Additional casting and some company shifts have been revealed for New York City Center’s upcoming 2022 Encores! season, opening with The Tap Dance Kid February 2–6.
Dulé Hill, who was announced in August to play Uncle Dipsey in the Kenny Leon-helmed production, has stepped away from the project, citing scheduling conflicts. Trevor Jackson (Grown-ish) has been tapped (so to speak) to take over the role. Also joining the cast are Tony nominee Joshua Henry (currently in Waitress) as William, Tracee Beazer (Frozen) as Carole, acclaimed tap dancer DeWitt Fleming Jr. as Daddy Bates, Shahadi Wright Joseph (Us) as Emma, Chance K. Smith as Winslow, Adrienne Walker (The Lion King) as Ginnie, and Alexander Bello (Caroline, or Change) as Willie.
Choreographer Jared Grimes has created new tap sequences for the Henry Krieger-Robert Lorick-Charles Blackwell musical, with Lydia Diamond penning the new concert adaptation and Joseph Joubert serving as music director.
The Life will follow, it too seeing some creative shifts. Destan Owens (Chicago) is replacing the previously announced Chuck Cooper as Old Jojo. Newly announced for the Billy Porter-helmed staging are Alexandra Grey (Empire) as Queen, Antwayn Hopper (A Strange Loop) as Memphis, and Erika Olson as Mary; they join Mykal Kilgore, Ledisi, and Ken Robinson.
AC Ciulla will now choreograph, stepping in for fellow Tony nominee Camille A. Brown. James Sampliner music directs the presentation, running March 16–20.
In her first season as Encores! artistic director, Lear deBessonet helms the final show of the lineup: Into the Woods, now presented in dedication to the late composer Stephen Sondheim. As previously announced, Heather Headley, Christian Borle, Sara Bareilles, and Ashley Park will star; now joining them are Julia Lester (High School Musical: The Musical: The Series) as Little Red Riding Hood, Jordan Donica (My Fair Lady) as Rapunzel’s Prince, Shereen Pimental (West Side Story as Rapunzel), and newcomer Cole Thompson as Jack.
Additional casting for all three productions will be announced later. For tickets and more information, visit NYCityCenter.org.