A slew of Broadway performers who are veterans of the City Center Encores! musical theatre series will sing Nov. 8 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Rob Fisher and the Coffee Club Orchestra, christening a new acoustical shell at City Center in Manhattan.
The "10th anniversary bash" concert will include songs heard in past Encores! concerts (of which Fisher is resident musical director), plus performances by alums of Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" radio series.
The new Howard M. Squadron Acoustical Shell will help make City Center a major legit concert venue, adding to its reputation as a playhouse and dance hall.
Appearing in the 8 PM concert will be past Encores! performers Tyne Daly and Lewis Cleale (Call Me Madam), Karen Ziemba (Ziegfeld Follies of 1936), Chuck Cooper (St. Louis Woman), Christine Ebersole (Ziegfeld Follies and Lady in the Dark) and Stephen Bogardus (Sweet Adeline), with a 50-person chorus.
The non-Encores! half of the show includes performances by the Coffee Club Orchestra and Ivy Austin, David Garrison, Jerry Hadley, Maureen McGovern, Karen Morrow, Richard Muenz and Alice Playten. The $225,000 acoustical shell was installed this year, and is named after City Center's board chairman emeritus. It consists of a series of panels or "clouds" positioned around the stage to improve acoustics, particularly for orchestral or unamplified concerts.
For $30-$45 ticket information, call (212) 581-1212.
City Center is on 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. The website can be found at www.citycenter.org.
-- By Kenneth Jones