Encores! 2022 Season

2023 Encores! 2022 Header-Artwork Only
THE LIFE artwork
2023 Encores! 2022 A note from Lear

A note from Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet

I have always thought of Encores! as a gift. To step inside the rich history of a theater dedicated to the people of New York City, to feel your senses engage when the lights go down and the spectacular Encores! Orchestra crescendos together, and then to witness some of musical theater’s treasures bursting forth with new life on the City Center stage—right here in the heart of New York City.

To date, Encores! has successfully revived 81 musicals. Our specialty has been unearthing lesser-known gems from the Broadway canon, brought to life by sparkling talent and the sublime Encores! Orchestra led by Music Director Rob Berman, inviting us to encounter these scores afresh.

Looking ahead, Producing Creative Director Clint Ramos and I believe it is essential for Encores! to preserve this mission and weave an ever-deepening portrait of the history of American musicals. In our discussions, Clint and I kept coming back to the dictionary definition of “revive:” to make live again; to breathe life into; to wake up; to shake up. Thus we believe that the future of a thriving Encores! has three prongs: revivals of hidden gems, productions where artists reclaim work for our time through their own personal lens, and celebrations that look at the ways musical theater connects us. Our 2022 Encores! Series holds seeds of all three of these tenets.

I look forward to seeing you at the theater!


Lear deBessonet
Encores! Artistic Director

2023 Encores! 2022 TDK Overview

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

Featuring Tracee Beazer (Carole), Alexander Bello (Willie), DeWitt Fleming Jr. (Daddy Bates), Joshua Henry (William), Trevor Jackson (Uncle Dipsey), Shahadi Wright Joseph (Emma), Chance Smith (Winslow), and Adrienne Walker (Ginnie)

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
Featuring The Encores! Orchestra
Concert Adaptation by Lydia Diamond
Choreography by Jared Grimes
Guest Music Director Joseph Joubert
Directed by Kenny Leon

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The Tap Dance Kid was nominated for seven Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and follows the story of an upper-middle-class Black family and a 10-year-old’s dream of becoming a professional tap dancer despite the challenges posed by his lawyer father and society. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) leads this revival, bringing a fresh take to the production with new tap sequences by choreographer Jared Grimes (After Midnight) to hits such as “Fabulous Feet” and a concert adaptation by Lydia Diamond (Stick Fly), reminding us of the power of family and dance as a force of healing.

2023 Encores! 2022 The Life Overview

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

Featuring Jelani Alladin (Lou), Alexandra Grey (Queen), Antwayn Hopper (Memphis), Mykal Kilgore (Young JoJo), Ledisi (Sonja), Erika Olson (Mary), Destan Owens (Old Jojo) and Ken Robinson (Fleetwood)

Music by Cy Coleman
Lyrics by Ira Gasman
Book by David Newman, Ira Gasman, and Cy Coleman
Featuring The Encores! Orchestra
Adapted and directed by Billy Porter

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Twelve-time Tony-nominated musical (including Best Musical) The Life dramatizes the complex lives in post-disco Times Square and tells the story of Queen, a prostitute who strives for a better life against all oppressive forces. The Cy Coleman score includes showstopping songs like “The Oldest Profession” and “My Body.” Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award-winning artist Billy Porter (FX’s Pose, Kinky Boots) reclaims this musical as this 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.  

2023 Encores! 2022 ITW Overview

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

Featuring Sara Bareilles (Baker’s Wife), Denée Benton (Cinderella), Gavin Creel as the Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince, Jordan Donica as Rapunzel’s Prince, Annie Golden as Cinderella’s Mother/Grandmother/Giant’s Wife, Albert Guerzon as Cinderella’s Father, Ann Harada as Jack’s Mother, Neil Patrick Harris as the Baker, Heather Headley as the Witch, Tiffany Denise Hobbs as Lucinda, Brooke Ishibashi as Florinda, Kennedy Kanagawa as Milky White, David Patrick Kelly as the Narrator/Mysterious Man, Julia Lester as Little Red Riding Hood, Lauren Mitchell as Cinderella’s Stepmother, Shereen Pimentel as Rapunzel, Cole Thompson as Jack, and David Turner as the Steward.

Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Featuring The Encores! Orchestra
Choreography by Lorin Latarro
Music Director Rob Berman
Directed by Lear deBessonet

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Among its many rich layers, Into the Woods is a fable about how humans pursue their desires, and what happens when they set aside their individual wishes to create a greater community wish. Directed by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet, this production ushers in a new Encores! tradition, celebrating the community-building potential of iconic American musicals. A multigenerational community chorus of New York City seniors and public school students rounds out the ensemble for a finale that highlights the many ways theater connects us across time.

2023 Encores! 2022 Cleaning and Safety Gold Box

Vaccinations & Masks Required

To ensure the health and safety of everyone, at this time City Center will operate a fully vaccinated venue. Artists, crew, staff, and audience members (adults and children) must provide proof of full Covid-19 vaccination.

Approved masks must be worn by all audience members, staff, and crew.

To help you buy with confidence, please review our latest health, safety, and ticket policies.

Health, Safety & Ticket Policies

For ticketing questions and information, email info@NYCityCenter.org.

2023 Art by Ben Wiseman

Art by Ben Wiseman

2023 Encores! 2022 Artistic Leadership

Artistic Leadership

Lear deBessonet | Artistic Director
Rob Berman | Music Director
Clint Ramos | Producing Creative Director
Josh Clayton | Supervisor of Music Administration & Score Restoration
Adrian Alea | Creative Associate

Creative Advisors
Camille A. Brown, Eisa Davis, and Robert O'Hara

Producer of Musical Theater
Jenny Gersten

2023 Encores! 2022 Season Page ONLY Sponsors


Leadership Support for Encores!
Stacey and Eric Mindich Fund for Musical Theater

Major Support for Encores! is provided by

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

Major Support for Into the Woods is provided by
Estate of Douglas S. Cramer, Jr.
John and Margot Ernst
The Ted & Mary Jo Shen Charitable Gift Fund

Additional support for Into the Woods is provided by
Marta Heflin Foundation

Additional support for Encores! is provided by
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
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Art by Ben Wiseman

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