Tony Winner Chenoweth Will Build a Stairway to Paradise; Zaks to Direct

News   Tony Winner Chenoweth Will Build a Stairway to Paradise; Zaks to Direct Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth, who can currently be seen in the Broadway production of The Apple Tree, will star in the final offering of the upcoming City Center Encores! season.

Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth.
Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth.

Chenoweth will head the cast of Stairway to Paradise, an original revue created specially for the Encores! series. Playing May 10-14 the production, according to press notes, will be "a celebration of the very best material from a half century of Broadway revues, and will include numbers and sketches from Florenz Ziegfeld's shows and other legendary musicals and revues of the era."

The production will be directed by Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks and will feature musical direction by Rob Berman. Warren Carlisle will choreograph.

Stairway to Paradise will boast numbers and sketches from such shows as The Band Wagon, As Thousands Cheer, Pins and Needles, Call Me Mister, The Garrick Gaieties and New Faces of 52. Theatregoers can expect to hear such tunes as "Manhattan," "Brother Can You Spare a Dime," "Suppertime" and "This Is the Army Mr. Jones."

According to a program note in the Metropolitan Opera Playbill for Chenoweth's Jan. 19 solo concert, Tony winner Roger Bart will join Chenoweth for the Encores! production. That casting has not been officially announced.

Kristin Chenoweth, who received a Tony nomination for her work as Glinda in Stephen Schwartz's Wicked, has been seen on the New York stage in The Fantasticks, Scapin, Steel Pier, A New Brain, Epic Proportions, Strike Up the Band, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, The Apple Tree and Candide. The actress won her Tony Award for her performance as Sally Brown in the Broadway bow of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Chenoweth recently released her second solo recording, "As I Am" (Sony Classical), and her screen credits include "Kristin," "The West Wing," "The Music Man," "The Pink Panther," "Stranger Than Fiction," "Deck the Halls" and "Running with Scissors." The City Center Encores! season will kick off Feb. 8-12 with Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman's Follies. The star-studded company will feature Victoria Clark as Sally Durant Plummer, Donna Murphy as Phyllis Stone, Victor Garber as Benjamin Stone, Michael McGrath as Buddy Plummer, Philip Bosco as Dimitri Weismann, Robert Fitch as Theodore Whitman, Christine Baranski as Carlotta Campion, Mimi Hines as Hattie Walker, Lucine Amara as Heidi Schiller, Joanne Worley as Stella Deems, Gerry Vichi as Max Deems, Arthur Rubin as Roscoe, Yvonne Constant as Solange, Leena Chopra as Young Heidi, Dorothy Stanley as Dee Dee West, Diane J. Findlay as Sandra Cranes, Anne Rogers as Emily Whitman, Curtis Holbrook as Young Buddy, Katie Klaus as Young Sally, Jenny Powers and Young Phyllis, Cameron Adams as Young Hattie, Shannon Marie O'Bryan as Young Solange, Denise Payne as Young Emily, Jenifer Foote as Young Sandra, Ashlee Fife as Young Stella, Jennifer Mathie as Young Carlotta, Kristen Beth Williams and Emily Fletcher as Showgirls and Clyde Alves as Kevin.

A full-scale restoration of Face the Music, the 1932 Irving Berlin Moss Hart musical, will follow Follies, playing March 29-April 1 at City Center. Originally directed by George S. Kaufman, Face the Music concerns "a desperate producer in New York trying to raise the money for his latest revue, Rhinestones of '32." The musical features such Berlin tunes as "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee" and "Soft Lights and Sweet Music." Rob Fisher will be the musical director for the second Encores! offering.

Tickets for the upcoming season are available by visiting the New York City Center box office, which is located on West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues; by calling (212) 581-1212; or by logging on to www.nycitycenter.org. Tickets are priced $25, $50, $90 and $95.

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