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About Encores!

encores-look.jpgNew York City Center Encores! (Artistic Director Jack Viertel and Music Director Rob Berman), celebrates the rarely heard works of America’s most important composers and lyricists. Conceived in 1994 as concert performances, Encores! gives three glorious scores the chance to be heard as their creators originally intended.

Each production is a whirlwind, with just eight days of rehearsals, one day of dress rehearsal and five performances. The cast, backed by The Encores! Orchestra (often more than 30 players strong), takes the stage with books in hand. As Jack Viertel says, Encores! “in some ways more resembles an athletic feat than a Broadway show.” Click here for a behind-the-scenes glimpse.

Over the years, Encores! has presented the works of Harold Arlen, Burt Bacharach, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Johnny Mercer, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim, Kurt Weill and many others. The program received a special 2000 Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Jujamcyn Theater Award.

Artistic Director Jack Viertel and Music Director Rob Berman engage and lead each production’s creative team. Broadway regulars design the costumes, sets, lighting, and sound, and each book is carefully edited by the likes of David Ives, John Guare, Terrence McNally, and Neil Simon.

The casting, by Jay Binder for all Encores! seasons to date, mixes established and new talent. Previous productions have included Christine Baranski, Kristin Chenoweth, Tyne Daly, Christine Ebersole, Anne Hathaway, Heather Headley, Ruthie Henshall, Cheyenne Jackson, Patti LuPone, Donna McKechnie, Donna Murphy, Bebe Neuwirth, Rosie O’Donnell, Faith Prince, Lynn Redgrave, Ann Reinking, Vanessa L. Williams, Charles Dutton, Peter Gallagher, Nathan Lane, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Robert Morse, James Naughton, Martin Short, Jock Soto, Patrick Wilson and Jerry Zaks—truly a Broadway “Who’s Who.”