‘KPOP, The Musical’ dropped from Signature’s 2021/22 season

Due to 'pandemic-related logistical challenges,' the Broadway-bound show won't stop at The Anthem.

Signature Theatre and producing partners Tim Forbes and Joey Parnes have announced that the special pre-Broadway engagement of KPOP, The Musical — originally scheduled for December 2021–January 2022 at The Anthem in DC as part of Signature’s 2021/22 season — has been cancelled by the producing partners due to pandemic-related logistical challenges with bringing the production to DC at this time. KPOP, The Musical is still on a firm trajectory to open on Broadway in the coming year.

The off-Broadway cast of ‘KPOP, The Musical.’ Photo by Ben Arons.

“All of us at Signature are very disappointed we will not be able to bring this exciting production to DC audiences before it heads to New York for its Broadway premiere,” said Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner. “Signature is still very much looking forward to welcoming back audiences and artists to our home venue in Arlington this November when we reopen the theater with our reimagined production of Jonathan Larson’s RENT starting November 2, and we look forward to celebrating KPOP’s Broadway opening when the time comes.”

Signature’s Managing Director Maggie Boland added, “We want to thank The Anthem and I.M.P., who have continued to be wonderfully collaborative partners as Signature, along with all of our colleagues in the event industry, continues to face the ongoing challenges of returning to producing live entertainment. We remain committed to carrying the partnership with The Anthem forward and look forward to working together at the right time in the future.”

Tim Forbes and Joey Parnes said in a statement, “We couldn’t have asked for better partners than Signature Theatre and the Anthem and we’re disappointed not to be working together on the next step of KPOP‘s journey to Broadway. After careful deliberation this felt to all of us like the prudent choice to make at this time. We are still committed to bringing KPOP to audiences on Broadway and beyond, and we look forward to continuing the show’s developmental process with its team of wonderful artists.”


Signature has mandated vaccines for artists and employees, and the theater is also requiring proof of vaccination and masking for audiences through December 31, 2021. More information about Signature’s safety plans can be found at sigtheatre.org/safety.

Signature Theatre

Signature offers flexible subscription options for the 2021/22 season. Season Subscription packages are now on sale. Custom packages can be created for 3-, 4-, 5-, or the full 6-show season. Season Subscription package prices begin at $58 per ticket. Benefits of subscribing include first choice of seats, savings over individual ticket prices, and discounts on extra tickets. Call Signature’s Box Office at 703 820 9771 or visit Sigtheatre.org/Subscribe. Single tickets for the entire season will go on sale late September 2021. 

November 2, 2021 – January 2, 2022
MAX Theatre

La Vie Boheme! The iconic rock musical’s pure rush of adrenaline, passion, energy and joy is boldly and immersively reimagined in Signature style for a triumphant reopening.

At the end of the millennium, a group of bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggle with gentrification, love, loss and legacies amidst the HIV/AIDS crisis. Through songs such as “Seasons of Love,” “One Song Glory,” “I’ll Cover You,” “Out Tonight” and more, they embrace hope, find strength and survive.

Winner of the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize, Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking phenomenon defined a generation as it redefined the American musical and has never been more essential in today’s world.

Book, Music & Lyrics by Jonathan Larson
Music Directed by Mark G. Meadows
Choreographed by James Alsop
Directed by Matthew Gardiner

DC Premiere
Daphne’s Dive
February 1 – March 20, 2022
ARK Theatre

Colorful characters create a makeshift ménage at the neighborhood watering hole in a vivid and vibrant play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Water by the Spoonful and In the Heights.

Run by the warm and enterprising Daphne, a north Philadelphia bar becomes home for a disparate band of society’s outsiders; among them an offbeat artist, eccentric activist, ambitious businessman, retired biker, abandoned teenager and Daphne’s vivacious sister. Over the course of nearly twenty years, they drink, dance, rejoice and grieve together in a captivating weave of interconnection.

Both poignant and joyful, this tribute to found family serves hospitality with a twist of heart in every pour.

By Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Paige Hernandez

She Loves Me
March 1 – April 24, 2022
MAX Theatre

A romantic, witty and effervescent musical comedy by the creators of Fiddler on the Roof.

In a charming 1930s European perfumery, two salesclerks spar endlessly, saving their sweetest words for an anonymous pen pal. Unbeknownst to them, however, their “dear friend” happens to be each other in a joyful, transcendent, and perfectly crafted escapade featuring the treasured songs “Vanilla Ice Cream,” “A Trip to the Library” and the irrepressible title song.

Book by Joe Masteroff
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Based on a play by Miklos Laszlo
Originally Directed on Broadway by Harold Prince
Originally Produced on Broadway by Harold Prince in Association with Lawrence N. Kasha and Philip C. McKenna
Original Orchestrations by Don Walker
Adapted by Frank Matosich, Jr.
Music Directed by Jon Kalbfleisch
Choreographed by Kelly Crandall d’Amboise
Directed by Matthew Gardiner

World Premiere
The Upstairs Department
April 26 – June 12, 2022
ARK Theatre

Playwright Chelsea Marcantel (AirnessEverything Is Wonderful) channels the unexpected in an ethereal journey of familial love, the limits of cynicism and how to explain the unexplainable.

After a serious illness, a young man wakes up with the power to communicate with the dead (or so he believes). Desperate for guidance and to connect with their late father, he and his skeptic sister set out to test his paranormal talent at the Lily Dale Spiritualist community where their discoveries summon more than the afterlife.

Signature’s latest Heidi Thomas Writers’ Initiative play is an enlightening tale of an unlikely psychic directed by Holly Twyford.

By Chelsea Marcantel
Directed by Holly Twyford

World Premiere
We Won’t Sleep
May 31 – July 3, 2022
MAX Theatre

A new, innovative musical based on the true story of a proud Montanan who became the first congresswoman in United States history.

After a life of public service and suffrage activism, Jeannette Rankin shocks the world when she is elected to Congress in 1916 – four years before white women got the right to vote. However, after just a few days in Congress she faces a choice that could destroy her life’s mission.

Through invigorating pop music, We Won’t Sleep theatrically disrupts then and now in an exuberant and inspiring experience by America’s most produced playwright Lauren M. Gunderson and singer, composer and activist Ari Afsar (American IdolHamilton), that explores the dream of an equal vote for all Americans, a dream that remains unfulfilled even today.

Music & Lyrics by Ari Afsar
Book by Lauren M. Gunderson
Choreographed by Yusha-Marie Sorzano
Directed by Erin Ortman
Produced in Association with Jen Bender

The Color Purple
August 16 – October 9, 2022
MAX Theatre

Felicia Curry (The Scottsboro Boys) stars in the triumphant musical adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of human fortitude, redemption and love directed by Timothy Douglas (Spunk).

A teenage Celie is torn from her beloved sister and forced into an abusive marriage. Over the next forty years, while Celie encounters repression, despair and heartbreak, she also discovers hope in a group of friends who inspire her to find her voice, discover her beauty and change her life.

Nominated for 11 Tony Awards® and featuring a soaring score of jazz, gospel, blues and ragtime, The Color Purple brilliantly illuminates the lives of Southern Black women in breathtaking scope.

Based upon the novel written by Alice Walker and the Warner Bros./Amblin Entertainment Motion Picture
Book by Marsha Norman
Music & Lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis & Stephen Bray
The Color Purple was produced on Broadway at the Broadway Theater by Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders, Roy Furman and Quincy Jones. The world premiere of The Color Purple was produced by the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia
Music directed by Mark G. Meadows
Choreographed by Dane Figueroa Edidi
Directed by Timothy Douglas


Signature is widely recognized as the premiere venue in Washington to see musical theater, especially new musicals. Recently called “a dream for patrons” and “the gold standard for producing musicals” by The Washington Post, 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.

Signature features the finest talent from the D.C. metropolitan area and New York on its stages and has been a creative home to such luminaries as Chita Rivera, Sheryl Crow, Barry Levinson, George Hearn, Emily Skinner, Kathleen Marshall, Ann Reinking, Marc Kudisch, Judy Kuhn, Deborah Monk, Boyd Gaines, Heidi Blickenstaff, James Lapine, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, and the company’s signature composer, Stephen Sondheim. Under the leadership of Maggie Boland, Managing Director and Matthew Gardiner, Artistic Director, Signature draws more than 100,000 patrons annually to its Arlington home and has been cited for its achievements by a wide range of local and national media.

SEE ALSO: Signature Theatre picks Matthew Gardiner as AD, sets 2021/22 season


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