This week Signature Theatre releases a new cinematic concert, an inspired alternative to its pre-COVID cabarets. Titled Signature Vinyl, the fully produced, professionally filmed production features 26 local singers and musicians, all of whom were safely filmed at outdoor locations across the DC area. The full show will be available online beginning November 5, 2020.
Signature bills Signature Vinyl as a sizzling tribute to the golden age of the turntable featuring the hits of Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, Carole King, Marvin Gaye, Berry Gordy, Joni Mitchell, Elton John, and others. Nineteen of Signature’s favorite performers including Nova Y. Payton, Natascia Diaz, Tracy Lynn Olivera, and Robbie Schaefer team up with Mark G. Meadows and The Movement to put a spin on songs such as “September,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Signed Sealed Delivered (I’m Yours),” and “Up on the Roof.”
“For years, Signature‘s cabarets have been bringing live music to our audiences and highlighting the incredible talent of DC artists,” says Associate Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner. “Signature Vinyl is a celebration of the artists that make our stages so vibrant. While we can’t gather together around the cabaret tables in the ARK Theatre to enjoy live music, we wanted to bring music into homes with this joyous cinematic concert.”
“We are so proud to be back producing music again with our favorite artists,” says Managing Director Maggie Boland. “We are also incredibly grateful for the tremendous support from Signature’s community during this closure that has allowed us to pivot into film while maintaining the excellent artistic quality our audiences have known. Signature Vinyl is only the first of the many exciting projects that we will be announcing in the upcoming months and we look forward to sharing the rest soon.”
Streaming tickets are available now at SigTheatre.org for a donation of $25 or more.
Directed and conceived by Matthew Gardiner (A Chorus Line, West Side Story) with music direction by Mark G. Meadows, Signature Vinyl stars Shayna Blass (Signature’s Freaky Friday, Theater J’s The Last of Ballyhoo), Natascia Diaz (Signature’s Passion, Broadway’s Man of La Mancha), Christian Douglas (Signature’s Gun & Powder, Arena Stage’s Newsies), Jade Jones (Signature’s Motown: The Reprise, Shakespeare Theatre’s The Amen Corner), Rayshun Lamarr (Signature’s Gun & Powder, NBC’s The Voice), Mark G. Meadows (Signature’s Jelly’s Last Jam, Ain’t Misbehavin’), Kevin McAllister (Signature’s Blackbeard, Broadway’s Come from Away), Crystal Mosser (Signature’s Grand Hotel, Billy Elliot), Katie Mariko Murray (Signature’s Passion, ARSNova’s KPOP the Musical), Inès Nassara (Signature’s Spunk, Ford Theatre’s The Wiz), Tracy Lynn Olivera (Signature’sAssassins, A Little Night Music), Solomon Parker III (Signature’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, Monumental Theatre’s Pippin), Nova Y. Payton (Signature’s Assassins, Shakespeare Theatre’s The Amen Corner), Maria Rizzo (Signature’s A Chorus Line, Arena Stage’s Anything Goes), Robbie Schaefer (Signature’s Light Years, Eddie From Ohio), Awa Sal Secka (Signature’s Gun & Powder, Ford Theatre’s Into the Woods), Shayla S. Simmons (Signature’s Dreamgirls, NextStop Theatre Company’s The Mountaintop), Kanysha Williams (Signature’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, ArtsCentric’s The Wiz), and Rachel Zampelli (Signature’s Assassins, Olney Theatre’s The Amateurs). Music accompaniment is by Mark G. Meadows and the The Movement, with Mark G. Meadows on keyboard, Eliot Seppa on bass, Jack Kilby and Dante Pope on drums, Deante Haggerty-Willis and Noah Pierce on guitar and Trey Sorrells on sax. The concert was filmed by Chiet Productions and edited by James Gardiner. Full bios are below.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Shayna Blass SIGNATURE: Freaky Friday, The Mystery of Love & Sex, Cabaret. NEW YORK: New York Music Theatre Festival: Firefly in the Light. DC AREA: Theater J: The Last of Ballyhoo, Yentl, Another Way Home; Arena Stage: Fiddler on the Roof; RepStage: Technicolor Life. REGIONAL: The Rep of St. Louis: The Thanksgiving Play, Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Indecent, Berkshire Theatre Group: HAIR. IG: @shaynablass. www.shaynablass.com
Natascia Diaz SIGNATURE: Passion (Fosca, 2019 Hayes Award nomination), Threepenny Opera (Jenny, 2015 Hayes Award nomination), West Side Story (Anita, Helen Hayes Award nomination), Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary). BROADWAY: Man of La Mancha (Antonia, u/s Aldonza), Seussical. OFF-
Christian Douglas SIGNATURE: Gun & Powder (Ensemble, Jesse u/s), Devotion (SigYale Workshop), Two’s Company Summer Cabaret. DC AREA: Arena Stage: Newsies (Seitz, Jack Kelly u/s); Kennedy Center: Chasing the Wind (Nijah); Red Branch Theater Company: Dogfight (Eddie Birdlace); Strathmore Artist in Residence, singer/songwriter (2019-2020). AWARDS: Lotte Lenya Competition ($10,000 prize winner); American Traditions Vocal Competition (4th place finalist) EDUCATION: University of Maryland, BM in Vocal Performance. Instagram: @christiandouglasmusic christiandouglasmusic.com
Jade Jones SIGNATURE: Elmer Gantry, The Scottsboro Boys (Assistant Director), Motown: The Reprise. DC AREA: Shakespeare Theatre: The Amen Corner; Round House Theatre: School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play; Ford’s Theatre: Into The Woods, The Wiz, 110 in The Shade, 12 Angry Men (Assistant Director); Shakespeare Theatre Company: Macbeth, Venus (staged reading, by Suzan-Lori Parks); Rep Stage: Sweeney Todd; Forum: Love and Information; Olney: Sweeney Todd, Anyone Can Whistle (staged reading); Creative Cauldron: Once On This Island (Helen Hayes nomination), Jazzed and Jaded (solo cabaret), Killin’ ‘Em Softly (solo cabaret); Keegan: As You Like It, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, HAIR. EDUCATION: Ferrum College, BFA. UPCOMING: Olney Theatre Center: A.D. 16. @LittyOfficial www.JadeJonesDC.com
Rayshun LaMarr SIGNATURE: Gun & Powder. DC AREA: Live Garra Theatre: Fool in Love-The Frankie Lymon Story (Frankie Lymon); American Pops Orchestra: Mary Martin and Ethel Merman tribute, You’ve Got a Friend, Lincoln Center Fall Gala, A tribute to Aretha Franklin; Ford’s Theatre: Ford’s Annual Gala (Guest Artist), Ragtime, Freedom’s Song; MetroStage: Shake Loose, Blackberry Daze; Kennedy Center: 24th Annual ADL in Concert Against Hate. TV: NBC: The Voice (Season 14 Semi Finalist); WBAL-TV: Season to Celebrate (Guest Artist); NBC4 Washington: FBCG Holiday Special. OTHER: SoundConnection Band (Lead Vocalist); Stephanie Mills (Background Vocalist); Annual Cherry Blossom Parade (Featured Performer); Wizards Season Opener (National Anthem); 49ers Crucial Catch Game (National Anthem and Halftime Show); NC Panthers Game (Halftime Show).
Kevin McAllister SIGNATURE: Blackbeard, Grand Hotel, Ain’t Misbehavin’, A Little Night Music, Titanic, SCKBSTRD, Brot
Crystal Mosser SIGNATURE: Gun and Powder, Grand Hotel, Billy Elliot. DC AREA: Shakespeare Theatre: Candide, Boys From Syracuse; Woolly Mammoth/Fringe: F#@king Up Everything. NYC: Playwrights Horizons: Atlantis; New York City Opera: Car Crash Opera; Skirball Center: King David Revival, Leonard Bernstein Tribute, “Glitter and Be Gay” Soloist; McGinn/Cazale Theater: Paint Your Wagon. REGIONAL: Coastal Carolina Center of the Arts/Beef and Boards/Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center: 9 to 5; Mason Street Warehouse: Xanadu; Seven Angels Theatre: Marvelous Wonderettes; Hanesbrand Theatre: Stephen Schwartz Project; Penobscot Theatre: Great American Trailer Park; Mac-Haydn Theatre: Phantom. EDUCATION: New York University, B.M. & M.M. @CrystalMosser
Katie Mariko Murray SIGNATURE: Grand Hotel, Passion, West Side Story, Miss Saigon. NYC: ARSNova: KPOP the Musical; NAAP: Into the Woods (Cinderella). REGIONAL: Weathervane Repertory: The King and I (Tuptim),Mamma Mia (Sophie); Tuacahn: Disney’s When You Wish (world premiere, Pocahontas, Jasmine, Mulan); McCarter Theatre; Fulton Opera House: Miss Saigon. EDUCATION: BFA Penn State. Katiemarikomurray.com @ktpotaty
Inès Nassara SIGNATURE: Spunk, Crossing, Aftershock (Signature in the Schools), SKBSTD reading, U.G.L.Y.reading. NEW YORK: 54 Below: Wildwood reading. DC AREA: Keegan Theatre: HAIR (Helen Hayes nomination Best Supporting Actress); Ford’s Theatre: Freedom’s Song, 110 in the Shade, Ragtime (Helen Hayes winner: Ensemble), The Wiz (Helen Hayes nomination: Ensemble); Kennedy Center Washington National Opera: Lost in the Stars; Olney Theatre Center: Once on this Island. EDUCATION: Towson University BA in Sociology/Anthropology and Music Performance.
Tracy Lynn Olivera SIGNATURE: Assassins, A Little Night Music (Helen Hayes Award, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical), Titanic, The Fix; Gypsy; Crossing; Company,
Solomon Parker III SIGNATURE: Ain’t Misbehavin’, Grand Hotel, Billy Elliot, Jesus Christ Superstar. DC AREA: National Theatre: Paige and Friends: Ep.3; Ford’s Theatre: The Wiz; Synetic Theater: Decameron; Solas Nua: Being Here virtual workshop; Monumental Theatre Co.: Sing Thru!, Monumental Late Night, Pippin (Leading Player), Montgomery; Toby’s Dinner Theatre: Kinky Boots; Dreamgirls, Hairspray; Keegan Theatre: Legally Blonde; Red Branch Theatre Company: Dogfight (Boland). OTHER: Host of Tea & Cakes, a weekly drag show. EDUCATION: Montgomery College.
Nova Y. Payton SIGNATURE: Assassins, Blackbeard, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Jelly’s Last Jam, La Cage aux Folles, Diner, Defying Gravity: Making of a SuperNOVA, Dreamgirls, The Best Little Whorehouse…, Xanadu, Hairspray. TOUR: 3 Mo’ Divas, Smokey Joe’s Café. DC AREA: Round House: Caroline, or Change; Shakespeare Theatre: The Amen Corner, Kiss Me, Kate; Imagination Stage: A Year with Frog and Toad; Ford’s Theatre: Ragtime, Freedom’s Song; Olney Theatre: Godspell; Arena Stage: Newsies, Smokey Joe’s Cafe; Kennedy Center: How To Succeed…, Bye, Bye Birdie. REGIONAL: The 5th: Man of La Mancha, A Night with Janis Joplin; Milwaukee Rep: Dreamgirls; Prince Music Theatre: Dreamgirls.
Maria Rizzo SIGNATURE: A Chorus Line, Assassins, Grand Hotel, Crazy For You, A Little Night Music, The Gulf (world premiere), West Side Story, Cabaret, Gypsy (Louise – Helen Hayes Nomination), Spin (world premiere), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Xanadu. DC THEATRE: Arena Stage: Anything Goes (Erma – Helen Hayes Award), Fiddler on the Roof; Olney Theatre Center: Evita, Grease!; Keegan Theatre: Chicago (Roxie – Helen Hayes Award), Cabaret (Sally Bowles – Helen Hayes Nomination), The Sunshine Boys, Spring Awakening; Studio Theatre: Carrie the Musical; 1stStage: Bat Boy; Toby’s Dinner Theatre: Hairspray. REGIONAL: Arkansas Rep Theatre: Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. EDUCATION: The Catholic University of America, BM, Musical Theatre. @mariarizz9o
Robbie Schaefer SIGNATURE: Light Years. REGIONAL: Gulf View Drive, Actor’s Co-op Theatre Company, Los Angeles, CA. PLAYWRIGHT: Light Years, The Blue Poppy. ALBUMS/RECORDINGS: Soun
Awa Sal Secka SIGNATURE: Gun and Powder (Flo), Blackbeard (Kali Maa), Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon), Barbara Streisand Cabaret, Judy Garland Cabaret. DC AREA: Ford’s Theatre: Christmas Carol (Mrs. Fred), Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), The Wiz (Glinda/Dorothy u/s); Round House Theatre: School Girls… (Ama), Caroline, or Change (Dottie); Kennedy Center: Me Jane (Maisie), Chasing the Wind (Abby); Imagination Stage: Cinderella(Cinderella), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Lucy Van Pelt); ArtsCentric: AIDA (Aida), MEMPHIS (Felicia) ; Theatre Alliance: Black Nativity (Narrator); Mosaic Theatre: Eretz Chadasha: The Promised Land (Mother); ATMTC: James and the Giant Peach (Sponge); Studio Theatre: SILENCE! The Musical (Ardelia); Olney Theatre Center: Avenue Q. EDUCATION: Montgomery College, AA in Theatre Performance.
Shayla S. Simmons SIGNATURE: Dreamgirls. NATIONAL TOURS: Theater Works: Winnie the Pooh, Core Ensemble: “Ain’t I a Woman” (One Woman Show). INTERNATIONAL TOURS: Golden Gospel Singers. DC/VA AREA: NextStop Theatre Company: The Mountaintop; Toby’s Dinner Theatre: The Color Purple, Sophisticated Ladies, Hairspray (u/s), Beehive: A 60s Musical, Aida; Center Stage: Young Playwrights Festival; Creative Cauldron: Women of the Blues, Thunder Knockin on the Door. REGIONAL: Merry-Go-Round Playhouse: Ain’t Misbehavin’ (u/s). EDUCATION: The American Musical and Dramatic Academy of New York City.
Kanysha Williams SIGNATURE: Ain’t Misbehavin‘, Soul Divas. DC AREA: MetroStage: The Wizard of Hip; ArtsCentric: The Wiz, Little Shop of Horrors, Aida, Black Nativity; Toby’s Dinner Theatre: Ain’t Misbehavin’; Adventure Theatre MTC: Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas. REGIONAL: Riverside Center for the Performing Arts: The Color Purple. EDUCATION: The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, George Mason University, BM Music, 2014.
Rachel Zampelli SIGNATURE: Heisenberg, Midwestern Gothic, The Gulf, The Fix, Dying City, Brother Russia, Chess, See What I Wanna See, The Happy Time. DC AREA: Kennedy Center: Lost in the Stars, Gift of Nothing; Folger: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Comedy of Errors, Orestes: A Tragic Romp, Midsummer Night’s Dream; Olney: The Amateurs, On the Town, The Crucible, Annie, Sweeney Todd, Evita, Godspell, Avenue Q; Ford’s: Into the Woods, The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, Shenandoah; Studio: Bloody…Andrew Jackson, POP! (Helen Hayes nomination, Supporting Actress), Jerry Springer: The Opera, Reefer Madness; Roundhouse: Stage Kiss; NRTC: Stop Kiss; Adventure: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. REGIONAL: Two River: Orestes: A Tragic Romp; New Rep: Romeo and Juliet, Into the Woods; Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Breast Entanglements.
Matthew Gardiner (Director & Conceiver) SIGNATURE: Director: A Chorus Line, Billy Elliot, Passion, Girlfriend, Crazy for You, Midwestern Gothic, Jelly’s Last Jam, La Cage Aux Folles, West Side Story, Cabaret, Soon, Sunday in the Park with George, The Threepenny Opera, Tender Napalm, Dreamgirls, Dying City, Xanadu, Really Really, The Hollow, Side by Side by Sondheim, Art, [title of show], See What I Wanna See; Choreographer: Blackbeard,Titanic, The Fix, Company, Sweeney Todd, Dirty Blonde. INTERNATIONAL: South Korea- OD Company: Doctor Zhivago (Director); Titanic (Choreographer). DC THEATRE: Director: Round House Theatre: Caroline, or Change; Ordinary Days; Ford’s Theatre: The Laramie Project; Kennedy Center: Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred!); MetroStage: tick, tick…BOOM!; Studio Theatre: Jerry Springer: The Opera; Reefer Madness; Choreographer: Round House Theatre: The Legend of Georgia McBride; Shakespeare Theatre: The Tempest; MetroStage: Jacques Brel is Alive And Well…; Studio Theatre: Grey Gardens, Adding Machine. EDUCATION: Carnegie Mellon University.
Mark G. Meadows (Music Director) SIGNATURE: Jelly’s Last Jam (Jelly); Music Director: Spunk, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Motown Cabarets. ALBUMS: Be the Change, To the People, Somethin’ Good, A Child is Born. CONCERTS: Jazz at the Lincoln Center, DC Jazz Festival, Blues Alley, The Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Small’s Jazz Club, The Strathmore. INTERNATIONAL: Russia, The Congo, Qatar, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Canada, The Caribbean. APPEARED WITH: Cynthia Erivo, Usher, Bobby McFerrin, Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington, Nicholas Payton, Kurt Elling, The NSO, Ledisi. AWARDS: 2020 DC Wammies Jazz Artist of the Year, Washington City Paper’s Artist & Composer of the Year, 2015 Strathmore Artist in Residence. TEACHING: American University: Jazz Instructor; Shenandoah University: Jazz Instructor; Duke Ellington School of the Arts: director/arranger for “The Mellow Tones”; The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University: Grad Assistant. MarkGMeadows.com @MarkGMeadows
Signature Vinyl is sponsored by Peter and Ann Tanous and Jeffrey Thurston and Charlie Berardesco. Music is sponsored by The Meredith Foundation.
Signature is widely recognized as the premiere venue in Washington to see musical theater, especially new musicals. Signature is renowned for its interpretations of Stephen Sondheim’s work, inventive adaptations of overlooked or forgotten musicals, and investment in fresh new projects. The Theatre is an industry leader in developing and producing new work and is home to the largest musical theater development program in the United States.