The cast of six stars direct from Broadway boasts three who were in the original show at Signature: James Clow ("Assassins"), Heidi Blickenstaff ("The Little Mermaid") and Matthew Scott ("Jersey Boys"). They are joined by Alan H. Green ("Sister Act"), Leslie Kritzer ("A Catered Affair") and Patina Miller ("Sister Act").
"When I learned that Eric was bringing back that wonderful show, I made myself available," Clow said. "Yesterday during rehearsal, I realized that this is one of my favorite experiences. The longer you're with the show, the better it gets. Eric has added different lighting and bumped up production values. I love working with him because he comes up with wonderful relaxed and creative shows that are great fun. Because he's also an artist, his aesthetics are outstanding.
|'First You Dream: The Music of Kander and Ebb'|
|Where: Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F Street NW|
|When: Through July 1; check the website for details about time|
|Info: $65 and up 202-467-4600; 800 444-1324; kennedy-center.org|
"The music of Kander and Ebb is hard to describe in words. It's emotional one minute, riotous and fun the next. Their very different shows tap different parts of you. It's all about storytelling and truth in the characters."
Clow grew up in White Plains, New York, near enough to Broadway to take in the major shows. He started doing impressions as a kid and discovered that he had the power to make people laugh. That, coupled with his outstanding singing voice, clinched his decision to seek his future in theater. While working on a BFA at Syracuse University, his first big break came when an audition for a walk-on part at Syracuse Stage ended as the lead in "Romeo and Juliet."
"Captain Hook is probably the most unique role I've had over the past 27 years," Clow said. "My job, however, is not to make a role seem unique but to let the character get inside of me. Of all the roles I haven't played, "Sweeney Todd" would top the list of those I'd love.
"Theater can't get any better than working with creative people like Sondheim, Erie Schaeffer and John Kander, who at 85 was here for rehearsals the other day. Not everyone realizes the scope of work he and Fred Ebb have done since 1965. Their output from 'Flora, the Red Menace' that year to 'The Scottsboro Boys' in 2010 (after Ebb's death) ranges widely and has affected many people."