The 20th Anniversary season of New York City Center's Tony Award-winning Encores! series will open on January 30, 2013 with Fiorello!, the show that launched the series in 1994. The season will continue with It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, followed by On Your Toes. A Gala Encores! at 20 Celebration on November 12, 2012 will star Tony Award nominees and Encores! alumni Rauìl Esparza and Kelli O'Hara.
Encores! Music Director Rob Berman will helm both Fiorello! and It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman. Founding Encores! Music Director Rob Fisher will return as Music Director for On Your Toes.
"Fiorello! is the story of Mayor Fiorello LaGuarda, the man singularly responsible for saving City Center from the wrecking ball, and transforming it into Manhattan's first performing arts center," said Arlene Shuler, President & CEO of City Center. "It was the perfect show to launch the Encores! series in 1994 and a fitting way to celebrate our 20th Anniversary season in our beautifully restored theater. We are proud to have presented 57 great American musicals to an audience of almost half a million and look forward to presenting many more in the years to come."
"We wanted something special to launch our 20th Anniversary season," said Encores! Artistic Director Jack Viertel. "We've never done a show twice, but Fiorello! called out to us for several reasons. It's a great show and it has special meaning for City Center. It's the show that started it all, and we are excited to launch our Anniversary season with this Pulitzer Prize-winning musical. Superman is a very hip, kind of pop-art comics musical with a uniquely funny, quizzical tone and a dazzling score. And On Your Toes brings us back to Rodgers and Hart at their best, and features two big dance sequences, including "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue," which connects it to City Center's long history as a home for dance. It should be quite a year."
Tony Award nominees and Encores! alumni Rauìl Esparza (Anyone Can Whistle) and Kelli O'Hara (Bells Are Ringing) will star in a Gala Encores! at 20 Celebration on November 12, 2012, accompanied by Rob Berman and The Encores! Orchestra. The performance will be followed by a celebratory dinner at the Plaza Hotel.
Fiorello! tells the story of LaGuardia's rise from an immigrant's son to feisty congressmen whose guts and determination to fight corruption brought down the crooked Tammany Hall political machine. Fiorello! has a book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott; music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. It is one of only eight musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. Fiorello! opened at the Broadhurst Theatre on November 23,1959 and ran for 795 performances. It was directed by George Abbott and starred Tom Bosley, Howard Da Silva and Pat Stanley. Songs include "Little Tin Box," "Till Tomorrow" and "When Did I Fall In Love?"
Fiorello! had a brief, 16-performance revival at City Center in 1962, directed by Jean Dalrymple. The Encores! production opened in February 1994, directed by Walter Bobbie, and starred Jerry Zaks, Philip Bosco and Faith Prince. Fiorello! will run January 30 – February 3, 2013.