Theater News

Casting Announced for Pacific Overtures at Virginia's Signature Theatre

Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s musical about the westernization of 19th-century Japan will open this spring.

Pacific Overtures will open this spring at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia.
Pacific Overtures will open this spring at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia.
(Artwork provided by the production)

Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia has announced the cast and creative team for its upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Pacific Overtures. The production will feature direction and musical staging by Signature Theatre Associate Artistic Director Ethan Heard, with music direction by Alexander Tom. Performances will run from March 7-April 9 in Signature's MAX Theatre.

Pacific Overtures is set in 1853, following 200 years of stability, as Japan faces an American expedition determined to open the "floating kingdom" to trade. The musical examines the isolationist island's reckoning with the unwelcome western influence by telling a kaleidoscope of stories about sailors, samurai, "someone in a tree," and two friends who choose radically different paths. The musical debuted on Broadway in 1976, with direction by Harold Prince, and was revived in 2004 by Roundabout Theatre Company.

The Signature cast of Pacific Overtures features Eymard Meneses Cabling as Lord Abe and others, Andrew Cristi as the Mother of Shogun and others, Albert Hsueh as Boy and others, Jonny Lee Jr. as Manjiro and others, Quynh-My Luu as Tamate and others, Jason Ma as Reciter and others, Daniel May as Kayama and others, Christopher Mueller as Warrior and others, Chani Wereley as Madam and others, and Nicholas Yenson as Perry and others. Alex Koichi Beard, Joey Ledonio, Ashley D. Nguyen, and Ryan Sellers are swings.

The creative team includes scenic design by Chika Shimizu, costume and puppet design by Helen Q. Huang, lighting design by Oliver Wason, and sound design by Eric Norris. Kirk Kanesaka is the kabuki consultant, Yoshi Amao is the fight director, Mark H. Rooney is the taiko consultant, Zach Campion is the dialect coach, Eiji Miura is the musical dramaturg, and Chelsea Pace is the resident intimacy consultant.