Dukakis, Gillette, Irving, Rae and More to Star in Encores! 70, Girls, 70

A star-studded cast has signed on to the upcoming Encores! production of the Kander and Ebb musical 70, Girls, 70. Carleton Carpenter, Carole Cook, Bob Dishy, Olympia Dukakis, Anita Gillette, George S. Irving and Charlotte Rae are among those who will play the lively senior citizens in the staged concert of the show, which will run at City Center from March 30th through April 2nd.

Kathleen Marshall, the Tony Award-winner who is currently represented on Broadway by The Pajama Game, will direct and choreograph 70, Girls, 70, which is based on Peter Coke's play The Breath of Spring, features music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and a book by Ebb and Norman L. Martin (adapted by Joe Masteroff).

The show, which opened on Broadway in 1971, will feature Carpenter as Mr. McIllehenny, Cook as Gert, Dishy as Walter, Dukakis as Ida, Gillette as Eunice, Irving as Harry, and Rae as Sadie, as well as Ronn Carroll as a Security Guard, Mary Jo Catlett as Fritzi, Tina Fabrique as Melba, Bob Fitch as Officer Kowalski, Ira Hawkins as a Security Guard, Lalan Parrott as Lorraine, Mark Price as Eddie, and Gerry Vichi as Detective Callahan.

"70, Girls, 70 is the story of a group of senior citizens who become a band of robbers, stealing fur coats from the rich. The story is presented as a show within a show, in which performers step out of character and play themselves as actors in a Broadway show," according to press notes. Musical numbers include "Coffee in a Cardboard Cup, "Yes," and "Broadway, My Street."

Carpenter appeared in a number of movie musicals for MGM during the studio's golden years--including Three Little Words, Summer Stock and Two Weeks with Love--as well as on Broadway in Crazy For You, Hotel Paradiso, John Murray Anderson's Almanac, Three to Make Ready and more. Cook has been seen on Broadway in 42nd Street and Romantic Comedy. Dishy received a Tony Award nomination for his work in the revival of Sly Fox, and played the same role in the original production. His many other Broadway credits include Morning's at Seven, The Tenth Man and Cafe Crown.

Dukakis is an Academy Award-winner for her performance in the film Moonstruck, and has been seen in many other films such as Mighty Aphrodite, Mr. Holland's Opus and Steel Magnolias. Broadway credits include Rose and Social Security; she has also been seen in numerous shows off-Broadway. Gillette, who received a Tony nod for her work in Chapter Two, appeared in Broadway musicals such as They're Playing Our Song, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, Kelly, All American, Mr. President, Carnival and Gypsy.

Irving received a Tony Award nomination for his work in Me and My Girl and won for Irene. The prolific actor has appeared on Broadway in almost three dozen shows, including On Your Toes, The Pirates of Penzance, The Happy Times, Bells Are Ringing and Me and Juliet. Rae received Tony nominations for her Broadway performances in Pickwick and Morning, Noon and Night, and is best known to TV audiences for her work on "The Facts of Life."

Encores! previously presented Kismet, starring Brian Stokes Mitchell and Marin Mazzie, this season. The Gershwin comic opera Of Thee I Sing will be next; it will run from May 11th through 14th.

For tickets and information, visit www.nycitycenter.org.

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