Based on the novel by Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn featured a book by Smith and George Abbott and a score by Arthur Schwartz (music) and Dorothy Fields (lyrics). The musical opened at the Alvin Theatre in April 1951, playing 267 performances before closing in December of that same year. Directed by Abbott with choreography by Herbert Ross, the original cast included Shirley Booth, Nathaniel Frey, Nomi Mitty, Marcia Van Dyke and Lou Wills, Jr.
Tree will kick-off the Encores! season, playing Feb. 10-13, 2005.
The other two shows featured in the season are Purlie and The Apple Tree.
Purlie, based on Ossie Davis' "Purlie Victorious," will play City Center March 31-April 3. With a book by Davis, Philip Rose and Peter Udell, Purlie features music by Gary Geld and lyrics by Peter Udell. Directed by Philip Rose, the original 1970 production was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical; its co-stars, Cleavon Little and Melba Moore, both won Tonys for their performances. The third and final offering of the season will be Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's The Apple Tree, playing May 12-16. Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth, who recently made her solo Carnegie Hall concert debut, will star in the production. The musical, which featured a Tony-winning performance by Barbara Harris, opened at the Shubert Theatre in October 1966, playing 463 performances before closing November 25, 1967. The musical was nominated for seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.