NEW YORK CITY: New York City Center has announced the lineup for its 2016 Encores! Off-Center season, which will mark the fourth and final season led by artistic director Jeanine Tesori. The shows will be Elizabeth Swados’s Runaways, Howard Ashman/Alan Menken’s Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, and a one-night-only concert.
“It’s time to hand it off to someone else,” Tesori said in a statement of her decision to step down. “I love doing it, and I think it’s good to go while I still love it.” But Tesori will still be involved creatively at City Center. “The plan is for me to do concerts or events of some kind, because I really love the building,” she added.
Runaways (July 6–9), with book, music, and lyrics by Elizabeth Swados, details the inner lives of child runaways. The cast will include students from New York’s five boroughs and will be directed by Sam Pinkleton and choreographed by Ani Taj.
Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s first musical together, Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (July 27–30), tells the story of Eliot Rosewater, a millionaire who gives his money to a poor town. The show will star Santino Fontana and Skylar Astin.
Off-Center alums—including Sutton Foster and Jonathan Groff—will perform on July 16 at the Off-Center Jamboree!, a one-night-only concert. Tesori will accompany on piano.
New York City Center’s Encores! Off-Center series presents notable Off-Broadway musicals in concert stagings.