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Martin, Cumpsty and Yazbeck Cast in City Center's ON THE TOWN

Andrea Martin, Michael Cumpsty and Tony Yazbeck have been cast in On the Town, the opening production of New York City Center’s 2008-09 Encores! season, running November 19 - 23. On the Town, the first Broadway musical written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green with a score by Leonard Bernstein, will be directed by John Rando with music direction by Todd Ellison and choreography by Warren Carlyle.  The production is part of the city-wide Leonard Bernstein 90th Birthday Celebration. 

On the Town, with music by Leonard Bernstein and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green based on an idea by Jerome Robbins, was inspired by Robbins’ 1944 ballet, “Fancy Free.” Although much of the original choreography has been lost, Robbins did restage three numbers for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway in 1989.   Carlyle will reproduce the original Robbins’ choreography for three numbers: “New York, New York,” “Ya Got Me,” and “Times Square Ballet.”  Scott Wise, who won the Tony Award for his performance in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, will assist Mr. Carlyle in reconstructing the choreography.

The cast includes Justin Bohon, Christian Borle, Michael Cumpsty, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Leslie Kritzer, Andrea Martin, Julyana Soelistyo, Jennifer Laura Thompson and Tony Yazbeck, with Lawrence Alexander, Andrea Beasom, Kristine Bendul, Tanya Birl, Angie Canuel, John Carroll, Rachel Coloff, Michael Cusumano, Susan Derry, Emilee Dupre, Autumn Hurlbert, Ryan Jackson, Mary MacLeod, Monica L. Patton, Adam Perry, Steve Schepis, Geno Segers, Charlie Sutton, Kevin Vortmann, Price Waldman, J.D. Webster and Ashley Yeater.
Set in wartime 1944, On the Town chronicles the adventures of three sailors (Justin Bohon, Christian Borle and Tony Yazbeck) on a 24-hour shore leave in New York City. Their fabulous day-long journey is spurred by a search for sailor Gabey’s dream girl, “Miss Turnstiles.” Along the way, each sailor falls in love with a woman, and with New York City itself. 

The original Broadway production of On the Town, directed by George Abbott and starring Nancy Walker, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, opened at the Adelphi Theatre on December 28, 1944, playing a total of 462 performances. It has since been revived at the Imperial Theatre in 1971 and the Gershwin Theatre in 1998. Songs from On the Town include “New York, New York,” “Some Other Time,” and “I Can Cook, Too.” 

This production is part of Bernstein:The Best of All Possible Worlds, a partnership with Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic. For more information, visit On the Town is made possible with major support from the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Justin Bohon (Chip) received Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for his role as Will Parker in the recent Broadway revival of Oklahoma!  He has also appeared on Broadway in All Shook Up, The Producers and Miss Saigon. 

Christian Borle (Ozzie) received 2007 Tony, Drama Desk and Drama League Award nominations for his work in Legally Blonde.  His other Broadway credits include Spamalot (Clarence Derwent Award, Drama Desk nomination), Thoroughly Modern Millie, Amour, Footloose and Jesus Christ Superstar. Off-Broadway, he has been seen in: Elegies: A Song Cycle by William Finn at Lincoln Center, and Prodigal at the York.

Michael Cumpsty’s (Pitkin W. Bridgework) many Broadway theater credits include La Bête, Timon of Athens, The Heiress, 1776, Copenhagen, 42nd Street, and The Constant Wife. Most recently, Cumpsty played the title role in a Classic Stage Company production of Richard III.

Jessica Lee Goldyn (Ivy) made her Broadway debut in the recent revival of A Chorus Line. Her national and international tour credits include Fosse, A Chorus Line, Sweet Charity and Pippin. 

Leslie Kritzer (Hildy Esterhazy) appeared on Broadway in A Catered Affair, Hairspray and Legally Blonde. Off-Broadway she received a  Drama Desk nomination for  her performance in The Great American Trailer Park Musical and was seen in Bat Boy and Godspell, and her regional credits include Vanities and Babes in Arms.  She played Rizzo in Grease and Fanny Brice in Funny Girl at Paper Mill Playhouse.  Leslie was awarded a 2007 Special Achievement MAC Award for her show Leslie Kritzer Is Patti LuPone At Les Mouches.

Andrea Martin (Madame P. Dilly) made her Broadway debut in My Favorite Year, for which she won the Theatre World and Drama Desk Awards. She received Tony Award nominations for her performances in Young Frankenstein, Candide and Oklahoma! and she portrayed Golde in the recent revival of Fiddler on the Roof . Andrea wrote and performed in the critically acclaimed one-woman show Nude, Nude, Totally Nude in Los Angeles and New York City, where she garnered a 1996 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show. 

Julyana Soelistyo (Lucy Schmeeler) won a Clarence Derwent Award and was nominated for a Tony Award, for her portrayal of both the 10-year -old and the 80-year-old Eng Ahn in David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child, which premiered at the Public Theater before moving to Broadway. Julyana has appeared in the films Earthly Possessions and Martin Scorsese's Bringing Out The Dead. 

Jennifer Laura Thompson (Claire DeLoone) made her Broadway debut in Footloose. She also originated the role of Hope Cladwell in both the off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Urinetown, garnering a Tony Award nomination. On Broadway, she portrayed Glinda in Wicked, and her off Broadway credits include the lead role in the Michael John LaChiusa musical, Little Fish. Her previous Encores! credits include Of Thee I Sing, Pardon My English and Strike Up the Band.

Tony Yazbeck (Gabey) originated the role of Tulsa in the Encores! Summer Stars production of Gypsy, currently playing on Broadway.  His additional Broadway credits include A Chorus Line, Oklahoma!, Never Gonna Dance and Gypsy (with Tyne Daly). He has appeared Off-Broadway in Fanny Hill and three Encores! productions: Pardon My English, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Apple Tree. 

John Rando’s (Director) Broadway credits include The Wedding Singer and Urinetown (Tony Award for Best Director), The Dinner Party and A Thousand Clowns.  His other credits include Polish Joke at Manhattan Theatre Club. He was director of this past summer’s Encores! Summer Stars production of Damn Yankees. His previous Encores! credits include, Face the Music, Strike Up the Band, Do Re Mi, The Pajama Game and Of Thee I Sing.

Warren Carlyle (Choreographer) choreographed the Encores! productions of Juno and Stairway to Paradise, and is the director-choreographer of the current Broadway production of A Tale of Two Cities.  His other New York credits include You Again for the NY Fringe Festival, Working and Slut! Regionally he has choreographed Mame at The Kennedy Center, The Pirates of Penzance at Goodspeed and Paper Mill Playhouse and The Baker’s Wife at Goodspeed, among many others. 

Todd Ellison’s (Guest Music Director) many Broadway credits include  Spamalot, 42nd Street, Amour, Wild Party, On the Town, Once Upon A Mattress, How to Succeed…, She Loves Me, Cats, Starlight Express, Annie 2 and The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. 

On the Town is made possible with major support from the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust.

The Newman’s Own Foundation is a proud sponsor of Encores!  The Newman's Own Foundation is an independent private foundation which derives its grant-making income from royalty payments received in conjunction with the sale of Newman's Own food products.  Since the inception of Newman's Own in the early 1980s, over $200 million has been donated to thousands of charitable organizations worldwide.

The 2008-2009 Encores! season is made possible in part by the Stephanie and Fred Shuman Fund for Encores! with additional support from Roz and Jerry Meyer.

New York City Center Encores! (Jack Viertel, Artistic Director; Rob Berman, Music Director) has, since 1994, celebrated the rarely-heard works of America’s most important composers and lyricists.  Conceived as concert versions, each Encores! season gives three scores the chance to be heard as originally intended by their creators.  Over the years, Encores! has presented the works of the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Kurt Weill, Bock and Harnick, Burt Bacharach, Kander and Ebb, Comden and Green, and many others.  The program is the recipient of a special 2000 Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Jujamcyn Theaters Award.

New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President and CEO) has long been known and beloved by New York audiences not only as one of the City’s preeminent performing art institutions but also as an accessible and welcoming venue for dance and theater.  New York City Center produces the Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series, and is home to some of the country’s leading dance companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Paul Taylor Dance Company and Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club, one of New York’s leading theater companies. In 2004 New York City Center launched the acclaimed Fall for Dance Festival, continuing to fulfill its mission to make the arts accessible to the broadest possible audience. In 2006, New York City Center formed partnerships with both London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre to facilitate the exchange of innovative dance works, and with Carnegie Hall to work together on exciting new programming initiatives between the two neighboring institutions. In 2007 New York City Center introduced the Encores! Summer Stars series with the critically-acclaimed production of Gypsy¸ currently enjoying a successful run on Broadway, which was followed by this past summer’s Damn Yankees starring Sean Hayes and Jane Krakowski.

Tickets for On the Town are available 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  Tickets for the Orchestra, Grand Tier and Mid-Mezzanine are $95; tickets for the Rear Mezzanine and Front Gallery are $50; tickets for the Rear Gallery are $25.

Photos by Walter McBride/Retna Ltd

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