It’s a sign of Encores’ success and longevity that it has already begun to outrun its mission. Launched in 1994 as a staged concert series dedicated to presenting in their full glory the original scores of seldom-produced musicals, Encores! spent its early years reviving shows like Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Allegro, Cole Porter’s Out of This World, and Irving Berlin’s Call Me Madam—musicals with marvelous scores and books that don’t usually stand up well in a full production. But as time has gone on, Encores! has resorted to perennial favorites like Bye Bye Birdie and Hair.
Whatever they do, though, they always do with style, bringing in a huge orchestra, casting top-notch performers, and even charging playwrights like David Ives and Terrence McNally with the task of “editing” the book (usually read script-in-hand by the cast). In many cases, Encores! Productions, such as The Apple Tree, Wonderful Town, Gypsy, and most famously Chicago have gone on to open-ended Broadway runs, but if you want to see Encores! at City Center, be sure to get your tickets quickly. And if you go for the cheap seats in the rear gallery, be forewarned: It’s a long long way from the stage!
Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert Information
- Public Transportation: Very good (Easily accessible by subway lines N, Q, and R at 57th Street/7th Avenue; the F at 57th Street; the B, D, and E at 7th Avenue/53rd Street; and buses M5, M7, M20, M31, M57, and M104)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Performance schedule is Wednesday–Sunday
- Ticket Prices: Single tickets are $25–$110, tickets sometimes available on TDF..