10 Encores Musicals We Wish We Could See Again...On Broadway...or Anywhere
February 1st, 2018
by Josh Ferri
New York City Center's Encores! celebrates 25 years of thrilling New York audiences and giving theatre nerds their big dream revivals, if only for a minute. The company kicks off its 25th season with Hey, Look Me Over! (running February 7-11), an original musical creation featuring Broadway gems that have yet to be revived on the New York City Center stage.
In honor of the big event, BroadwayBox looks back on 10 Encores! productions over the last 25 years, we'd like an encore of in some way.
10. No, No, Nanette (2008)
This acclaimed production slayed audiences—who didn’t live for Sandy Duncan’s joyous AF tap dancing or Rosie O’Donnell’s vacuum cleaner moment? Just watch the video and take in that incredible Randy Skinner choreography. They just don't make 'em like this anymore.
9. Anyone Can Whistle (2010)
Sutton Foster, Donna Murphy, and Raul Esparza brought such a spark to this Sondheim cult favorite. Donna Murphy as Cora Hoover?! Sutton singing “There Won’t Be Trumpets” and Raul singing “Everybody Says Don’t”—that’s seriously enough for me.
8. One Touch of Venus (1996)
This early Encores! musical shared the same season with Chicago and helped to launch leading lady Melissa Errico to the next level. I wish I had a time machine to see what this magical moment was like IRL.
7. The Most Happy Fella (2014)
There’s no way to talk about this production without holding your heart for a second. Laura Benanti, Heidi Blickenstaff, Shuler Hensley, Cheyenne Jackson packed this limited revival with romance and old-fashioned joy. We could use a big, romantic musical like this rn.
6. Damn Yankees (2008)
Talk about perfect casting! This Summer Stars revival starred Emmy winner Sean Hayes as the Devil, Cheyenne Jackson as Joe, and Tony winner Jane Krakowski as the Devil’s minion, Lola. This production was truly special, but also, isn’t it just time to bring back Damn Yankees?!?
5. Annie Get Your Gun (2015)
Basically a one-night-only concert performance, this Encores! moment was just perfection. Megan Hilty was the best choice, and she sang the hell out of it. Then, hearing Andy Karl do classic musical theater shook me to my core—it made me wonder why he isn’t just the go-to Golden Age revival guy. Even to see this again as a full, Encores mainstage run would be enough.
4. Little Shop of Horrors (2015)
Before Jake Gyllenhaal made his Broadway musical debut in Encores! Sunday in the Park, he headlined Little Shop opposite icon Ellen Greene. The original Audrey reprised her signature performance and even brought it up a level for the limited engagement. Needless to say, it was absolutely everything (and the reviews agreed!).
3. Follies (2007)
Donna Murphy as Phyllis. Need I go on? Casey Nicholaw helmed and choreographed this starry revival that also featured Victoria Clark as Sally, Victor Garber as Ben, and Michael McGrath as Buddy. Sadly, it was smack dab six years after the Broadway Roundabout revival and six years before the next Broadway revival from the Kennedy Center. #BargainsBuddy
2. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (2012)
Megan Hilty as Lorelei Lee was nothing short of iconique. If this were Broadway, it would be her Tony Award for “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” alone. Rachel York served it up as her best pal Dorothy Shaw, and Jared Grimes & Phillip Attmore stopped the show with their “Mamie is Mimi” (4:31 in the second video). It’s not too late to bring this one back!
1. I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road (2013)
Before Hamilton, Tony Award winner Renee Elise Goldsberry gave a performance that still brings chills and tears in the off-center revival of Gretchen Cryer & Nancy Ford’s kick-ass feminist musical. Jennifer Sanchez & Christina Sajous were her bandmates, and Fred Weller her manager Joe—each perfection. It just felt like lightning in a bottle. Is it too late for a cast recording? Anything at this point.