbiased portrayal of a lover's triangle, a portrait of a seamless working partnership and a meditation on the act of creation" - Palm Beach Daily News

 

2011-2012

Savage in Limbo

September 6 - October 16, 2011

by John Patrick Shanley

directed by Lise Bruneau

featuring

Natascia Diaz

Veronica Del Cerro

Sasha Olinick

Michael Kevin Darnall

Jenna Sokolowski

A Bronx take about a quintet of 32-year-old bar regulars in search of life, love and answers to some of the life's most existential questions. Written with hilarious with and sharp insight into these unforgettable characters, Shanley's smart and provocative dialogue takes us on an emotional and intellectual roller coaster ride. LIFE - Complicated, Unpredictable, Inescapable.

A Broadway Christmas Carol

November 17 - December 18, 2011

created by Kathy Feininger

directed and choreographed by Michael Sharp

music direction by Elisa Rosman

A delicious cross between the classic Dickens tale and uproarious song parodies of your favorite Broadway show tunes. Laugh out loud, roll-in-the-aisles funny. Last season critics agreed that this "could easily become a Christmas tradition". It's a "can't miss way to ensure a merry holiday season" with "infectious hilarity"..."a true triumph." This season return with friends and family and experience it with delight all over again.

Josephine Tonight

January 26 - March 18, 2012

book and lyrics by Sherman Yellen

music by Wally Harper

directed and choreographed by Maurice Hines

music direction and arrangements by David Alan Bunn

Featuring

James Alexander

James T. Lane

Aisha de Haas

Zurin Villanueva

Debra Walton

Inspired byt the early life of Josephine Baker, this exciting new musical follows her path from dancing in the streets of East St. Louis to the nightclub stages of Paris. The remarkable journey of a stunning talent who embraced life to the fullest, Miss Baker overcame the many challenges of the period becoming the iconic, ground-breaking performer of an era.

Be Careful! The Sharks will Eat you!

April 4 - April 22, 2012

written and performed by Jay Alvarez

directed by Theresa Gambacorta

This acclaimed play that has performed to sold out audiences in NY, Miami and LA, tells the story of a family's remarkable escape from Cuba five years after Castro's rise to power, risking everything as they navigated the dark, shark-infested Carribean Sea in a small boat heading for the American shore. This riveting story is a tribute to Alvarez's father, Humberto Alvarez, and to all those who have sought a better life for their families.

Critics nationwide have described Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You! as "theatre at its highest level...not to be missed"..."compelling, charismatic"..."emotionally stirring"...deeply comedic, intensely gripping"..."exhilarating"..."masterful storytelling, heartrending power."

Lonely Planet

May10 - June 17, 2012

by Steven Dietz

directed by John Vreeke

featuring

Michael Russotto

Eric Sutton

Lonely Planet takes place ina small map store on the oldest street in an unnamed American city. It is here that an extraordinary story unfolds. Steven Dietz, one of the most prolific, versatile and widely produced playwrights in the country, has written a briliant, evocative award-winning play about the power of friendship in a world of potential terror and siffering.  Dietz's love of maps and the absurdist world inhabited by ionesco's masterpiece The Chairs, coupled with game playing, truth telling, absurdist flights of fantasy and surprising moments of humor, creates a world where friendship and fear collide, and the compassion, empathy and commitment of Jody and Carl can resonate and survive.

 

2010-2011

Glimpses of the Moon

World Premiere

September 9 - October 17, 2010

A Jazz Age Musical based on the novel

by Edith Wharton

book and lyrics by Tajlei Levis

music by John Mercurio

directed and choreographed by David Marquez

music directed by Darius Smith

featuring

Matt Anderson

Natascia Diaz

Sam Ludwig

Gia Mora

Stephen Schmidt

Lauren Williams

A sparkling romantic musical, Glimpses of the Moon follows the jazzy whirl of New York society in 1922.  Popular but penniless, Suzy Branch and her friend Nick Lansing devise the ultimate fundraising scheme -- to marry and live off the wedding presents, while they help one another look for suitable millionaires. The plan works perfectly -- until they fall in love.

"...a sparkling valentine to the Jazz Age." -BroadwayWorld.com

**Helen Hayes nomination

A Broadway Christmas Carol

November 18 - December 19, 2010

By Kathy Feininger

Directed by Larry Kaye

choreographed by Nancy Harry

music directed by Aaron Broderick

featuring

Donna Migliaccio

Matt Anderson

Peter Boyer

Christmas just got a whole lot funnier!  A delicious cross between the classic Dickens tale and uproarious song parodies of your favorite Broadway show tunes, this irreverent and boisterous alternative to traditional holiday fare will leave you rolling in the aisles!  With the creative team from The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!).

His Eye Is On The Sparrow

January 26 - March 20, 2011

by Larry Parr

directed by Gary Yates

music directed by S. Renee Clark

featuring

Bernardine Mitchell

Mary Millben

William Knowles

The inspiring musical about the life of the renowned African American singer and groundbreaking Broadway actor Ethel Waters, who rose from a downtrodden life in Philadelphia's back alleys to become a celebrated talent. Aside from the title song, other Waters hits include "Stormy Weather" and "Am I Blue." Starring Helen Hayes Award-winning Bernardine Mitchell (Mahalia, Three Sistahs) with William Knowles on the piano.

The Real Inspector Hound

April 20 - June 5, 2011

by Tom Stoppard

directed by John Vreeke

featuring

Ralph Cosham

Michael Tolaydo

John Dow

David Elias

Catherine Flye

Kimberly Gilbert

Doug Krehbel

Emily Townley

Two theatre critics, Moon and Birdboot, watch a ludicrous setup of a country house murder mystery. By chance, they become involved in the action causing a series of events that parallel the play they are watching.  Featuring our "heroes" Ralph Cosham, John Dow, Michael Tolaydo and MetroStage favorite Catherine Flye as Mrs. Drudge.

"Stoppard is the master comedian of ideas in the English language." -Newsweek

2009-2010

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)

August 27 - November 1, 2009

music by Eric Rockwell

lyrics by Joanne Bogart

book by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart

directed by Larry Kaye

choreographed by Nancy Harry

featuring

Donna Migliaccio

Bobby Smith

Janine Gulisano-Sunday

Russell Sunday

Sometimes one musical isn’t enough...In this hilarious parody of musical theater, one story becomes five different musicals, written in the distinctive styles of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, Jerry Herman and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

An all-time favorite, Donna Migliaccio and Bobby Smith will reprise their Helen Hayes nominated roles in this critically acclaimed production.

Pearl Bailey...By Request

November 19 – December 20, 2009

book by Roz White and Thomas W. Jones II

directed by Thomas W. Jones II

music arrangements and direction by William Knowles

An evening of marvelous music and memorable stories performed by Roz White as Pearl Bailey, the legendary songstress, acclaimed actress and irrepressible show biz personality.  Pearl’s “most requested songs” include “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” “St. Louis Blues” and “Ain’t She Sweet.”  Ms. White is joined by MetroStage favorite William Hubbard, playing Hot Lips Page.

Mahalia

January 21 - March 14, 2010

by Tom Stolz

directed by Thomas W. Jones II

music directed by S. Renee Clark

featuring

Bernardine Mitchell

S. Renee Clark

William Hubbard

A musical biography of Mahalia Jackson starring the incomparable Bernardine Mitchell, winner of the 2005 Helen Hayes Award for this role.  Mahalia chronicles the life of the “Queen of Gospel Music” from her beginnings in the segregated South to her debut on the stage of Carnegie Hall, culminating in her triumphant performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.   This brilliant musical tribute also features William Hubbard, who received a Helen Hayes Awards nomination for his performance.

Son of a Stand Up Comedian

April 15 - May 9, 2010

music and lyrics by Paul Scott Goodman

book by Paul Scott Goodman and Miriam Gordon

directed by Michael Baron

Starring the acclaimed singer/ songwriter Paul Scott Goodman.  An authentic Scottish Jewish guitar playing rocker, Goodman tells the story of living and surviving the Soho music scene in the '80s; as an artist, a lover and, ultimately, a father.  The "son of a stand-up comedian," Goodman's songs tell a story of love and hope, a story due in no small part to Arthur Miller.  With wry wit and uncompromising honesty, Son of a Stand Up Comedian captures the unique sights and sounds, challenges and complexities of life as an artist in Manhattan.  Goodman returns to MetroStage after his award-winning musical, ROOMS, a rock romance, premiered here last season.

 

2008-2009

ROOMS, a rock romance

World Premiere

July 25 – September 7, 2008

book by Paul Scott Goodman and Miriam Gordon

music and lyrics by Paul Scott Goodman

directed by Scott Schwartz

music direction/ arrangements by Jesse Vargas

choreography by Matt Williams

featuring

Natascia Diaz

Doug Kreeger

Rooms centers on songwriting partners Monica Miller and Ian Wallace, who meet in Glasgow, Scotland in 1977.  Monica is a middle class Jewish girl interested in the bright lights of Broadway while Ian is a working-class rock-and-roll Catholic boy.  Nevertheless, opposites attract and the two form an instant bond.  Their music takes them from Glasgow to London to New York.  Though Monica longs to see every room in the world, Ian is happy with four walls, a window, his music and a scotch.  This rock romance explores their musical journey around the world and through time.

** Helen Hayes nomination

** Helen Hayes Award - Natascia Diaz, Oustanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical

Pearl Bailey...By Request

World Premiere

October 16 – November 9, 2008

book by Roz White and Thomas W. Jones II

music arrangements by William Knowles

directed by Shirley Basfield Dunlap

music direction by Marvin Ford

starring

Roz White

with special guest, William Hubbard

In this new tribute, actor/ singer Roz White, accompanied by a four piece band, becomes Pearl Bailey as the audience is transported to a late 1940's night spot and is set to witness the musical magic Ms. Bailey made her claim to fame!  Anecdotes, monologues and "Pearlie Mae's" infectious, sultry tone are merged with ballads, standards and swing numbers.  Expect to enjoy a fulfilling evening of entertainment, as Roz White captures Pearl Bailey's ability to create brilliantly candid pictures with a song!

Isn't It Romantic?

November 20 - December 21, 2008

written and directed by David Koch

music direction and arrangements by William Knowles

featuring

Jimi Ray Malary

Lori Williams

MetroStage favorite Jimi Ray Malary returns to MetroStage after past hit shows Ellington: The Life and Music of The Duke and Nat King Cole: King of Cool.  This tribute features the songs that epitomize romance from three of popular music’s most prolific and enduring song writing teams: Jerome Kern, Rodgers & Hart and George & Ira Gershwin. Direct from the Stackner Cabaret at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Mr. Malary will be joined by Lori Williams (another MetroStage favorite featured in All Night Strut in 2005.)

Cool Papa's Party

World Premiere

February 5 – March 15, 2009

book and Lyrics by Thomas W. Jones II

original music by William Knowles

directed by Thomas W. Jones II

music direction by William Knowles

choreographed by Maurice HInes

featuring

Jahi Kearse

Ben Horen

Anthony Manough

Gia Mora

William Hubbard

Roz White

Lori Williams

A 20th century music odyssey through the eyes of the "last great American hipster."  Cool Papa's life stands on the world stage as a testament to the traveler, the survivor, the conqueror.  A life defined by artistry, underscored by excellence and distinguished always by style.  Live from the Las Vegas stage against a backdrop of politics and race, Cool Papa's Party chronicles the mythic dance of the world's greatest entertainer.

** Helen Hayes nomination

** Helen Hayes Award - Maurice Hines, Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production

** Helen Hayes Award - William Knowles, Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Production

Heroes

April 23 - May 31, 2009

by Gerald Sibleyras

translated by Tom Stoppard

directed by John Vreeke

featuring

Ralph Cosham

John Dow

Michael Tolaydo

"Waiting for Godot" meets "Art"

Set in 1959, three WWI soldiers in a Parisian veterans' home pass the time with tales that are achingly funny and piercingly sad.  With his rapier wit and dazzling use of language, Tom Stoppard offers a brilliant new translation that mixes comic curmudgeonry, camaraderie and nostalgia.

A smash hit when it premiered in Paris, Heroes received four Molier nominations.

The London production won the 2006 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

** Helen Hayes Award - The Canadian Embassy Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play

2007-2008

Three Sistahs

July 26 – September 9, 2007

story by Janet Pryce

written and directed by Thomas W. Jones II

music composed and directed by William Hubbard

featuring

Bernardine Mitchell

Felicia Curry

Crystal Fox

An elegant intimate musical which journeys the souls of three women as they reveal their regrets of the past and pain of the present, while sharing the promise of the future.  An evening of gospel, rhythm & blues, funk and folk.

tick, tick… BOOM!

October 11 – November 25, 2007

Music and Lyrics by Jonathan Larson

directed by Matt Gardiner

music direction by Derek Bowley

featuring

Stephen Gregory Smith

Felicia Curry

Matt Pearson

A pop rock musical about facing crossroads in life and holding onto your dreams.  It tells the story of Jonathan, a promising young composer on the eve of his 30th birthday.  His girlfriend wants to get married and move out of the city (tick), his best friend is making big bucks on Madison Avenue (tick) and he’s still waiting tables and trying to write the great American musical before time, and, unbeknownst to him, life passes him by (BOOM!).

Tick, tick…BOOM! was written by Jonathan Larson, the 1996 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner for RENT, and adapted by the 2001 Pulitzer Prize winning playwright of Proof, David Auburn.

Cookin’ at the Cookery

January 24 – March 9, 2008

written and directed by Marion J. Caffey

musical arrangements by Danny Holgate

music direction by William Knowles

featuring

Cheryl Alexander

Janice Lorraine

Washington premiere of this award-winning musical about the legendary blues and jazz singer Alberta Hunter.  A unique blend of soulful blues and riveting biography, Cookin' covers the remarkable life of this singular talent: her birth in Memphis in 1895, her international career that flourished from the 20's through the 40's, and her triumphant comeback at The Cookery in Greenwich Village at the age of 82.

The Stephen Schwartz Project

April 10 – May 25, 2008

Conceived by Michael J. Bobbitt

music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

musical arrangements by John L. Cornelius II

directed and choreographed by Michael J. Bobbitt

musical direction by Doug Bowles

Florrie Bagel

Priscilla Cuellar

Flicia Curry

Kerry Deitrick

Ben Horen

Amber Moorer

Jobari Parker-Namdar

Andrew Sonntag

Clif Walker

World premiere of this new musical revue features many of Tony-nominated and Oscar-winning Composer/Lyricist Stephen Schwartz’s most beloved songs and others from his songbook, all re-conceived with new musical arrangements.  Come hear your favorite songs from Broadway favorites including Wicked, Pippin, Godspell and many others, with a twist, as part of this special tribute to one of Broadway’s most prolific writers.

 

2006-2007

Girl in the Goldfish Bowl

September 13 – October 15, 2006

by Candian playwright Morris Panych

directed by Gregg Henry

featuring

Susan Lynskey

Kathleen Coons

Susan Ross

Michael Russotto

Bobby Smith

It’s 1962:  Iris is eleven years old.  American warships are streaming towards Havana, her parents’ marriage is on the rocks and her goldfish, Amahl, has gone belly-up.  But on the day of the funeral, a handsome stranger washes up on the beach-- is he a Russian spy, an escaped mental patient or Amahl reincarnated?  Whoever he is, Iris is sure he’s just the man to save them all.

Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, Canada’s highest literary honor.

King of Cool – The Life and Music of Nat King Cole

December 1 – 23, 2006

book by David Scully

musical arrangements by John Engerman

directed by David Hunter Koch

music direction by William Knowles

featuring

Jimi Ray Malary

Swing and swoon to this exhilarating musical tribute to the unforgettable life and smooth, sophisticated style of Nat King Cole

Bricktop

January 17 – February 28, 2007

book & lyrics by Calvin A. Ramsey and Thomas W. Jones II

original music by S. Renee Clark

directed by Thomas W. Jones II

choreographed by Dawn Axam

Peggy Blow

Roz White Gonsalves

William Hubbard

Anthony Manough

Gary E. Vincent

C. Kelly Wright

An electrifying new musical that celebrates the lives of three remarkable women in a tapestry of words, music and dance that will leave you breathless.  Bricktop explores the enduring friendship and extraordinary lives of three musical legends, Ada “Bricktop” Smith, Alberta Hunter and Mabel Mercer and their extraordinary impact on 20th century music.

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)

April 12 – June 3, 2007

music by Eric Rockwell

lyrics by Joanne Bogart

book by Eric Rockwell and Joanne Bogart

directed by Larry Kaye

choreographed by Nancy Harry

music direction by Dan Kazemi

Donna Migliaccio

Janine Gulisano-Sunday

Bobby Smith

Russell Sunday

In this hilarious parody of musical theater, one story becomes five different musicals, written in the distinctive styles of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb, Jerry Herman and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

2005-2006

For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again

October 12 – November 27, 2005

by Canadian playwright Michel Tremblay

directed by John Vreeke

featuring

Catherine Flye

Bruce Holmes

Catherine Flye returns to MetroStage in the story of a son’s touching homage to his mother, who nurtured his imagination and his love for the theater.  Humor and poignancy balance this compelling story about an unforgettable relationship.

Two Queens, One Castle

January 18 – March 5, 2006

book & lyrics by Jevetta Steele & Thomas W. Jones, II

music by William Hubbard & J.D. Steele

directed by Thomas W. Jones, II

featuring

TC Carson

Felicia Curry

Gary Vincent

Monique Paulwell

Tracy McMullan

Roz White Gonsalves

Soulful, rousing gospel, RnB, jazz and pop…Explore life’s complexities, catapulting career, motherhood, marriage, extended family and church.  Love collides with deceit and illness in an ultimately harmonic affirmation of self.

Becoming George

April 19 – May 28, 2006

book & lyrics by Patti McKenny & Doug Frew

music by Linda Eisenstein

directed by Brett Smock

musical direction by Michael D. Flohr

featuring

Kat' Taylor

Meegan Midkiff

Greg Violand

Brian Childers

Jason Hentrich

Mary Jayne Raleigh

Radical feminist writer George Sand comes out of retirement to confront a repressive French government, a war and a new protégé, Sarah Bernhardt.  ASCAP Award Winner in Chicago.

Ellington: The Life and Music of the Duke

July 14 – August 20, 2006

book by David Scully

musical arrangements by John Engerman

directed by David Hunter Koch

music direction by William Knowles

featuring

Jimi Ray Malary

Written by one of America’s greatest jazz composers, the songs range “from low-down blues to novelty patter songs to heartfelt love songs to exuberant swing tunes.”  Jimi Ray Malary’s rich baritone, “shaded by a beautifully controlled and judiciously applied vibrato, is suave in a way wholly in line with the Dukensian ideal of elegance.” - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

2004-2005

One Good Marriage

October 21 – November 21, 2004

by Sean Reycraft

directed by John Vreeke

featuring

Toni Rae Brotons

Marcus Kyd

On their first wedding anniversary a young couple - she a high school English teacher, he the school's librarian - gather in the school's gymnasium with a group of acquaintances they hope will become their good friends.  They need new friends because of a tragedy that is revealed in the course of the one-act play.

All Night Strut

February 10 – March 27, 2005

by Fran Charnas

directed by Thomas W. Jones, II

music direction by William Knowles

featuring

William Hubbard

Darryl Jovan

Yvette Spears

Lori Anne Williams

Yusef Chisolm

Greg Holloway

Sassy, sizzling and swinging songs from the 30’s and 40’s.  Jazz, blues, bebop and classic song standards by legendary song writers Hoagy Charmichael, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, George and Ira Gershwin and Fats Waller including “Ain’t Misbehavin”, “Fascinating Rhythm”, “It Don’t Mean a Thing”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and many more.

Electra

April 21 – May 29, 2005

adapted by Frank McGuiness

directed by Michael Russotto

featuring

Kate Debelack

Brian Hemmingsen

Rana Kay

Dallas Miller

Doris Thomas

Ted Feldman

Keith Johnson

Maura McGinn

Debra Mims

Sophocles’ riveting tale of betrayal, murder and revenge shines in a bold new adaptation.  A story of fierce love and loyalty that celbrates the tenacity of the human spirit, while exposing the darkest side of the human soul.  As compelling and timely today as it was 2400 years ago.

The Last Five Years

June 15 – July 24, 2005

Written and composed by Jason Robert Brown

directed by Jane Pesci-Townsend

music direction by Howard Breitbart

featuring

Tracy Lynn Olivera

Mark Bush

A bittersweet love story about a successful novelist and a struggling actress that takes the audience back and forth from beginning to end and back again as the story of their marriage unfolds and unravels.

The Sandstorm: Stories from the Front

August 17 – September 25, 2005

by Sean Huze

directed by Brett Smock

Amidst all of the controversy surrounding the war and occupation in Iraq, the story of those brave men who heroically fought its opening phases has been lost in the furor of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, presidential politics and the growing insurgency.  The Sandstorm is based on the war as experienced by the playwright, a U.S. Marine with the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (2D LAR).

2003-2004

Rough Crossing

September 18 – October 26, 2003

by Tom Stoppard

directed by Nancy Robillard

featuring

Iam Gould

Nicky McDonnell

Carl Randolph

Michael Russotto

Steve Tipton

Jack Vernon

Freely adapted from a classic Molnar farce, playwrights, a composer, actors and a ship steward are crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner rehearsing a play bound for Broadway.  A cast of characters reminiscent of Noël Coward.

Noël and Gertie

November 13 – December 14, 2003

devised by Sheridan Morley (from the words and music of Noël Coward)

directed by Nancy Robillard

music direction by Alredo Pulupa

featuring

Tracy McMullan

Carl Randolph

Gertrude Lawrence and Noël Coward’s magical, unconventional love affair.  Famous songs include “If I Were All” and “Mad About the Boy.”  Unforgettable moments from his witty, touching plays.

Filler Up!

February 11 – March 7, 2004

written and performed by Deb Filler

The world’s only Jewish New Zealand comedian plays 27 characters, and bakes a challah, while singing, dancing and telling unforgettable stories that alternate between howlingly funny and disarmingly poignant.

Rosemary and I

April 1 – May 9, 2004

by Leslie Ayvazian

directed by Olympia Dukakis and Nancy Robillard

featuring

Leslie Ayvazian

Sam Groom

Judith Roberts

Jewell Robinson

Julia enters a room intending to write.  Instead of picking up a pen and paper, she plays solitaire.  She talks out loud.  She conjures up scenes with her mother, Rosemary, a singer; her mother’s accompanist; and her father.  To create her story, to find her voice, she orchestrates, fantasizes and examines her past.  She discovers “the points can be subtle…but they’re true, and they’re honest and they’re larger than the experience itself.”

Mahalia

May 20 – July 11, 2004

by Tom Stolz

directed by Carol Mitchell-leon

music direction by S. Renee Clark

featuring

Bernardine Mitchell - Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Actress, Resident Musical

S. Renee Clark

William Hubbard

A musical biography of Mahalia Jackson starring the incomparable Bernadine Mitchell.  Depicting the life of the “Queen of Gospel Music” from her beginnings in the segregated South to her debut on the stage of Carnegie Hall and on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Two actor/ musicians accompany Mahalia through the turbulent 50’s and 60’s.

2002-2003

Three Sistahs

September 5 – October 13, 2002

written and directed by Thomas W. Jones II

music direction and composed by William Hubbard

featuring Bernardine Mitchell

Roz White Gonsalves

Desire Dubose

An elegant intimate musical which journeys the souls of three women as they reveal their regrets of the past and pain of the present, while sharing the promise of the future.  An evening of gospel, rhythm & blues, funk and folk.  A rich, musical tapestry inspired by Chekhov’s Three Sisters.

The Crummles’ Christmas Carol

December 10, 2002 – January 5, 2003

written and directed by Nick Olcott

music direction by Lisa Gibbs Smith

featuring

June Hansen

Catherine Flye

Michael Tolaydo

Albert Coia

Elizabeth Stripe

Margie Tompros

Following their recent triumphs at some of England’s shabbier theatres and second rate music halls, the Crummle Family Players bring you this yuletide their own special version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.  Straight from the pages of Nicholas Nickleby steps this lovable band of incompetents with the grandest of theatrical pretensions.  Don’t miss seeing the Crummels make a shambles of the Cratchits and a muddle of the Fezziwigs.

High Dive

January 16 – February 9, 2003

written and performed by Leslie Ayvazian

directed by David Martin

After a series of misadventures ranging from disastrous to catastrophic, Leslie Ayvazian’s world is finally calm and comfortable.  There’s no need to court danger anymore.  So what’s she doing dangling off a diving board 15 feet in the air?  A heightened theatrical experience where Leslie is not the only one making the leap.

Sidney Becket Killed a Man

February 27 – April 6, 2003

by Stuart Flack

directed by Nancy Robillard

featuring

Paul Morella

Lawrence Redmond

Kimberly Schraf

Michael Jerome Johnson

Marie Page

Isaac MacDonald

A haunting, involving play inspired by the late, legendary clarinetist.  A portrait of a man obsessed.  The world’s greatest heart surgeon, who plays a mean jazz clarinet.  An engrossing drama of obsession and revenge.

Bea’s Niece

April 30 – June 8, 2003

by Canadian playwright David Gow

directed by Jessica Kubzansky

featuring

Jessica Kubzansky

Helen Hedman

Tom Kearney

Susan Ross

Michelle Shupe

A simple story constructed in the style of a cubist painting – a single object portrayed simultaneously from different points of view.  Rich storytelling, poignant character portraits and poetic dialogue.  An exploration into the mind of a female novelist secluded in a psychiatric hospital.  An engaging, illuminating psychological mystery.

Closer Than Ever

June 18 – August 3, 2003

music by David Shire

lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr.

directed by Brad Van Grack

music direction by Howard Breitbart

featuring

Tracy Lynn Olivera

Russell Sunday

Eileen Ward

Jamie Zemarel

Maltby and Shire’s remarkable songs about love and life in a celbration of music and its amazing ability to reflect the wonderful vagaries of life and relationships.

2001-2002

Rapture

October 31 – December 2, 2001

by Jeanne Marshall

directed by Diana Denley

featuring

Brilane Bowman

Catherine Flye

Lynn-Jane Foreman

Laura Giannarelli

Richard Mancini

Jennifer Mendenhall

Michelle Shupe

Gary Telles

Political, social and sexual intrigue in 17th century Bologna unfolds in this riveting story of Sister Lucrezia Vizzana, a composer who left an extraordinary musical legacy.  Experience the secret lives and sacred music of this cloistered community that dares to protect Lucrezia’s gift for music, while competing with the dark forces of the Inquisition.  Consuming passions and dangerous conspiracies are interwoven with the songs of ecstasy of a young nun.  Can the laws of the church prevent her from composing the music that emanates from the depths of her soul, the music that “sings with rapture?”

The Thousandth Night

December 19, 2001 – January 20, 2002

by Carol Wolf

directed by Jessica Kubzansky

featuring Ron Campbell

With a remarkable combination of humor and heartbreaking poignancy, The Thousandth Night tells the story of Guy de Bonheur, an actor arrested in Paris for presenting subversive material.  Acclaimed actor Ron Campbell recreates his award-winning portrayal of Guy de Bonheur and 38 characters from The Arabian Nights – from Ali Baba to Shaherazad.  Set against the horror of Nazi-occupied France, this virtuoso performance by Campbell will transport you with his many voices, unlimited energy and amazing versatility.

Harlem Rose, A Love Song to Langston Hughes

January 30 – March 3, 2002

written and directed by Thomas W. Jones II

music direction by William Hubbard

featuring

Beverly Cosham

Desire DuBose

Scott Leonard Fortune

William Hubbard

Ron Oshima

Experience the words of Langston Hughes, a great poet, and the music of the era.  The Harlem Renaissance comes alive on stage with the help of Madame and Mister, Jazz and Bee Bop.  The walls will vibrate with music – blues, jazz and swing – all contributing to the energy and excitement of the times.  A tribute to a poet of extraordinary range who was also a compelling storyteller and one of the most influencial African American writers of the 20th century.

Sea Marks

April 3 – May 5, 2002

by Gardner McKay

directed by Nick Olcott

featuring

Catherine Flye

Michael Tolaydo

A study of power, passion and poetry.  This haunting story of an Irish fisherman living on a remote island and a Welsh spinster in Liverpool depicts the overwhelming strength of one’s roots.  Two people are connected through the power and beauty of words while confronting the crushing power of the sea that can both liberate and imprison.

L.A. Drama Critics Circle Best Play Award

1996-1997

Get Happy, The Music of Harold Arlen, cabaret

Celebrate The Music of Stephen Sondheim and Cy Coleman, cabaret

1995-1996

Me and Jezebel, by Elizabeth Fuller**

Side by Side by Sondheim, by Stephen Sondheim**

Earhart, by Rona Waddington

1994-1995

Parallel Lives, by Mo Gaffney and Kathy Najimy

Noel and Gertie, by Sheridan Morley**

It’s Only a Play, by Terrance McNally**

Good Evening, by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore

1993-1994

Mooi Street Moves, by Paul Slabolepszy**

Reckless, by Craig Luca

Close of Play, by Simon Gray

Stars in the Morning Sky, by Alexander Galin

A Fresh of Breath Air, by Dale Stein

1992-1993

The Polka Dot Conspiracy, by Donna Gerdin (premiere)

Boesman and Lena, by Athol Fugard**

What the Butler Saw, by Joe Orton

Tone Clusters, by Joyce Carol Oates, and

The Moonshot Tape, by Lanford Wilson

My Girlish Days, by Karen L. B. Evans (premiere)**

1991-1992

Burn This, by Lanford Wilson

Beyond the Fringe, by Alan Bennett, Peter Cook,

Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore

1990-1991

Largo Desolato, by Vaclav Havel

The Island, by Athol Fugard**

Sizwe Bansi is Dead, by Athol Fugard

Speed the Plow, by David Mamet

1989-1990

Ordinary People, cabaret

A Murder of Crows, by Ed Graczyk

Romance, by Ernie Joselvitz

1988-1989

Good Evening, by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore**

Story Theatre, by Paul Sills

The Universal Pickle

Talking Things Over With Chekhov, by John Ford Noonan**

1987-1988

Blood Knot, by Athol Fugard**

The Fantasticks, by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

Old Times, by Harold Pinter

1985-1986

Aladdin, by Moses Goldberg

Pinocchio

Starting Here, Starting Now, by Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire

1984-1985

The Good Doctor, by Neil Simon

Susan Tonight, cabaret

Damien, by Aldyth Morris

Lovers and Other Strangers, by Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna

**Helen Hayes nomination

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MetroStage is funded in part by the Virginia Commision for the Arts, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.

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