All tagged New York City Center
the annual Encores! Off-Center summer season kicks off with a newly re-conceptualized, site-specific production of Stephen Schwartz’s 1978 flop “Working” that interpolates a series of new monologues based on interviews with facilities staff at New York City Center; an admirable concept that makes for a touching tribute to these workers, the effect blunts the power of the show and cuts short its escalating emotional resonance. A suite of uneven performances and an oversized venue also hamper the effort.
Two recent productions of classic musicals get first-class treatment at New York City Center, Encores! presentation of “High Button Shoes”, which runs through May 12th, and MasterVoices’ concert production of “Lady in the Dark”, which ran for three performances in April.
Mark Evans shines in Rodgers and Hart’s 1938 hit “I Married an Angel”; this dance infused fantasy story involving an aristocrat who literally marries an angel is a peculiar relic of its time, but a treat for collectors of obscure musicals and fans of the Rodgers and Hart oeuvre. Director/choreographer Joshua Bergasse steps into the shoes once worn by George Balanchine to create an entertaining show featuring the talents of ballerina Sara Mearns (his wife), as the Angel. Feather-light as it is, I suspect we won’t see “I Married an Angel” again for some time.
Carmen Cusack shines in Encores! revival of its 1995 landmark revival of Irving Berlin’s “Call Me Madam” (1950), originally written as a vehicle for Ethel Merman. A topical piece of light satirical fare that’s more about comedy and songs than plot, this simple but well-performed production is Encores! at its truest: a concert revival of a classic musical that would not otherwise be seen on stage again.
By my count, I’ve attended 246 performances of theatre, dance, music, opera, and cabaret during 2018. Out of a field that large, it’s hard to pick just ten, but nevertheless, here are my top ten favorite shows I saw in New York (including no new musicals and only three Broadway shows!).
To mark its 75th anniversary, New York City Center presents a gala production of “A Chorus Line” that is yet another facsimile of Michael Bennett’s groundbreaking 1975 original. Now the amber fossil of musicals, “A Chorus Line” remains genius and powerful, but is long past due for some re-imagination. Maybe next time.
Meatloaf's "Bat Out of Hell - The Musical" will play City Center; "King Lear" will now play the Cort , opening up the Golden for "Hillary and Clinton"; cast announced for FOX's "Rent: Live" telecast; Michelle Williams of Destiny's Child joins "Once on This Island"; the Drama Book Shop will close its 40th Street location at end of January; Broadway League finds younger audience attended 2017–2018 season; trailer for "Latin History for Morons" on Netflix; playwright Ntozake Shange dead at 70