Live & About

Alliance for New Music-Theatre hosts a monthly theatre-going group named Live & About which celebrates the richness and diversity of music-theatre in the greater Washington, DC area. We attend theatre performances together, hold post performance discussions and analysis, and continue the conversation virtually through this site.

Join Live & About   For more information and ticket subscription for Live and About, contact us at

“Live and About” 2016-2017 Season

Join us for our seventh season of music-theatre “abouting” around town.

The adventure continues as we delight in reconnecting with old friends and discovering new talents

  • Get “in the know,” be entertained, and have your theatrical and musical minds wowed
  • Join in a special opening season “party” at Metro Stage with one complementary glass of wine as part of your season purchase
  • Participate in lively and informative discussions following every performance
  • Know that your subscription supports new works, a range of theatres and styles of music-theatre, and some pretty spectacular local artists and will help build an even stronger Washington theatre community

Blackberry Daze

Metro Stage, Alexandria 

Wednesday Sept. 14, 7:30 pm

Roz White, leads an exciting ensemble of some of Washington’s finest talent.  The world premiere, with original music by William Knowles and directed by Thomas W Jones, is based on the book Blackberry Days of Summer by Ruth P Watson.  A talk back will be followed by a special party for our group and the Metro Stage artists.


Constellation Theatre at Source Theatre Space

Wednesday October 5, 7:30 pm 

or Saturday October 8, 2:00 pm

Come with us and learn what all the buzz is about and why Constellation walked off with seven Helen Hayes awards this year and City Paper’s vote for “best theatre company of 2016.” Urinetown, by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis, opens the company’s tenth anniversary season and has been described as musical mayhem delighting even the most intrepid theatre goers.

 The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

Urban Arias at Atlas Performing Arts Center

Saturday October 22, 8:00 pm (One performance only)

Urban Arias is a company that has made a national name for itself in short order by producing short, contemporary operas with outstanding musical direction. Founder and director Robert Wood finds original and exciting material and singers and delivers you a lively show that delivers a kick. If you thought opera an opera form not worth dusting off to discover, you’ll be blown away by how opera is being revitalized by this exciting company.  You won’t want to miss this work by Oliver Sachs, Christopher Rawlence and Michael Morris with music by Michael Nyman.

Titanic: The Musical

Signature Theatre, Shirlington

Wednesday December 14, 7:30 pm

 or Sunday 18, 2:00 pm

This is a Tony Award-winning Best Musical which brings us into the heart of that fateful journey. In this stunning 360-degree production, Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer brings together a cast and crew of more than 50 artists to deliver the glamour, chaos, class, heroism and heartbreak of the most famous Trans-Atlantic voyage of all time.  Eric promises this to be the theatrical event of the season.

 Dead Man Walking  

WNO Dress at the Opera House, Kennedy Center

date TBA, first week of February

Many of us know the film that starred Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.  The contemporary opera is a powerful work in its own right. It debuted the talents of composer Jake Heggie who paired up with playwright Terrence McNally to deliver this heartbreaking work. No one gets more emotional punch that Artistic Director Francesca Zambello who will be directing this work.


Keegan Theatre at the Church Street Theatre

date Tuesday March 14, 7:30pm

or Sunday March 19, 3 pm

With a book by Alfred Uhry that looks unflinchingly into the complexities of the early 20th century and social relationship in the American South and a rich musical score by Jason Robert Brown, the musical retells the true story of the trial and lynching of a Jewish man wrongly accused of murder.

R.U.R.: Man vs. Machine 


at Dupont Underground

date in April TBA

Support the Alliance and Washington’s newest cultural destination, Dupont Underground, at the nexus of Embassy Row and the economic hub of Connecticut Avenue and explore something a little on the wild side with this retelling through music of Karel Čapek’s prescient work from 1920 about the age of robotics and artificial intelligence from the man who invented the word robot.  With music by Maurice Saylor and words by Saylor and Susan Galbraith, the reinvention of Čapek’s play as a musical will both provoke and delight.  Be in on the very special conversations following every performance about where technology and artificial intelligence is leading us.


Plus a SUMMER ADD ON, plans are being made for Susan Galbraith to lead a tour to 


Join us for an idyllic weekend the Glimmerglass Festival for four days (August 10-13, 2017). Leave the heat of Washington, get on the bus and be transported to the beautiful scenery surrounding Otsego Lake in the cool of upstate New York at Cooperstown.  See operas and music-theatre values at their finest. This weekend will include a special reception with Artistic Director Francesca Zambello, three operas including the opera Scalia-Ginsburg by Henry Huang introduced by the Little Justice herself. Attend the Longfellow Museum where there will be an exhibit resonating with Glimmerglass season and take part in a picnic with a swim on the beautiful national park grounds with a tour of Hyde Hall.  (Bring your bathing suits for a swim.)  Hiking, canoeing, and other activities are also available not to mention an opportunity to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in downtown Cooperstown.

Join Live & About

For more information and ticket subscription for Live and About, contact us at




2015 – 2016 Season

DogfightDogfight     KEEGAN THEATRE

Sun, Sept. 13, 3 p.m or Thurs, Sept. 17, 8 p.m. at Church Street Theatre

With Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and Book by Peter Duchan, this is an area premiere for Washington audiences and will be directed by local talents Christina Coakley and Michael Innocenti. Set in 1963, on the eve of the Vietnam War and the Kennedy assassination, Dogfight follows the story of three marines on their final boys’ night of debauchery before their deployment to Vietnam. This will be our first “live and abouting” as a group to this lively and richly talented company who have recently bought and renovated the Church Street building. They’re here to stay!

As OneAs One     URBAN ARIAS

Sun, Oct 4, 2 p.m. (Note: 1 performance only) at Atlas Performing Art Center   

A Chamber opera in which two voices, Hannah After and Hannah Before, share the part of a sole trans-gender protagonist. As usual our “Live & About” favorite cutting-edge opera company promises to bend all the rules on this one while delivering exquisite musicality under Artistic Director and Conductor Robert Wood. Join us and be provoked.

Catone in Utica     OPERA LAFAYETTE

Sun, Nov. 29, 2 p.m. (1 performance only) at Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre

The premiere of this early work of opera by Antonio Vivaldi in the Americas was debuted at Glimmerglass Theatre Festival, and reviewer Susan Galbraith had her proverbial socks knocked off. It may sound like something old but everything about nearly 300-year old opera was breathtakingly new and gorgeous. The singing roles as well as the acting will remind you that gender bending is nothing new in our time. Hearing the countertenor John Holiday alone may be one of opera’s greatest “freaky” gifts. Tazewell Thompson has directed this opera beautifully, and if you want to be in the know about musical superlatives in Washington, look no further than Ryan Brown as a force in discovering the pulse of this early music and how it can speak to us now.

As You Like ItAs You Like It     SYNETIC THEATRE

Wed, Jan 6, 8. p.m. or Sun, Jan 10,2 p.m. in Crystal City

Join us as we return with our group to one of “the wordless Shakespeare” productions of D.C.’s premier physical theater. With resident composer Konstantine Lortkipanidze, the music both underscores and highlights every wordless moment, challenging audiences to redefine both Shakespeare and, pertinent to the Alliance’s mission, what makes music-theatre. Husband and wife team Paata and Irina Tsikurishvili have been stunning Washington audiences and basically rewriting the rules for serving up text-based theatre since they landed in D.C. 15 years ago from Georgia

Lost in the Stars     WNO Dress

date TBA, week of February 8 at the Opera House, Kennedy Center

This is the show not to miss this season or any season, as Artistic Director Francesca Zambello reassembles director Tazewell Thompson and a multi-national cast headed up by Eric Owens in his superb, compassionate portrayal in the lead role as a South African minister based on Alan Payton’s Cry the Beloved Country. Kurt Weill wrote this cross-over work for Broadway to speak to the world about the pain and wreckage to a country marred by the policies of apartheid. The Alliance has been privileged to bring a select number of tickets to the dress rehearsal of this work, but only with the full season package

Road ShowRoad Show     SIGNATURE THEATRE

Wed, Feb. 24, 7:30 pm or Sun, Feb. 28, 2 pm in Shirlington

Eric Schaeffer has made Signature’s reputation based in part on his commitment to the works of Stephen Sondheim. Road Show is Signature’s 26th Sondheim production and the third collaboration between Weidman and Sondheim (AssassinsPacific Overtures). This is a freewheeling musical travelogue of the optimism and opportunism of the early twentieth century through the eyes of two ambitious, eccentric, yet playfully charming brothers. Based on the real-life Mizner siblings, Road Show follows the dreamer and the schemer’s quest for the ever elusive, shape-shifting American dream.



Support the Alliance and Washington’s newest cultural destination, DuPont Underground, at the nexus of Embassy Row and the economic hub of Connecticut Avenue and explore something a little on the wild side with this retelling through music of Karel Čapek’s prescient work from 1920 about the age of robotics and artificial intelligence from the man who invented the word robot. With music by Maurice Saylor and words by Saylor and Susan Galbraith, the reinvention of Čapek’s play as a musical will both provoke and delight. Be in on the very special conversations following every performance about where technology and artificial intelligence is leading us. Special party following at a residence in the DuPont area with cocktails served by robots.

Kabarett & Cabaret     INSERIES

kabarettFall in love again with iconic Berliner cabaret gems! The song revue explores the artistry of émigré stars of film & music who came to America fleeing Nazi persecution: Marlene Dietrich, Lotte Lenya, Hanns Eisler, Kurt Weill, Arnold Schoenberg & the film music geniuses Frederick Hollander (The Blue Angel), Erich Korngold (Robin Hood), Franz Waxman (Sunset Boulevard). They brought the dark, raunchy, political world of the Kabarett to ‘Weimar on the Pacific,’ aka 1940s Hollywood. The show features iconic songs like Falling in Love Again and Lola, plus forgotten Berliner and Viennese cabaret gems, and their American ‘offspring,’ such as Speak Low.

Black Pearl Sings     METRO STAGE

Sun, Apr 24, 3 pm Wed, Apr 27, 8:00 pm in Old Town Alexandria

This promises to be a deeply emotional “play with music” about two extraordinary women in Depression-era Texas. An ambitious Library of Congress musicologist and an African American woman with a soulful voice and steely spirit learn how they must work together to fulfill their personal goals. Theirs is a journey of race and reconciliation, religion and tenacity, historical origins of folk music, and ultimate healing and understanding. Based on the discovery of legendary folk singer/guitarist Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter in prison by folklorist John Lomax and their subsequent musical partnership, the show will feature over 20 American folk and spiritual songs.


A Summer Performance at     CASTLETON FESTIVAL

date to be announced in Castleton, Virginia

Come frolic with us on a special field trip next summer out to Castleton in Virginia including a wine tour of two of the areas finest award winning vineyards and a picnic followed by a performance in Maestro Lorin Maazel’s idyllic pastoral setting, a tradition carried on by his widow, the outstanding Dietlinde Turban Maazel.



Spring 2015

Live & About celebrates the richness and diversity of music-theatre in the greater Washington, DC area. We attend theatre performances together on a regular basis, hold post performance discussions and analysis, and continue the conversation virtually through our website.

After each performance we conduct lively and informative discussions that ask interpretive questions to challenge our perceptions and encourage us to find deeper meanings in the works. Your ticket supports new works, a range of theatres and styles of music-theatre, and some pretty spectacular local artists.

We are offering a discounted package for the four Spring shows at $135 – $140*

We have come up with a fresh line up of performances:

  1. Bessie’s Blues, winner of six Helen Hayes awards, returns to DC with the divine Bernadine Mitchell. We have seats reserved for two performances:
    Wed Jan 28 at 8pm or Sun Feb 1 at 3pm matinee.
  2. Dialogues of the Carmelites is a company premier for the Washington National Opera directed by Francesca Zambello. We have been granted an exclusive invitation into the Dress Rehearsal at the Kennedy Center Opera House on Wednesday Feb 18 at 7 pm
  3. Murder Ballad is a lively new musical at Studio Theatre. We will host one evening outing only. The show is almost sold out. We have 15 tickets reserved for this night.
  4. You won’t want to miss the updates in the Alliance’s original take on Kafka’s Metamorphosis that will be remounted in May before taking it to Prague later that month. The tentative date for Live & About attendance is May 13.

* (The Bessie’s Blues Matinee on Feb 1 is $5 more)

Summer 2014

On Wednesday, June 25,  Healing Wars
Join the Alliance this summer for a special Live & About outing of Healing Wars,
a moving dance-drama that is part of Director-Choreographer
Liz Lerman’s Civil Wars 150th Anniversary Project.

Click here to read Susan Galbraith’s review of Healing Wars in DC TheatreScene

For tickets and more information how to participate contact Duane Gelderloos at

Spring 2014

This spring, Alliance for New Music-Theatre presents The Václav Havel Project – a double bill that pairs Unveiling, one of the Czech playwright’s most popular plays, with the World Premiere of the musical fantasy Vaněk Unleashed.

We hope you will be able to join us for one of the following performances

  • Wednesday May 7 at 7 pm
  • Sunday May 11 at 2 pm

At the Artisphere Blackbox Theatre, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA

Unveiling was originally performed as part of the Czech Embassy’s 2013 Mutual Inspirations Festival honoring Václav Havel. As DC Theatre Scene described the Alliance’s production as –  “Artful. Brilliant. Irreverent. Simple, yet genius. Everything – from the writing to the stage direction and the acting itself – is a marvel to watch in the Alliance for New Music-Theatre’s salute to Vaclav Havel.”

Vaněk Unleashed was composed by Maurice Saylor and written and directed by Susan Galbraith. Saylor is a D.C.-based composer and performer with special affinities for vocal, chamber and silent film music.  His scores often showcase an interest in unusual combinations of instruments and blur the boundaries of style and genre. Founder of the Snark Ensemble, his music has been performed at the John F. Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art.

On May 7-8, Vaněk Unleashed will be accompanied by live music from The Snark Ensemble, whose members have composed and performed more than 30 silent film scores, treating audiences to a blend of boogie land jazz and musical slapstick comedy.

Photo Exhibit of Václav Havel

The production also will be accompanied by a photographic essay exhibit by Jan Kašper, a close friend of Havel and photographer who closely documented Havel’s life as a dissident.

Post-performance discussion

Post performance discussions will allow audience member to share their ideas and interpretations of Václav Havel and these works.

Find out more about The Václav Havel Project

The two works will be performed at Artisphere’s Black Box Theatre (1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington) from May 7 to 18, before traveling to the prestigious Prague Fringe Festival at the end of May.

We are planning to have Live & About participants to attend on either:

  • Wednesday May 7 at 7 pm  – which is the world premier for Vaněk Unleashed with live music by the Snark Ensemble


  • Sunday May 11 at 2 pm

Tickets are at the discounted group rate of $20.

Please contact us at to let us know that you are planning to attend

Fall 2013 Season

1. Alliance for New Music- Theatre original productions

TranSoul   (Thursday, Sept 19 at Atlas Theatre)

Alliance for New Music-Theatre presents TranSoul in its series of new works under the umbrella of Radical Transformations to bring a variety of music-theatre styles across disciplines and cultures to the Washington area. Composer Michael Bowie leads his fearless music ensemble Siné Qua Non, collaborating with the Alliance for New Music-Theatre, in a multi-media dance-theatre journey where the worlds of jazz, classical, and world music meet. Joining SQN in collaboration is the eclectic and wonderfully synthetic choreographer-dancer Shawn Short and dancers from the Dissonance Dance Theatre. Together they form new bonds and languages beyond the edges of predictable styles to take you on a multicultural odyssey into the very soul of music.


The Václav Havel Project (Tuesday, Sept 24 at Atlas Theatre) with opening night reception

Alliance for New Music-Theatre produces a double bill of Václav Havel‘s Antiwords (based on Audience) and Unveiling, in two radically new stagings of these works, bringing out both the laughter and the terror of Havel’s original voice. The performances are part of the Mutual Inspirations Festival 2013 – Václav Havel, celebrating the life and legacy of the former president, playwright, and human rights advocate. Alliance is proud to be invited as a presenter in this festival.

The performances are directed by Miřenka Čechová, artistic member of the Alliance for New Music-Theatre, who wowed D.C. audiences last year with her solo work, S/He is Nancy Joe, winning recognition as “Best of Dance 2012” in the Washington Post. She will co-direct and perform in Antiwords, and direct Unveiling.

  • You can choose either TranSoul or The Václav Havel Project for the Fall package.
  • Alternately you can choose both for an additional $20.

Torchsong Trilogy at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street, NW

Sunday, October 6 matinee at 2 pm or Wednesday, October 9 at 7:30 pm

This is a new theatre for the Alliance Live & About.  Written by Harvey Fierstein, Torch Song Trilogy was his big breakout New York musical and directed by Shakespeare Theatre’s own Artistic Director, Michael Kahn.  This work illuminates a defiant romantic’s quest for intimacy, honesty, and respect in a resistant world.

Crossing at Signature Theatre, Shirlington, VA

Sunday, Nov 17 matinee or Wednesday, Nov 20

An original musical premiere directed by Tony Award winning Eric Schaeffer, Crossing explores the interwoven stories of eight people from different decades of the past century. Their stories are brought to musical life with music ranging from gospel to pop to rock that unites musical eras through the souls who lived them.

Maurice Hines  is Tappin’ thru Life at Arena Stage

Wednesday, Dec 11 at 7:30 or Saturday, Dec 14 matinee at 2pm (No Sunday matinee available)

Broadway legend Maurice Hines teams up again with the unforgettable (and local) Manzari Brothers to tap us through his incredible 40 years in show business. With song and dance, Hines pays tribute to his brother, Gregory, and the singers who have inspired him, from Frank Sinatra to Lena Horne.

Pricing for all four events is:

  • $175 for Matinee performances
  • $160 for Evening performances

For choosing both of the Alliance productions – TranSoul and The Václav Havel Project – there is an extra $20

To make your payments please contact

2012 – 2013

the teashop sceneSandaya:Burmese Lessons at Atlas Performing Arts Center
July 11, 2013

Alliance for New Music-Theatre’s OPENING NIGHT of its first full production in its series RADICAL TRANSFORMATIONS featuring the phenomenal piano music of Kit Young, singer-actress Meghan McCall and an ensemble of top drawer Burmese and Burmese-American artists including circle drummer Myanmar Pyi Kyauk Sein, performance artist/designer Chaw Ei Thein.  [For further details click here.]

approaching aliApproaching Ali at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theatre
June 9, 2013

In this premiere performance of Approaching Ali, this hour-long opera tells the story of a reporter’s transformative meeting with the boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Approaching Ali features Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Soloman Howard (Joe in Show Boat) as Muhammad Ali, David Kravitz as Davis Miller, Aundi Marie Moore as Odessa Clay, and Ethan McKelvain as Young Davis. The opera will be performed with a chamber orchestra conducted by Steven Jarvi, and receive a complete staging by director Nicole Watson and a design team with mentorship provided by WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello.

Please post your comments on the blog and keep the conversation going. [Click HERE for the blog]

Paul’s Case at Urban Arias

April 2013

Director Robert Wood has assembled one of the sassiest and most exciting approaches to new opera in his first 2 seasons. Urban Arias is helping to redefine the genre, and Robert Wood excels in bring audiences spanking new operas hot off the page with highly talented singer-actors. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with in next year’s festival and want to share with you this sensational new company.

The subscription for Weeknights is $175 and for Sundays $185. Please send checks made out to Alliance for New Music-Theatre to 2807 North Glade Street, NW, Washington D.C. 20016. Contact Susan at 202-341-0254 with questions and to join us for July 18th performance.

Lady Swings the Blues at Metro Stage

THURSDAY, February 7 & SUNDAY February 10, 2013

This will be our third season visiting Metro Stage along the river in Old Town Alexandria as it knocks off another musical about a Black American icon. If you missed Josephine Baker Tonight this past season, you don’t want to do that again!

Pullman Porter Blues at Arena Stage

SUNDAY November 25 & TUESDAY November 27*, 2012

Playwright Cheryl West and director Lisa Peterson have collaborated to bring you a world premiere teaming with Midwest blues that tells the tale of a Joe Louis championship fight as seen by the three generations of porters on a train bound out of Chicago. (Note *Tuesday performance as the Wednesday is Thanksgiving Wed!)

Jacques BREL is alive and well and living in Paris at Arena Stage

THURSDAY October 11th 8pm

Production Conception, English Lyrics and Additional Material by Eric Blau & Mort Shuman.  Based on Jacque Brel’s Lyrics & Commentary.  Music by Jacques Brel.

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texasat Signature Theatre

WEDNESDAY September 12 & SUNDAY September 16, 2012

With book by Larry King and Peter Marteson and music by Carol Hall, director Eric Schaeffer will deliver this gritty satire in a decidedly off-Broadway rendition that promises to be especially punchy in our upcoming election season. Better wear your cowboy boots cause we might want to do a two-step afterwards!