NY City Center Features Encores! MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, Victoria Clark & More in 2011-2012; Season Announced!

By: Sep. 08, 2011
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New York City Center will reopen following a historic renovation and modernization with a star-studded gala on October 25. The event will kick off a celebratory season of new and expanded programming, festivals, exhibits, a special commission, and performances by world-class dance and theater companies. The renovation, designed by Ennead Architects, LLP (formerly Polshek Partnership), has transformed the landmark building into a contemporary cultural center complete with modern amenities and enhanced historic details, from the mezzanine lobby's painted ceiling and murals to the auditorium's arabesque dome. City Center is located on 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.

Following the October 25 gala, the season continues with the eighth annual Fall for Dance Festival, featuring 20 companies in 10 nights of dance for only $10 per ticket. The season also features world premieres and new productions by American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Corella Ballet Castilla Y León, prima ballerina Diana Vishneva, Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg, and the 11th annual Flamenco Festival. The acclaimed Kings of the Dance returns with an all-new program featuring international ballet stars Guillaume Cotê, Marcelo Gomes, David Hallberg, Denis Matvienko and Ivan Vasiliev.

New this season is a producing partnership between New York City Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center that will combine the organizations' specialties: musical theater and jazz. The collaborative venture will begin this fall with Cotton Club Parade, a celebration of Duke Ellington's years at the famed Harlem nightclub, opening November 18, 2011.

The 19th season of City Center's Encores! series will begin February 8, 2012, with Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along, followed by Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pipe Dream and Jule Styne and Leo Robin's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Manhattan Theatre Club will present world premieres by Zoe Kazan, Molly Smith Metzler and Matt Charman, and The Pearl Theatre Company will present a season of four plays including Ionesco's The Bald Soprano, Shakespeare's Richard II, Bernard Shaw's The Philanderer and O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten.

The complete schedule of the 2011-12 season is as follows:

October 25, 2011

The Gala will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and then, as a nod to the building's 1943 dedication ceremony when Mayor LaGuardia conducted the New York Philharmonic, Mayor Bloomberg will take the stage to conduct the Encores! Orchestra. The show, directed by Tony Award winner and former Encores! Artistic Director Kathleen Marshall, will celebrate New York City Center with performances, reminiscences and tributes by stars including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Joshua Bell, Matthew Broderick, Barbara Cook, Denyce Graves, Patti LuPone, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Donna Murphy, New York City Ballet, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brian Williams and more to be announced. With music direction by Encores! Music Director Rob Berman. Post-performance dinner at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Gala tickets start at $1,500. Performance-only tickets start at $50.
For Gala information and tickets, contact Susan Strebel at sstrebel@nycitycenter.org or (212) 763-1205.

October 27 - November 6, 2011 Tickets on Sale Oct. 2

The eighth annual Fall for Dance Festival will showcase 20 national and international companies and choreographers and will include world and U.S. premieres in five programs (each program will be repeated once). In keeping with its commitment to make dance accessible to all, all tickets will be $10, as they have been each year since the Festival's beginning.

The Festival will include performances by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (NYC), The Australian Ballet (Australia), CCN de Créteil et du Val-de-Marne / Compagnie Käfig (France), Drew Jacoby (NYC), Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (Illinois), Jessica Lang Dance (NYC), The Joffrey Ballet (Illinois), Lil Buck (California), Liz Gerring Dance Company (NYC), Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba (Cuba), Mark Morris Dance Group (NYC), Maurice Chestnut and The Above Ground Project (NJ), New York City Ballet (NYC), Pontus Lidberg Dance (Sweden/NYC), Richard Alston Dance Company (UK), Royal Ballet of Flanders (Belgium), Steven McRae, Principal Dancer of The Royal Ballet, London (UK); TAO Dance Theater (China), Trisha Brown Dance Company (NYC), and Vertigo Dance Company (Israel).

City Center's Fall for Dance Festival has received national and international recognition for its quality, innovation and success in introducing new and younger audiences to the world of dance. Since its inception, the festival has presented 145 different dance companies to more than 150,000 dance enthusiasts for just $10 per ticket. Newcomers and dance fans alike look forward to Fall for Dance as both an introduction to new artists and a welcome return to familiar and beloved companies.

For complete scheduling information, visit www.NYCityCenter.org.

New York City Center gratefully acknowledges Fall for Dance Leadership Sponsor, Bloomberg, and its Principal Sponsor, MetLife Foundation. City Center is also delighted acknowledge Lead Presenting Partners Barbara and David Zalaznick, Jody and John Arnhold, Perry and Marty Granoff, and Caroline Howard Hyman.

Fall for Dance is also made possible by major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, the Ford Foundation and an anonymous donor.

Tickets: $10

Rolex presents

26th Anniversary Jubilee: A Halloween Thriller
Monday, Oct 31, 2011 Tickets on Sale Now

"A Halloween Thriller: A Dance Celebration of Ghosts, Ghouls, Vampires & Wilis," is a one-night-only ‘spook-tacular' featuring Carmen De Lavallade, Judith Jamison, Noah Racey and Ne-Yo, as well as Tony Award winners Natalia Makarova, Bebe Neuwirth and Chita Rivera. The evening will include performances by dancers from American Repertory Ballet, Houston Ballet, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, MOMIX, Jacques d'Amboise's National Dance Institute, New York City Ballet and many more. Michael Jackson's "Thriller" will be performed by 150 children, 8-13 years of age, from New York City's schools. This year's Rolex Dance Award honoree will be Nigel Lythgoe, co-creator/executive producer of "So You Think You Can Dance" and executive producer of "American Idol." www.careertransition.org

Tickets: $45, $55, $75, $90, $130 (Show Only)
For Gala tickets and information, contact Marjorie Horne at (212) 228-7446 x33

November 8 - 13, 2011 Tickets on Sale Now

American Ballet Theatre's season will begin November 8 with a Gala evening that includes the premiere of a new ballet by Stuttgart Ballet member Demis Volpi, co-commissioned with New York City Center. Highlights of the season include major revivals of Merce Cunningham's Duets, Paul Taylor's Black Tuesday, Martha Clarke's Garden of Villandry and Twyla Tharp's Sinatra Suite, set to classic songs by Frank Sinatra with costumes by Oscar de la Renta. The season will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room. www.abt.org

Tickets: Starting at $25
For Gala tickets and information, contact ABT's Special Events office at (212) 477-3030 ext. 3311

November 18 - 22, 2011 Tickets on Sale Now
New York City Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center have announced a new producing partnership that will combine the organizations' specialties: musical theater and jazz. The collaborative venture will begin with Cotton Club Parade, a celebration of Duke Ellington's years at the famed Harlem nightclub, when the joint was jumping with revues featuring big band swing and blues, dancers, singers and novelty acts. With Ellington's music as the centerpiece, Cotton Club Parade reimagines one of the composer's Cotton Club floorshows. Presented under the auspices of City Center's acclaimed Encores! series and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Cotton Club Parade will be directed and choreographed by Warren Carlyle and will feature the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, who also serves as music director. www.NYCitycenter.org

Tickets: Starting at $25


November 30, 2011 - January 1, 2012 Tickets on Sale Now

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, recognized by U.S. Congress as a vital American "Cultural Ambassador to the World," returns to the stage of New York City Center with exciting performances that have become a joyous holiday tradition. Robert Battle, in his first season as Artistic Director, will add to the Ailey repertory a rich array of premieres and new productions that express his vision for the company, while honoring some of his most significant artistic influences. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater inspires all in a universal celebration of the human spirit using the African-American cultural experience and the American modern dance tradition. As an exciting new era in Ailey history begins, Ailey's extraordinary artists will move audiences in a diverse repertory of premieres, new productions and repertory classics by a variety of choreographers, revealing once again why they are one of the world's most beloved dance companies. www.alvinailey.org

Tickets: Starting at $25
For photos, visit pressroom.alvinailey.org.

February 8 - 19, 2012 *Second week added Tickets on Sale Oct. 10
Artistic Director Jack Viertel
Music Director Rob Berman

New York City Center's 19th Encores! season will open with Merrily We Roll Along with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth.

Merrily We Roll Along is a musical about friendship and the compromise of youthful ideals, based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. It begins in 1980 and moves backwards in time to 1955, telling the story of three people whose friendship is tested by time, events, ambition and fate. It includes some of Sondheim's most brilliant and bruising songs, including "Not a Day Goes By," "Old Friends," "Our Time" and "Opening Doors." www.NYCityCenter.org

Merrily We Roll Along is generously supported by Douglas S. Cramer and Hugh Bush, Perry and Marty Granoff, and Mary Jo and Ted Shen.

Tickets: Starting at $25

Feb 24 - 26, 2012 Tickets on Sale Now

Kings of the Dance returns with an all-new program showcasing the incredible power, athleticism and artistry of today's most celebrated male ballet stars. Kings of the Dance: Opus 3 will feature Guillaume Côté of the National Ballet of Canada, Marcelo Gomes and David Hallberg of American Ballet Theatre, Denis Matvienko of the Mariinsky Ballet, and Ivan Vasiliev of the Bolshoi Ballet. The men will dance eight world premieres created by Mauro Bigonzetti, Edward Clug, Patrick De Bana, Nacho Duato, Jorma Elo, Marco Goecke, Marcelo Gomes and David Parsons. The evening will also include a historic collaboration by three of the dancers: a work choreographed by Gomes to music by Côté. Kings of the Dance: Opus 3 is a co-production with Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Tickets: $45, $65, $85, $110

March 1 - 4, 2012 Tickets on Sale Now

City Center's 2012 Flamenco Festival, celebrating the tradition of great female flamenco choreographers, will showcase three of today's best: Rafaela Carrasco, Olga Pericet and Eva Yerbabuena, each presenting new works in her own unique style and outlook. Rafaela Carrasco is a rising star who combines contemporary and traditional flamenco influences in her work. Olga Pericet won the 2011 "Revelación" prize at last year's Festival de Jerez. And Eva Yerbabuena is regarded as one of the most important female dancer-choreographers in flamenco today. www.NYCityCenter.org

Tickets: Starting at $35

March 9 - 11, 2012 Tickets on Sale Now

Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg celebrates its 35th Anniversary with a new full-length ballet by Boris Eifman based on the life of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840 -1917) and his turbulent relationship with Camille Claudel, his mistress and muse. Set to music by Saint-Saëns, Massenet and Bizet, Rodin is a tale of artistic inspiration and the terrible price of genius. www.ardani.com

Tickets: $60, $85, $110, $150

March 14, 2012 Tickets on Sale Sep. 12
Prima ballerina Diana Vishneva joins stars of the Martha Graham Dance Company for the Gala Finale to the company's Worldwide 85th Anniversary Season. Vishneva will perform in Graham's Errand into the Maze (1947), and the company will follow with Graham's Chronicle (1936).
Tickets: Starting at $25

March 16 - 18, 2012 Tickets on Sale Now

Diana Vishneva returns to City Center with Dialogues, a new project from the Mariinsky Theatre, Diana Vishneva Foundation and Ardani Artists, the producers of Vishneva's Beauty in Motion (2008). Dialogues charts the evolution of modern dance through the 20th and 21st centuries with works by four choreographers from various generations and genres: Martha Graham's 1947 classic Errand into the Maze, with music by Gian Carlo Menotti and sets by Isamu Noguchi; Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon's Subject to Change; and Dialogue, a new work created by John Neumeier for Diana Vishneva and Thiago Bordin. www.ardani.com

Tickets: $45, $65, $85, $110

March 28 - April 1, 2012 Tickets on Sale Oct. 10
Artistic Director Jack Viertel
Music Director Rob Berman

Outcasts yearning for a better life populate the bordellos and flophouses of a 1950s California seaside town in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Pipe Dream, based on John Steinbeck's novel Sweet Thursday. Pipe Dream opened at the Shubert Theatre on November 30, 1955 and ran for 246 performances. It was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Pipe Dream has not been seen on the American stage in more than two decades and includes "All at Once You Love Her," "The Next Time It Happens" and the wistful ballad "Everybody's Got a Home but Me." www.NYCityCenter.org

Tickets: Starting at $25

April 17 - 20, 2012 Tickets on Sale Sep. 12

Spain's Corella Ballet returns to New York City Center for a second engagement following several successful U.S. tours, this time presenting Clark Tippet's Bruch Violin Concerto, Christopher Wheeldon's For 4 and the world premiere of a new full-company ballet by Nuevo Ballet Español Artistic Directors Ángel Rojas and Carlos Rodríguez. In the vein of Soléa, the flamenco-inflected ballet that was the hit of the company's 2010 City Center season, the work fuses classical ballet and traditional Spanish dance.

Tickets: Starting at $25

A Night of Great Performances
April 23, 2012 Tickets on Sale Sep. 12

Capezio celebrates 125 years of excellence with this one-night-only special evening featuring dance legends and stars of stage and screen. This historic event will reflect the ways in which Capezio has been an integral part of the history of dance and entertainment in America.

Tickets: Starting at $45
For tickets and information, contact 125years@capezio.com

May 9 - 13, 2012 Tickets on Sale Oct. 10
Artistic Director Jack Viertel
Music Director Rob Berman

Set in the Roaring Twenties, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes follows the madcap adventures of the original "dumb blonde," Lorelei Lee, as she sets sail for Europe with her best friend Dorothy Shaw. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes made a star of Carol Channing on Broadway and later cemented Marilyn Monroe's status as an American film icon and sex symbol in the 1953 screen version. The stage show, adapted from the novel by Anita Loos, has a book by Anita Loos and Joseph Fields, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Leo Robin. "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" is the crown jewel in a score that sparkles with songs like "Bye, Bye, Baby," "A Little Girl from Little Rock" and "I Love What I'm Doing (When I'm Doing it for Love)." www.NYCityCenter.org

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is generously supported by The Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust and Roz and Jerry Meyer.

Tickets: Starting at $25


Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove, Manhattan Theatre Club has become one of the country's most prominent and prestigious theater companies. Over the past three decades, MTC productions have earned a total of 17 Tony awards and six Pulitzer prizes, an accomplishment unparalleled by a New York theatrical institution. MTC's City Center season features three world premieres: Zoe Kazan's We Live Here (Stage I, September 22 - October 30, 2011), directed by Sam Gold with Mark Blum, Jessica Collins, Betty Gilpin, Amy Irving, Oscar Isaac and Jeremy Shamos; Molly Smith Metzler's Close Up Space (Stage I, December 1, 2011 - January 22, 2012), directed by Leigh Silverman with Michael Chernus and David Hyde Pierce; and Matt Charman's Regrets (Stage I, March 1 - April 22, 2012). (Note: MTC will also present three additional plays at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre). www.manhattantheatreclub.com

Tickets: $80


The Pearl Theatre Company's award-winning resident acting company will present its 28th season of plays. The season includes Eugène Ionesco's The Bald Soprano (September 13 - October 23, 2011), William Shakespeare's Richard II (November 8 - December 24, 2011), George Bernard Shaw's The Philanderer (January 10 - February 19, 2012), and Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten (March 6 - April 15, 2012). www.pearltheatre.org

Tickets: Starting at $39

STUDIO FIVE AT CITY CENTER in the Barbara and David Zalaznick Studio on 5
Studio 5 provides an intimate forum for informal conversations with some of today's most compelling figures in theater and dance. Interactive discussions and performances by guest artists offer audiences a glimpse beyond the proscenium into the creative worlds of theater and dance. Renowned dancer-turned-director Damian Woetzel returns to curate and host the dance series and Tony Award-winning performer Victoria Clark will be back to curate and host the musical theater series.


American Ballet Theatre
Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 6:30pm
Featuring highlights from ABT's City Center season, with company stars dancing excerpts and discussing the ballets and their roles.

Christopher Wheeldon in 2012
Monday, Jan. 9 at 7pm
The acclaimed choreographer in conversation, featuring excerpts of his works performed by distinguished guest artists.

*With a third Studio 5 event to be announced.

BACKSTAGE AT ENCORES! Tickets on Sale Sep. 19

An Evening with Rob Berman
Monday, Oct. 17 at 6:30pm
Encores! Musical Director Rob Berman will offer behind-the-scenes insight into the process of mounting the entire Encores! season. Special guest artists will perform selections from all three upcoming productions (Merrily We Roll Along, Pipe Dream and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes).

God, I Hope I Get It!
Monday, Dec. 5 at 6:30pm
Encores! Casting Director Jay Binder shares a sneak peek into the behind-the-table discussions that take place when an actor leaves the audition room. Mr. Binder will talk about his experiences and host mock auditions for this season of Encores! shows to demonstrate casting techniques.

What's the Buzz?
Monday, Feb. 6 at 6:30pm
Today's hits will become tomorrow's Encores! productions. How does musical theater change as time goes on? A panel of today's brightest young composers and writers discuss the changes in styles and trends of this eclectic art form and try to predict how musicals will change in the decades ahead.

Tickets: $20

Studio Five at City Center is made possible in part by Margee and John Falk and Barbara and David Zalaznick.