Gershwins’ Lady, Be Good Ushers in the Encores! Season February 2-8
By: Ellis Nassour
George and Ira Gershwin’s beguiling 1924 musical opens the Encores! season at City Center for seven performances February 2-8. This smash up musical with everything but the kitchen sink, is a rom com about penniless siblings aching to be rich, Fifth Avenue socialites, (crooked) lawyers, (Mexican) gangsters, and a song-and-dance man with rhythm. It 330 performances at the Duce’s Liberty Theatre [the entrance is gone but the auditorium and stage house are part of the Liberty Diner].
Drama Desk winner Mark Brokaw [How I Learned to Drive; recent Cinderella and The Lyons] will be directing Tony nominee Douglas Sills [The Scarlett Pimpernel, Little Shop of Horrors, and the Actors Fund holiday benefit Mr. Magoo’s Christmas] ; nine-time Tony and seven-time DD winner and prolific dancer/choreographer/director Tommy Tune, in his return to the stage; Colin Donnell, Danny Gardner, Jeff Hiller, Erin Mackey, Patti Murin, Richard Poe, Jennifer Laura Thompson, and Kirsten Wyatt.
Tony nominee Randy Skinner is choreographer. Founding Encores! music director Rob Fisher will be returning as guest music director. He’s painstakingly supervised the restoration of the Gershwins’ original score, much of which had been lost for decades.
Lady, Be Good tells the story of a penniless brother and sister who crash a party in hopes of quick nourishment. They resolve to marry for money, but love gets in the way — as it usually does. Before true love wins out, they encounter Mexican gangsters, crooked lawyers, wealthy socialites, and a song-and-dance man with fascinating rhythm (Tune).
The musical captures the madcap spirit of the Roaring 20s, when the Gershwins’ first hit collaboration ushered in the Golden Age of American musical comedy. Hot off the triumph of Rhapsody in Blue, George and Ira delivered a jazz-age score that features now classics "Fascinating Rhythm" and "Lady, Be Good." The book is Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson. The original production starred Fred and Adele Astaire.
The score restoration was supported by the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Broadway Musical Restoration Fund.
Tickets for City Center Encores! Lady, Be Good are $30-$130 and available at the City Center box office, through CityTix at (212) 581-1212, and online atwww.NYCityCenter.org.