Sutton Foster in ONCE UPON A MATTRESS, JELLY’S LAST JAM, TITANIC, PAL JOEY and more at NEW YORK CITY CENTER
New York City Center woke up today and said let's give everyone what they want… and more! Today, it has been announced that for Encores! 30th Season will include three trailblazing musicals in the American canon. Once Upon A Mattress starring Sutton Foster, Jelly’s Last Jam, and Titanic will complete the lineup for Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet’s next season.
City Center has also announced a brand-new adaptation of Rodgers and Hart’s Pal Joey reconceived by Savion Glover and Tony Goldwyn for its Gala starring Ephraim Sykes, Loretta Devine, Jeb Brown, Aisha Jackson, Elizabeth Stanley, and Brooks Ashmanskas.
Pal Joey will open November 1 (through November 5) with a benefit performance followed by a gala dinner at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. In this transformative revision by Richard LaGravenese and Daniel “Koa” Beaty, Joey Evans (Ephraim Sykes) is a Black jazz singer who refuses to compromise his craft as he struggles to make it big on the Chicago nightclub circuit, despite Depression- Era racism. The production also features Loretta Devine as nightclub owner Lucille Wallace, and casts Linda English (Aisha Jackson) as a radio chanteuse trying to find her authentic voice, and Vera Simpson (Elizabeth Stanley) as a liberated white socialite following her passions. The cast also features and Jeb Brown as Tony, the gangster who’s caught Lucille's eye. Rodgers and Hart classics like “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” and “I Could Write a Book” are joined by gems like “My Heart Stood Still” and “The Lady is a Tramp.”
Sutton Foster will open the 2024 Encores! series as the brassy, loveable Princess Winnifred the Woebegone in Once Upon a Mattress, January 24 – 28. Directed by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet with a new concert adaptation by Amy Sherman-Palladino, this comical update of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Princess and the Pea” is full of catchy melodies like “Shy” and “In a Little While” with music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer.
Led by visionary director Robert O’Hara, Jelly’s Last Jam on Feb 21 – 25 interrogates legendary jazz pianist Jelly Roll Morton—the self-declared “inventor of jazz”—in a purgatorial afterlife, accusing him of denying and denigrating his cultural legacy. Written and originally directed by George C. Wolfe and featuring showstopping numbers like “That’s How You Jazz,” crafted by lyricist Susan Birkenhead and composer Luther Henderson from Morton’s own music, Jelly’s Last Jam weaves a complex fable of American history, legacy, and truth.
Last but not least we will have Maury Yeston and Peter Stone’s five-time Tony Award-winning musical Titanic directed by Anne Kauffman, June 12 – 16. Pared down to its essence and highlighting the majestic sweep of Yeston’s nearly sung-through score, Titanic remains a symphonic musical theater revelation. Highlighting the class divides both illuminated and transcended by the ship’s inexorable sinking, Titanic paints a heartrending portrait of the individuals whose dreams of America were dashed in the Atlantic.
Current subscribers may renew their Encores! subscriptions now through June 30. New Encores! subscriptions for members are available starting August 1 and for the general public starting August 8. Encores! single tickets go on sale to members October 10 and to the general public on October 17.
For more information, visit here.