The long-running, highly successful City Center Encores! season has announced its 2002-2003 season of Great American Musicals in Concert.
Opening the season will be House of Flowers, with music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by Truman Capote and Arlen, and book by Capote. Though the original Broadway production of the show ran for only 165 performances at the Alvin Theatre, beginning on December 30, 1954, the show is considered to have a superlative score; its two most famous songs are "A Sleepin' Bee" and "I Never Has Seen Snow." Set on a tropical island in the West Indies, House of Flowers tells of a competition for customers between two brothels. The Encores! production will be directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall and will run February 13-16, 2003.
The New Moon is something of a departure for Encores! in that it is the series' first operetta. With music by Sigmund Romberg and book and lyrics by the team of Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel, and Laurence Schwab, The New Moon opened at the Imperial Theatre on September 10, 1928 and ran for more than 500 performances. The plot concerns a young man, hiding out from the French authorities in 1790s New Orleans, who is captured and sent back to France on a ship called The New Moon. The score of the show includes "Stouthearted Men" and "Lover, Come Back to Me." Garry Griffin will direct the Encores! production, which is slated for March 27-30.
No Strings is the only Broadway musical for which Richard Rodgers wrote both music and lyrics; the most famous song from the show is "The Sweetest Sounds." The story of an interracial romance between a glamorous model and a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, No Strings opened at the 54th Street Theatre on May 14, 1962 and ran for 580 performances; it starred Diahann Carroll (who was also featured in the original Broadway cast of House of Flowers) and Richard Kiley. The Encores! version will run May 8-11, with an additional gala performance scheduled for Monday, May 12. Ann Reinking will direct and choreograph.
Encores! will also offer a special concert of highlighlights from past productions on Sunday and Monday, November 24 and 25, at 7:30pm. The 2002-2003 season is under the artistic direction of Jack Viertel. Rob Fisher is the series' musical director and Kathleen Marshall its director-in-residence. Tickets are available at the City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues); by phoning CityTix at 212-581-1212 (toll-free from outside NYC, NJ, and CT at 1-877-581-1212); or online at www.citycenter.org.