Donna Murphy leads a new production of Jerry Herman's seldom-performed musical Dear World via New York City Center Encores! beginning March 15, with performances continuing through March 19.
Murphy stars as Countess Aurelia, sharing the stage with Brooks Ashmanskas as President, Giuseppe Bausilio as Lawyer 1, Andréa Burns as Constance, Ben Fankhauser as Lawyer 3, Christopher Fitzgerald as Sewerman, Ann Harada as Gabrielle, Kody Jauron as Artiste, Phillip Johnson Richardson as Julian, Stanley Wayne Mathis as Prospector, Caesar Samayoa as Lawyer 2, and Samantha Williams as Nina.
In Dear World, Countless Aurelia leads a motley band of outcasts to save their Chaillot neighborhood in Paris from a group of greedy bankers. Based on Jean Giraudoux's The Madwoman of Chaillot as adapted by Maurice Valency, the work features a score by Herman, including such songs as "Kiss Her Now" and "Each Tomorrow Morning," and a book by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Sandy Rustin (Clue) has adapted the material for Encores!'s concert version. The work played a brief run on Broadway in 1969 starring Angela Lansbury in a Tony-winning performance.
The ensemble includes Cicily Daniels, Brian Flores, Blair Goldberg, Andrea Jones-Sojola, Eddie Korbich, Josh Lamon, Will Mann, Manna Nichols, Emilie Renier, Phumzile Sojola, Jessica Tyler Wright, and Franca Vercelloni. Rounding out the company as covers are Darlesia Cearcy, Aaron Kaburick, Kathy Voytko, and Patrick Wetzel.
Josh Rhodes directs and choreographs, leading a creative team that includes scenic designer Paul Date DePoo III, costume designer Toni Leslie James, lighting designer Amith Chandrashaker, sound designer Scott Lehrer, hair and wig designer Matthew Armentrout, music coordinator Kimberlee Wertz, and production stage manager Cynthia Cahill. Casting is by The Telsey Office's Craig Burns and Rashad Naylor.
Also on the creative team is music director and conductor Mary-Mitchell Campbell in her first production as Encores! music director following the departure of Rob Berman. Campbell, whose Broadway music direction credits include Some Like It Hot, The Prom, and Mean Girls, will lead the Encores! orchestra playing Philip J. Lang's original orchestrations.