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Over the past two decades, Tony-nominated playwright Ives has adapted 33 librettos for the Encores! series. His work began with Cole Porter's Out of This World, starring Andrea Martin, and concluded with the aforementioned Rodgers and Hart musical On Your Toes.
"Truth to tell, it was those really old shows that I liked the best," Ives told Playbill.com. "Strike Up The Band, Face The Music, Pardon My English, Of Thee I Sing, Boys From Syracuse — most of them shows nobody'd heard of in decades but which demonstrated, once the book had been cut and given a massage, some real verve. I love those shows that come from the days when a musical was a night out instead of a social lesson."
About his decision to end his work with the acclaimed concert series, Ives explained, "I've very happily done 33 adaptations for Encores! But there comes a time when it's time for someone else to have that pleasure, especially given how full my platter is these days. It's been a real joy and I would hate to run the risk of going stale, or shortchanging what is one of New York's most exciting theatre experiences. In short: it's time to pass along the blue pencil. I'll adapt."
Ives' plays include Venus in Fur, New Jerusalem, All in the Timing and Polish Joke. He also adapted Mark Twain's Is He Dead?