October 21, 2014 - New York, New York


A Gala Event Starring
Cyrille Aimée, Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Nick Cordero, Irina Dvorovenko, Chase Finlay, Jared Grimes, Shuler Hensley, Lauren Lovette, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Kelli O’Hara, Laura Osnes, and Paulo Szot

Directed by Warren Carlyle
Musical Direction by Rob Berman

Monday, October 27, 2014 at New York City Center

Encores! Celebrates Rodgers and Hammerstein and Hart, New York City Center’s annual Gala on October 27, 2014, will feature the music and lyrics of Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Lorenz Hart, sung by some of Broadway’s finest talent, including Kate Baldwin, Nick Cordero,Kelli O’Hara, Laura Osnes, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Paulo Szot, with dance performances by Irina Dvorovenko, Chase Finlay, Jared Grimes, and Lauren Lovette. Directed by 2014 Tony winner Warren Carlyle (After Midnight; Hugh Jackman, Back on Broadway), the star-studded show will feature the Encores! Orchestra, led by Encores! Music Director Rob Berman. The Gala evening will honor Bobbie and Lew Frankfort for their passionate, enduring commitment to City Center’s education programs, and will help fund New York City Center’s artistic and education programs.

The celebration will begin at 6:00 pm with cocktails at City Center, followed by the show at 7:00 p.m. and a post-performance dinner in the Grand Ballroom of The Plaza Hotel (58th Street at 5th Avenue). Gala co-chairs are Perry and Marty Granoff; Elizabeth and Dean Kehler; Victor Luis, Coach, Inc.; Stacey and Eric Mindich; Stuart Vevers, Coach, Inc.; Lisa and Richard Witten; and Barbara and David Zalaznick. The Gala performance is generously underwritten by Hudson Yards: Developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group.

The Gala will feature performances by Cyrille Aimée (A Bed and A Chair at City Center), Kate Baldwin (Big Fish, Finian’s Rainbow at Encores!), Heidi Blickenstaff (The Most Happy Fella at Encores!, [title of show]), Nick Cordero (Bullets Over Broadway), Irina Dvorovenko (On Your Toes at Encores!, former principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre), Chase Finlay (principal dancer with New York City Ballet), 2014 Astaire Award winner Jared Grimes (After Midnight), Tony winner Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!, The Most Happy Fella at Encores!), Lauren Lovette (soloist with New York City Ballet), Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime, The Band Wagon), Kelli O’Hara (The Bridges of Madison Country, South Pacific), Laura Osnes (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Pipe Dream at Encores!), , and Tony winner Paulo Szot (South Pacific).

New York City Center is thrilled to be honoring Bobbie and Lew Frankfort with the 2014 Fiorello H. LaGuardia Award for distinguished service to New York City and New York City Center. Bobbie Frankfort has been a City Center Board member since 2005, and serves as the Chair of City Center’s Education Committee and is a member of the Steering Committee. Bobbie and Lew Frankfort, the Executive Chairman of Coach, Inc., have demonstrated a deep commitment to City Center’s education programs, which reach more than 9,000 children each year and help guarantee an arts education to the most underserved kids in the city.  The Frankfort’s impact on City Center is comprehensive and enduring, and they are most deserving of this honor.

Led by Artistic Director Jack Viertel, New York City Center’s Encores! series celebrates the rarely heard works of America’s most important composers and lyricists. For each year since its founding in 1994, Encores! has given three glorious Broadway scores the chance to be heard as their creators originally intended. Every production is a whirlwind, with just eight days of rehearsals, one day of dress rehearsal, and seven performances. The cast is backed by the Encores! Orchestra, often more than 30 players strong. The Encores! program received a special 2000 Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre, as well as an Outer Critics Circle Award, Lucille Lortel Award, and Jujamcyn Theater Award. Over the years Encores! has presented the works of Harold Arlen, Burt Bacharach, Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, and many others. The 2015 Encores! season will include George and Ira Gershwin’s Lady, Be Good, Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon, and John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Zorba!

New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. It was Manhattan’s first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia with a mission to make the best in music, theater, and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, City Center’s Principal Dance Company, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs. The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as “one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York.” In summer 2013, City Center launched Encores! Off-Center, a new series featuring landmark musicals filtered through the lens of today’s most innovative artists. Dance has been integral to the theater’s mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival, remain central to City Center’s identity. Vital partnerships with arts organizations including Jazz at Lincoln Center and London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre enhance City Center’s programmatic offerings. City Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to New York City students and teachers with programs such as Encores! In Schools and the Young People’s Dance Series. Special workshops cater to families, seniors and other groups, while events such as the Fall for Dance DanceTalk series offer learning opportunities to the general public. In October 2011, City Center completed an extensive renovation project to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.

Tickets for the Gala show only are $30 – $115 and are available online at www.NYCityCenter.org, at the box office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues) or by calling CityTix at 212.581.1212.

Tickets for the Gala show, cocktails and dinner are $500 – $10,000 per person. Gala table and ticket details are available by calling 212.763.1205. For performance-only tickets, call CityTix at 212-581-1212 or visit www.NYCityCenter.org.