Encores! Off-Center Season Will Include tick, ticků BOOM!, Faust, Pump Boys and Dinettes

By Andrew Gans
09 Mar 2014

Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda
Photo by Corey Hayes

New York City Center's Encores! Off-Center series, under the artistic direction of Jeanine Tesori, will return in June for a second season of Off-Broadway musicals presented at the famed Manhattan venue.

The upcoming season will kick off June 25-28 with Jonathan Larson’s tick, tick… BOOM! The cast will be headed by Tony winners Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo under the direction of Oliver Butler.

A one-night-only performance of Randy Newman’s Faust: The Concert, featuring Newman as the Devil, will be presented July 1. Thomas Kail will direct; additional casting will be announced.

Pump Boys and Dinettes, with book, music and lyrics by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann, will conclude the season, running July 16-19. The production will be directed by Lear deBessonet and choreographed by Danny Mefford.



Chris Fenwick is the Encores! Off-Center music director.

City Center's Encores! Off-Center series, according to press notes, presents "Off-Broadway musicals that pushed creative boundaries when they were first produced. Filtered through the lens of today’s artists, these shows are presented not as historical documents but as living, vital works that continue to resonate with audiences. In the Encores! tradition, Off-Center places a great emphasis on the scores, with the orchestra performing onstage. Each show receives a brief rehearsal period followed by five performances (Faust will be performed for one performance)."

The series also features The Lobby Project, a series of free performances, conversations and readings by artists, poets, authors and performers. The Lobby Project events "place each musical in the context of its legacy and provide insights into the work the audience is about to experience." The schedule of events for The Lobby Project will be announced at a later time.

Tickets to Encores! Off-Center will go on sale to City Center’s Peer to Peer members beginning March 10. Tickets to the general public will go on sale beginning March 17. All tickets begin at $25 and can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), through CityTix at (212) 581-1212 or online at www.NYCityCenter.org.

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Additional details, according to City Center, follow:

tick, tick… BOOM!, with book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, script consultant by David Auburn and vocal arrangements and orchestrations by Stephen Oremus, is "an autobiographical musical by the Pulitzer Prize– and Tony Award–winning composer of Rent. First performed as a solo rock monologue by Larson in 1990, it is the story of an aspiring composer who questions his life choices on the eve of his thirtieth birthday. After Larson’s untimely death, it was revamped by playwright David Auburn as a three-actor piece and premiered off-Broadway on June 13, 2001 at the Jane Street Theatre, featuring Raúl Esparza as Jon. Its London production in 2005 starred Neil Patrick Harris."

Randy Newman's FAUST: The Concert, with music and lyrics by Randy Newman, is according to Newman, “like Goethe’s Faust Pt. 1, but more complex psychologically; more like Pt 2 but not the product of an ordered mind. The Lord and the Devil are childhood friends who in adulthood have a falling out. The Devil is expelled from Heaven, somewhat arbitrarily some might say, and though he reigns in Hell, he longs to return to his childhood home. He goes up to visit Heaven for the first time in a long while. He finds the Lord and tells him Man is bad, and should never have been created. The Lord says that He doesn’t make mistakes. As they did in the 12th, 14th and 16th centuries, they bet on it, pick a young Notre Dame Freshman as a representative specimen and hilarity ensues.” The musical opened in 1995 at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and was revived at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 1996.

Pump Boys and Dinettes was conceived, written and performed by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann. The show is a "musical tribute to life on the roadside, with the actors accompanying themselves on guitar, piano, bass, fiddle, accordion, and kitchen utensils. A hybrid of country, rock and pop music, Pump Boys is the story of four gas station attendants and two waitresses at a small-town dinette in North Carolina. It premiered Off-Broadway at the Chelsea West Side Arts Theatre in July 1981 and opened on Broadway on February 4, 1982 at the Princess Theatre, where it played 573 performances and was nominated for both Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical."