The 10th season of City Center's acclaimed Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert series will kick off with City Center's Encores! 10th Anniversary Bash, a concert featuring numbers from each of the musicals presented during the past nine seasons. In attendance will be a goodly number of the stars who made the first 10 years of Encores! so memorable.
Scheduled for Nov. 24 (2 PM and 7:30 PM) and Nov. 25 (7:30 PM), the concerts will feature such talents as Kristin Chenoweth, Tyne Daly, Christine Ebersole and Bebe Neuwirth. The concerts will be staged by Kathleen Marshall, who served as artistic director of the Encores! series from 1996-2000.
Which shows and songs will fill the evenings has not been announced. However, it is safe to guess that certain celebrated performances will be repeated. Rebecca Luker's work in The Boys from Syracuse and Donna Murphy's turn in Wonderful Town were highly thought of and will likely be revisited. Also expect something from One Touch of Venus by Melissa Errico, who, in that musical, gave what is perhaps the most praised performance in Encores! history.
The performers set to appear follow. The Encores! shows they appeared in are shown in parentheses after their names.
Patrick Wilson (Tenderloin) Among the musicals that have been presented under the Encores! banner are Fiorello!; Wonderful Town; The Boys from Syracuse; Promises, Promises; Babes in Arms; On a Clear Day You Can See Forever; The Pajama Game; Bloomer Girl; A Connecticut Yankee; Carnival; Strike Up the Band; St. Louis Woman; and Chicago, which later transferred to Broadway, where it currently resides at the Shubert Theatre.
Tickets to City Center's Encores! 10th Anniversary Bash are priced between $25 and $85 and are available by calling CityTix at (212) 581 1212. Tickets can also be ordered online at www.citycenter.org.
The Richard Rodgers centennial may end with the close of 2002, but that won't stop City Center Encores! from staging Rodgers and Samuel Taylor's No Strings in their 2003 season. Also to be included in the three show line-up of musicals in concert are The New Moon by Sigmund Romberg and House of Flowers by Harold Arlen.
The latter, a musicalization of a Truman Capote short story, will lead off the season, running Feb. 13-16, 2003. Capote wrote the lyrics and the book, and the show ran six months during the 1954-55 season. Kathleen Marshall will direct and choreograph the West Indies story of two competing brothels and one woman who leaves a life of prostitution for a different social trap as wife and in law.
The New Moon will run March 27-30. The show boasts three lyricists—Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel and Laurence Schwarb—and will offer a rare peek at early Broadway musical fare, when operetta reigned. The New Moon, about a young man hiding from French authorities in 1790s New Orleans, played 500 performances in 1928, making it a huge hit for the time. It was also one of the last operettas to succeed on Broadway and one of the final triumphs of Romberg, who also wrote Blossom Time and The Desert Song. Gary Griffin, the hot-shot Chicago director of musicals, will make his Encores! debut with this work.
No Strings had been rumored for the 2001 Encores! season but was canceled when Vanessa Williams, the expected star, bowed out to do Into the Woods. The musical, about an interracial love affair between a white novelist and a black model, originally starred Richard Kiley and Diahann Carroll in 1963. Ann Reinking will direct and choreograph the new staging.
—By Robert Simonson
and Andrew Gans