All tagged Encores

1776 – A Rarely Heard Work?

New York City Center Encores! celebrates the rarely heard works of America’s most important composers and lyricists. Conceived in 1994 as concert performances, Encores! gives three glorious scores the chance to be heard as their creators originally intended.” This is directly quoted from the City Center website as the explanation and purpose of the Encores! series. It’s a worthy mission and goal, and one most of us would embrace. Their most recent concert of Vernon Duke and John Latouche’s Cabin in the Sky is an excellent example of a show richly deserving of this treatment. It was also an electrifying production of a show that will most likely never receive a full-scale production after again. Amazing music combined with a dated, mediocre book, and Cabin in the Sky was the right fit for the criteria of “rarely heard works.”

Encores! - Cabin in the Sky

In recent weeks I have made the argument on this blog for revisiting older and perhaps forgotten musicals. There is still gold to be mined from these wonders of yesteryear and that is why I was so excited, after years of reading about them, to finally witness my first staged concert of a forgotten musical at New York City Center’s Encores! series. As a theatre historian who has just moved to the Big Apple, there is no better way to experience the 1940 musical Cabin in the Sky, a most deserving choice of their attention. Vernon Duke's and John Latouche's vibrant, jazz-infused score lives and breathes again reminding us that, just because a musical has been gone for half-a-century (and change), that it need not be forgotten.  

Encores! Off-Broadway On the Mind

With Encores! announcing their 2015 season of Off-Broadway pieces to revisit (including the wonderful A New Brain, the bankable but unnecessary Little Shop of Horrors and the intriguing but uneven Lippa's The Wild Party), I thought it might be interesting to look at some Off-Broadway titles that are ripe for exploration through this series. 

Broadway Top-Ten Wishes for 2015

2014 has been both an exciting and disappointing year for me in regards to Broadway musicals, with shows I deeply loved closing quickly and others that I felt lacked content and artistry plugging away. For me, the hardest thing to digest was the premature departure of The Bridges of Madison County, a piece I found both musically haunting and arresting in its simplicity. We move ahead, however, and file productions like "Bridges" in our hearts and memories, to recall when we are faced with the next big musical machine void of nuance or real emotion.

With Christmas just a few days away and the New Year poised to ring in, my Top-Ten List for this week is an itemized list of my wishes for 2015 and what I hope it will hold in terms of musical theatre.