Rachel York will join Megan Hilty in the Encores! production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, opening May 9 at New York City Center. York will play the brunette, Dorothy Shaw, best friend of Lorelei, the diamond-loving blonde played by Hilty. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will be directed by John Rando with music direction by Rob Berman and choreography by Randy Skinner and will play for seven performances, May 9 – 13, at New York City Center, 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.
In addition to Megan Hilty and Rachel York, the cast includes Phillip Attmore, Steven Boyer, Brennan Brown, Stephen R. Buntrock, Jared Grimes, Simon Jones, Aaron Lazar, Deborah Rush, Sandra Shipley, Megan Sikora and Clarke Thorell with Callan Bergmann, Charissa Bertels, Sam Bolen, Eric Bourne, Kyle Brown, Robin Campbell, Christine DiGiallonardo, Luke Hawkins, Arlo Hill, Michael Marcotte, Nick McGough, Shannon M. O'Bryan, Lindsay O'Neil, Kristyn Pope, Lindsay Roberts, Kelly Sheehan, Jessica Vosk, Anna Aimee White and Matt Zimmerman.
Set in the Roaring Twenties, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes follows the madcap adventures of the original "dumb blonde," Lorelei Lee (Hilty), as she sets sail for Europe with her best friend Dorothy Shaw (York). Lorelei is engaged to Gus Esmond, the Button King (Clarke Thorell) and has a flirtation with Josephus Gage, The Zipper King (Stephen R. Buntrock). Traveling with them are Mrs.k Ella Spofford (Deborah Rush), the richest woman in Philadelphia, her son Henry (Aaron Lazar) and a ship full of colorful characters.
Based on Anita Loos's bestselling novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes has a book by Anita Loos and Joseph Fields, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Leo Robin. The show 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. "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)." The original production, directed by John C. Wilson and choreographed by Agnes De Mille, opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on December 8, 1949, and played a total of 740 performances. The show was revived by Tony Randall's National Actors Theater in 1995 and ran for 24 performances.