This just in! New York City Center's acclaimed Encores! Off-Center series, under the artistic direction of Jeanine Tesori, will return this summer for a second season of landmark Off-Broadway musicals. The season opens with Jonathan Larson's tick, tick... BOOM!, June 25 - 28, starring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo, directed by Oliver Butler, and continues with a one-night only performance of Randy Newman's Faust: The Concert, with Randy Newman as the Devil, directed by Thomas Kail, on July 1. Pump Boys and Dinettes, with book, music and lyrics by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann , directed by Lear deBessonet and choreographed by Danny Mefford, wraps up the season, running July 16 - 19. Chris Fenwick is the Encores! Off-Center music director.
City Center'sEncores! Off-Center series presents off-Broadway musicals that pushed creative boundaries when they were first produced. Filtered through the lens of today's artists, these shows are presented not as historical documents but as living, vital works that continue to resonate with audiences. In the Encores! tradition, Off-Center places a great emphasis on the scores, with the orchestra performing onstage. Each show receives a brief rehearsal period followed by five performances (Faust will be performed for one performance). The series also features The Lobby Project,a series offree performances, conversations and readings by groundbreaking artists, poets, authors and performers. The Lobby Project events place each musical in the context of its legacy and provide insights into the work the audience is about to experience. (Schedule of events TBA)
The series reflects City Center's ongoing outreach to new and younger audiences. In keeping with this mission, $25 tickets will be available to college students before tickets go on sale to the general public. [NOTE: Students must sign up for City Center's free Peer to Peer program to be eligible for advance tickets. See details below]. Peer to Peer tickets will go on sale on March 10; general public tickets will go on sale on March 17.
tick, tick... BOOM!, with book, music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson, script consultant by David Auburn and vocal arrangements and orchestrations by Stephen Oremus, is an autobiographical musical by the Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning composer of Rent. First performed as a solo rock monologue by Larson in 1990, it is the story of an aspiring composer who questions his life choices on the eve of his thirtieth birthday. After Larson's untimely death, it was revamped by playwright David Auburn as a three-actor piece and premiered off-Broadway on June 13, 2001 at the Jane Street Theatre, featuring Raúl Esparza as Jon. Its London production in 2005 starred Neil Patrick Harris.
RandyNewman's FAUST: The Concert, with music and lyrics byRandy Newman, is according to Newman, "like Goethe's Faust Pt. 1, but more complex psychologically; more like Pt 2 but not the product of an ordered mind. The Lord and the Devil are childhood friends who in adulthood1 have a falling out. The Devil is expelled from Heaven, somewhat arbitrarily some might say, and though he reigns in Hell, he longs to return to his childhood home. He goes up to visit Heaven for the first time in a long while. He finds the Lord and tells him Man is bad, and should never have been created2. The Lord says that He doesn't make mistakes. As they did in the 12th, 14th and 16th centuries3, they bet on it, pick a young Notre Dame Freshman as a representative specimen and hilarity ensues." The musical opened in 1995 at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and was revived at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago in 1996.
 Goethe's word;  Goethe's word order  Goethe's dangling modifier
Pump Boys and Dinettes was conceived, written and performed by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel and Jim Wann. The show is a musical tribute to life on the roadside, with the actors accompanying themselves on guitar, piano, bass, fiddle, accordion, and kitchen utensils. A hybrid of country, rock and pop music, Pump Boys is the story of four gas station attendants and two waitresses at a small-town dinette in North Carolina. It premiered Off-Broadway at the Chelsea West Side Arts Theatre in July 1981 and opened on Broadway on February 4, 1982 at the Princess Theatre, where it played 573 performances and was nominated for both Tony and Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical.
Oliver Butler(Director, tick, tick...BOOM!) directed the recent premiere of Will Eno's The Open House at the Signature Theatre Company. He is a co-founder and co-artistic director of The Debate Society, a Brooklyn-based ensemble theater company, with whom Oliver has co-created and directed 7 full-length plays since 2004, including Blood Play ,Buddy Cop 2, Cape Disappointment, You're Welcome, The Eaten Heart, The Snow Hen and A Thought About Raya. In New York, Oliver has also directed the premieres of Goodbye New York Goodbye Heart byLally Katz and Hostage Song, a new musical by Kyle Jarrow and Clay McLeod Chapman. In 2006, at The Ontological Incubator, he directed and developed the workshop performance of Nine Days Falling written by Lally Katz and Mac Wellman. TDS' new play Jacuzzi will premiere there in the fall.
Jonathan Larson (Author, tick, tick... BOOM!) received three posthumous Tony Awards and a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his 1996 rock musical Rent. His works include Superbiaand Sitting on the Edge of the Future. Jonathan died unexpectedly of an aortic aneurysm on January 25, 1996, ten days before his thirty-sixth birthday.
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Jon, tick, tick... BOOM!) is the composer-lyricist of Broadway's In the Heights, which received four 2008 Tony Awards (including Best Orchestrations, Best Choreography and Best Musical), with Lin-Manuel receiving a Tony Award for Best Score, as well as a nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Musical. He is the recipient of a 2009 Grammy Award for In the Heights, Original Broadway Cast Album and was named a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Lin-Manuel contributed new songs to the revival of Stephen Schwartz'sWorking, collaborated with Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim on Spanish translations for the 2009 Broadway Revival of West Side Story, and most recently, partnered with JeffWhitty, Tom Kitt and Amanda Green for Bring It On: The Musical. He starred in the Encores! production of Merrily We Roll Along. His next musical, Hamilton, will have its world premiere at The Public Theater in 2015.
Karen Olivo (Susan, tick...tick... BOOM!) won the Tony Award for her portrayal of Anita in the Broadway revival of West Side Story, directed by Arthur Laurents. She originated the role of Vanessa in both the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of In the Heights and appeared on Broadway in Rent and Brooklyn. Karen's Off-Broadway credits include, Miracle Brothers, Murder Ballad andBy The Way, Meet Vera Stark. Her television credits include "The Good Wife" and "Harry's Law."
Thomas Kail (Director, Faust) received a Tony nomination for his direction of In the Heights. His additional Broadway credits include the new plays Lombardi and Magic/Bird. Other credits include In the Heights (Off-Broadway - Callaway Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics nomination); Broke-ology and the world premiere of When I Come to Die at Lincoln Center Theater;The Wiz at New York City Center; the world premiere of The Tutors at Second Stage Uptown; the world premiere of Broke-ology at Williamstown Theater Festival; the world premiere of A.R. Gurney's Family Furniture at The Flea; the national tour of In the Heights; and Once on this Island at the Paper Mill Playhouse. He is the co-creator and director of the hip-hop improv groupFreestyle Love Supreme, which played the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Montreal Comedy Festival, and Melbourne Comedy Festival.
Randy Newman (Composer/Devil, Faust) has written songs that run the gamut from heartbreaking to satirical and a host of unforgettable film scores, using his many talents to create musical masterpieces widely recognized by generations of audiences. After starting his songwriting career as a teenager, Newman launched into recording as a singer and pianist in 1968 with his self-titled album Randy Newman. Throughout the 1970s he released several other acclaimed albums such as: 12 Songs, Sail Away and Good Old Boys. In addition to his solo recordings and regular international touring, Newman began composing and scoring for films in the 1980s. The list of movies he has worked on since then includes The Natural, Awakenings, Ragtime, all three Toy Story pictures, Seabiscuit, James and the Giant Peach, A Bug's Life, and more recently, Disney/Pixar's Monsters University, the prequel to Monsters Inc. (which he also scored). Newman's many honors include six Grammys, three Emmys and two Academy Awards as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Additionally, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
Lear deBessonet (Director, Pump Boys and Dinettes) is the Director of Public Works at the Public Theater. She is the recipient of the 2013 Obie Award for Direction for her acclaimed production of The Foundry Theater's Good Person of Szechwan starring Taylor Mac and Lisa Kron, which subsequently played an extended, sold-out run at the Public Theater. Lear recently collaborated with Todd Almond on an adaptation of The Tempest at the Delacorte Theatre for the Public Theater's Public Works program. Her New York credits include Piece of Meat, On the Levee, Lines (NEA commission, Joe's Pub), Takarazuka, Monstrosity and The Scarlet Letter. She created and ran the TICKETS FOR THE PEOPLE program, an initiative to distribute tickets to non-traditional theatregoers including immigrants, students, and seniors. In 2006 she was named one of Time Out New York's "25 People to Watch," and in 2008 she was honored with LMCC's Presidential Award for Artistic Excellence.
Authors, Pump Boys and Dinettes: Jim Wann, the principal author/composer of Pump Boys, co-wrote the Off-Broadway productions of Diamond Studs: The Life of Jesse James, A Saloon Musical and The People vs. Mona: A Musical Mystery Screwball Comedy. Debora Monk won the Tony Award for Best Actress for Redwood Curtain and was nominated for her roles in Picnicand Steel Pier. Cass Morgan has appeared in numerous Broadway shows, including Memphis, Mary Poppins and Ring of Fire. Mark Hardwick composed the music for the 1975 Broadway production of Of Mice and Men and co-wrote the musical Oil City Symphony. John Schimmel was a bass player and musical director in New York theaters, clubs, and studios before becoming a Hollywood producer. John Foley was the musical director for Smoke on the Mountain at Lamb's Theatre and appeared as an actor and guitar player in Diamond Studs at the Westside Theatre.
Chris Fenwick (Music Director) is currently music director of the Broadway production of Rocky and recently music directed Fun Home at The Public Theater. He music directed the original productions of Michael JohnLaChiusa's Giant, Los Otros, Queen of the Mist and See What I Wanna See. Broadway credits include Grease, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town, and Elaine Stritch at Liberty. Other credits include the Off-Broadway productions of Hello Again, Here Lies Jenny, Road Show, Happiness, and Mother Courage and concerts with Patti LuPone at Carnegie Hall, Ravinia Festival, and many more. Chris was music director of the Encores! Off-Center productions of The Cradle Will Rock and I'm Getting My Act Together.
Jeanine Tesori (Artistic Director) composed the scores to the Broadway productions of Caroline, or Change(2004 Tony nomination for Best Original Score), Shrek the Musical (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for her music) andThoroughly Modern Millie (2000). Her Off-Broadway musical Violet, (Obie Award, New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical, and Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical), was presented as a one-night only event during the Encores! Off-Center inaugural season, and will be opening on Broadway in March 2014. Her recent Off-Broadway musical, Fun Home, has just completed a sold-out run at the Public Theater. Tesori arranged the music for the Broadway productions of the Johnny MercerrevueDream, the 1998 revival of The Sound of Music and the 1999 revue Swing!. She also served as associate conductor for the Broadway productions of The Secret Garden and The Who's Tommy. She has written music for several plays, including Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center and Bertolt Brecht'sMother Courage and Her Children, which was produced as part of the 2006 Shakespeare in the Park season. Tesori is currently working on a commission for a joint initiative of the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center. And her new all-ages opera, The Lion, the Unicorn and Me, had its world premiere run at D.C.'s Washington National Opera in December 2013. She is a lecturer in music at Yale University.
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 Off-Broadway 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 theFall 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.
Peer to Peer, New York City Center's discount ticket program for students and young adults, provides special ticket offers on select City Center productions for full-time college students as well as to non-students under 25. Students must have valid college IDs or email addresses ending in .edu, and non-students must have valid government-issued IDs with proof of age. They can sign up for the free program at www.NYCityCenter.org to receive discount offers throughout the season.
$25 Tickets to Encores! Off-Center will go on sale to City Center's Peer to Peer members beginning March 10. Tickets to the general public will go on sale beginning March 17. All tickets begin at $25 and can be purchased at the New York City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), through CityTix® at 212-581-1212, or online at www.NYCityCenter.org.