"Welcome to the Theatre": City Center Encores! Begins New Season with Applause

News   "Welcome to the Theatre": City Center Encores! Begins New Season with Applause
Erin Davie is duplicitous understudy Eve Harrington opposite two-time Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole's Margo Channing in Applause, which kicks off the 15th City Center Encores! season Feb. 7.
Erin Davie and Christine Ebersole
Erin Davie and Christine Ebersole Photo by Joan Marcus

In addition to the two former Grey Gardens co-stars, the classic Betty Comden-Adolph Green-Charles Strouse-Lee Adams musical also features Kate Burton (Karen Richards), Mario Cantone (Duane Fox), Tom Hewitt (Howard Benedict), Michael Park (Bill Sampson), Megan Sikora (Bonnie) and Chip Zien (Buzz Richards).

The ensemble comprises Tony Freeman, Bob Gaynor, David Studwell, J.D. Webster, Cole Burden, John Carroll, Paula Leggett Chase, Susan Derry, Sarah Jane Everman, Lisa Gajda, Gregg Goodbrod, Justin Greer, James Harkness, Joe Komara, Raymond Lee, Monica Patton, Manuel Santos, Jennifer Savelli, Chaunteé Schuler, Steven Sofia, Kevin Vortmann and Kristen Beth Williams.

Directed and choreographed by Tony winner Kathleen Marshall, Applause will play through Feb. 10. Rob Berman is musical director.

Based on the Bette Davis film "All About Eve" and the original story by Mary Orr, Applause — which won the 1970 Tony Award for Best Musical — features music by Charles Strouse, lyrics be Lee Adams and a book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The musical opened at Broadway's Palace Theatre on March 30, 1970, with Lauren Bacall as Margo Channing and Penny Fuller as Eve Harrington. Bacall won a Tony for her performance, and the show ran for 896 performances, closing July 27, 1972.

Songs include "Applause," "Welcome to the Theatre" and "But Alive." Show times are Feb. 7 and 8 at 8 PM, Feb. 9 at 2 and 8 PM and Feb. 10 at 6:30 PM.

For her work in the dual roles of Edith Bouvier Beale and "Little" Edie Beale in the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Grey Gardens, Christine Ebersole was honored with the Tony Award, the Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, an Obie, a special citation from the New York Drama Critics Circle and the Drama League's 2006 Distinguished Performance of the Year Award. She also received a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for her work as Dorothy Brock in the hit revival of 42nd Street and a 2003 Tony nomination for her performance in Lincoln Center's production of Dinner at Eight. Ebersole's other Broadway credits include The Best Man, Getting Away with Murder, Harrigan 'n Hart, Camelot, Oklahoma!, On the Twentieth Century, I Love My Wife, Angel Street and the City Center Encores! productions of A Connecticut Yankee, Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, Lady in the Dark and Allegro. Ebersole was also seen Off-Broadway in Talking Heads.

City Center is located in Manhattan at 131 West 55th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues). Tickets, priced $25-$95, are available by calling (212) 581-1212 or by visiting www.nycitycenter.org.


The Encores! season will continue with Juno (March 27-30 starring Victoria Clark, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Conrad John Schuck and Michael Arden) and No, No, Nanette (May 8-12 starring Rosie O'Donnell, Sandy Duncan, Fred Willard, Beth Leavel, Shonn Wiley and Mara Davi).

(Back row) Tom Hewitt, Mario Cantone, (center) Erin Davie, Christine Ebersole, Michael Park (front) Zien, Megan Sikora and Kate Burton
(Back row) Tom Hewitt, Mario Cantone, (center) Erin Davie, Christine Ebersole, Michael Park (front) Zien, Megan Sikora and Kate Burton Photo by Joan Marcus
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