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Encores! Off-Center

New York City Center goes Off-Broadway with Encores! Off-Center, a new musical theater series led by artistic director Jeanine Tesori (composer of Fun Home, Violet, Shrek). Off-Center features landmark Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today’s most innovative artists.

In the Encores! tradition, Off-Center places a great emphasis on the scores, with the orchestra performing onstage, and each show receives a brief rehearsal period followed by five performances. The series also features The Lobby Project, which expands City Center’s performance space beyond the stage with a series of free pre-performance events featuring groundbreaking artists and performers.

This Season

Tick Tick Boom at City Center Randy Newman at City Center Pump Boys at City Center

Tickets & More Information

tick, tick... BOOM! Jun 25 — 28, 2014

Randy Newman's
The Concert
Jul 1, 2014

Pump Boys and Dinettes Jul 16 — 19 , 2014

Performance Schedule: Wed - Thu 7:30pm, Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm

The Lobby Project

Presented in tandem with Encores! Off-Center productions, The Lobby Project is a series of free performances, conversations and readings by groundbreaking artists, poets, authors and performers. The events place each musical in the context of its legacy and provide insights into the work the audience is about to experience. Open to ticket holders only. We are grateful to The Frederick Loewe Foundation for sponsoring The Lobby Project.


June 25 - The Larson Family: In Conversation
When: 6:45pm
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Discussion
Who: Members of the Larson family with Jeanine Tesori

tick… tick… BOOM! is unabashedly autobiographical, with its central character of Jon echoing so much of Jonathan Larson's life and quest to be heard. Jon’s sister and parents will discuss the rich details of Jonathan's life and his creation of tick… tick… BOOM!.

June 26 - Sondheim REMIX
When: 6:45pm
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Performance
Who: House/electronic/spoken word/rock/who-knows-what-else musicians… and Stephen Sondheim!

Jonathan Larson was hugely influenced by the work of Stephen Sondheim, enough to use Sondheim's "Sunday" (from Sunday in the Park with George) as the basis for an entire number in tick… tick… BOOM!. So we've issued a challenge to today's cutting-edge producers, house/electronic musicians, spoken word artists, and music makers of all styles: take any piece from Sondheim's Sunday in the Park With George and remix it. Make it yours. Sample it. Adapt it. Run with it. Winners will present their pieces for Mr. Sondheim himself.

For more information on how to submit your own remixes and to view current submissions, visit

June 27 - Witness Uganda
When: 7:15pm
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Performance and Discussion
Who: The creators and performers of Witness Uganda

Following in the footsteps of Larson's RENT, Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews' Witness Uganda has been revolutionary in its power to harness theater to inspire social change. Coming off of its thrilling run at the American Repertory Theater, it was declared by the Huffington Post as "destined to be a Broadway hit." This event will feature a performance from Witness Uganda accompanied by the creators themselves. Gould and Matthews will also discuss the use of theater as an agent for change.

For more information, visit

June 28 - In Conversation: David Auburn and Stephen Oremus
When: 1:15pm
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Discussion
Who: David Auburn, Stephen Oremus, and Jeanine Tesori

When tick… tick… BOOM! opened Off-Broadway in 2001, it had been expanded from what Larson called a "rock monologue" into a three-person show, with Jon, the composer figure, at its center. David Auburn (book writer) and Stephen Oremus (music director, orchestrator/vocal arranger) will discuss the expansion and development of the piece, both conceptually and musically.

June 28 - 54 Below Meets 55 Above: Rare Jonathan Larson Works in Concert
When: 7:15pm
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Performance of rare Larson works
Who: 54 Below's incredible talent

From Superbia to Sacred Cows to Saved! - An Immoral Musical on the Moral Majority, there is a lot of Larson work out there that hasn't gotten nearly the same exposure as RENT or tick… tick… BOOM!. This concert event will feature selections of Larson's rarely heard work, curated by Jennifer Tepper (programming director of 54 Below) and performed by some of Broadway's best talent.

July 16 - Pump Boys and Dinettes: Original Cast Jam
When: 6:45pm
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Stories and jam session!
Who: The original Pump Boys and Dinettes

The original performer/creators of Pump Boys and Dinettes reunite to make music together once more. They'll play some tunes, share some stories, and trace the path of Pump Boys from the home-grown, rowdy downtown music club scene of the early 1980's to the widely performed hit it is today.

July 17 - The Off-Center Young Artists' Mentorship
When: 6:45pm
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Performance and discussion
Who: Three inspiring young students and a special guest mentor!

Inspired by the 2014 Off-Center season's focus on shows that place writers at the center of their own work, this new mentorship program helps young writers on a quest to find their own voices. Through The Future Project and The Directory for Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers, we have selected three teams of young artists from urban schools to be mentored by professional theater composers. At this event, the student writers will present their final projects: a piece of music-theater inspired by their lives growing up in the city.

Students: Jeremy Dominguez, Alize George, and Madison Abdul Mentors: Masi Asare, Michele Elliot and Danny Larsen, and Daniel Maté

For more information on the participating organizations visit and

July 18 - [title of show]
When: 7:15pm
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: Performance, discussion, and shenanigans
Who: The creators of [title of show]

The creators of [title of show] took a parallel path to that of the Pump Boys and Dinettes team: when the right work isn't coming your way, make the work yourself. Susan Blackwell and Jeff Bowen, two of the four original performers and writers of [title of show] will let us in on their process of creation and will perform a selection from their hilarious, bitingly honest and wholly original piece of musical theater.

July 19 - Teeny Pies
When: 1:15pm
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: discussion and pie!
Who: Teeny Lamothe

Two years ago, author Teeny Lamothe quit her day job and dropped everything to do a tour of female-owned pie shops and diners across the United States. After learning recipe after recipe along the way, Teeny has compiled them all into a pie cookbook that details her cross-country experience. At this event, Teeny will lead a tasting of some of her signature pies and will share the pivotal experiences of her coast-to-coast pie saga.

For more information on Teeny and her story, visit

July 19 - Shaina Taub’s A Living Room Concert With Shaina Taub
When: 7:15pm
Where: Grand Tier Lobby
What: A Living Room Concert With Shaina Taub
Who: Shaina Taub and friends

For the past five years, dozens of New York's young singer/songwriters have gathered in a Brooklyn living room, bringing their latest songs to share with their peers, in a monthly event known as the song forum, always open to a revolving door of both new and regular participants. This tradition was started by Shaina Taub, winner of the 2014 Larson Grant, and thanks to the enormous creativity and supportive love among the hundreds of musicians who have come through the forum, it has persisted and thrived, spurring countless collaborations and friendships, and connecting an ever-growing community of burgeoning writers, guided by the philosophy that we must work just as rigorously to create our artistic communities as we do our art itself. This Lobby Project event will see Shaina and a group of her musical friends transform the Grand Tier Lobby into their living room, playing an acoustic set of Shaina's songs, bringing us inside the intimate and communal energy of the song forum gatherings. Come prepared to sing along.

Program and Artists subject to change.

Encores! Off-Center Founding Sponsors
Stacey and Eric Mindich
Stacy Bash-Polley

Encores! Off-Center Series Sponsor
American Express

Additional support for Encores! Off-Center is provided by
The Frederick Loewe Foundation
Paula and Ira Resnick
Alec Stais and Elissa Burke

The Lobby Project is sponsored by The Frederick Loewe Foundation.