New York City Center today announced programming for the 2023 – 2024 Season, 80 Years at the Center of the Arts. “As Manhattan’s first performing arts center, City Center has had the privilege of bringing the best in theater, dance, and music to the people of this great city for 80 years,” said Michael S. Rosenberg, President & CEO. “For this season of milestones, we have assembled world-class engagements: from Lyon Opera Ballet, to Pam Tanowitz for our third year of the Artists at the Center series, to the dance-theater work Message In A Bottle crafted by Kate Prince, to a brand-new adaptation of Rodgers and Hart’s Pal Joey reconceived by Savion Glover and Tony Goldwyn. We are thrilled to welcome back our loyal audience members and invite newcomers to experience the breadth and
“For 30 years the Encores! series has celebrated the archives of American musical theater,” said Lear deBessonet, Encores! Artistic Director. “This landmark season breathes brilliant life into the work of Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer, Jelly Roll Morton and Susan Birkenhead, and Maury Yeston—three spectacular scores that left an indelible impact on the musical theater landscape. It’s a season that’s equal parts hilarity, innovation, and operatic scale, and we’re excited to share it with the ever-expanding Encores! community.”
Reconceived by co-director and choreographer Savion Glover and director Tony Goldwyn, the Annual Gala Presentation Pal Joey opens 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 Jennifer Holliday 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. 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,” which shine with sexy wit and powerful new subtext in this brand-new adaptation. Funds raised by all seven performances allow City Center to continue to provide access to the performing arts by subsidizing education programs and affordable tickets throughout the year.
30th Encores! Series
In 1994, the Encores! series was launched, celebrating the archives of American musical theater. Now in its 30th season, this Tony-honored series of concert stagings centered around The Encores! Orchestra and star-studded ensembles are a vital part of New York theater. Artistic Director Lear deBessonet, Music Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, and Producing Creative Director Clint Ramos present a compelling and thrilling 2024 Encores! series of musical theater revivals that continues to welcome an expanding Encores! community of artists and audiences.
Musical theater star and City Center alum Sutton Foster opens 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 (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.
Closing out the Encores! series is 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.
Tickets and General Information
Fall programming including Pal Joey, Lyon Opera Ballet, and Pam Tanowitz | Artists at the Center goes on sale at noon on June 6 to members and June 13 to the general public. Fall for Dance Festival tickets go on sale Sunday, September 10 at 11am, with all tickets $20. The Winter/Spring dance season will go on sale to members on August 29 and to the general public on September 5. Tickets for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater go on sale September 19 to the general public.
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.
Tickets can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling 212.581.1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office. New York City Center is located at 131 W 55th St between Sixth and Seventh avenues.
NEW YORK CITY CENTER (Michael S. Rosenberg, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. The distinctive Neo-Moorish building was founded by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia as Manhattan’s first performing arts center with the mission of making the best in theater, dance, and music accessible to all audiences. This commitment continues today through celebrated dance and musical theater series like the Fall for Dance Festival and the Tony-honored Encores! series; the annual season by Principal Dance Company Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; and new dance series Artists at the Center. City Center welcomes audiences to experience internationally acclaimed artists including Kyle Abraham, Matthew Bourne, Ayodele Casel, Manhattan Theatre Club, Nederlands Dans Theater, and Twyla Tharp, on the same stage where legends made their mark. Dedicated to a culture built on the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion, City Center’s dynamic programming, art exhibitions, and studio events are complemented by education and community engagement programs that bring the performing arts to thousands of New York City students, teachers, and families every year, in all five boroughs. NYCityCenter.org