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Encores! Off-Center

Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope



Jul 25 – 28, 2018

Tickets start at $25



"A stunner…
The 13 performers (and five musicians) are onstage nearly nonstop, delivering knockout after knockout."
The New York Times

"I’m thrilled to see Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope again. Micki Grant was a pioneer in so many ways—she changed both who could write for musical theater and how it could be done. I’ve always loved and admired her and her work, and I can’t wait to hear and see this show again!"
– Stephen Schwartz, composer of Wicked

With music and lyrics from Micki Grant, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope (1971) is a celebration of African-American culture and community. Originally conceived and directed by the first African-American woman to direct on Broadway, Vinnette Carroll, this radical work presents the issues of race politics in America and raises voices for change through a lively mix of song and dance with a score that includes gospel, jazz, soul, calypso, and rock.

Tony Award-winner Savion Glover (Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk) directs and choreographs the Off-Center revival, mixing his own artistic flair with Ms. Grant's score. Don't Bother Me is a homecoming of sorts for Glover—his mother and aunts toured with the show in the '70s. From his childhood to today's Off-Center audience, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope is as relevant as ever.

The show premiered at the Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., before moving to Philadelphia and ultimately New York City where it ran for over 1,000 performances on Broadway, earning four Tony Award nominations including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Book of a Musical. The show won an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album.

Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope is part of the 2018 Encores! Off-Center season which included Songs for a New World and Gone Missing.

The Lobby Project 
This summer, The Civilians are teaming up with New York City Center as Artists in Residence to create and premiere investigative theater pieces focusing on each of the three Encores! Off-Center productions. With their characteristic journalistic curiosity and playful artistry, The Civilians will illuminate their creative process by exploring the impact the original productions of the Off-Center revivals have had on audiences and artists alike.  The events will take place in City Center’s beautiful Grand Tier lobby one hour before curtain and are free for that evening’s ticket holders.

The Lobby Project investigating Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope
Thu at 6:30pm
Fri at 7pm
Sat at 1 & 7pm

Just Announced: Post-Show Conversation

  • After the Saturday 2PM performance: Kirsten Childs will speak with Micki Grant about writing and composing for musical theater.



Videos & Photos



Music and Lyrics by Micki Grant
Conceived by Vinnette Carroll
Music Director Annastasia Victory
Directed and Choreographed by Savion Glover

Starring Rheaume Crenshaw, Dayna Dantzler, Aisha de Haas, James T. Lane, and Wayne Pretlow.

With Alexandria Bradley, Marshall L. Davis Jr., CK Edwards, Jeffry Foote, Shonica Gooden, Nina Hudson, Marla McReynolds, and Amber Barbee Pickens.



Series Sponsors
Stacey and Eric Mindich
Stacy Bash-Polley
Luigi Caiola and Sean McGill
Elizabeth and Dean Kehler
Andrew Martin-Weber

Arts Access Fund
J L Greene

Additional support is provided by
Paula and Ira Resnick 

The Lobby Project is sponsored by
The Frederick Loewe Foundation

Support for the Artistic Innovation Fund is provided by
Lisa and Richard Witten