The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts presents First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb in the Eisenhower Theater June 8 to July 1, 2012. The musical revue will star Heidi Blickenstaff, James Clow, Alan H. Green, Leslie Kritzer, Patina Miller, and Matthew Scott. Originally produced at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia and co-conceived by David Loud and Eric Schaeffer, the production features music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb, and will be directed by Eric Schaeffer. Jon Kalbfleisch will conduct the 23-piece Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. Press opening night is Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.
First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb is a musical revue showcasing popular songs including “The Cell Block Tango,” “New York, New York,” “Maybe This Time,” “Ring Them Bells,” “Sing Happy,” “Razzle Dazzle,” and many more.
The production celebrates the legendary five-decade partnership of songwriting duo John Kander and Fred Ebb who created many Broadway standards and contemporary classics including Flora the Red Menace; Cabaret (Tony Award®); The Happy Time; Zorba; 70, Girls, 70; Chicago; The Act; Woman of the Year (Tony Award®); The Rink; Kiss of the Spider Woman (Tony Award®); Steel Pier; Curtains; and The Scottsboro Boys. Their collaboration also transferred itself to movies and television as they wrote original material for the Academy Awards®; Liza with a Z (Emmy Award); HBO’s Liza Minnelli’s Stepping Out (Emmy Award); Funny Lady (Oscar® nominated for “How Lucky Can You Get”); Lucky Lady; New York, New York; Stepping Out; and Chicago the movie (Oscar® nominated for “I Move On”). Their song “New York, New York” became the official anthem of New York City in the mid-1980s. The Visit and All About Us have been produced regionally.
Director Eric Schaeffer’s Broadway credits include Follies, Million Dollar Quartet, Glory Days, and Putting It Together. In 2002 he served as artistic director of the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration, where he directed Passion and Sunday in the Park with George. Mr. Schaeffer is the co-founder and artistic director of Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia (winner of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award®), where he has directed many productions including Merrily We Roll Along, Into the Woods, Company, Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures, Les Misérables, and The Witches of Eastwick, among others. In London, Mr. Schaeffer directed the world premiere production of The Witches of Eastwick at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2000 and Million Dollar Quartet. For the Kennedy Center, Mr. Schaeffer directed Mame starring Christine Baranski, in 2006, and most recently, Follies which transferred to Broadway and is currently planning at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, CA.
The Kennedy Center production of First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb features scenic design by James Kronzer, costume design by Kathleen Geldard, lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Kai Harada. The production will include musical staging by Karma Camp, orchestrations by William David Brohn, music supervision and vocal arrangement by David Loud, and casting by Laura Stanczyk Casting.