The 2000 schedule for Encores!, the popular series of musicals in concert at City Center in New York City, will include Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner's On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1965), Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's Tenderloin (1960), and Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green's Wonderful Town (1953).
The season begins in February with On a Clear Day, the whimsical musical fantasy about a woman named Daisy Gamble, whose psychic powers and past life are uncovered by a doubting psychiatrist. The original staging was a prime showcase for Barbara Harris, who was nominated for a Best Actress (Musical) Tony; she won the Tony the following season for The Apple Tree. Tunes include "Melinda," "What Did I Have (I Don't Have Now)?," "Hurry, It's Lovely Up Here," "Come Back to Me" and the popular title song.
Barbra Streisand played Daisy in the film version, which included new Lerner-Lane songs. One of the show's previous titles was I Picked a Daisy.
Tenderloin, with a book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott, is a look at prostitution and corruption in New York City in the 1890s, with the forces of morality represented by Dr. Brock, a monomaniacal preacher who infiltrates the red-light district, known as "the tenderloin." Cecil Beaton provided the stylized costumes for the original. It's generally thought the best songs of the score ("Reform," "Little Old New York," "Artificial Flowers" and "Shame") go to the drinkers, pimps and prostitutes, while the puritans sing such tunes as "Good Clean Fun" and "Dear Friends." It's scheduled for a March concert.
In May, 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.