City Center Encores! Names Three Vintage Musicals for 2015 Season

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13 Jun 2014

Jack Viertel
Jack Viertel
Stephanie Berger

The 2015 season of the City Center Encores! series will feature limited engagements of George and Ira Gershwin’s Lady, Be Good; Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon; and John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Zorba!

Jack Viertel is the Encores! artistic director; Rob Berman is its music director. Berman will helm both Paint Your Wagon and Zorba! Founding Encores! music director Rob Fisher will return as music director of Lady, Be Good, and will supervise the restoration of Gershwin’s original score.

Lady, Be Good, which opens the season Feb. 4, 2015, "ushered in the Golden Age of Broadway, from the mid-’20s until the early ’40s, when Broadway musicals were opportunities for great songwriters, great songs, and great performers," according to City Center. "The Gershwins (George was hot off the triumph of Rhapsody in Blue) delivered a jazz-age score that featured 'Fascinatin’ Rhythm,' as well as a song that got unaccountably dropped during the show’s tryout in Philadelphia, 'The Man I Love.' The stars of the show included Fred and Adele Astaire playing a penniless brother and sister who crash a garden party in hopes of some quick nourishment."

Lady, Be Good opened at the Liberty Theatre Dec. 1, 1924, and ran for 330 performances. It has music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin with a book by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson. Songs include “Oh, Lady Be Good,” “Fascinatin’ Rhythm” and “The Half of it Dearie Blues.” Lady, Be Good! will run through Feb. 8.

“We’re amazingly lucky to be given the opportunity to put this score back together, and we’re uniquely suited to the task,” said artistic director Viertel in a statement. “Rob Fisher knows the world of 1920s musicals better than anyone, and thanks to the resources put at our disposal by the Steinberg Fund, we’ll be able to do the job in a first class way and transport audiences back to the world of the Charleston, flashy twin-piano solos, muted trumpets and slide trombones.”



Paint Your Wagon, set in a mining camp in Gold Rush-era California, is the story of a "dreaming gold miner and his daughter whose world is changed when the daughter finds gold—and love—near their camp."

Paint Your Wagon opened at the Shubert Theatre Nov. 12, 1951, and ran for 289 performances. It has a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The original production was directed by Daniel Mann and choreographed by Agnes De Mille. Songs include “They Call the Wind Maria,” “I Talk to the Trees” and “I’m On My Way.” Paint Your Wagon will run March 18-22.

Zorba! is John Kander and Fred Ebb’s "galvanic re-imagining of Nikos Kazantzakis’s best-selling tale of a larger than life Greek jack-of-all-trades who 'lives every day as if it will be his last.'”

Zorba! has a book by Joseph Stein, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. It was adapted from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis. The original production starred Herschel Bernardi and Maria Karnilova and was directed by Hal Prince. It opened at the Imperial Theatre Nov. 16, 1968, and ran for 305 performances. Songs include “Life Is” and “Only Love.” Zorba! will run May 6-10.

Complete creative teams and casting will be announced at a later time.

Encores! subscriptions can be purchased online starting Aug. 11 and at the New York City Center Box Office on Oct. 6 (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), by calling (212) 581-1212, or online at www.NYCityCenter.org.