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show art by Fraver

We’re thrilled to announce the cast of the Encores! production of The Golden Apple! Jerome Moross and John Latouche’s cult classic will star Mikaela Bennett as Penelope, Ashley Brown as Mrs. Juniper/Madame Calypso, Carrie Compere as Lovey Mars/The Siren, Jason Kravits as Menelaus/Scylla, Alli Mauzey as Miss Minerva Oliver/The Scientist, Lindsay Mendez as Helen, N’Kenge as Mother Hare, Ryan Silverman as Ulysses, and Rasta Thomas as Paris.

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April 17, 2017 by New York City Center


William and Jean Eckart’s design for the original show curtain of The Golden Apple. (Reprinted from Andrew B. Harris’ Golden Pen Award-winning book The Performing Set: The Broadway Designs of William and Jean Eckart)

By 1955, people were already lying about having seen The Golden Apple. To have caught the show was a mark of erudition, a sort of homosexual epaulet. The writer James McCourt included the musical on his “free-association ‘50s queer syllabus” alongside Allen Ginsberg, Eartha Kitt, Rancho Notorious, and Captain Marvel. To be counted among New York’s gay elite, he explained, “You had to know the lyrics to all the songs.”

Dubbed “an instantaneous cult item” by the Daily News, the musical’s legend has only grown since the 1950s. True believers covet The Golden Apple; they “guard” it, to borrow the lingo of one Facebook fan page. The show seems fragile, somehow, too divinely sophisticated to survive in the world.

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April 13, 2017 by New York City Center


Elisabeth Welch in 1933. (courtesy Stephen Bourne)

Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale” isn’t just a song: it’s a tempest in 64 bars, and the scandal that erupted following its 1930 debut in The New Yorkers offers a fascinating glimpse at Depression-era beliefs about race, censorship, and morality. The singer Elisabeth Welch didn’t just have a front-row seat to the controversy—she was onstage (and wearing a killer marabou stole to boot). Near the end of her life, Welch shared her memories with biographer Stephen Bourne.

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March 20, 2017 by New York City Center


Blanca Li and Maria Alexandrova. (Nico@Artlist )

Eclectic” doesn’t begin to describe the career of Spanish-born dancer-choreographer Blanca Li. After training in flamenco and modern dance, Li went on to create more than 30 wide-ranging stage productions, as well as choreography for artists including Beyoncé, Daft Punk, and Pedro Almodóvar. Li makes her much-anticipated City Center debut from March 30 to April 1 with the evening-length work Goddesses & Demonesses, in which she and Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Maria Alexandrova conjure Greek myths to explore womanhood.

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March 17, 2017 by New York City Center

Later this month, Cole Porter’s madcap Prohibition musical The New Yorkers will return to its eponymous city for the first time in nearly 90 years. We asked Encores! artistic director Jack Viertel to explain how the show was brought back to life.

In the autumn of 2001, Encores! presented a concert called the “Broadway Bash.” The highlight turned out to be Donna Murphy’s rendition of “I Happen to Like New York,” from Cole Porter’s 1930 musical The New Yorkers. Though I knew the song, I’d never heard of The New Yorkers. But the impact of that performance (it was only a few weeks after New York had been brutally attacked on September 11 and the song exerted a powerful emotional pull) sent me on a hunt. What was this little-known, moderately successful, largely mysterious Depression-era show?

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March 3, 2017 by New York City Center
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