Encores! Inside the Revival


Starting Nov 18 at 2pm

New digital series explores

the Encores! creative process



Go behind the scenes with this new digital series—Encores! Inside the Revival.

This five-part mini documentary series takes you inside the next chapter of the beloved Tony-honored Encores! where the unique creative process of productions in development is led by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet and newly announced Producing Creative Director Clint Ramos.

Enjoy live performances and hear one-on-one conversations with the directors and artists invested in bringing these productions to you as soon as it is safe to do so.

All Encores! Inside the Revival episodes will be streamed for free below or on City Center’s YouTube channel.

Encores! Inside the Revival | The Life
Premieres Wed Nov 18 at 2pm

In the first installment of the series, Emmy and Tony Award-winning artist Billy Porter (FX’s Pose, Kinky Boots) takes audiences through his reimagining of The Life, a twelve-time Tony-nominated musical (including Best Musical).  The 1997 musical dramatizes complex lives in Times Square in 1980 and tells the story of Queen, a prostitute who strives for a better life against all oppressive forces. Interviewed by Encores! Producing Creative Director Clint Ramos, Porter discusses his vision for an updated take on the story that breathes a fresh, honest, and discerning view into the life of sex workers.

Music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Ira Gasman, and book by Coleman, Gasman, and David Newman 
Adapted and directed by Billy Porter

Encores! Inside the Revival | The Tap Dance Kid

Date to be announced

Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun) dives into the 1983 Tony-nominated musical The Tap Dance Kid, centered around the life of an upper-middle class Black family and a 10-year-old’s dream of being a professional tap dancer despite the challenges posed by his lawyer father and society. Leon, alongside book adaptor Lydia Diamond, gives audiences an up-close look at the percussive heart of the story with the help of choreographer Jared Grimes.

Music by Henry Krieger, lyrics by Robert Lorick, book by Charles Blackwell, adapted by Lydia Diamond, based on the novel “Nobody’s Family is Going to Change” by Louise Fitzhugh
Choreography by Jared Grimes
Directed by Kenny Leon
Adapted by Lydia Diamond

Encores! Inside the Revival | Love Life
Date to be announced

Tony Award winner Victoria Clark (director), Consulting Producer for Musical Theater and previous Encores! Artistic Director Jack Viertel, and Music Director Rob Berman discuss their process of imagining Kurt Weill and Alan Jay Lerner’s rarely seen 1948 musical Love Life. The team explores how Love Lifea musical depicting more than a century and a half of American history through the eyes of a family who never ages and the challenges they face in a rapidly changing world—resonates more than ever as its values, social satire, and activism comment on the national divorce we currently find ourselves in. 

Book by Alan Jay Lerner, music and lyrics by Kurt Weill and Alan Jay Lerner 
Directed by Victoria Clark

Note: This spring 2020 Encores! production was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Encores! Inside the Revival | Thoroughly Modern Millie
Date to be announced

Cast in the role of Millie Dillmount for the spring 2020 Encores! production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Ashley Park speaks about what she most hopes to explore in creating a new Millie. Step inside the process with Lear deBessonet (director), Clint Ramos, Lauren Yee (creative consultant), Camille A. Brown (choreographer), Durra Leung (Cantonese lyricist), and authors Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan. Learn what inspired Brown’s new choreography as she walks audiences through the iconic dance break from “Forget About the Boy” and the actual audition sequence.

Book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan, new music by Jeanine Tesori, new lyrics by Dick Scanlan, and original story and screenplay by Richard Morris for the Universal Pictures film 
Directed by Lear deBessonet

Note: This spring 2020 Encores! production was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Encores! Inside the Revival | Annual Celebration of Iconic American Musicals
Date and production title to be announced

Mayor La Guardia founded New York City Center for the people of New York to experience the best of music, theater, and dance. While Encores! usually revives lesser known musicals, we will usher in a new annual tradition at City Center in the spirit of La Guardia’s accessible invitation, whereby the performance of a classic title will celebrate the ways musical theater connects us across generations. This Inside the Revival episode will explore how this new tradition activates community and connects audiences.

All programming and casting subject to change.

Read more about deBessonet’s vision for the next chapter of Encores! and meet the newest members of the artistic team.

Encores! Artistic Leadership

Lear deBessonet | Artistic Director
Rob Berman | Music Director
Clint Ramos | Producing Creative Director

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

Producer of Musical Theater
Jenny Gersten

Your Support Makes This Possible

As you enjoy this behind-the-scenes look into how our beloved Encores! series is produced, we hope you will consider making a gift to help provide direct, meaningful support to the artists and staff that are working to bring these productions to life once it's safe to welcome you back.


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

Major Support for New York City Center

Encores! Season Sponsors
Roz and Jerry Meyer
The Shubert Foundation
Stephanie and Fred Shuman Fund for Encores!

Additional support for Encores! is provided by
Marta Heflin Foundation
The Kaplen Brothers Fund
The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation
The Frederick Loewe Foundation
The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc
The SHS Foundation
The Ted Snowdon Foundation

Related Events

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Encores! Archives Project
Relive some of your favorite song and show moments from City Center’s illustrious musical theater vault in this special video series. Learn More