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Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World to Open 2018 Encores! Off-Center Season

Late composer Michael Friedman will also be featured with a special presentation of his musical Gone Missing.

Jason Robert Brown's first musical Songs for a New World joins the 2018 Encores! Off-Center season.
(© Allison Stock)

Encores! Off-Center co-artistic directors Anne Kauffman and Jeanine Tesori have announced programming for the 2018 season of New York City Center's summer musical theater series.

Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World will open the season from June 27-30. Created in collaboration with Daisy Prince, the musical is the first written by three-time Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown (The Bridges of Madison County). The show offers a collection of powerful songs examining life, love, and the choices ordinary people make when faced with extraordinary moments.

The centerpiece of the season will be Gone Missing, a whimsical docu-musical that emerged when, in 2003, the theater company the Civilians interviewed real people about the physical objects they'd lost. The show is written and directed by Steven Cosson and features a score by the late celebrated composer Michael Friedman, presenting a very personal account of how we deal with loss in our lives. The show will have a special two-night-only engagement from July 11-12.

Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, a 1971 musical by Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll, will close the season, running from July 25-28. A celebration of African-American culture and community, this radical work presents the issues of race politics in America through a lively mix of song and dance with a score that includes gospel, jazz, soul, calypso, and rock.

"This season is about the New World — songs of the moment of decision, loss and love, and the raising of the voice for change," said Tesori. "It's about three composer/lyricists — Jason Robert Brown, Michael Friedman, and Micki Grant — whose work shines a light on the fleeting moments of life, looking back at who we were, and forward to who we hope to become."

Encores! Off-Center was founded in 2013 with the mission of presenting off-Broadway musicals that pushed creative boundaries when they were first produced.

For more information about the 2018 Off-Center series, click here.