Marc Kudisch, Bebe Neuwirth, Nancy Opel, Carolee Carmello, Vanessa Williams and More Tapped for HEY, LOOK ME OVER! at Encores!
Encores! Artistic Director Jack Viertel today announced additional details and casting for Hey, Look Me Over! (Feb 7 - 11), the Encores! original production which opens the 25th season of the beloved, Tony- honored series responsible for bringing classic American musicals back to life since 1994.
To celebrate Encores! at 25, Viertel and Encores! Music Director Rob Berman created Hey, Look Me Over!---a collection of opening numbers, grand finales, and other excerpts from beloved shows that have not yet found a berth on the City Center stage. They include: All American, George M!, Greenwillow, Jamaica, Mack & Mabel, Milk and Honey, Sail Away, and Wildcat.
As previously announced, Bob Martin, nominated for a Tony Award for The Drowsy Chaperone, will return to his role as man-in-chair, who turns out to be a longtime Encores! subscriber, ready to lead audiences through this guided tour of musical sequences, celebrating the work of Lee Adams, Don Appell, Harold Arlen, Mel Brooks, George M. Cohan, Cy Coleman, Noel Coward, E.Y. Harburg, Jerry Herman, Carolyn Leigh, Frank Loesser, N. Richard Nash, Francine Pascal, John Pascal, Fred Saidy, Lesser Samuels, Michael Stewart, and Charles Strouse.
In addition to Martin, the production will star Encores! alums Clyde Alves (George M. Cohan/George M!; Adi/Milk and Honey), Clifton Duncan (Gideon/Greenwillow), Marc Kudisch (Amos/Greenwillow; Phil/Milk and Honey), Judy Kuhn (Elizabeth/All American; Ruth/Milk and Honey), Tam Mutu (Johnny/Sail Away; David/Milk and Honey), Bebe Neuwirth (Mimi/Sail Away), Nancy Opel (Gramma/Greenwillow), Alexandra Socha (Mabel/Mack & Mabel), and Vanessa Williams; and new additions to the Encores! family Reed Birney (Fodorski/All American), Carolee Carmello (Wildy/Wildcat), and Broadway newcomer Britney Coleman (Janie/Wildcat; Barbara/Milk and Honey). Casting for the role of Mack will be announced at a later date.
'Looking at these shows, you get to thinking about how they touch on so many American archetypes,' said Viertel. 'Wildcat is about entrepreneurial people - digging for oil and becoming wealthy in the process. All American is about immigration,
Mack & Mabel is about Hollywood, and Greenwillow is about wanderlust. These all feel like American themes. We didn't assemble them for this reason but there's this kind of American panoply going on in this show.'
"Most of these shows have an early to mid-1960's Broadway sound which will give the show a consistent style of orchestration,' said Berman. 'I think the show will be a satisfying sample platter of titles that many musical theater fans are curious about. And the fun thing is that we will be performing whole scenes and sequences from these shows, not just individual songs.'
Hey, Look Me Over! opens February 7, 2018 (through February 11) and will be directed by Marc Bruni with musical direction by Encores! Music Director Rob Berman and choreography by Denis Jones. Encores! at 25 continues with Grand Hotel, The Musical (Mar 21-25) and Me and My Girl (May 9-13).
Tickets start at $35 and 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 6th and 7th avenues.
IF YOU GO:
HEY, LOOK ME OVER!
Featuring selections from:
Book, Lyrics, and Music by Noel Coward
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Marc Bruni (Director) returns to Encores! having previously directed productions of Paint Your Wagon, Pipe Dream, and Fanny. He is currently represented on Broadway with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, also playing US and UK tours and in Australia. Other directing credits include Roman Holiday: The Cole Porter Musical (Golden Gate), The Explorers Club (Manhattan Theatre Club), The Sound of Music (Chicago Lyric Opera), Old Jews Telling Jokes (Westside Theatre and Royal George in Chicago), Other People's Money (Long Wharf), Presto Change-o (Barrington Stage), Ordinary Days (Roundabout Underground), Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Paper Mill Playhouse), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Paper Mill Playhouse and Philadelphia Theatre Company), and seven shows for The MUNY (St. Louis) including My Fair Lady, The Music Man, and The Sound of Music. Upcoming projects include Trevor: The Musical and Bull Durham. Bruni is a proud member of SDC.
Rob Berman (Encores! Music Director) is in his 11th season as music director of Encores! for which he has conducted close to 30 productions and four cast recordings. Berman's Broadway credits include Bright Star, Tuck Everlasting, Dames at Sea, Finian's Rainbow, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, The Pajama Game, The Apple Tree, Wonderful Town, and Promises, Promises. For nine years he was music director of the Kennedy Center Honors on CBS, for which he won an Emmy Award for outstanding musical direction. He has conducted for Barbara Cook with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and he was also music director for the PBS presentation of A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House. Other credits include Sunday in the Park with George (Kennedy Center, Helen Hayes Award), Pacific Overtures, and Passion (Classic Stage Company). Recordings include the complete restored score of Jerome Kern's Roberta for New World Records.
Denis Jones (Choreographer) choreographed the Encores! production of Paint Your Wagon. Broadway: Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Chita Rivera nominations for Best Choreography), Honeymoon in Vegas. Other recent credits include Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical (Dallas Theater Center), The Tempest (NY Shakespeare Festival), A Chorus Line, 42nd Street (The MUNY, St. Louis Theater Circle Award for Best Choreography), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Two River/Williamstown Theater Festival), Mary Poppins (Paper Mill Playhouse), Rothschild and Sons (The York), Piece of My Heart, The Bert Berns Story (Signature, NYC, Lortel nomination for Best Choreography, Calloway finalist), and Crazy For You (Signature, DC). The Sound of Music (Lyric Opera, Chicago) and Thoroughly Modern Millie (Goodspeed Opera House).
Jack Viertel (Encores! Artistic Director) has led Encores! since 2000, overseeing 51 productions and counting. He is also senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns and operates five Broadway theaters presenting The Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, Springsteen on Broadway, and the upcoming productions of Frozen and Mean Girls. He was a producer of the Broadway revival of Gypsy starring Patti LuPone, which was first seen at Encores! Summer Stars in 2007, and he was represented on Broadway by Finian's Rainbow, first seen at Encores! in 2008. He helped shepherd six of August Wilson's plays to Broadway and worked on the original Broadway productions of Angels in America, Into the Woods, and M. Butterfly, among others. He conceived and co-produced the long-running musical revue Smokey Joe's Cafe?, and conceived the Encores! revues Stairway to Paradise and Cotton Club Parade, which transferred to Broadway under the title After Midnight. He served as dramaturg for The Wedding Singer and Hairspray on Broadway, and is the co-author of the musical Time and Again. Viertel spent two years as dramaturg of the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and began his work in theater as a critic for the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. His book The Secret Life of the American Musical was published in 2016.
NEW YORK City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the City since 1943 when it was founded by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia with the civic mission to make the best in the performing arts accessible to all. Today, the distinctive neo-Moorish theater welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors to experience internationally acclaimed artists. For 25 years, the Tony-honored Encores! series has given new life to the American musical theater canon, complimented by the Encores! Off-Center series, which features seminal Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today's innovative artists. Dance continues to be an integral part of the theater's mission through programs like the annual Fall for Dance Festival, which exposes a new audience to an international array of artists by offering highly subsidized tickets. City Center is also the home to a roster of renowned national and international companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (City Center's Principal Dance Company) and Manhattan Theatre Club. Through its education and community programs, City Center brings the performing arts to over 9,000 New York City students each year and activates all areas of the building with talks, master classes, art exhibitions, and intimate performances that provide audiences an up-close look at the work of the great theater and dance artists of our time.