The Cradle Will Rock, with music, lyrics and book by Blitzstein, is described as "a powerful political satire and an extraordinary piece of theater history. Set against the backdrop of a steel strike and peopled with fat-cat capitalists, brutal policemen, heroic union organizers, and a warm-hearted prostitute, Blitzstein’s 1937 battle hymn to the proletariat feels remarkably fresh."
The show was developed in 1937 with funds from the Federal Theater Project, a branch of the WPA. The original production, directed by Orson Welles, was shut down four days before opening. Officially, it was shut down due to WPA budget cuts, but many cited the show’s pro-union themes as the government’s impetus for its closing. The show finally opened Off-Broadway at the Venice Theatre in June 1937 with private funding. It next opened on Broadway at the Windsor Theater on Jan. 3, 1938, and ran 108 performances.
The majority of tickets for all Encores! Off-Center productions are $25. All tickets can be purchased online at www.NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or at the City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues).
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.