Coming to City Center: ‘Evita,’ ‘Swan Lake’ and a Rare Kurt Weill Musical

Coming to City Center: ‘Evita,’ ‘Swan Lake’ and a Rare Kurt Weill Musical


A rare musical by Kurt Weill, a production of “Evita” and the return of Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake” are among the offerings in store for New York City Center’s 2019-20 season, the theater announced on Monday.

The Weill musical, “Love Life” (1948), with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, was one of the first concept musicals to open on Broadway. Its lightly surreal plot traces the marriage of Sam and Susan Cooper throughout more than 150 years of American history. Musical numbers are presented as vaudevillian vignettes, in a way that prefigures “Chicago” and the work of Stephen Sondheim.

But despite critical favor and a run of more than 250 performances, “Love Life,” which is to run March 18-22 in a City Center Encores! production, faded from Broadway history, in part because a strike prevented a cast album from being made. This revival will be directed by Victoria Clark, the Tony Award-winning actress who starred in a well-received run of Weill’s “Lady in the Dark” at City Center this spring; she will be working from a new critical edition of the score, which had its debut in Freiburg, Germany, in late 2017.

The other Encores! productions are the 1974 musical “Mack and Mabel” (Feb. 19-23) and a new version of Dick Scanlan and Jeanine Tesori’s 2002 musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” with edits by the playwright Lauren Yee that promise “a fresh perspective.” “Evita,” the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice musical that started the career of Patti LuPone and was adapted into a lavish 1990s movie starring Madonna, will be City Center’s annual gala production, with a Nov. 13-24 run.

Among the season’s dance offerings are appearances by regulars like Dance Theater of Harlem, the Martha Graham Dance Company and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, as well as Nederlands Dans Theater and Houston Ballet, performing New York premieres of works by Mark Morris and Justin Peck (Oct. 24-26).

Matthew Bourne’s well-traveled “Swan Lake,” which ran on Broadway in 1998 and won three Tonys, will return to City Center Jan. 30 to Feb. 9, with touched up production design and, as always, an all-male corps.

And the beloved Fall for Dance Festival is planned for Oct. 1-13. A full lineup will be announced a future date, though the roster of artists is to include the star ballerina Misty Copeland, in a work by Kyle Abraham; the New York City Ballet principal dancers Sara Mearns and Taylor Stanley, in a piece choreographed by Kim Brandstrup; the tap dancer Caleb Teicher; and Georgina Pazcoguin, also of City Ballet, in a selection of Bob Fosse dances for Gwen Verdon.

Joshua Barone is a senior staff editor on the Culture Desk, where he writes about classical music and other fields including dance, theater and visual art and architecture. @joshbarone Facebook

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