Once upon a time, Signature Theatre would attract theatergoers by the hundreds this time of year with the lure of “summer hummer”-themed shows, in which top-notch entertainers get a little closer and more personal with patrons, packed into the organization’s intimate spaces in Shirlington.
Two years after the pandemic put a damper on all that, the company has announced a more diverse, as well as dispersed, summer season, kicking off with the free off-site “Signature Theatre Under the Stars” concert featuring powerhouse vocalist Kanysha Williams accompanied by Mark G. Meadows and his band The Movement.
Set to take place Friday, June 10, at 8 p.m., in Arlington’s Lubber Run Amphitheater (200 N. Columbus St.), the concert will include a mix of original tunes by Meadows as well as covers of upbeat iconic jams including “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and “Superstition.”
Speaking of Meadows covering Stevie Wonder, this year’s summer cabaret series — officially marking the first cabarets at Signature since the pandemic — promises a focused riff on the impressive repertoire of the pop/R&B legend, centered around his 1980 platinum-selling album Hotter Than July, known for the hit “All I Do” and “Master Blaster (Jammin’).”
Meadows is the lead behind the cabarets, which will be directed by Signature’s Matthew Gardiner and presented in the ARK Theatre from July 5th to July 17th. Tickets are $38.
The summer 2022 schedule also includes Signature’s second annual “Broadway in the Park” outing at Wolf Trap featuring Signature stars and headlined by two Tony-winning leading ladies, Kelli O’Hara (The King and I) and Adrienne Warren (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical). The musical theater “under the stars” program takes place Friday, June 24, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 to $180.
Meanwhile, summer will get to sizzling at Signature a week before the Stevie Wonder cabarets with a concert presentation of a timely new musical written by Harrison David Rivers with music and additional lyrics by Ted Shen.
Performed in the intimate ARK space Thursday, June 30, through Saturday, July 2, We Shall Someday, directed by Kelli Foster Warder, weaves together story and song to chronicle three generations of a Southern Black family tracing the effects of racism, activism, and legacy from the Civil Rights era to today. Tickets are $25.
Signature Theatre is at 4200 Campbell Ave., in Arlington, Va.
Call 703-820-9771 or visit www.sigtheatre.org.