Encores! Offers Kristin Chenoweth the Moon

News   Encores! Offers Kristin Chenoweth the Moon
Kristin Chenoweth has been offered a leading role the City Center Encores! new concert staging of Sigmund Romberg's The New Moon. The rarely-seen 1928 work will run March 27-30.

"I want to do that one," Chenoweth told Playbill On-Line. "I have to work out my schedule, but I'd really like to do it."

The New Moon boasts three writers—Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel and Laurence Schwab—and will offer a peek at early Broadway musical fare, when operetta reigned. The show, about a young man hiding from French authorities in 1790s New Orleans, played 500 performances in 1928, making it a huge hit for the time. It was also one of the last operettas to succeed on Broadway and one of the final triumphs of Romberg, who also wrote Blossom Time and The Desert Song. Gary Griffin, the hot-shot Chicago director of musicals, will make his Encores! debut with this work.

Chenoweth is due back on Broadway this far in Stephen Schwartz's Wicked. She previously appeared in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever for Encores!

House of Flowers by Harold Arlen, a musicalization of a Truman Capote short story, will lead off the season, running Feb. 13-16. Capote wrote the lyrics and the book, and the show ran six months during the 1954-55 season. Kathleen Marshall will direct and choreograph the West Indies story of two competing brothels and one woman who leaves a life of prostitution for a different social trap as wife and in-law.

The Richard Rodgers centennial may have ended with the close of 2002, but isn't stopping City Center Encores! from staging Rodgers and Samuel Taylor's No Strings. The musical had been rumored for the 2001 Encores! season but was canceled when Vanessa Williams, the expected star, bowed out to do Into the Woods. About an interracial love affair between a white novelist and a black model, the show originally starred Richard Kiley and Diahann Carroll in 1963. Ann Reinking will direct and choreograph the new staging.

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