Encores! is a Tony-honored concert series dedicated to performing rarely heard American musicals, usually with their original orchestrations. Presented by New York City Center since 1994, Encores! has revived shows by Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim, among many others. The series has spawned nineteen cast recordings and numerous Broadway transfers, including Kander and Ebb's Chicago, which is now the second longest-running musical in Broadway history. Videotapes of many Encores! productions are collected at the Billy Rose Theater Collection of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Since 2000, the series has been led by artistic director Jack Viertel.
From 2007 to 2009, City Center presented a spin-off series titled Encores! Summer Stars, which produced well-known Broadway shows in fully staged productions. The first musical in the series was Gypsy, starring Patti LuPone, Boyd Gaines, and Laura Benanti. Gypsy received unprecedented attention for an Encores! show and eventually transferred to Broadway; LuPone, Gaines, and Benanti all won Tony Awards for their performances.
In 2013, City Center launched Encores! Off-Center!, a sister series devoted to groundbreaking Off-Broadway musicals. Led by founding artistic director Jeanine Tesori for its first four seasons, Encores! Off-Center was subsequently led by Michael Friedman. Following Friedman's death, it is currently led by co-artistic directors Jeanine Tesori and Anne Kauffman.
Encores! Summer Stars
|Title||Music||Lyrics||Year||Encores! Summer Stars Run||Stars|
|1||Gypsy||Jule Styne||Stephen Sondheim||1959||July 9–29, 2007BWAY||Laura Benanti, Boyd Gaines, Leigh Ann Larkin, Patti LuPone, Nancy Opel, Tony Yazbeck|
|2||Damn Yankees||Richard Adler||Jerry Ross||1955||July 5–27, 2008||Randy Graff, Sean Hayes, Cheyenne Jackson, Jane Krakowski|
|3||The Wiz||Charlie Smalls||Charlie Smalls||1975||June 12 - July 5, 2009||Tichina Arnold, Ashanti, Joshua Henry, James Monroe Iglehart, Orlando Jones, LaChanze, Dawnn Lewis|
|Title||Music||Lyrics||Year||Encores! Off-Center Run||Stars|
|1||The Cradle Will Rock||Marc Blitzstein||Marc Blitzstein||1937||July 10–13, 2013||Danny Burstein, Raúl Esparza, Judy Kuhn, David Margulies, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Anika Noni Rose|
|2||Violet||Jeanine Tesori||Brian Crawley||1997||July 17, 2013BWAY||Sutton Foster, Joshua Henry, Christopher Sieber|
|3||I'm Getting My Act Together...||Nancy Ford||Gretchen Cryer||1978||July 24–27, 2013||Renée Elise Goldsberry|
|4||Tick, Tick... Boom!||Jonathan Larson||Jonathan Larson||2001||June 25–28, 2014||Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr., Karen Olivo|
|5||Randy Newman's Faust||Randy Newman||Randy Newman||1995||July 1, 2014||Michael Cerveris, Randy Newman, Laura Osnes, Vonda Shepard, Tony Vincent|
|6||Pump Boys and Dinettes||Various||Various||1981||July 16–19, 2014||Hunter Foster|
|7||A New Brain||William Finn||William Finn||1997||June 24–27, 2015CD||Dan Fogler, Ana Gasteyer, Jonathan Groff, Aaron Lazar|
|8||Little Shop of Horrors||Alan Menken||Howard Ashman||1982||July 1–2, 2015||Ellen Greene, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marva Hicks, Taran Killam|
|9||The Wild Party||Andrew Lippa||Andrew Lippa||2000||July 15–18, 2015||Brandon Victor Dixon, Sutton Foster, Steven Pasquale, Miriam Shor|
|10||Runaways||Elizabeth Swados||Elizabeth Swados||1978||July 6–9, 2016|
|11||Off-Center Jamboree||Various||Various||July 16, 2016||Sutton Foster, Jonathan Groff|
|12||God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater||Alan Menken||Howard Ashman||1979||July 27–30, 2016CD||Skylar Astin, Santino Fontana, James Earl Jones|
|13||Assassins||Stephen Sondheim||Stephen Sondheim||1990||July 12–15, 2017||Steven Boyer, Alex Brightman, Victoria Clark, Shuler Hensley, Steven Pasquale|
|14||The Bubbly Black Girl...||Kirsten Childs||Kirsten Childs||2000||July 26–27, 2017||Nikki M. James|
|15||Really Rosie||Carole King||Maurice Sendak||1980||August 2–5, 2017||Taylor Caldwell|
|16||Songs for a New World||Jason Robert Brown||Jason Robert Brown||1995||June 27–30, 2018|
|17||Gone Missing||Michael Friedman||Michael Friedman||2003||July 11–12, 2018|
|18||Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope||Micki Grant||Micki Grant||1971||July 25–28, 2018|
|1||Cotton Club Parade||Duke Ellington||Various||November 18–22, 2011BWAY|
|2||A Bed and A Chair||Stephen Sondheim||Stephen Sondheim||November 13–17, 2013||Jeremy Jordan, Norm Lewis, Bernadette Peters|
|3||The Band Wagon||Arthur Schwartz||Howard Dietz||November 6–16, 2014||Michael Berresse, Michael McKean, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Laura Osnes, Tony Sheldon, Tracey Ullman|
|4||Annie Get Your Gun||Irving Berlin||Irving Berlin||1946||October 27–28, 2015||Megan Hilty, Andy Karl, Judy Kaye, Brad Oscar, Ron Raines|
|5||Sunday in the Park with George||Stephen Sondheim||Stephen Sondheim||1984||October 24–26, 2016BWAY||Jake Gyllenhaal, Annaleigh Ashford, Phylicia Rashad|
|6||Brigadoon||Frederick Loewe||Alan Jay Lerner||1947||November 15–19, 2017CD||Stephanie J. Block, Robert Fairchild, Kelli O'Hara, Patrick Wilson|
|7||A Chorus Line||Marvin Hamlisch||Edward Kleban||1975||November 14–18, 2018|
- Corliss, Richard. "That Old Feeling: Bravo! Encores!", Time 12 June 2004.
- Cox, Gordon. "Broadway’s Chicago Turns 20: Stars Reflect on Show’s Success", Variety 14 Nov. 2016.
- Weinert-Kendt, Rob. "Musical Revivalists With a Cause: Encores! Off-Center Tilts Toward the Political", The New York Times 3 July 2013.
- Paulson, Michael. "Michael Friedman to Be Artistic Director of Encores! Off Center", The New York Times 18 Apr. 2016.