Vanessa Williams Will Star in Encores! Concert of No Strings in 2002

News   Vanessa Williams Will Star in Encores! Concert of No Strings in 2002 Vanessa Williams and James Naughton will star in a spring 2002 Encores! concert version of Richard Rodgers' No Strings, the unique 1962 musical with both music and lyrics by Rodgers.
Vanessa Williams in Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Vanessa Williams in Kiss of the Spider Woman. (Photo by Photo by Catherine Ashmore)

Vanessa Williams and James Naughton will star in a spring 2002 Encores! concert version of Richard Rodgers' No Strings, the unique 1962 musical with both music and lyrics by Rodgers. News of the upcoming concert revival was revealed June 28 at the announcement of events scheduled for the Richard Rodgers centenary year, 2002. At the press preview, Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, told of various plans for concerts, revivals and tributes to Rodgers in 2002.

Ann Reinking will direct the concert version of No Strings at City Center. The groundbreaking show offered the story of an interracial romance — originally, between characters played by Diahann Carroll and Richard Kiley. The show was written for Carroll. The book is by Samuel Taylor, and the orchestra was unique in that it had, as the title suggests, no strings. A percussive,unique, brassy sound emerged and so did a semi-standard — "The Sweetest Sounds."

No Strings was Rodgers' first Broadway show since the death of his lyricist since 1942, Oscar Hammerstein II. The score is preserved on an original cast album.

— By Kenneth Jones