City Center announces Encores! casting
Last Edit: Official_Press_Release 05:09 pm EDT 08/16/21
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:02 pm EDT 08/16/21

New York City Center announces casting for 2022 Encores! season:
Sara Bareilles, Christian Borle, Chuck Cooper, Heather Headley,
Dulé Hill, Mykal Kilgore, Ledisi, Ashley Park, and Ken Robinson

Spring Gala | Encores! Into the Woods announced for
opening night on May 4

New subscriptions on sale now to members; Aug 23 for general public

Encores! single tickets on sale Oct 4 for members; Oct 18 for general public

Tickets start at $35

AUGUST 16, 2021/NEW YORK, NY – New York City Center today announced the first set of casting for the 2022 Encores! season and the Spring Gala | Encores! Into the Woods on the opening night of the production, May 4.

The next chapter of the Tony-honored series, led by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet, Encores! Producing Creative Director Clint Ramos, and Encores! Music Director Rob Berman, opens February 2 – 6, 2022 with the 1983 Tony-nominated musical The Tap Dance Kid. Led by Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon, the musical tells the story of Willie, a 10-year-old boy from an upper-middle-class Black family, who dreams of becoming a professional tap dancer, despite his father’s disapproval. Cast member from the original Broadway production Dulé Hill joins the production as Dipsey, Willie’s uncle and mentor. With music by Henry Krieger; lyrics by Robert Lorick; and book by Charles Blackwell, based on the novel Nobody’s Family is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh; the production features new tap sequences by choreographer Jared Grimes and concert adaptation by Lydia Diamond. Broadway’s Joseph Joubert will music direct.

Following is the twelve-time Tony-nominated musical The Life, March 16 – 20. Helmed by Emmy and Tony Award-winner Billy Porter, the production includes cast member from the original Broadway production Chuck Cooper as Old Jojo, Grammy-nominee Mykal Kilgore as Young JoJo, Grammy Award-winner Ledisi as Sonja, and Ken Robinson as Fleetwood. Porter reclaims this musical as the production’s adapter and director to bring forth the gritty, dangerous, and exciting decadence of 1980s New York City and an authenticity to the lives of sex workers. With music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Ira Gasman, and book by David Newman, Ira Gasman, and Cy Coleman, the production features choreography by Tony-nominated choreographer and Encores! Creative Advisor Camille A. Brown.

The third show in the series, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s beloved musical Into the Woods, directed by Lear deBessonet will feature Grammy Award-winner Sara Bareilles as the Baker’s Wife, Christian Borle as the Baker, Heather Headley as the Witch, and Ashley Park as Cinderella. The special two-week run, from May 4 – 15, ushers in a new annual tradition at Encores! celebrating an iconic American musical. These productions bring together Broadway’s brightest stars with a multi-generational group, including New York City public school students, to highlight the ways theater connects us across generations. Into the Woods features choreography by film and television’s Jamal Sims (film: Aladdin) and Encores! Music Director Rob Berman.

The Spring Gala | Encores! Into the Woods will take place on the opening night, May 4, and includes a benefit dinner with the cast and creative team at The Plaza Hotel. Gala packages are on sale now starting at $2,500. For additional details, contact SpecialEvents@NYCityCenter.org or call 212.763.1205.

Additional casting for all Encores! productions will be announced at a later date.

Health, Safety & Ticket Policies

In preparation for a momentous return to in-person live performances, City Center remains committed to following the latest health and safety protocols established by the CDC, local government, and unions. City Center will operate a fully vaccinated venue—artists, crew, staff, and audience members will need to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination. Encores! subscribers can now request an exchange, credit on account, or full refund up to 24 hours before the original date of their performance. Single ticket buyers can now request an exchange, credit on account, or full refund up to 24 hours before the date of their performance, if they or someone in their party is exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms or has tested positive in the last 14 days. For the latest information, visit NYCityCenter.org/PlanYourVisit.

Subscribe to all three Encores! shows and secure seat locations before single tickets go on sale in October. New subscriptions on sale now to members in advance of the general public (on August 23). Join Friends of City Center today for advance access and other great benefits. Subscriptions can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org or by calling 212.581.1212.

Starting at $35, Encores! single tickets go on sale October 4 for members and October 18 for general public. Tickets can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling 212.581.1212, or at the City Center Box Office. New York City Center is located at 131 W 55th St between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

Leadership support for Encores! is provided by the Stacey and Eric Mindich Fund for Musical Theater.

Major support for Encores! is provided by the Ford Foundation and the Howard Gilman Foundation.

Encores! Season sponsors include Roz and Jerry Meyer, The Shubert Foundation, the Stephanie and Fred Shuman Fund for Encores!, and the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Additional support for Encores! is provided by the Marta Heflin Foundation, The Kaplen Brothers Fund, The Frederick Loewe Foundation, Daryl and Steven Roth, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc., The SHS Foundation, The Ted Snowdon Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Feb 2 – 6, 2022
Wed – Fri 7:30pm; Sat 2 & 8pm; Sun 2 & 7pm

Music by Henry Krieger
Lyrics by Robert Lorick
Book by Charles Blackwell
Based on the novel Nobody’s Family is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh
Concert Adaptation by Lydia Diamond
Choreography by Jared Grimes
Guest Music Director Joseph Joubert
Directed by Kenny Leon

Featuring Dulé Hill

Mar 16 – 20, 2022
Wed – Fri 7:30pm; Sat 2 & 8pm; Sun 2 & 7pm

Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Ira Gasman
Book by David Newman, Ira Gasman, and Cy Coleman
Choreography by Camille A. Brown
Adapted and directed by Billy Porter

Featuring Chuck Cooper, Mykal Kilgore, Ledisi, and Ken Robinson


Special two-week run

May 4 – 15, 2022
Week 1: Wed 6pm (Spring Gala), Thu & Fri 7pm, Sat 2 & 8pm, Sun 2 & 7pm
Week 2: Tue – Fri 7pm*, Sat 2 & 8pm, Sun 2pm

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Choreography by Jamal Sims
Music Director Rob Berman
Directed by Lear deBessonet

Featuring Sara Bareilles, Christian Borle, Heather Headley, and Ashley Park

NEW YORK CITY CENTER (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. Manhattan’s first performing arts center, City Center was founded by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia with the mission of making the best in music, theater, and dance accessible to all audiences. This commitment continues today through celebrated dance and musical theater series including the Fall for Dance Festival, the Tony-honored Encores! and Encores! Off-Center, and the newest series Artists at the Center and City Center Dance Festival. The distinctive neo-Moorish theater welcomes over 300,000 annual visitors to experience internationally acclaimed artists on the same stage where legends like George Balanchine, Leonard Bernstein, Barbara Cook, José Ferrer, Martha Graham, and Paul Robeson made their mark. 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, City Center’s dynamic programming, art exhibitions, studio events, and master classes, are complemented by education and community engagement programs that bring the performing arts to over 11,000 New York City students, teachers, and families each year. NYCityCenter.org

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