Steven Boyer, Alex Brightman, Steven Pasquale, Nikki M. James, Taylor Caldwell and More to Star in Encores! Off-Center's New Season

By: Jun. 14, 2017
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Encores! Off-Center Artistic Director Michael Friedman today announced casting for his first season at the helm of the popular summer musical theater series at New York City Center.

The trigger-happy squad assembled for Assassins, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's carnival ride through the history of political violence, will star Steven Boyer (John Hinckley Jr.), Alex Brightman (Giuseppe Zangara), John Ellison Conlee (Charles Guiteau), Clifton Duncan (The Balladeer), Shuler Hensley (Leon Czolgosz), Ethan Lipton (The Proprietor), Erin Markey (Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme), Steven Pasquale (John Wilkes Booth), Cory Michael Smith (Lee Harvey Oswald), Julie White (Sara Jane Moore), and Danny Wolohan (Samuel Byck). Assassins will be directed by Anne Kauffman, with music direction by Chris Fenwick and choreography by Lorin Latarro.

Kirsten Childs' delightful, provocative, and poignant 2000 musical, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, will star Tony Award-winner Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon) as Viveca, the young African-American dancer who finds her way from West Coast suburbia to Broadway, all while navigating the politics of race and gender in an attempt to uncover her own identity. Directed by Robert O'Hara, the production will feature choreography by Byron Easley and music direction by Annastasia Victory.

Taylor Caldwell (Runaways, School of Rock) will star as the little girl with the big imagination from Avenue P in Maurice Sendak and Carole King's Really Rosie. The genius of Where the Wild Things Are meets the genius of Tapestry in this sweet, sad, wonderful family-friendly musical for the dreamer in all of us. Inspired in part by the stories in Sendak's Nutshell Library, Really Rosie features irresistible songs like "Pierre," "Alligators All Around," and "Chicken Soup with Rice." The Off-Center production will be directed by Leigh Silverman, with music direction by Carmel Dean and choreography by Ayodele Casel.

Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Encores! Off-Center was founded in 2013 with the mission of presenting Off?Broadway musicals that pushed creative boundaries when they were first produced. Filtered through the lens of today's artists, these shows are presented not as historical documents but as living, vital works that continue to resonate with audiences. The New York Times has called Encores! Off?Center "a summer theater highlight," with past productions including Violet with Sutton Foster; tick, tick...BOOM! with Lin?Manuel Miranda; A New Brain with Jonathan Groff; Little Shop of Horrors with Ellen Greene and Jake Gyllenhaal; and Runaways with a cast of 25 young performers. The series also features The Lobby Project, a series of free pre?performance events that place each musical in context of its legacy and provide insights into the work the audience is about to experience.

Off-Center reflects City Center's ongoing outreach to new and young audiences. In keeping with this mission, many Off-Center tickets are $25. Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 212.581.1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office. New York City Center is located at 131 West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.

July 12-15, 2017
Wed & Thu at 7:30pm, Fri at 8pm, Sat at 2 & 8pm

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by John Weidman
Assassins is based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr.
Choreography by Lorin Latarro
Music Director Chris Fenwick
Directed by Anne Kauffman

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin
July 26-27
Wed & Thu at 7:30pm

By Kirsten Childs
Choreography by Byron Easley
Music Supervisor Chris Fenwick
Music Director Annastasia Victory
Directed by Robert O'Hara

Really Rosie
August 2-5
Wed-Fri at 7pm and Sat at 2 pm & 7pm

Book and Lyrics by Maurice Sendak
Music by Carole King
Choreography by Ayodele Casel
Music Supervisor Chris Fenwick
Music Director Carmel Dean
Directed by Leigh Silverman

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 the expansion of the theatrical experience 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. Visit for more.

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