PHOTO CALL: Danny Rutigliano, Kate Baldwin, Erin Dilly, Jenn Gambatese and Cast Take a Bow in Fiorello!, With Guest Barney Frank

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04 Feb 2013

Fiorello!, the award-winning Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick musical that launched the City Center Encores! series in 1994, returned Jan. 30-Feb. 3 as the opening musical of the Encores! 20th-anniversary season. Former Congressman Barney Frank made his New York stage debut with a cameo at the Feb. 2 evening performance.

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Barney Frank and cast
Photo by Monica Simoes



Frank played an outspoken senator who disagrees with LaGuardia’s policies.

Directed by Gary Griffin with choreography by Alex Sanchez and music direction by Rob Berman, the cast was led by Kate Baldwin, Jeremy Bobb, Ray DeMattis, Erin Dilly, Jenn Gambatese, Adam Heller, Shuler Hensley, Richard Ruiz, Danny Rutigliano (in the title role), Andrew Samonsky, Emily Skinner and Cheryl Stern with Justin Barnette, Meggie Cansler, Christine DiGiallonardo, Yurel Echezarreta, Leah Edwards, Rob Gallagher, Jordan Fife Hunt, Alison Jantzie, Lizzie Klemperer, Kevin Ligon, Lauralyn McClelland, Rebecca Robbins, Adam Rogers, Steve Routman, Tommy Scrivens, Lainie Sakakura, Carly Blake Sebouhian, Nathaniel Stampley and Kevin Vortmann.



Fiorello! launched the Encores! musical theatre series in 1994. The musical, according to press notes, "tells the story of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s rise from an immigrant’s son to the feisty congressman whose guts and determination to fight corruption brought down the crooked Tammany Hall political machine."

As the show begins, "Republican District Leader Ben Marino (Shuler Hensley) hasn’t had a winning candidate in years – until Fiorello LaGuardia steps in. LaGuardia (Danny Rutigliano) falls in love with Thea (Kate Baldwin), a feisty union organizer. Thea’s best friend Dora (Jenn Gambatese) falls in love with a none-too-smart cop (Jeremy Bobb). And LaGuardia’s office manager, Marie (Erin Dilly) has been in love with her boss for years. Mitzi (Emily Skinner) performs for Tammany Hall cronies. Everything changes when LaGuardia runs for congress and wins the election."

Fiorello! has a book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott, music by Bock and lyrics by Harnick. It is one of only eight musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and it also won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Fiorello! opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on Nov. 23, 1959, and ran for 795 performances. It was directed by George Abbott and starred Tom Bosley, Howard Da Silva and Pat Stanley. Songs include “Little Tin Box,” “Till Tomorrow” and "When Did I Fall In Love?"

Fiorello! had a brief, 16-performance revival at City Center in 1962. The Encores! production opened in February 1994. It was directed by Walter Bobbie and starred Jerry Zaks, Philip Bosco and Faith Prince.