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‘Kismet’ in the stars as Encores! opener

Marshall to direct Mitchell, reading skedded Feb. 9-12

“Kismet” looks fated to kick off the 2006 Encores! season. Kathleen Marshall will direct Brian Stokes Mitchell in the concert reading, skedded for Feb. 9-12.

The annual City Center series, which presents pared-down, weekend-long revivals of Broadway musicals, will continue with John Kander and Fred Ebb’s “70, Girls, 70,” March 30-April 2.

“Kismet,” a 1953 “Arabian Nights”-flavored tuner that ran on Broadway for 583 performances, tells the tale of an eventful day in the life of a poor poet-beggar. “70, Girls, 70,” which had a short run on the Rialto in 1971, follows a geriatric band of thieves.

Greatest hit for Encores! was another Kander & Ebb musical, “Chicago.” That 1996 production spawned the current long-running Broadway revival.

Third show for Encores!, slated for May, remains TBA.

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