New York City Center's 2015 Encores! Season to Feature PAINT YOUR WAGON, ZORBA!, and LADY, BE GOOD
The 2015 season of New York City Center's Tony-honored Encores! series will open with George and Ira Gershwin's Lady, Be Good on February 4, 2015. The season will continue with Lerner and Loewe's Paint Your Wagon followed by John Kander and Fred Ebb's Zorba!. Jack Viertel is the Encores! artistic director; Rob Berman is its music director.
Rob Berman will helm both Paint Your Wagon and Zorba!. Founding Encores! Music Director Rob Fisher will return as music director of Lady, Be Good, and will supervise the restoration of Gershwin's original score.
Lady, Be Good ushered in the Golden Age of Broadway, from the mid-'20s until the early '40s, when Broadway musicals were opportunities for great songwriters, great songs, and great performers. The Gershwins (George was hot off the triumph of Rhapsody in Blue) delivered a jazz-age score that featured "Fascinatin ' Rhythm," as well as a song that got unaccountably dropped during the show's tryout in Philadelphia, "The Man I Love." The stars of the show included Fred and Adele Astaire playing a penniless brother and sister who crash a garden party in hopes of some quick nourishment.
Most of Lady, Be Good's original orchestrations disappeared long ago, and earlier attempts to put the show back together have not been complete. Thanks to the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Broadway Musical Restoration Fund, Encores! will have the opportunity to reproduce an authentic score under the supervision of Encores! Founding Music Director Rob Fisher.
Lady, Be Good opened at the Liberty Theater on December 1, 1924 and ran for 330 performances. It has music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin with a book by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson. Songs include "Oh, Lady Be Good," "Fascinatin' Rhythm" and "The Half of it Dearie Blues." Lady, Be Good! will run February 4 - 8, 2015
"We're amazingly lucky to be given the opportunity to put this score back together, and we're uniquely suited to the task," said Jack Viertel, Encores! Artistic Director. "Rob Fisher knows the world of 1920s musicals better than anyone, and thanks to the resources put at our disposal by the Steinberg Fund, we'll be able to do the job in a first class way and transport audiences back to the world of the Charleston, flashy twin-piano solos, muted trumpets and slide trombones."
Paint Your Wagon, set in a mining camp in Gold Rush-era California, is the story of a dreaming gold miner and his daughter whose world is changed when the daughter finds gold-and love-near their camp.
Paint Your Wagon opened at the Shubert Theater on November 12, 1951 and ran for 289 performances. It has a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The original production was directed by Daniel Mann and choreographed by Agnes De Mille. Songs include "They Call the Wind Maria," "I Talk to the Trees" and "I'm On My Way." Paint Your Wagon will run March 18 - 22, 2015.
Zorba! is John Kander and Fred Ebb's galvanic re-imagining of Nikos Kazantzakis's best-selling tale of a larger than life Greek jack-of-all-trades who "lives every day as if it will be his last."
Zorba! has a book by Joseph Stein, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb. It was adapted from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis. The original production starred Herschel Bernardi and Maria Karnilova and was directed by Hal Prince. It opened at the Imperial Theater on November 16, 1968 and ran for 305 performances. Songs include "Life Is" and "Only Love." Zorba! will run May 6 - 10, 2015.
The 2015 Encores! season is made possible, in part, by Stacey and Eric Mindich, Nathalie and Pablo Salame , The Shubert Foundation, and the Stephanie and Fred Shuman Fund for Encores!. Support for Lady, Be Good is generously provided by the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust, the Ira and Leonore Gershwin Philanthropic Fund, and Roz and Jerry Meyer. The score restoration for Lady, Be Good is made possible by The Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Broadway Musical Restoration Fund.
New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO), now in its 70th year, has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. It was Manhattan's first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, City Center's Principal Dance Company, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs. The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as "one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York." In summer 2013, City Center launched Encores! Off-Center, a new series featuring landmark musicals filtered through the lens of today's most innovative artists. Dance has been integral to the theater's mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival, remain central to City Center's identity. Vital partnerships with arts organizations including Jazz at Lincoln Center and London's Sadler's Wells Theatre enhance City Center's programmatic offerings. City Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to New York City students and teachers with programs such as Encores! In Schools and the Young People's Dance Series. Special workshops cater to families, seniors and other groups, while events such as the Fall for Dance DanceTalk series offer learning opportunities to the general public. In October 2011, City Center completed an extensive renovation project to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.
Encores! subscriptions can be purchased online starting August 11, 2014 and at the New York City Center Box Office on October 6 (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), through CityTix® at 212-581-1212, or online at www.NYCityCenter.org.