New York City Center, which is currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, is posting daily highlights from former Encores! and Gala productions.
This week's offerings, curated by Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori, the creative advisor for the Encores! Off-Center series, have the theme "Somewhere … Songs of Yearning for Another Place."
The week kicked off with Taylor Mac singing "Lost Horizon" from Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman's Gone Missing and now features Cheyenne Jackson singing "Joey, Joey, Joey" from the 2014 City Center Encores! production of The Most Happy Fella.
Watch the performance below:
#EncoresArchives These lyrics speak for themselves: “You’ve been too long, in one place, and it’s time to go, time to go....” Indeed. — New York City Center (@NYCityCenter) April 22, 2020
🎶: @cheyennejackson "Joey, Joey, Joey"
Encores! The Most Happy Fella 2014 pic.twitter.com/amDypY4vC7
Says Fun Home's Tesori, "As I sit in my new 'office' (a corner of my bedroom), I am looking out onto the newly-emptied streets of Manhattan, counting blessings but also cans of beans. I haven’t been able to quite, I don’t know, take this all in. I have often joked to my friends that I haven’t had a true feeling since 1989, perhaps the result of getting slightly hard-boiled by a life in music, the constancy of parenting, of trying to plan for the future but aspiring to live in the moment. Trying to be of service in a country that underserves so many.
"So, when I approached this offering for the City Center community, I was surprised to finally find some tears rolling down my cheeks listening to Kate Baldwin sing 'How Are Things in Glocca Morra?' I have never really thought about Finian’s Rainbow, nor that song, as applying to me, and certainly not as a much-needed release this weekend. But listening to Kate’s voice, that celestial voice, I was able to hear this, and all these songs in a new way. In anything found, there is something lost, and in loss, there are things we find. This week’s songs all have this in common; a yearning to be in another place or time, new feelings of nostalgia, and the acceptance that life, like theatre, is a transient and beautiful affair."
Cheyenne Jackson, Laura Benanti, Shuler Hensley and Heidi Blickenstaff Star in Encores! Most Happy Fella
The famed Manhattan venue launched the series March 22, Stephen Sondheim's 90th birthday, with a week of videos from Sondheim musicals. You can watch a playlist of all of the performances on City Center's YouTube page.