New York City Center
THE CRADLE WLL ROCK
Directed by Sam Gold
Choreographed by Chase Brock
Opening Musical of City Center’s Encores! Off-Center Series
July 10 – 13, 2013
New York, N.Y., June 4, 2013 – Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock will open New York City Center’s new Encores! Off-Center series, playing for five performances, July 10 – 13 at City Center. The show will be directed by Sam Gold and choreographed by Chase Brock; Jeanine Tesori is the Encores! Off-Center artistic director. In keeping with City Center’s founding mission to make the arts accessible to all, the majority of tickets are $25.
The Cradle Will Rock, with music, lyrics and book by Marc Blitzstein, is a powerful political satire and an extraordinary piece of theater history. Set against the backdrop of a steel strike and peopled with fat-cat capitalists, brutal policemen, heroic union organizers, and a warm-hearted prostitute, Blitzstein’s 1937 battle hymn to the proletariat feels remarkably fresh.
The show was developed in 1937 with funds from the Federal Theater Project, a branch of the WPA. The original production, directed by Orson Welles, was shut down four days before opening. Officially, it was shut down due to WPA budget cuts, but many cited the show’s pro-union themes as the government’s impetus for its closing. The remarkable, true story of The Cradle Will Rock’s historic 1937 opening, as told by the great John Houseman, can be heard here: http://youtu.be/_LDb0fn4Uek.
The show finally opened Off-Broadway at the Venice Theatre in June of 1937 with private funding. It next opened on Broadway at the Windsor Theater on January 3, 1938 and ran 108 performances.
The Lobby Project, a series of pre-performance events free to ticket holders, will feature performances and conversations about The Cradle Will Rock and its legacy. The Lobby Project events include:
July 11 at 6:45 p.m. – Oskar Eustis in Conversation with Sam Gold and Amy Herzog
Marc Blitzstein, whose politics ran to the hard left, believed that The Cradle Will Rock would incite a revolution. Oskar Eustis, artistic director of The Public Theater, will talk with The Cradle Will Rock director
Sam Gold (Picnic, Seminar) and playwright Amy Herzog (After the Revolution, Hungry) about how personal politics impacts art.
July 12 at 7:15 p.m. – Taylor Mali: Performance and Talk
Taylor Mali, four-time National Poetry Slam champion, is the author of three books, including What Teachers Make: In Praise of the Greatest Job in the World.
July 13 at 1:15 p.m.– Blitzstein Rarities: Performance and Talk
Jeanine Tesori will present two rarely heard vocal works by Marc Blitzstein, creator of The Cradle Will Rock: “Lex Express,” part of 1957’s This Is the Garden, a Cantata of New York, and “The Whole Shoe,” an aria from Sacco and Venzetti, a long-lost opera that re-emerged in 2003.
July 13 at 7:15 p.m. – The Legend of The Cradle Will Rock: Performance
The story of the production, as dramatic as the show itself, will be told in Marc Blitzstein and John Houseman’s own words. Performers TBA
Sam Gold (Director) directed the Broadway productions of Picnic and Seminar, and the Off-Broadway productions of The Flick, Look Back in Anger, Uncle Vanya, Kin, The Aliens and Circle Mirror Transformation. He is a recipient of the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Director, the OBIE Award for Outstanding Direction, and the Princess Grace Award, among others.
Michael Rafter (Music Director)’s credits as music director/conductor include the Broadway productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Sound of Music, The King & I and Gypsy. He was music supervisor of the Broadway production of Everyday Rapture and the national companies of Thoroughly Modern Millie, Sunset Boulevard, The Sound of Music, The Buddy Holly Story, and associate music supervisor of Jersey Boys. Michael won an Emmy Award for the television production of Gypsy starring Bette Midler.
Jeanine Tesori (Artistic Director, composer, Violet) composed the scores to the Broadway productions of Caroline, or Change (2004 Tony nomination for Best Original Score), Shrek the Musical (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for her music), Violet, (Obie Award, New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical, and Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical), and Thoroughly Modern Millie (2000). Tesori arranged the music for the Broadway productions of the Johnny Mercer revue Dream, the 1998 revival of The Sound of Music and the 1999 revue Swing!. She also served as associate conductor for the Broadway productions of The Secret Garden and The Who’s Tommy. She has written music for several plays, including Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center and Bertolt Brecht‘s Mother Courage and Her Children, which was produced as part of the 2006 Shakespeare in the Park season. Tesori is currently working on commissions for the Washington National Opera and a joint initiative of the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center. She is a lecturer in music at Yale University.
New York City Center gratefully acknowledges the Leadership support of Stacey and Eric Mindich and Stacy Bash-Polley. Additional support for Encores! Off-Center has been provided by Alec Stais and Elissa Burke and Larry Hirschorn and Melissa Posen.
New York City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city for nearly 70 years. It was Manhattan’s first performing arts center, dedicated by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in 1943 with a mission to make the best in music, theater and dance accessible to all audiences. Today, City Center is home to many distinguished companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club and New York City Opera; a roster of renowned national and international visiting artists; and its own critically acclaimed and popular programs. The Tony-honored Encores! musical theater series has been hailed as “one of the very best reasons to be alive in New York.” This summer City Center is launching Encores! Off-Center, a new series featuring seminal Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today’s most innovative artists. Dance has been integral to the theater’s mission from the start, and dance programs, including the annual Fall for Dance Festival and a partnership with London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Jazz at Lincoln Center, remain central to City Center’s identity. City Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to New York City students and teachers with programs such as Encores! In Schools and the Young People’s Dance Series. Special workshops cater to families, seniors and other groups, while events such as the Fall for Dance DanceTalk series offer learning opportunities to the general public. CityCenter completed an extensive renovation project in October 2011 to revitalize and modernize its historic theater.
The Cradle Will Rock will run Wednesday, July 10 and Thursday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, July 12 at 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday, July 13 at 2:30 and 8:00 p.m. The majority of tickets for all Encores! Off-Center productions are $25. All tickets can be purchased online at www.NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix