– The New York Times, reviewing the 1938 Broadway premiere choreographed by George Balanchine
Rodgers and Hart’s I Married an Angel is one of a handful of shows from the 1930s that was yearning to perfect a new kind of musical—more sophisticated and innately theatrical than the average vaudeville-inspired productions of the Jazz Age that were beginning to fade in popularity. Oklahoma! would eventually find that elusive of alchemy in 1943, but the decade of bold experimentation that preceded it laid the foundation for the American musical tradition.
In the case of I Married an Angel, adapted from a Hungarian play, the innovation was to combine a drawing room comedy with substantive and extended dance sequences, for which Rodgers and Hart turned to George Balanchine ten years before he would establish New York City Ballet at City Center. The angel of the title is just that—an emissary from heaven who descends to earth to melt the dyspeptic heart of an unscrupulous banker. Balanchine cast his then-wife, Vera Zorina, as the Angel and created a series of spectacular dances to show her off. Alas! The Balanchine originals have been lost, but in a happy bit of symmetry, Director-Choreographer Joshua Bergasse is creating new dances to the old tunes for his wife, New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns. Among those old tunes is the beloved standard "Spring is Here," along with a heavenly array of lesser-known Rodgers and Hart gems that marry celestial beauty with the irrepressibly human.
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Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Book by Rodgers & Hart
Adapted from the play by Janos Vaszary
Starring Sara Mearns as the Angel
Featuring The Encores! Orchestra
Directed and Choreographed by Joshua Bergasse
Encores! Artistic Director Jack Viertel
Encores! Music Director Rob Berman
Guest Music Director Rob Fisher
Fans of Encores! will also love our Encores! Behind the Curtain series. Enjoy a night of talk and song from leading Broadway performers, creators, and commentators as they offer fresh perspectives on I Married an Angel. Hosted by the Museum of the City of New York on Monday, February 25, 2019 at 7pm.
75th Anniversary Season Sponsors
Stacey and Eric Mindich
Major Support for Encores! is provided by
Stacey and Eric Mindich Fund for Musical Theater
Roz and Jerry Meyer
Nathalie and Pablo Salame
The Shubert Foundation
Stephanie and Fred Shuman Fund for Encores!
Support for I Married an Angel is provided by
Margot and John Ernst
Additional Support is provided by
The Frederick Loewe Foundation
The SHS Foundation
The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc.