By Andrew Gans
06 Nov 2014
The Band Wagon, an Encores! Special Event, which stars Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, begins its limited engagement at New York City Center Nov. 6.
Based on the classic MGM movie of the same title, performances continue through Nov. 16. Tony winner Kathleen Marshall directs and choreographs with musical direction by Todd Ellison.
In addition to Mitchell, who plays Tony Hunter, the cast also includes Tracey Ullman (Lily Martin), Tony Sheldon (Jeffrey Cordova), Michael McKean (Lester Martin), Laura Osnes (Gabrielle Gerard), Michael Berresse (Paul Byrd) and Don Stephenson (Hal Meadows).
The show has a book by Douglas Carter Beane adapted from the screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (2014 is the centenary of Green’s birth), with music by Arthur Schwartz and lyrics by Howard Dietz.
The musical, according to press notes, is described as such: "A washed-up Hollywood star trying to make a comeback by doing a Broadway show, a British director who is a genius but has no business directing a musical, a leading lady who’s never done a show before, and a composer and a lyricist who are at each other’s throats. All the things that could never happen in the New York theater today."
Written by Comden and Green, the 1953 film used Schwartz and Dietz’s songs to tell their story and took its title from the famed 1931 Broadway revue written by Schwartz, Dietz and George S. Kaufman.
Five-time Tony nominee Beane used the original Comden and Green screenplay (including scenes never filmed) as a basis for this Encores! Special Event, with a score that includes “Dancing in the Dark,” “By Myself,” “I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plan,” “A Shine on My Shoes" and "That's Entertainment.”
Tickets are available at the New York City Center Box Office (West 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues), by calling (212) 581-1212 or visiting NYCityCenter.org.
As previously reported, the 2015 season of the City Center Encores! series will feature limited engagements of George and Ira Gershwin’s Lady, Be Good; Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon; and John Kander and Fred Ebb’s Zorba!