The Encores! concert production of Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green's Wonderful Town (1953) will star Donna Murphy, reported the New York Times. Murphy has appeared on Broadway in Passion and The King and I, winning Tonys for both performances.
Wonderful Town brings characters from My Sister Eileen back to life. The parade of Greenwich Village life in the 1930s includes such songs as "Conga!," "Ohio," "Christopher Street," "My Darlin' Eileen," "A Quiet Girl," "What a Waste" and "Wrong Note Rag." Rosalind Russell starred as big sister Ruth in both the original and in a TV version. Both versions are on CD, as are others: A London revival, a studio-cast recording of the entire score (on the Jay label) and yet another recent studio-cast recording conducted by Simon Rattle (on the EMI Classics label), with Audra McDonald as little sister Eileen.
The score is famous for being written in only a few months, in order to fit star Russell's schedule.
The popular Encores! series presents seldom-seen musicals in concert versions, often featuring well known stage stars. Among the actors featured last season were Nathan Lane, Peter Scolari, Mary Testa, Karen Ziemba, Ruthie Henshall and Brian Stokes Mitchell.
The current Broadway revival of Chicago began as an Encores! concert. The series also begat a number of concert cast recordings, including Out of This World, Pal Joey, St. Louis Woman and Call Me Madam. No directors or performers have been selected.