In honor of 75 years of programming, New York City Center has invited several noted alums to reflect on their time performing at the Manhattan cultural institution. Take a look above as Jake Gyllenhaal, Vanessa Williams, Annaleigh Ashford, Laura Benanti, Victoria Clark, Brandon Victor Dixon, Joel Grey, and more discuss the impact of City Center on their careers.
“You’re walking into history,” explains Tony winner Ashford, who starred in a gala production of Sunday in the Park With George at the performance venue in 2016 with Jake Gyllenhaal; the two would go on to reprise their performances on Broadway. Vanessa Williams, who appeared in an early City Center Encores! presentation—St. Louis Woman—and recently returned to the stage in Hey, Look Me Over!, echoed the sentiment, referring to the space as “hallowed ground.”
Encores! has a notoriously fast-tracked preparation process, one that Benanti calls a two-pronged situation. “First prong: terrifying. Second prong: It really does force you to just trust yourself.”
Check out the video to learn more about Encores!, as well as City Center’s additional programming, including the Off-Center series and the Fall for Dance Festival.