The centerpiece of New York City Center’s 2018 Encores! Off-Center season will be a special two-night-only engagement of Gone Missing, in honor of composer and former Off-Center Artistic Director Michael Friedman. The composer died September 9, 2017, at the age of 41 following complications due to HIV/AIDS.
Gone Missing is a docu-musical written and directed by the Civilians’ Steve Cosson with a score by the late Friedman. The show, which debuted in 2003, depicts a very personal account of how to deal with loss. Cosson will direct the Encores! Off-Center presentation July 11 and 12.
“We wanted to celebrate the profound vision of our friend and colleague Michael Friedman, who is sorely missed,” said Anne Kauffman, co-artistic director of Encores! Off-Center alongside Jeanine Tesori. “We’re certain that Michael’s voice will continue to break open what musical theatre can be and inspire audiences and artists for decades to come.”
Rounding out the season are productions of Jason Robert Brown’s breakout musical Songs for a New World (June 27–30) and Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll’s 1971 musical Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope (July 25–28).
Friedman was an Obie-winning composer-lyricist who held numerous leadership positions around New York theatre companies. As well as being on the board of directors for The Civilians, he served as co-artistic director of Encores! Off-Center in 2017.
“This season is about the New World—songs of the moment of decision, loss and love, and the raising of the voice for change,” said Tesori. “It’s about three composer/lyricists—Jason Robert Brown, Michael Friedman, and Micki Grant—whose work shines a light on the fleeting moments of life, looking back at who we were, and forward to who we hope to become.”
Tickets to the Encores! Off-Center 2018 season will go on sale to the general public January 23 (January 16 for Members, January 19 for Peer-to-Peer). They can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling (212) 581-1212.