The tenth 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 season.
Scheduled for Nov. 24 (2 and 7:30 PM) and Nov. 25 (7:30 PM), the concerts will feature cast members from each of the previous Encores! presentations. Created by Judith Daykin, Jack Viertel and music director Rob Fisher, the concerts will be staged by Kathleen Marshall, who served as artistic director of the Encores! series from 1996-2000.
Daykin, City Center's President and the creator of the Encores! series, recently commented, "What a joy it's been to hear the music of the theatre's greatest songwriters echo throughout the halls of City Center over the last decade. Since 1993-1994, City Center has had the enviable pleasure of being able to dive through Broadway's treasure trove and introduce this music to our audiences. Ten years later, it's still thrilling to see today's audiences re discover yesterday's gems."
Current Encores! artistic director Viertel added, "From our first production, Fiorello!, to our most recent, The Pajama Game, City Center Encores! has been a showcase not only for the best music but for the best singers and musicians. The Bash gives us the opportunity to resurrect this brilliant music and spotlight some of the amazing talent currently on stage. Best of all, audiences get to hear these scores as they would have been heard on their original opening night, thanks to the unparalleled talent of Rob Fisher and his orchestra." 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. Some of the many stars who have taken part in the series include Patti LuPone, Tyne Daly, Peter Gallagher, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christine Ebersole, Rebecca Luker, Debbie Gravitte, Davis Gaines, Judy Kuhn, Alice Ripley, Lea DeLaria, Donna Murphy, Laura Benanti, Norm Lewis, Melissa Errico, Idina Menzel, Philip Bosco, Vanessa Williams, Karen Ziemba and Brent Barrett.
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. In related news: The upcoming Encores! season has set its dates. The first production will run Feb. 13-16, 2003; the second is scheduled for March 27 30; and the final musical will play City Center May 8-12. Although no official announcement has been made, the New York Post reports that probable titles include No Strings, House of Flowers and New Moon.
—By Andrew Gans