NY City Center Encores! 19th season



Merrily We Roll Along, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and book by George Furth, will open New York City Center’s 2012 Encores! season on 8 Feb 2012.



The season will continue with Pipe Dreams, based on the novel Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck, music by Richard Rodgers, with book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.

The conluding producion of the 2012 Encores! season will be Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, dapted from the novel by Anita Loos, with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Leo Robin and book by Anita Loos and Joseph Fields.

Full production details for the above shows are still to be released.

Encores! 2012 productions in season order are:

Merrily We Roll Along, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by George Furth, is a musical about friendship and the compromise of youthful ideals, based on the 1934 play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The musical begins in 1980 and moves backward in time, from 1980 – 1955, telling the story of three friends whose friendship is tested by time, events, ambition and fate.

Merrily We Roll Along charts the rise of a songwriting team during the years of Sondheim’s own early career, and includes the songs “Not a Day Goes By,” “Old Friends,” “Our Time” and “Opening Doors.”

Although unsuccessful in its original 1981 Broadway production (which ran 16 performances at the Alvin Theatre), Merrily has gained stature and reputation over the ensuing years, beginning with a reconfigured version at the La Jolla Playhouse in California in 1985, directed by frequent Sondheim collaborator James Lapine. Lapine will return to the project as director of the Encores! production.

Merrily We Roll Along will run from 8 - 12 Feb 2012.


Pipe Dream, based on John Steinbeck's novel 'Sweet Thursday,' with music by Richard Rodgers and, book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.


Pipe Dream is about a group of outcasts yearning for a better life who populate the bordellos and flophouses of a 1950s California seaside town.

The musical opened at the Shubert Theatre on 30 Nov 1955 and ran for 246 performances. It was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Pipe Dream has not been seen on the American stage in more than two decades, owing to a technicality involving the underlying rights. This Rodgers and Hammerstein rarity includes “All at Once You Love Her,” “The Next Time It Happens” and the wistful ballad “Everybody’s Got a Home but Me.”

Pipe Dream will run from 28 Mar - 1 Apr 2012.


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, adapted from the novel by Anita Loos, has a book by Anita Loos and Joseph Fields, music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Leo Robin. Set in the Roaring Twenties, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes follows the madcap adventures of the original "dumb blonde,” 'Lorelei Lee,' as she sets sail for Europe with her best friend 'Dorothy Shaw.'


Gentlemen Prefer Blondes made a star of Carol Channing on Broadway and later cemented Marilyn Monroe’s status as an American film icon and sex symbol in the 1953 screen version. “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” is the crown jewel in a score that sparkles with songs like “Bye, Bye, Baby,” “A Little Girl from Little Rock” and “I Love What I’m Doing (When I’m Doing it for Love).” The original production, directed by John C. Wilson and choreographed by Agnes de Mille, opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on 8 Dec 1949, and played a total of 740 performances.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes will run from 9 - 13 May 2012 2012.


New York City Center Encores! (Jack Viertel, Artistic Director) has, since 1994, celebrated the rarely-heard works of America’s most important composers and lyricists. Conceived as “concert versions,” each Encores! season gives three scores the chance to be heard as originally intended by their creators.


Over the years, Encores! has presented the works of the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Kurt Weill, Bock and Harnick, Burt Bacharach, Kander and Ebb, Comden and Green, and many more.

The program is the recipient of a special 2000 Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Jujamcyn Theaters Award.