Jan. 26th, 2011

Signature Theater Announces World Premiere of Musical Comedy

Virginia's Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre has announced its upcoming world premiere of the musical comedy, And the Curtain Rises (formerly known as Wheatley's Folly), which begins performances on Thursday, March 17, 2011.

And the Curtain Rises marks the third production presented as part of Signature's groundbreaking American Musical Voices Project. It is the largest commissioning program for new musicals in the country, following Michael John LaChiusa's Giant in 2009 and Ricky Ian Gordon's Sycamore Trees last year. Directing And the Curtain Rises will be Tony Award nominee Kristin Hanggi (Broadway's Rock of Ages).

Inspired by true events, And the Curtain Rises tells the outrageous and funny story of how the first American musical was born. Set in 1866, this musical comedy follows novice producer William Wheatley as he finds his production in shambles; a dreadful script, an uncompromising author, a cast on the verge of revolt, and scenery and costumes destroyed-further complicated, when a French ballet troupe is forced to seek refuge in their theatre after a fire erupts next door.

Rather than throw in the towel and count his losses, Wheatley decides to take control and turn lemons into lemonade. Composer Joseph Thalken says, "We like to think of this show as a love letter to the crazy business of musical theater. I'm a big history buff, and have long been intrigued by the legend of how the musical was born. It fascinates me how such a major industry was formed essentially by accident. It was serendipity."

Performances run from March, 17 2011 to April 10, 2011. Show times are Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. There are no performances on Saturday, March 19 at 2:00 p.m. and Tuesday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $59 - $85 and are available by calling Ticketmaster at (703) 573-SEAT (7328) or visiting www.sig-online.org.

Signature Theatre is located just ten minutes from downtown Washington, DC in Shirlington Village at 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA.
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