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Signature Theatre Announces Cast and Creative Team for Cake Off

September 2, 2015

Signature Theatre (photo via Signature Theatre website)World Premiere Musical by Sheri Wilner, Julia Jordan, and Adam Gwon
Presented as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival

Starring Sherri L. Edelen (Signature’s Gypsy, Hairspray& Todd Buonopane (Broadway’s Cinderella, Chicago)


Arlington, VA – Signature Theatre is excited to announce the cast and creative team for the world premiere production of Cake Off, a new musical by Sheri Wilner (Kingdom City), Julia Jordan (Murder Ballad) and Adam Gwon (Signature’s The Boy Detective Fails). Directed by Signature’s Director of New Works Joe Calarco (Signature’s Gypsy, Shakespeare’s R&J) this hilarious new musical is a battle-of-the-sexes set at the 50th Annual Millberry Cake-Off competition. Cake Off runs September 29November 22 in the ARK Theatre.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Julia Jordan and Adam Gwon numerous times and have known Sheri Wilner for many years, so I couldn’t be more excited for this collaboration,” said director Joe Calarco. “Cake Off is hilarious and also fearless in its exploration of gender politics.”

Cake Off is presented as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, which is dedicated to featuring new work by female playwrights and highlighting the scope of plays being written by women. Signature is proud to be an originating theater sponsoring the two-month festival, which boasts participation from more than 50 theaters throughout the Nation’s Capital region.

“As one of the originators of this important festival, Signature is producing three projects with women writers this season – and we’re especially excited to be producing one of the few musicals in the festival with Cake Off,” said Signature Theatre Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer.”We’re all committed to this cause and I couldn’t be more proud of the effort at Signature Theatre and in this city to bring female voices to the stage.”

The production will star Todd Buonopane (Broadway’s Cinderella, Chicago) as Paul, Sherri L. Edelen (Signature’s Gypsy, Hairspray) as Rita, Jamie Smithson (Arena Stage’s Fiddler on the Roof) as Jack DeVault/Multi-Character Man and Ian Berlin (Signature’s Elmer Gantry) as Wyatt.

The creative team includes Musical Direction by Andrea Grody (The Public Theater’s The Fortress of Solitude, The Tempest); Scenic Design by Jason Sherwood (Goodspeed’s The Circus in Winter, Studio Theatre’s Choir Boy); Costume Design by Frank Labovitz (Signature’sCabaret, Soon); Lighting Design by R. Lee Kennedy (Transport Group’s Three Days to See,Almost Maine); Sound Design by Lane Elms (Signature’s Cabaret, Simply Sondheim); Production Stage Manager Julie Meyers (Signature’s Soon, Xanadu); and Production Assistant Jessica Skelton (Signature’s Soon).

It’s the 50th Annual Millberry Cake Off. The legendary jackpot: one million dollars for the best homemade sugary delight. After a chilly pre-heating, hardy contestants Paul and Rita don their aprons, strap on their oven mitts and square off. Armed with whisks, bowls, knives and eggs, the two engage in an increasingly ludicrous all-out brawl – and only one can remain standing when the timer dings.

Cake Off is based on an original play by Sheri Wilner. The New York Times called Wilner’s playa “laugh-out-loud satire on gender roles…barbed, witty, thoughtful, giggle and snort inducing.”

Based on the original play by Sheri Wilner
Book by Sheri Wilner and Julia Jordan
Lyrics by Julia Jordan and Adam Gwon
Music by Adam Gwon
Directed by Joe Calarco

Eight weeks only! Performances run September 29, 2015 through November 22, 2015

“Sheri Wilner has concocted an original and laugh-out-loud satire on gender roles…barbed, witty, thoughtful, giggle and snort inducing.” – The New York Times

Sponsored by Wesley Pickard and Jeanette Studley. New work at Signature Theatre is sponsored by The Reva and David Logan Foundation.

Signature’s 2015/16 season is partially supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Performances run Tuesday through Sunday evenings, with matinees on Saturday and Sunday.Tickets start at $40. Single tickets are available in person at the Signature Box Office at 4200 Campbell Avenue in Shirlington, by calling the Signature Theatre Box Office (703) 820-9771, and online at

This production’s Pride performances are scheduled for October 16 and November 6. Discussion performances are scheduled for October 14, October 27 and November 4. Open Caption performances are November 15 at 2:00PM and November 17 at 7:30PM.

Sign up now for priority ticket offers at


Ian Berlin (Wyatt) SIGNATURE: Elmer Gantry (Young Man).  DC AREA: Kennedy Center:Camelot (Tom of Warwick); Arena Stage: The Music Man (Winthrop Paroo); Olney Theatre Center: The King and I (Louis Leonowens), Carousel (Starkeeper); Imagination Stage: James and the Giant Peach (James). EDUCATION: Maret School, French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts, Imagination Stage, Levine Music.

Todd Buonopane (Paul) BROADWAY: Jean-Michel in Cinderella, Amos in Chicago (also National tour, Dubai & Seoul), Roger in Grease, many characters in …Spelling Bee. OFF-BROADWAY: The Butter and Egg Man, Henry and Mudge, Don’t Quit Your Night Job. REGIONAL: Pasadena: Sleepless In Seattle; 5th Avenue: Guys & Dolls; Papermill: HappyDays; Goodspeed: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; Prince: Gemini; Barrington: Carousel. TV: Jeffrey Wienerslav on 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order: CI, Paragon School For Girls. FILM:The Break-Up Girl, A Kiss For Jed, Girls Will Be Girls 2. CABARET: One man show, Lying in the Driveway and Other Stories. EDUCATION: BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Michigan. @toddbuonopane

Sherri L. Edelen (Rita) SIGNATURE: Gypsy (Helen Hayes nomination),XanaduHairsprayWalter Cronkite is Dead.Sweeney ToddLes Misérables (Helen Hayes Award). DC AREA: Kennedy Center/Sondheim Celebration: Sunday in the Park with GeorgeMerrily We Roll Along; Shakespeare Theatre: Design for Living; Olney Theatre Center: How to Succeed…; Folger Theatre: Romeo and Juliet; Round House Theatre: The World Goes ‘RoundThe Diary of Anne Frank; Arena Stage: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeCabaret (Helen Hayes nomination), My Fair Lady; Creative Cauldron: The Taming of the Shrew. REGIONAL: NY Fringe Festival: Citizen Ruth; Fusion Theatre Company: Outside Mullingar; Arden Theatre: Our TownCaroline, or Change (Barrymore nomination); Philadelphia Theatre Co.: The Light in the Piazza (Barrymore Award), Elegies (Barrymore nomination).

Jamie Smithson (Jack DeVault/Multi-Character Man) DC/BALTIMORE: Arena Stage: Fiddler on the Roof (Avram); No Rules Theater: Boeing Boeing (Robert), In Love and Warcraft (Man),Sketch! (Ensemble); Everyman Theater: Crimes of the Heart (Barnette); Imagination Stage:Double Trouble (Arnold), Seussical: The Musical (Cat in the Hat).  REGIONAL: The Acting Company / Guthrie Theater: Romeo and Juliet (Paris), A Comedy of Errors (Pinch/Nell/Duke); Guthrie Lab: An Evening of Short Plays; Mile Square Theater; Sandlot Ball (Josh), Scapin(Sylvestre); Crescent Stage: Art (Serge), The Understudy (Harry), Lobby Hero (Jeff); The Village Repertory Theater: A Flea in her Ear (Chandebise/Poche), Urinetown : The Musical(Bobby Strong); Charleston Stage: Pippin (Pippin). EDUCATION: MFA from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts.


Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theater company in Arlington, Virginia dedicated to producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work.  Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature has presented 44 world premiere productions and is renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces.

In addition to hosting the finest talent from the DC metropolitan area and New York, Signature has been home to such luminaries as Chita Rivera, Sheryl Crow, Barry Levinson, George Hearn, Hunter Foster, Emily Skinner, Kathleen Marshall, Ann Reinking, Marc Kudisch, Judy Kuhn, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, and the company’s signature composer, Stephen Sondheim.  Since its founding in 1989, Signature has won 94 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region’s professional theater and has been honored with 368 nominations.


Signature Theatre is located at 4200 Campbell Avenue (22206) off I-395 at the Shirlington exit (#6).  After the exit, blue Signature signs mark the way to the Theatre.  Free parking is available in two adjacent public garages.  For directions visit


Single Tickets: (703) 820-9771
Subscriptions/Groups: (703) 820-9771
Signature Administration (571) 527-1860
Signature Theatre • 4200 Campbell Avenue • Arlington, VA  22206


Cake Off at the Tony-winning Signature Theatre plays for 8 weeks, running September 29 through November 22. Tickets start at $40. For more information, visit


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