Scarlett Strallen and Tam Mutu to Lead THE NEW YORKERS at Encores!; Cast Set!
Encores! Artistic Director Jack Viertel today announced casting for the Encores! production of The New Yorkers, Cole Porter's 1930 Prohibition lark. The New Yorkers will star Cyrille Aimée, Clyde Alves, Todd Buonopane, Arnie Burton, Kevin Chamberlin, Mylinda Hull, Robyn Hurder, Byron Jennings, Eddie Korbich, Tam Mutu, Jeffrey Schecter, Scarlett Strallen, Tyler Lansing Weaks and Ruth Williamson.
The ensemble includes Matt Bauman, Sam Bolen, Christine DiGiallonardo, Brian Flores, Tessa Grady, Matthew Griffin, Curtis Holland, Evan Kasprzak, Marina Lazzaretto, Kathryn McCreary, Timothy McDevitt, Kristyn Pope, Mariah Reshea Reives, Lindsay Roberts, Brendan Stimson, Cody Williams, and Joseph Wiggan.
Bullets fly and bathtub gin flows in Cole Porter's The New Yorkers, a gleefully amoral celebration of speakeasies, gangsters, society dames, and the great city they love. Inspired by legendary cartoonist Peter Arno's work for The New Yorker, the musical centers on featherbrained socialite Alice Wentworth (Scarlett Strallen), whose bootlegger beau, Al Spanish (Tam Mutu), leads her on a madcap romp from Park Avenue to Sing Sing and back again.
The New Yorkers produced a number of standards-"I Happen to Like New York" and "Love for Sale"-but much of the original material had been lost, making this the most ambitious musical reconstruction ever taken on by Encores!. The surviving material consisted of copies of the script with barely decipherable notes from a stage manager, and while all but one of the Cole Porter songs were intact, only one of the songs written by the show's star Jimmy Durante had survived-it seemed. Taking a page from the mercurial spirit of the production, which underwent many revisions (customary for a revue?style show of this type), Viertel and Encores! Music Director Rob Berman have been hard at work making edits and inserting additional Porter songs that are cut from the same cloth as the existing material. Encores! researchers discovered the missing Durante material in a Los Angeles archive, and Berman has also been developing arrangements with an ear to the style of the 1930s, which are being orchestrated by Josh Clayton and Larry Moore.
The Encores! production will be directed by John Rando with musical direction by Encores! Music Director Rob Berman and choreography by Chris Bailey. The New Yorkers will run for seven performances at City Center from March 22-26.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Arnie Burton (Feet McGeegan) Broadway: The 39 Steps, Peter and the Starcatcher, Machinal, A Free Man of Color, and Amadeus. Off?Broadway: Lives of the Saints, The Temperamentals (Drama Desk Award), The Mystery of Irma Vep (Drama League Award nomination), The Explorers Club, Mere Mortals, Last Sunday In June, and Tail! Spin! Television and film: Frasier, The Blacklist, White Collar, Law & Order, Blue Bloods, The Invention of Lying, Igby Goes Down, The Greatest Showman (upcoming), and many others.
Kevin Chamberlin (Jimmie Deegan) was nominated for Tony Awards for originating the roles of Horton in Seussical, Charlie in Dirty Blonde, and Uncle Fester in The Addams Family. Other Broadway: Disaster!, The Ritz, Chicago, Triumph of Love, My Favorite Year, and Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Hollywood Bowl: Hair, West Side Story, and Spamalot. Select film and television: Die Hard with a Vengeance, Road to Perdition, Taking Woodstock, In & Out, Modern Family, Heroes, Frasier, Grace and Frankie, and Jessie (regular).
Scarlett Strallen (Alice Wentworth) Broadway: A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder and Mary Poppins. Off-Broadway/Regional: The Pirates of Penzance and Macbeth. West End: She Loves Me, Candide, A Chorus Line, Mary Poppins, Singin' in the Rain (Olivier Award nomination), Clara in Passion, The Music Man, The Merry Wives of Windsor, H.M.S. Pinafore (Olivier Award nomination), Cymbeline, and Twelfth Night.
Tam Mutu (Al Spanish) recently appeared on Broadway in the title role of Doctor Zhivago after previously starring in the Donmar Warehouse production of City of Angels in London. In 2013, Mutu won the BroadwayWorld West End Award and the West End Frame Award for his portrayal of Javert in the West End revival of LES MISERABLES. Born in Hastings, England, Mutu is of Turkish and Italian descent and graduated from the Guildford School of Acting.
John Rando (Director) was nominated for a Tony Award for his direction of the 2014 revival of On the Town. His many Broadway credits include A Christmas Story, The Wedding Singer, Urinetown (Tony Award), A Thousand Clowns, and Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. His Off?Broadway credits include Lives of the Saints, The Heir Apparent (Calloway Award), All in the Timing (Obie Award), and The Toxic Avenger, among many others. He has directed eleven shows at City Center, including Annie Get Your 2 Gun, Little Me, It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, On the Town, Face The Music, Of Thee I Sing, The Pajama Game, Do Re Mi, Strike Up The Band, and Damn Yankees.
Rob Berman (Encores! Music Director) is in his tenth season as music director of Encores!, for which he has conducted 26 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) and Passion (Classic Stage Company). Recordings include the complete restored score of Jerome Kern's Roberta for New World Records.
Chris Bailey (Choreography) Choreography credits: 1776 (City Center Encores!); The Entertainer with Kenneth Branagh (West End); Cyrano de Bergerac (Roundabout); Assassins (Menier Chocolate Factory); the Kennedy Center Honors; and the 2013 Tony Awards. Regional credits include Into the Woods, My Fair Lady, Tarzan, West Side Story, and Thoroughly Modern Millie (all MUNY); Because of Winn Dixie (Alabama Shakespeare Festival); Chasing Rainbows (Goodspeed Opera House); and Dancing Shadows (Seoul Arts Center). Film and TV: Ted 2; Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella; A Million Ways to Die in the West; and the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Academy Awards. As associate choreographer: Promises, Promises; How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; Evita; and Cry Baby (all Broadway); Macbeth (5th Avenue Armory); and Guys and Dolls, Evita, and Once in a Lifetime (all West End).
New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. For nearly 25 years, City Center's Tony?honored Encores! series has been "an essential New York institution" (The New York Times). In 2013, City Center launched the Encores! Off?Center series, which features seminal Off?Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today's innovative artists. Dance has also been integral to the theater's mission from the start and programs like the annual Fall for Dance Festival remain central to City Center's identity. 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, New York City Center was Manhattan's first performing arts center, founded with the mission of making the best in music, theater, and dance accessible to all audiences. That mission continues today through robust education and community engagement programs which bring the performing arts to over 9,000 New York City students each year and expand the theatrical experience beyond the proscenium to include pre?show talks, master classes, and art exhibitions that offer an up-close look at the work of the great theater and dance artists of our time. www.NYCityCenter.org