Walter Bobbie, the director who turned the New York City Center's "Encores!" series of in-concert musicals into a N.Y. institution in just two years, has announced he will not be staging the 1997 season. The New York Times reported that Kathleen Marshall, 33, who choreographed the Tony-nominated Swinging on a Star, will take over. No productions have been announced, through Playbill On-Line members had plenty of suggestions in a poll conducted the last week of June. See suggestions.
Bobbie, who sang the role of Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the 1992 Broadway revival of Guys and Dolls, quickly established himself as a director with the Tony-nominated revue A Grand Night for Singing. At "Encores!" he was responsible for staging Du Barry Was a Lady, Pal Joey, Call Me Madam and the hit Chicago, among others. Bobbie cited the time needed to restage the commercial Broadway transfer of Chicago as his reason for withdrawing from the 1997 series, and told the Times he's entertaining the idea of staging another musical (not named) in spring 1997.