Breaking: Ashley Park-Led THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, EVITA, MACK & MABEL & More Set for NY City Center's 2019-20 Season
New York City Center today announced programming for the 2019 - 2020 season, which will include Mack and Mabel (Feb 19-23), Kurt Weill's Love Life (March 18-22) directed by Victoria Clark, and a 'new version' of Thoroughly Modern Millie (May 6-10), featuring edits by the playwright Lauren Yee and led by 2018 Tony nominee Ashley Park.
"Our 75th Anniversary Season has been an exciting year that not only celebrated our rich history but showcased the leading artists of today and reaffirmed our commitment to provide access to the arts for all New Yorkers. This season we launch our next 75 years with four new commissions for Fall for Dance, a gala production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita, cutting edge performances by Nederlands Dans Theater, and the return of Matthew Bourne's gloriousSwan Lake. We also officially welcome our new Resident Director Lear deBessonet who will direct the third production of the Encores! season and continue to expand our reach through community engagement programs like City Center On the Move," said Shuler.
2019 Fall Season
The season will open with the annual Fall for Dance Festival (October 1 - 13) showcasing a diverse collection of dance artists and companies in five unique programs. Highlights include New York City Center Commissions by Kyle Abraham for ABT principal dancerMisty Copeland, Kim Brandstrup for NYCB principal dancers Sara Mearns and Taylor Stanley, and tap phenom Caleb Teicher who will expand his 2018 City Center CommissionBzzz. The fourth commission, sanctioned by The Verdon Fosse Legacy, is a suite of dances choreographed by Bob Fosse® for collaborator and muse Gwen Verdon, originally created for various TV appearances, which will be performed by NYCB soloist Georgina Pazcoguin, accompanied by Nicholas Sipes and Nicolas De La Vega. The international ten-day festival also includes performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater,CNDC-Angers/Robert Swinston (France), Dyptik (France), Skånes Dansteater(Sweden), and Vuyani Dance Theatre (South Africa). In keeping with City Center's mission of accessibility, all tickets for Fall for Dance are $15. Full program details will be announced in August before tickets go on sale on September 8 at 11am.
In late October (24 - 26), Houston Ballet will celebrate their 50th Anniversary Season with a program of contemporary works by Aszure Barton, Mark Morris (NY Premiere), andJustin Peck (NY Premiere), accompanied by live music. This marks the company's largest engagement in New York since their season at The Joyce Theater in 2013 and their first program at City Center since 1986. The country's fifth largest ballet company, Houston Ballet tours globally, most recently becoming the first American ballet company to perform at the Dubai Opera House and returning to Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival after almost 40 years.
The Annual Gala Presentation will feature a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock-opera Evita for a special extended two-week run, November 13 through 24, directed by Sammi Cannold. Charting Perón's controversial, meteoric rise from poor illegitimate child to the most powerful woman in Latin America, this acclaimed musical features one of Lloyd Webber's most-loved scores combining Latin, jazz, and pop with traditional influences. The Gala benefit performance on November 13 will honor City Center Board Co-Chairman Richard Witten with the Fiorello H. LaGuardia Award for distinguished service to New York City Center in recognition of his extraordinary leadership and generosity. Funds raised by all fourteen performances will allow City Center to continue to provide access to the performing arts by subsidizing education programs and affordable tickets throughout the year.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City Center's Principal Dance Company, will open its annual holiday season on December 4 (through January 5, 2020). Artistic Director Robert Battle continues to build upon a six-decade legacy begun with the Company's pioneering founder by presenting Ailey's 32 extraordinary dancers in premieres, new productions, and repertory favorites by a wide range of choreographers, as well as Alvin Ailey's must?see American masterpiece Revelations.
2020 Winter-Spring Season
Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake shattered conventions and took Broadway by storm at its 1998 premiere. This ground-breaking production returns to City Center January 30 through February 9 with a fresh look for the 21st century. Retaining the iconic elements of the original production loved by millions around the world, Matthew Bourne and award-winning designers Lez Brotherston (scenery and costumes) and Paule Constable (lighting) have created an exciting re-imagining of the classic New Adventures production. Thrilling, audacious, witty, and emotional, this Swan Lake is perhaps still best known for replacing the female corps de ballet with a menacing male ensemble. Collecting over thirty international accolades including an Olivier Award and three Tony Awards, Matthew Bourne's powerful interpretation of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece is a passionate and contemporary Swan Lake.
New York City Center's Tony-honored Encores! series, led by Artistic Director Jack Vierteland Music Director Rob Berman, begins with Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart's Mack and Mabel (February 19 - 23). Following the romantic entanglements of pioneering movie producer Mack Sennett and comedienne Mabel Normand, this love letter to the silent film era will be followed by Kurt Weill and Alan Jay Lerner's Love Life (March 18 - 22) directed by Tony Award-winner Victoria Clark. A journey across American history seen through the eyes of a family that never ages, Love Life is possibly the first "concept" musical-where the story is interspersed with vaudeville acts that offer commentary on the main action. The third show of the season will launch a new initiative, championed by Encores! Resident DirectorLear deBessonet, which will provide a unique opportunity for directors and their artistic colleagues to put a personal stamp on a show they love and want to present through a new lens. Dick Scanlan and Jeanine Tesori's Thoroughly Modern Millie (May 6 - 10) will launch this endeavor. Starring Ashley Park (Mean Girls, The King and I) with deBessonet directing and playwright Lauren Yee working with the show's original authors as creative consultant, the team of artists will explore the work with a fresh perspective.
Artistic Director Jack Viertel said, "This Encores! season is kind of a dream for us. It allows us to do work we feel shows off both our longtime commitment to great scores and fascinating musical theater pieces that are too little seen, and simultaneously to strike out in new directions. Mack and Mabel certainly has as many memorable songs as any show we've ever done and Love Life is a huge piece of musical theater history-a show so many musical theater lovers discuss, but only a few have seen. Thoroughly ModernMillie celebrates the spirit of the classic Broadway show-hopeful, optimistic, and an expression of America's hopes and dreams."
Resident Director Lear deBessonet and Ashley Park said, "We are excited to launch this new Encores! initiative by exploring controversial aspects of this 2002 story in a way that makes sense for 2020. Millie reflects the engine that has long driven both women and immigrants to create lives for themselves in New York. This big sumptuous raise-the-roof musical deals with a moment in history when the ground was shifting in terms of gender roles and race-we love the show and are especially in love with presenting a Millie for today."
One of the world's leading contemporary dance companies, Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) returns to City Center with NDT I from March 4 through 7. This international company of dancers, renowned for their versatility and virtuosic expression, will perform pioneering repertoire from house choreographers Sol León and Paul Lightfoot, Gabriela Carizzo, and a third piece to be announced. At the end of March, Flamenco Festival 20/20 (March 27 - April 5) celebrates the 20th season of this citywide event with two weeks of performances at City Center showcasing Spain's finest dancers and musicians. The first weekend will feature two artists renowned for reinventing flamenco: Rocío Molina (2016 Flamenco Festival) andMaría Pagés (2012 Flamenco Festival). The second weekend begins with a performance byManuel Liñan (2016 Flamenco Festival)-known for his mastery of the traditionally female dancer's bata de cola (flamenco skirt) and mantón (fringed shawl)-and finishes with the all-star spectacle of passion and virtuosity, Gala Flamenca.
Also appearing during the spring season are Dance Theatre of Harlem (April 15 - 18), continuing its 50th Anniversary celebration, and the Martha Graham Dance Company(April 22 - 26) who will present the second season of The EVE Project with masterpieces by Graham including Circe, Every Soul is a Circus, and Night Journey, presented alongside newly commissioned works by Maxine Doyle and Bobbi Jene Smith, Pam Tanowitz, and a World Premiere by Andrea Miller.
The acclaimed Encores! Off-Center series returns in summer 2020 under the leadership of Artistic Director Anne Kauffman and Creative Advisor Jeanine Tesori. Programming for the Off-Center season will be announced at a later date.
Studio Events and Community Programs
The popular Studio 5 series returns in the fall offering intimate, behind?the?scenes conversations and performances with today's great dance artists. The first three events (October 28, November 25, December 2) will be hosted by Alastair Macaulay, former chief dance critic of The New York Times, and three more during the winter-spring season will be curated and hosted by NYCB principal dancer Tyler Angle (January 27, March 23, April 20). The master class series Front & Center, now in its fourth season, offers a unique opportunity for emerging musical theater artists to explore everything from composition to auditioning to vocal technique with Broadway luminaries. This season's sessions will be led by Alex Brightman (October 21) and Annaleigh Ashford (January 6). A third master class will be announced.
Following a hugely successful inaugural tour of the five boroughs, City Center On The Move returns next spring featuring an investigative theater performance by The Civilians. This community engagement initiative, presented in partnership with NYC Parks Arts, Culture & Fun Series and new partner, the Queens Public Library, expands City Center's mission throughout the city by bringing world-class artists directly to New Yorkers in their own neighborhoods.
Tickets and General Information
Tickets for Houston Ballet, Evita, and Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake go on sale June 5 for Members and June 17 for the general public. Fall for Dance Festival tickets will go on sale Sunday, September 8 at 11am. Tickets for remaining engagements go on sale September 3 for Members (excluding Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater) and September 9 for the general public.
Current subscribers may renew their Encores! subscriptions now through June 28. New Encores! subscriptions for Members are available starting July 29 and for the General Public starting August 5.
Tickets can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling 212.581.1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office. New York City Center is located at 131 W 55th St between Sixth and Seventh avenues.