By Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, Sept. 11, 2009
Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for regional theater, Signature is known for reinvigorating shows from the musical-theater canon, as well as producing newer works. But "the show doesn't start when the lights go down," says artistic director Eric Schaeffer. "It starts when you walk in the building." From the light show under the stairs to the people-watching in the lounge-like lobby, the space crackles with what Shaeffer calls "creative energy."
Where to eat? There's no need to stray from Shirlington Village's restaurant row, which includes a suburban outpost of the U Street favorite Busboys and Poets (703-379-9757; http://www.busboysandpoets.com).
Concession-stand fare: Hands down, the best around. Ali's Bar offers a great selection of wine, beer, mixed drinks and chef-prepared light fare. And you don't need a ticket to eat or drink there.
Tickets: $47 to $76.
Getting there: Free parking is available in one of three public garages adjacent to the theater. Signature is also a short cab ride ( about $7) from the Pentagon City Metro. Bus service is also available from outside the Pentagon Metro station (7A, 7F, 25A and 25D).
Season spotlight: Schaeffer calls his direction of the musical "Showboat" (Nov. 10-Jan. 17) "No Boat," since the title vessel never appears. "It's not about spectacle," he says, adding that his reimagining of the tale of prejudice "brings the story -- and the controversy -- to the forefront."