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Sutton Foster, Joshua Henry & Keala Settle to Lead VIOLET at City Center, 7/17


Sutton Foster, Joshua Henry, Van Hughes, Keala Settle, Christopher Sieber, Emerson Steele and Chris Sullivan have been cast in Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley's Violet, the second Encores! Off-Center presentation of the 2013 season, on July 17. Tickets for Violet, directed by Leigh Silverman, with music direction by Michael Rafter, sold out shortly after going on sale. Tickets for the rest of the Encores! Off-Center season are still available; the majority of tickets are $25.

Encores! Off-Center, under the artistic direction of Jeanine Tesori, will open with Marc Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock, directed by Sam Gold andchoreographed by Chase Brock, July 10 - 13. The series will conclude with Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford's I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, July 24 - 27. Chris Fenwick will music direct Cradle and Getting My Act Together.

Violet, based on the short story "The Ugliest Pilgrim" by Doris Betts, has music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Brian Crawley. The show follows a young woman who embarks on a religious pilgrimage in hopes of being healed of her disfiguring scar and features a score filled with gospel, country, rock, rhythm and blues.Violet opened Off-Broadway for a limited run at Playwrights Horizons on March 11, 1997.

The complete cast of Violet includes Sutton Foster, Joshua Henry, Van Hughes, Austin Lesch, Anastacia McCleskey, Keala Settle, Christopher Sieber, Emerson Steele, Chris Sullivan, Rema Webb and Paul Whitty with the gospel choir, Songs of Solomon.

In an era of Occupy Wall Street-style rebellion against corporate greed, Marc Blitzstein's 1937 battle hymn to the proletariat feels remarkably fresh. Set against the backdrop of a steel strike and peopled with fat-cat capitalists, brutal policemen, heroic union organizers, and a warm-hearted prostitute, The Cradle Will Rock is a powerful political document, a funny, potent satire, and an extraordinary piece of theater history. The show opened at the Windsor Theater on January 3, 1938 and ran for 108 performances. It was revived at City Center in 1947, with Leonard Bernstein conducting.

I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road, with book and lyrics by Gretchen Cryer and music by Nancy Ford, created a sensation when it premiered in the late 1970s. In it, a former pop star ditches the romantic songs of her past and attempts a comeback by performing personal songs that reflect women's changing roles and attitudes. The show stoked the fires of feminism, not only with its joyous rock score proclaiming empowerment for women, but because of its female songwriting team-a rarity in musical theater then and now. The show opened at The Public Theater on June 14, 1978 and ran for 1,165 performances.

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