Encores! All Singing, All Dancing On Your Toes, May 8-12
By: Ellis Nassour
Tony winners Christine Baranski, Walter Bobbie, and Karen Ziemba headline the season finale of City Center’s 2012-13 Encores!, Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 On Your Toes, for seven performances May 8 – 12. They’re joined by ABT principal dancer Irina Dvorovenk, NYC Ballet principal dancer Joaquin De Luz, and, making a rare stage appearance Tony nominated choreographer/director, Randy Skinner (42nd Street and revivals). The book is by legendary George Abbott. Warren Carlyle (director/choreographer A Christmas Story, Chaplin, Hugh Jackman ,Back on Broadway; choreographer, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Follies) is choreographer/director.
The now-classic "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" ballet, originally choreographed by George Balanchine, will be staged by Susan Pilarre, ballet mistress of the show’s 1983 Tony-winning Broadway revival. Songs include "Glad to Be Unhappy," "There’s a Small Hotel," "Two a Day for Keith" (vaudebille circuit), "It’s Got to Be Love," and title tune. Kelli Barrett, Jeremy Cohen, and Shonn Wiley are featured along with a featured cast and ensemble of 25. Rob Fisher will conduct the 30-strong Encores! Orchestra. Encores! artistic director is Jack Viertel.
On Your Toes, an improbable mix of gangsters and vaudeville, was the first Broadway musical to make dramatic use of classical ballet. Vaudeville hoofer Junior Dolan (Wiley) performs with parents (Ziemba, Skinner) before being sent to college where he connects with a composer (Cohen) of a jazz ballet and singer (Barrett) which leads to a meeting with a Russian ballet troupe’s manager (Baranski) and director (Bobbie). Romance blooms between Junior and the ballet’s prima ballerina (Dvorovenko). When the male principal can’t go on, Junior steps in to save the day. Trouble ensues when he becomes the target of thugs hired by her jealous lover and dance partner (De Luz).
Encores! is made possible, in part, by Newman’s Own Foundation, the Stephanie and Fred Shuman Fund, and Roz and Jerry Meyer. Support for the restaging of Balanchine’s choreography is provided by Frederic and Robin Seegal.
On Your Toes plays Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30, Friday at 8, Saturday at 2 and 8, and Sunday at 2 and 7. Tickets are $25 – $130 and available at the City Center box office, through CityTix (212) 581-1212, or online at www.NYCityCenter.org.
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