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Rheaume Crenshaw, Dayna Dantzler, Aisha de Haas, James T. Lane, and Wayne Pretlow

Complete cast announced for Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope at Encores! Off-Center

Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope is set to play New York City Center from July 25 to 28, 2018.

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

Encores! Off-Center Co-Artistic Directors Anne Kauffman and Jeanine Tesori have now announced complete casting for the upcoming production of Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll's Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, which plays New York City Center's Mainstage from July 25 to 28, 2018 and concludes the Encores! Off-Center 2018 season.

The cast includes Rheaume Crenshaw, Dayna Dantzler, Aisha de Haas, James T. Lane, and Wayne Pretlow, alongside ensemble includes Alexandria Bradley, Marshall L. Davis Jr., CK Edwards, Jeffry Foote, Shonica Gooden, Nina Hudson, Marla McReynolds, and Amber Barbee Pickens.

Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope is a 1971 work, originally conceived and directed by Vinnette Carroll, featuring music and lyrics by Micki Grant. The pair had frequently collaborated, staging a total of nine musicals for Urban Arts Corps. This radical offering is described as "a celebration of African-American culture and community, presenting 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." Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope won a Grammy Award for "Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album" and earned four Tony Award nominations, including "Best Musical".

The Encores! Off-Center production of Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Savion Glover and features music direction by Chris Fenwick.

The production follows the Encores! Off-Center staging of Tony Award winner Jason Robert Brown's first musical Songs for a New World ​(which ran from June 27 to 30) and the special two-night-only presentation of Gone Missing (on July 11 and 12) as a tribute to the late composer and Off-Center artistic director Michael Friedman, whose life was tragically cut short in the summer of 2017.

Founded in 2013, Encores! Off-Center's mission is to present Off-Broadway musicals that pushed creative boundaries when they were originally produced. Filtered through the lens of today's artists, these shows are presented not as historical documents but as living, vital revivals that speak to audiences both old and new.

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