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Encores! 20th Anniversary Season to Feature FIORELLO!, IT'S A BIRD...IT'S A PLANE...IT'S SUPERMAN, ON YOUR TOES & Gala with Esparza & O'Hara!


The 20th Anniversary season of New York City Center's Tony Award-winning Encores! series will open on January 30, 2013 with Fiorello!, the show that launched the series in 1994. The season will continue with It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, followed by On Your Toes. A Gala Encores! at 20 Celebration on November 12, 2012 will star Tony Award nominees and Encores! alumni Rauìl Esparza and Kelli O'Hara.

Encores! Music Director Rob Berman will helm both Fiorello! and It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman. Founding Encores! Music Director Rob Fisher will return as Music Director for On Your Toes.

"Fiorello! is the story of Mayor Fiorello LaGuarda, the man singularly responsible for saving City Center from the wrecking ball, and transforming it into Manhattan's first performing arts center," said Arlene Shuler, President & CEO of City Center. "It was the perfect show to launch the Encores! series in 1994 and a fitting way to celebrate our 20th Anniversary season in our beautifully restored theater. We are proud to have presented 57 great American musicals to an audience of almost half a million and look forward to presenting many more in the years to come."

"We wanted something special to launch our 20th Anniversary season," said Encores! Artistic Director Jack Viertel. "We've never done a show twice, but Fiorello! called out to us for several reasons. It's a great show and it has special meaning for City Center. It's the show that started it all, and we are excited to launch our Anniversary season with this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical. Superman is a very hip, kind of pop-art comics musical with a uniquely funny, quizzical tone and a dazzling score. And On Your Toes brings us back to Rodgers and Hart at their best, and features two big dance sequences, including "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue," which connects it to City Center's long history as a home for dance. It should be quite a year."

Tony Award nominees and Encores! alumni Rauìl Esparza (Anyone Can Whistle) and Kelli O'Hara (Bells Are Ringing) will star in a Gala Encores! at 20 Celebration on November 12, 2012, accompanied by Rob Berman and The Encores! Orchestra. The performance will be followed by a celebratory dinner at the Plaza Hotel.

Fiorello! tells the story of LaGuardia's rise from an immigrant's son to feisty congressmen whose guts and determination to fight corruption brought down the crooked Tammany Hall political machine. Fiorello! has a book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott; music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. It is one of only eight musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Fiorello! opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on November 23,1959 and ran for 795 performances. It was directed by George Abbott and starred Tom Bosley, Howard Da Silva and Pat Stanley. Songs include "Little Tin Box," "Till Tomorrow" and "When Did I Fall In Love?"

Fiorello! had a brief, 16-performance revival at City Center in 1962, directed by Jean Dalrymple. The Encores! production opened in February 1994, directed by Walter Bobbie, and starred Jerry Zaks, Philip Bosco and Faith Prince. Fiorello! will run January 30 – February 3, 2013.

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 by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Lee Adams. The original production was directed by Harold Prince; choreographed by Ernest Flatt and starred Jack Cassidy, Bob Holiday and Linda Lavin. It opened at Alvin Theatre on March 29, 1966 and ran for 129 performances. It's a Bird… It's a Plane… It's Superman features the songs "You've Got Possibilities," "You've Got What I Need," "I'm Not Finished Yet and "The Woman for The Man." It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman will be presented in March, 2013 (exact dates TBD).

On Your Toes is an improbable mix of gangsters, vaudeville and classical ballet and was the first musical to successfully integrate classical dance into the Broadway musical format. It has a book by George Abbott, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart; music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Lorenz Hart. The original production was staged by C. Worthington Miner and choreographed by George Balanchine, and starred Ray Bolger, Tamara Geva and Monty Woolley. 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." Dates for On Your Toes TBA.

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, and Newman's Own Foundation. Additional support for Encores! is provided by Joseph S. & Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust and Roz and Jerry Meyer.

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 Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club and New York City Opera; 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 and a partnerships with London's Sadler's Wells Theatre and Jazz at Lincoln Center, 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. Special workshops cater to families, seniors and other groups, while events such as the Fall for Dance DanceTalk series offer learning opportunities to the general public. Last year, City Center completed an extensive renovation project to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.

The Encores! Gala Celebration, starring Rauìl Esparza and Kelli O'Hara, will take place at City Center on November 12, 2012, followed by dinner at the Plaza Hotel. Performance-only tickets will be on sale later this summer. For additional information, contact Susan Strebel at sstrebel@nycitycenter.org or 212.763.1205.

Encores! subscriptions can be purchased starting July 30, 2012 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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