Christine Baranski, Irina Dvorovenko and More Star in Encores! ON YOUR TOES, Beg. Tonight
Christine Baranski, Kelli Barrett, Walter Bobbie, Jeremy Cohen, Dalton Harrod, Randy Skinner, Shonn Wiley, Karen Ziemba,New York City Ballet Principaldancer Joaquin De Luz and American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Irina Dvorovenko will star in Rodgers and Hart's On Your Toes, the final Encores! presentation of the 2012-13 New York City Center season.Directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, On Your Toes will have guest music direction by Encores! founding music director Rob Fisher and will play seven performances, from tonight, May 8 - 12 at New York City Center, W. 55th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues). The "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" ballet, originally choreographed by George Balanchine, will be staged by Susan Pilarre, who served as a Ballet Mistress of the show's 1983 Broadway Revival.
The complete cast of On Your Toes includes: Christine Baranski, Kelli Barrett, Walter Bobbie, Jeremy Cohen, Joaquin De Luz, Irina Dvorovenko, Dalton Harrod, Randy Skinner, Shonn Wiley and Karen Ziemba, with Adam Bashian, Brandon Bieber, Justin Bowen, Abby Church, Rachel Coloff, Steve Czarnecki, Christine DiGiallonardo, Deanna Doyle, Ashlee Dupre, Sara Edwards, Jason Michael Evans, Kurt Froman, Luke Hawkins, Jessy Hendrickson, Beth Johnson-Nicely, Drew King, Mark Mackillop, Sean McGibbon, Mara Newberry, David Scott Purdy, Ariel Shepley, Nicholas Sipes, Kathy Voytko and Alex Wong.
On Your Toes, an improbable mix of gangsters, vaudeville and classical ballet, was the first musical to successfully integrate classical dance into the Broadway musical format.It tells the story of Junior, a vaudeville hoofer (Shonn Wiley) who gets mixed up with a classical Russian Ballet troupe, and Vera, the troupe's fiery prima ballerina (Irina Dvorovenko). When the ballet's leading dancer cannot go on, Junior steps in to save the day. But Vera's jealous boyfriend (Joaquin De Luz) tries to have him killed during the performance, and he must literally dance for his life.
On Your Toes has a book by George Abbott, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart; music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart. The original production starred Ray Bolger, Tamara Geva and Monty Woolley. Choreographed by George Balanchine, it was the first Broadway musical to credit a choreographer (as opposed to "dance maker"). It opened on April 11, 1936 at the Imperial Theatre and ran for 315 performances. Songs include "Glad to be Unhappy," "There's A Small Hotel" and the legendary ballet "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue."
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart's collaboration produced some of the musical theater's greatest shows and songs, including Pal Joey, Connecticut Yankee, Jumbo, Babes in Arms, I Married an Angel and Boys from Syracuse. Their songs include "Mountain Greenery," "Manhattan,": "My Funny Valentine" and "You Took Advantage of Me."
Christine Baranski (Peggy Porterfield) won Tony Awards for her roles in Rumors and The Real Thing.Her Broadway credits include Boeing Boeing, Nick and Nora, Hurlybury and The House of Blue Leaves. Her Off-Broadway credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream; Lips Together, Teeth Apart; The Loman Family Picnic; Regrets Only; and Elliot Loves. Baranski stars as Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife, a role that has garnered her two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Her Encores! credits include Promises, Promises and Follies.
Kelli Barrett (Frankie Frayne) was seen on Broadway in Baby It's You! and The Royal Family, and Off-Broadway in Rock of Ages.Walter Bobbie (Sergei Alexandrovitch) is a Tony Award-winning director and actor. Bobbie directed Fiorello!, the inaugural production of the Encores! series, and served as artistic director from 1995-1996. He directed the Encores!, Broadway and international productions of Chicago, winning Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Other directing credits include Venus in Fur, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, High Fidelity, Sweet Charity, Twentieth Century and A Grand Night for Singing, for which he also co-authored the book. He has also directed the Encores! productions of No, No Nanette; Tenderloin and Golden Boy, and as an actor he starred in Bye Bye Birdie [no commas in title] and Face the Music.Jeremy Cohen (Sidney Cohn)made his Broadway and London debuts opposite Tyne Daly in Master Class. He has been seen at Manhattan Theatre Club, La MaMa, NYMF and Roundabout Theatre Company. Cohen composed the music for The Bowery Boys (Chicago's Marriott Theatre), which received a Jeff Award Nomination for Best New Musical and a featured spot in the NAMT Festival in New York City. Most recently, he served as music arranger and music coach for Golden Age at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Joaquin De Luz (KonstantineMorrosine)was born in Madrid and received his training at the Victor Ullate School of Ballet. In 1996, he joined the Pennsylvania Ballet as a soloist and the following year joined American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet. He was promoted to soloist in 1998. De Luz joined New York City Ballet as a soloist in 2003, and in January 2005, he was promoted to the rank of principal dancer. His repertoire includes leading roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Prodigal Son, Fancy Free, "Makin' Whoopee" from Double Feature, among many others.
Irina Dvorovenko (Vera Baronova) began her ballet training at the age of 10 at the Kiev Ballet School. She joined the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Kiev in 1990 as a soloist, rising to the rank of principal dancer in 1992. Dvorovenko joined American Ballet Theatre in 1996, was promoted to Soloist in 1997 and Principal Dancer in August 2000. Her repertoire includes leading roles in Don Quixote, Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Prodigal Son and Romeo and Juliet, among many others. Her final performance with the company will be on May 18; she will dance Tatiana in Onegin.
Dalton Harrod (Young Junior) has appeared Off-Broadway in The Widowing of Mrs. Holyoyd, Ace: The New Musical Adventure, A Christmas Story (as Ralphie), and Finding Neverland. His regional credits include Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Seussical the Musical. He can be seen in the film On the Road.Randy Skinner (Phil Dolan II) is an award-winning director, choreographer and performer whose work has encompassed Broadway, national and international tours, and regional theaters. He received Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics, and Astaire nominations for his choreography for 42nd Street. His many credits includethe Broadway productions of State Fair, Ain't Broadway Grand, After the Night and The Music, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, and the Encores! productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Do Re Mi, Of Thee I Sing, Face the Music and No, No Nanette.
Shonn Wiley (Junior) made his Broadway debut in the hit revival of 42nd Street and was seen on Broadway as Dr. Jack Seward in Dracula: The Musical. His Off-Broadway credits include My Vaudeville Man,The View From Here and Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story. He was seen in the Chicago production of Jersey Boys [deleted comma] and at New York City Opera in the title role inCandide. His previous Encores! credits include No, No Nanette; Stairway to Paradise and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.Karen Ziemba (Lil Dolan) won the Tony Award for her performance in Contact. Her other Broadway credits include Curtains, Never Gonna Dance, A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Teddy & Alice, Crazy For You, Steel Pier, and Chicago. Ziemba has also performed Off-Broadway, in several PBS Great Performances and at the White House, and her Encores! credits include Bye Bye Birdie, The Pajama Game, Ziegfeld Follies of 1936 and Allegro.
Warren Carlyle (Director and Choreographer) directed and choreographed the world premiere of Cotton Club Parade and Finian's Rainbow, along with its subsequent Broadway production, and choreographed the Encores! productions of On the Town, Juno, Stairway to Paradise and Girl Crazy. He directed and choreographed the Broadway productions of Chaplin, A Tale of Two Cities and Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway, and choreographed the recent Broadway productions of Follies, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and A Christmas Story.
Rob Fisher (Music Director) is founding music director of the New York City Center Encores! series conducting 30 shows from 1994 until 2005 including the Encores!, Broadway and international productions of Chicago (1996). He returned to Encores! as music director of Girl Crazy, No, No, Nanette and Face the Music. A guest conductor for major U.S. orchestras, he has conducted concert performances of Carousel and My Fair Lady with the New York Philharmonic, Sweeney Todd with the San Francisco Symphony and The Sound Of Music at Carnegie Hall.
New York City Center Encores! (Artistic Director Jack Viertel and Music Director Rob Berman), has presented 57 musical productions since its founding in 1994 for an audience of more than half a million people. The series celebrates the rarely heard works of America's most important composers and lyricists. Each season, Encores! gives three glorious scores the chance to be heard as their creators originally intended. Each production is a whirlwind, with just eight days of rehearsals, one day of dress rehearsal and seven performances. The cast is backed by The Encores! Orchestra, often more than 30 players strong.
Over the years, Encores! has presented the works of Harold Arlen, Burt Bacharach, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Kurt Weill and many others. The program received a special 2000 Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Jujamcyn Theater Award. Past productions have included Christine Baranski, Kristin Chenoweth, Tyne Daly, Christine Ebersole, Sutton Foster, Anne Hathaway, Heather Headley, Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, Patti LuPone, Donna McKechnie, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Donna Murphy, Bebe Neuwirth, Rosie O'Donnell, Kelli O'Hara, Lynn Redgrave, Ann Reinking, Vanessa L. Williams, Charles Dutton,Peter Gallagher, Nathan Lane, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Robert Morse, James Naughton, Martin Short, Jock Soto, Patrick Wilson and Jerry Zaks.The 2013 Encores! season is made possible, in part, by the Stephanie and Fred Shuman Fund for Encores!, Stacey and Eric Mindich, Newman's Own Foundation, Nathalie and Pablo Salame, Roz and Jerry Meyer, Joseph S. & Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust, and Martin E. Segal. Generous support for Balanchine choreography restaging by Frederic and Robin Seegal.
New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city for nearly 70 years. It was Manhattan's first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1943 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 City Center's Principal Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as well as New York City Opera and 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." 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. 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. City Center recently completed an extensive renovation to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.
City Center is located on 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. On Your Toes will run for seven performances, tonight, May 8 - 12, according to the following schedule: Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets for On Your Toes start at $25 and can be purchased online at www.NYCityCenter.org, through CityTix at 212-581-1212, or at the New York City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues).
Photo Credit: Walter McBride