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Encores! The Band Wagon announces additional casting

Tom Millward
Tom Millward

The New York City Center has announced additional casting for the special Encores! event this November. Joining Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell in the concert production of The Band Wagon, directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall and running from 6 to 16 November 2014, will be Tony Award winner Roger Rees, seven-time Emmy Award winner Tracey Ullman, Academy Award nominee Michael McKean, Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes, Tony Award nominee Michael Berresse, and Don Stephenson.

The creative team for the event has also now been announced and will feature scenic design by Tony winner Derek McLane, costume design by six-time Tony winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony winner Peter Kaczorowski, and sound design by two-time Tony winner Brian Ronan.

The show has a book by Douglas Carter Beane adapted from the screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, with music by Arthur Schwartz and lyrics by Howard Dietz. The production is in arrangement with Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures and based on the 1953 film of the same name which used Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz's songs to tell their story and took its title from the famed 1931 Broadway revue written by Schwartz, Dietz, and George S. Kaufman. The special event will use the original Comden and Green screenplay with a wonderful score that includes "Dancing in the Dark," "By Myself," "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan," "A Shine on My Shoes," and "That's Entertainment."

The Band Wagon is a classic backstage musical: A washed-up Hollywood star trying to make a comeback by doing a Broadway show, a British director who is a genius but has no business directing a musical, a leading lady who's never done a show before, and a composer and a lyricist who are at each other's throats. All the things that could never happen in the New York theater today.

Brian Stokes Mitchell's previous Broadway credits include George and Ira Gershwin's 'Oh, Kay!', 'Jelly's Last Jam', Kander and Ebb's 'Kiss of the Spider Woman', 'Ragtime', the 1999 revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate (for which he won a Tony award) and 'Man of La Mancha'. His previous roles with City Center Encores! include Jule Styne's 'Do Re Mi' (1999), Bob Merrill's 'Carnival!' (2002)and Kismet (2006).

Roger Reeswon the 1982 Best Actor in a Play Tony Award for playing the title role in 'The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby', and was nominated in 1995 in the same category for 'Indiscretions'. Other Broadway credits include 'London Assurance', 'The Red Shoes', 'The Rehearsal', 'Uncle Vanya', 'The Winslow Boy' and 'The Addams Family.' He was also nominated for a Tony Award for Best Director of a Play in 2012 for 'Peter and the Starcatcher'.

Tracey Ullman appeared on the Broadway stage in 1991 in 'The Big Love' as Florence Aadland.

Michael McKean was last seen on Broadway this year in 'All The Way'. Other Broadway credits include Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man', 'Superior Donuts', 'The Homecoming', 'The Pajama Game', 'Hairspray' and 'Accomplice'.

Laura Osnes earned Tony Award nominations in the category Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for 'Cinderella' in 2013 and 'Bonnie and Clyde' in 2012. Other Broadway credits include 'Anything Goes', 'South Pacific' and 'Grease'.

Michael Berresse was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical in 2000 for 'Kiss Me, Kate'. Other Broadway credits include '[title of show]', 'A Chorus Line', 'The Light in the Piazza', 'Chicago', 'Carousel', 'Damn Yankees', 'Guys and Dolls' and 'Fiddler on the Roof'.

Don Stephenson has appeared on the Broadway stage in 'Rock of Ages', 'Dracula', 'Private Lives', 'By Jeeves', 'The Producers', 'Parade', and 'Titanic'.

- by Tom Millward

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