NEW YORK CITY: City Center has announced the third season of its Encores! Off-Center Series, which presents three landmark Off-Broadway (or in some other way alternative) musicals every summer, under the artistic directorship of Fun Home composer Jeanine Tesori.
This year’s roster will kick off with William Finn and James Lapine’s A New Brain, which will be directed by Lapine and will star Jonathan Groff as a struggling composer who is diagnosed with a brain tumor, as was Finn. It will run June 24–27, 2014.
Next up is Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s Little Shop of Horrors, about a florist-shop owner with a singing, man-eating plant. The production will star original cast member Ellen Greene, and will be directed by Dick Scanlan. It will pay for one night only, on July 1.
The final production will be Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party with Sutton Foster and Joshua Henry (who last year sang together in a one-night staging of Tesori’s Violet, which led directly to a Broadway staging by Roundabout Theatre Company). Lippa’s adaptation of Joseph Moncure March’s 1928 poem—not to be confused with Michael John LaChiusa’s version, which was staged on Broadway around the same time—tells of a 1920s soiree that starts out fun but ends in tragedy. It will be directed by Leigh Silverman and will run July 15–18.
The 2015 season will also feature sets by Donyale Werle, costumes by Clint Ramos, lighting by Mark Barton and sound design by Leon Rothenberg.