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Edward Watts Set to Lead Encores! IT'S A BIRD... IT'S A PLANE... IT'S SUPERMAN, 3/20-24


Edward Watts will star as Superman in the New York City Center Encores! production of It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, running March 20- 24 at City Center. Stay tuned for the identities of the actors portraying Lois Lane, the evil Dr. Sedgwick and other inhabitants of the city of Metropolis.

Edward Watts was recently seen on Broadway in Scandalous in the dual roles of Robert Semple and David Hutton. He appeared on Broadway in Finian's Rainbow, Off-Broadway in The Fantasticks and in New York City Opera's production of The Most Happy Fella. His touring and regional credits include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Beauty and the Beast (Gaston), 1776 (Thomas Jefferson)and A Little Night Music (Carl Magnus).

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, based on the comic strip "Superman," has a book by David Newman and Robert Benton, music byCharles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams. It will be directed by John Rando with choreography by Joshua Bergasse and music direction by Rob Berman. The show will run for seven performances from March 20- 24.

Charles Strouse and Lee Adams's partnership began in 1960 with their hit Bye Bye Birdie and continued with All American, Golden Boy and Applause.

The original production of It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman opened at the Alvin Theatre (now the Neil Simon Theatre) on March 29, 1966 and ran for 129 performances. It was directed by Harold Prince and starred Bob Holiday as Superman, Patricia Marand as Lois Lane, Jack Cassidy and Linda Lavin. The show features the songs "You've Got Possibilities," "You've Got What I Need," "I'm Not Finished Yet and "The Woman for The Man."

Rob Berman is in his sixth season as music director of Encores!, where he has conducted 15 productions and several gala concerts. Last season, Rob conducted the cast recordings of all three Encores! productions: Merrily We Roll Along, Pipe Dream, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Rob's Broadway conducting credits include Finian's Rainbow, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, The Pajama Game, The Apple Tree, Wonderful Town and Promises, Promises. He recently won an Emmy Award for his work as music director of the Kennedy Center Honors and he won a Helen Hayes Award for his musical direction of the Kennedy Center's production of Sunday in the Park with George. Rob recently conducted for Barbara Cook with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and he was also music director for the 2010 PBS presentation of A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House.

John Rando directed the Encores! productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, On the Town, Damn Yankees, Face the Music, Strike Up the Band, Do Re Mi, The Pajama Game and Of Thee I Sing. John's Broadway credits include A Christmas Story, The Wedding Singer, Urinetown (Tony and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Director), A Thousand Clowns and Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. Off-Broadway credits include All In The Timing (revival) and The Toxic Avenger,among many others.

Joshua Bergasseis the 2012 Emmy Award-winning choreographer for NBC's musical drama "Smash," now in its second season. Joshua has choreographed Fox-TV's "So You Think You Can Dance" as well as The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall. His choreography credits include the off-Broadway productions of Bomb-Itty of Errors and Captain Louie, as well as many national and international tours.

Since its founding in 1994,Encores! (Artistic Director Jack Viertel and Music Director Rob Berman), has presented 58 musical productions 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 nine 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.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 Theaters Award.

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. Past productions have included Christine Baranski, Kristin Chenoweth, Tyne Daly, Charles Dutton, Christine Ebersole, Sutton Foster, Anne Hathaway, Megan Hilty, Cheyenne Jackson, Nathan Lane, Patti LuPone, Donna McKechnie, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Robert Morse, Donna Murphy, James Naughton, Bebe Neuwirth, Rosie O'Donnell, Kelli O'Hara, Lynn Redgrave, Ann Reinking, Martin Short, Jock Soto, Vanessa L. Williams, 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.

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. Last year, City Center completed an extensive renovation to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.

City Center is located on 55th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Supermanwill run for seven performances, January 30 - February 3, 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 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. Tickets start at $25.

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