UrbanArias Improv Series



Thursday, September 12 at 5pm

At REACH at the Kennedy Center


The passes will get you into the festival; once inside, each event is first-come, first-served. If the timed passes are sold out, there will be a standby line! The Kennedy Center recommends arriving about 30 minutes before the performance. UrbanArias will be performing in the River Pavilion, which is NOT the main REACH building, but the one next to it. It has a bar!

The Washington Post has an article about how the ticketing works HERE – we recommend taking a look!

UrbanArias and Jive Turkey return with a new set of improv games!
Watch opera improv unfold before your very eyes and ears when local cutting-edge opera company UrbanArias brings a cocktail happy hour program to the opening festivities at the new REACH!

GETTING THERE: REACH at the Kennedy Center

UrbanArias Opera Improv HappyHour!
The River Pavilion at The REACH
2700 F St NW
Thursday, September 12 at 5pm

Find us in The River Pavilion! (Ask for the UrbanArias Opera Improv Happy Hour!)

We specialize in sung, audience-directed skits for your enjoyment –

That terrible first date story?

We want to hear it…and turn it into an opera…

This brand new show will mash up the sung improv skills of UrbanArias and spoken improv prowess of Jive Turkey in one unforgettable performance! Our shows incorporate audience suggestions and interaction – come prepared to have great time and laugh your socks off.

Below, La Boheme is reimagined on a pirate ship!

Starring Melissa Wimbish,
Britt Olsen-Ecker,
Ian McEuen and
Jeffrey Gates,
with Tim McReynolds and
Robert Wood on piano.

Jive Turkey starring Joe Randazzo and Chris Ulrich is one of DC’s oldest independent troupes. They’ve played their smart, grounded style of multi-level improv at performances nationwide.

Read our terrific write-up in Brightest Young Things!


Ian McEuen (Tenor): OPERA: Madama Butterfly, Washington National Opera (Goro); Turandot, Virginia Opera (Pang); Sweeney Todd, New Orleans Opera (Toby); Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, UrbanArias (Dr. S); Tosca, Knoxville Opera (Spoletta); Butterfly, North Carolina Opera (Goro); Magic Flute, Arizona Opera (Monostatos); Butterfly, Glimmerglass Festival (Goro); With Blood, with Ink, Fort Worth Opera (Padre Antonio); The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me, WNO (Hippo/Holy Man/Dog); Ariadne auf Naxos, FWO (Tanzmeister).


Britt Olsen-Ecker (Soprano): OPERA/ MUSICAL THEATRE: The Cunning Little Vixen, Peabody Institute (Rooster); A Little Night Music, Connecticut Playmakers (Mrs. Segstrom); I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, JMN Theatrics (Melissa); STAGE: Stranger Kindness,Acme Corporation (Premiere – Stella Kowalski); The Memo, Single Carrot Theatre (Miss Kalous); Blind From Here, Single Carrot Theatre (Premiere – Elsa); FILM: Arbitrage, Lionsgate Films (Gallery Patron); AWARDS: Baker Artist Award (2016), Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award for Commitment to and Performance of 20th/21st Century Music (2009) www.brittolsenecker.com

Melissa Wimbish, sopranoMelissa Wimbish (Soprano) SOLO RECITAL: Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall; Terrace Theater of Kennedy Center. OPERA/CONCERT: The Dream Washington Ballet (Soprano soloist) at Kennedy Center Opera House; Mysteries of the Macabre, Baltimore Symphony (Soloist); Candide, Manchester Choral Society (Cunegonde); Carmina Burana, Washington Ballet (Soloist) Eisenhower Theater; Josephine, Urban Arias (Josephine); Paul’s Case, Urban Arias (History Teacher); Candide, Baltimore Symphony (Sheep). AWARDS: Baker Artist Award (2016); NATS Artist Award, 1st Place (2014); Franco-American Vocal Award (2014).

Jeffrey Gates, baritoneJeffrey Grayson Gates is a Texas native whose captivating, artful performances have won the admiration of audiences and critics throughout the United States. He was hailed by The Baltimore Sun as having “vocal spark” as well as a “thundering presence” by DC Metro Theater Arts for his performance as Don Giovanni at Lyric Opera Baltimore. Among his widespread repertoire of operatic roles, performance highlights include: Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Shaunard in La Boheme. www.JeffreyGatesBaritone.com

Robert Wood (Pianist) URBANARIAS (Founder): Independence Eve, Lucy, As One, After Life/Josephine, Blue Viola, Three Decembers, Paul’s Case; SAN FRANCISCO OPERA: La Traviata, L’italiana in Algeri, Concerts; OPERA COLORADO: Carmen, Roméo et Juliette; WOLF TRAP OPERA: Le Comte Ory, Die Zauberflöte; MINNESOTA OPERA: La Donna del Lago, Le Nozze di Figaro, Lakmé, Rusalka, Il barbiere di Siviglia; HAWAII OPERA THEATRE: Die Entführung aus dem Serail; Die Fledermaus; VANCOUVER OPERA: L’italiana in Algeri.\