Ann Harada, Brooke Ishibashi, Kennedy Kanagawa, Denée Benton, Annie Golden, Gavin Creel and More Join Encores! INTO THE WOODS

New York City Center has finalized casting for the third and final production of the 2022 Encores! season, Into the Woods (May 4 -15). Directed by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet with music direction by Encores! Music Director Rob Berman and choreography by Lorin Latarro, the special two‐week run is dedicated to the memory of the legendary Stephen Sondheim.

The beloved, Tony‐honored Encores! series has celebrated the tradition of American musical theater with semi‐staged productions of rarely seen musicals for nearly three decades. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Lear deBessonet and Producing Creative Director Clint Ramos, Encores! returns with a broader embrace to this mission built on three expressions of musical theater revivals: unearthing hidden gems, reclaiming a work for contemporary times through an artist’s personal lens, and celebrating a classic musical that connects us across generations. Encores! Into the Woods represents this third tenet and ushers in a new annual tradition at City Center celebrating iconic musicals.

Joining the cast are Denée Benton (Cinderella), in place of Ashley Park who was previously announced in the role; Gavin Creel (Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince); Annie Golden (Cinderella’s Mother, Grandmother, Giant’s wife); Ann Harada (Jack’s Mother); Tiffany Denise Hobbs (Lucinda); Brooke Ishibashi (Florinda); Kennedy Kanagawa (Milky White); David Patrick Kelly (Narrator, Mysterious Man); Lauren Mitchell (Cinderella’s Stepmother); and David Turner (Steward). Rounding out the star‐studded company are previously announced cast members Sara Bareilles (Baker’s Wife), Christian Borle (Baker), Jordan Donica (Rapunzel’s Prince), Heather Headley (Witch), Julia Lester (Little Red Riding Hood), and Cole Thompson (Jack). A large‐scale, multigenerational community chorus of New York City seniors and public school students rounds out the ensemble for a finale that highlights the many ways theater connects us across time.

Encores! single tickets are on sale now and start at $35. Tickets can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling 212.581.1212, or at the City Center Box Office. New York City Center is located at 131 W 55th St between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

The Spring Gala | Encores! Into the Woods on May 4 at 6pm honors New York City Center President & CEO Arlene Shuler for her 19 years of extraordinary service. Shuler will be stepping down following the 2021 – 2022 Season. Funds raised at the Spring Gala allow City Center to build upon her legacy of artistic excellence while upholding its founding mission to provide access to the best in the performing arts for all New Yorkers. For additional details, contact SpecialEvents@NYCityCenter.org or call 212.763.1205.

New York City Center is committed to following the latest health and safety protocols. For the latest information on updated health, safety, and ticket policies, visit NYCityCenter.org/PlanYourVisit.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang loves to tell stories – as an actor, a multi-media content producer, a performing arts photographer and an award-winning filmmaker. A co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, Lia makes films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, and The Last Dragon. She Executive Produced and stars in the indie films Hide and Seek (AA Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Best Actress Nomination), Rom-Com Gone Wrong, and When the World Was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). Lia made her stage debut as Liat in a national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet, was featured as Joy in Signature Theatre’s revival of Sam Shepard’s Chicago and has worked extensively Off-Broadway. Photo archives: Lia Chang Theater Portfolio collection,1989-2011, housed in the AAPI collection in the Library of Congress’ Asian Reading Room; Lia Chang Photography Collection in The Billy Rose Theatre Division of the New York Public Library. Awards: 2000 OCA Chinese American Journalist Award, the 2001 AAJA National Award for New Media. Lia is an AAJA Executive Leadership Graduate (2000), a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age (2000), a National Press Photographers Association Visual Edge/Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media (2001), a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism (2002), and a National Tropical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow (2003). www.liachang.com, www.liachangphotography.com

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