Kate Baldwin, Emily Skinner and More Set for Encores' FIORELLO!
Bock and Harnick's Fiorello!, the opening musical of the Encores! 20th Anniversary season, will star Kate Baldwin, Erin Dilly, Jenn Gambatese, Shuler Hensley and Emily Skinner, with Danny Rutigliano as Fiorello LaGuardia. Fiorello! will be directed by Gary Griffin with choreography by Alex Sanchez and music direction by Rob Berman. The show will run for seven performances from January 30 - February 3 at New York City Center.
Fiorello! launched the Encores! musical theater series in 1994. It tells the story of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia's rise from an immigrant's son to the feisty congressman whose guts and determination to fight corruption brought down the crooked Tammany Hall political machine. (He's also the man singularly responsible for saving City Center from the wrecking ball and transforming it into Manhattan's first performing arts center.)
The cast of Fiorello includes Kate Baldwin, Jeremy Bobb, Ray DeMattis, Erin Dilly, Jenn Gambatese, Adam Heller, Shuler Hensley, Richard Ruiz, Danny Rutigliano, Andrew Samonsky, Emily Skinner and Cheryl Stern, with Meggie Cansler, Christine DiGiallonardo, Yurel Echezarreta, Leah Edwards, Rob Gallagher, Jordan Fife Hunt, Alison Jantzie, Lizzie Klemperer, Justin Barnette, Kevin Ligon, Rebecca Robbins, Adam Rogers, Steve Routman, Tommy Scrivens, Lainie Sakakura, Carly Blake Sebouhian, Nathaniel Stampley, Kevin Vortmann.
As the show begins, Republican District Leader Ben Marino (Shuler Hensley) hasn't had a winning candidate in years - until Fiorello LaGuardia steps in. LaGuardia (Danny Rutigliano) falls in love with Thea (Kate Baldwin), a feisty union organizer. Thea's best friend Dora (Jenn Gambatese) falls in love with a none-too-smart cop (Jeremy Bobb). And LaGuardia's office manager, Marie (Erin Dilly) has been in love with her boss for years. Mitzi (Emily Skinner) performs for Tammany Hall cronies. Everything changes when LaGuardia runs for congress and wins the election.
Fiorello! has a book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott, music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. It is one of only eight musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and it also won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Fiorello! opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on November 23, 1959 and ran for 795 performances. It was directed by George Abbott and starred Tom Bosley, Howard Da Silva and Pat Stanley. Songs include "Little Tin Box," "Till Tomorrow" and "When Did I Fall In Love?"
Fiorello! had a brief, 16-performance revival at City Center in 1962, directed by Jean Dalrymple. The Encores! production opened in February 1994. It was directed by Walter Bobbie and starred Jerry Zaks, Philip Bosco and Faith Prince.
In addition to Fiorello!, Bock and Harnick wrote the music and lyrics to Fiddler on the Roof, Tenderloin, She Loves Me, The Apple Tree and The Rothschilds.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos