Jonathan Groff and Andrew Lippa Will Be Part of Pre-Show Events for Encores! Off-Center

News   Jonathan Groff and Andrew Lippa Will Be Part of Pre-Show Events for Encores! Off-Center
New York City Center's Encores! Off-Center series, running June 24-July 18, will be accompanied by a series of free pre-show events. Included in the line-up of guest speakers are Tony nominee Jonathan Groff, celebrated composer Andrew Lippa and "So You Think You Can Dance" choreographer Sonya Tayeh.

Jonathan Groff
Jonathan Groff Photo by Joseph Marzullo

The events, titled The Lobby Project, are designed to place the landmark Off-Broadway musicals in the context of their legacies and provide insightful explorations of the work. They will feature performances, conversations and readings.

Led by artistic director Jeanine Tesori, the Encores! Off-Center series celebrates its third season in 2015. This season's slated shows are William Finn and James Lapine’s medical fantasia A New Brain (June 24-27), Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s Little Shop of Horrors (July 1-2) and Andrew Lippa’s Jazz Age love story The Wild Party (July 15-18).

The Lobby Project events, each 45 minutes long, will take place in City Center’s Grand Tier lobby one hour before curtain and are free for that evening’s ticket holders. Other guest speakers include Thoroughly Modern Millie writer Dick Scanlan, clown doctor Matt Wilson, songwriter and performer Lorenzo Wolff and choreographers Torya Beard and Ayodele Casel. 

Below is a full schedule of events:

June 24, 6:30 PM. "Not For The Life of Me": Dick Scanlan and Thoroughly Modern Millie
Tony Award nominee Scanlan, who is directing Little Shop of Horrors, appears with Tesori to discuss the creation of Millie.  June 25, 6:30 PM. Beethoven's String Quartets: Music, Health and the Brain
The Momenta Quartet traces Beethoven's earlier to late string quartets. 

June 26, 7 PM. Matt Wilson: Clown Doctor
Wilson, creator of the theatre piece Clown Baggage, has worked for over ten years as a "clown doctor" in youth hospitals. He performs an excerpt from his show and discusses the intricacies of his work. 

June 27, 1 PM. Dr. Rita Charon and Narrative Medicine
Founder and executive director of the program in narrative medicine at Columbia University, Charon leads an interactive workshop and shares her belief about the importance of narrative medicine. 

June 27, 7 PM. A Conversation with Jonathan Groff 
Groff discusses his history with A New Brain and his process of getting into the character of Gordon Schwinn, a role he learned to play the piano for. 

July 15, 6:30 PM. On Decadence 
Experimental performing arts group theatreMAMA, who have worked with shows like Pippin and Chicago, create an evening of suprises and decadence. 

July 16, 6:30 PM. Dance with Sonya Tayeh 
"So You Think You Can Dance" choreographer Tayeh discusses how she developed the choreography for The Wild Party and leads the audience through some of the steps. 

July 17, 7 PM. 1920's Mixtape
Songwriter and performer Lorenzo Wolff and a jazz band give a 1920's twist on a range of classic songs. 

July 18, 1 PM. The Evolution of Social Dance
Choreographers Torya Beard and Ayodele Casel use movement to lead theatregoers through the evolution of dance and the history of using dance as a means of social expression. 

July 18, 7 PM. Andrew Lippa: Stories and Lost Songs 
Composer, bookwriter and lyricist of The Wild Party, Lippa performs selected material from the show and discusses his process with Tesori. 

Tickets for A New Brain, Little Shop of Horrors and The Wild Party can be purchased online at NYCityCenter or by calling (212) 581-1212, or at the City Center Box Office located on West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.

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