Rheaume Crenshaw, Aisha de Haas, Wayne Pretlow and More Set for Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll’s DON’T BOTHER ME, I CAN’T COPE at New York City Center, July 25 – 28

Rheaume Crenshaw. Photo by Lia Chang
Rheaume Crenshaw. Photo by Lia Chang

Rheaume Crenshaw, Dayna Dantzler, Aisha de Haas, James T. Lane, and Wayne Pretlow will star in Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, the third production of the Encores! Off-Center season at New York City Center, July 25 – 28. Tony Award-winner Savion Glover (Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk) directs and choreographs the Off-Center revival, with music direction by Annastasia Victory.

The ensemble includes Alexandria Bradley, Marshall L. Davis Jr., CK Edwards, Jeffry Foote, Shonica Gooden, Nina Hudson, Marla McReynolds, and Amber Barbee Pickens.

Performances are Wednesday & Thursday at 7:30pm, Fri at 8pm, and Sat at 2 & 8pm at New York City Center,  131 W 55th St (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues) in New York.  Click here for tickets.

  • After the Saturday 2PM performance: Kirsten Childs will speak with Micki Grant about writing and composing for musical theater.
Micki Grant. Photo by Lia Chang
Micki Grant. Photo by Lia Chang

Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll’s Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope (1971) is a radical and irreverent protest cycle that laid bare the political issues facing the African American community when it first premiered at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. The show continued to raise voices for change in its Philadelphia and New York productions through a lively mix of song and dance, and a score by Grant that includes gospel, jazz, soul, calypso, and rock. It ran over 1,000 performances on Broadway, earning four Tony Award nominations, and winning an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album.

With five 1972 Tony Award nominations (including Best Musical) and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical the same year, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope also won Micki Grant a Grammy Award for best score-the first female to be so honored. Ms. Grant was also one of the stars of the show, which came to Broadway after successful runs in Washington DC, Detroit, and Philadelphia. The show ran for over two years on Broadway. Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope  is the first Broadway musical written entirely by a woman and the first Broadway production to be directed by a female African-American.

Ms. Grant has received many Grammy and Tony nominations for her various musicals, such as Your Arms Too Short To Box With GodIt’s So Nice To Be Civilized, J.E. Franklin’s Prodigal SisterEubie, and Sweet & Hot.  As an actress, Ms. Grant has performed on and Off-Broadway and in regional theatres around the country, having made her Broadway debut as the ingenue in Langston Hughes’ Tambourines To Glory. In the late nineties, a two-year tour of the play Having Our Say took her to more than 68 U.S. cities and to Johannesburg, South Africa, earning her the Helen Hayes Award for her performance as Sadie Delany. The first African ­American contract player on a daytime serial, she played the role of attorney Peggy Nolan on NBC’s “Another World” for seven years, and has had continuing roles on “Edge of Night” and “Guiding Light,” as well as guesting on “All My Children”. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including: Obie Award, NAACP Image, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Audelco’s Outstanding Pioneer, AEA’s Paul Robeson and the Nat’l Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend and Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Awards.

NEW YORK City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. The landmark 75th Anniversary Season (2018 – 2019) pays tribute to this rich history and celebrates the institution’s singular role in the arts today. For 25 years, City Center’s Tony-honored Encores! series has been “an essential New York institution” (The New York Times), and since 2013, the Encores! Off-Center series has featured seminal Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today’s innovative artists. Dance has also been integral to the theater’s mission from the start and programs like the annual Fall for Dance Festival remain central to City Center’s identity. Home to a roster of renowned national and international companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (City Center’s Principal Dance Company) and Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City Center was Manhattan’s first performing arts center, founded with the mission of making the best in music, theater, and dance accessible to all audiences. That mission continues today through robust education and community engagement programs, which bring the performing arts to over 9,000 New York City students each year, and the expansion of the theatrical experience to include art exhibitions, pre-show talks, and master classes that offer an up-close look at the work of the great theater and dance artists of our time. NYCityCenter.org

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