Lorna Luft, Lillias White, Tony Yazbeck & More set for 92Y's Lyrics & Lyricists, 5/31-6/2
Even the legendary Broadway gods and goddesses have come face to face with failure. On May 31, June 1, and 2, Lyrics & Lyricists pays tribute to musical theater's most thoroughly panned musical bullion as artistic director and Tony Award-winning lyricist and director David Zippel closes the season with Panning for Gold: Great Songs from Flop Shows. Vocalists Brent Barrett, Christiane Noll, Lorna Luft, Jessica Lea Patty, Lillias White and Tony Yazbeck sing numbers like "All the Things You Are," "They Don't Make 'Em Like That Anymore," "As Time Goes By" and "He Touched Me" that - despite their origins in such failures as Very Warm for May, How Now Dow Jones, Everybody's Welcome and Drat The Cat!, respectively - have become American Songbook standards.
"This show, I hope, will be filled with surprises," comments David Zippel, "songs that you walked in humming but had no idea were given birth in stillborn musicals, and songs that even the most dedicated Broadway buff has never heard." Zippel even revisits some of his own, on-and-off-Broadway, misadventures.
One of the most acclaimed and sought-after lyricists working today - and one of the few contemporary songwriters to have achieved success on Broadway, in Hollywood, and in the pop music world - David Zippel has won the Tony Award (City of Angels, his Broadway debut), two Oscar and Grammy nominations ("Go the Distance" from Hercules, a #1 hit for Michael Bolton; "Reflection" from Mulan, featured on Christina Aguilera's multi-platinum debut album) and three Golden Globe nominations (Hercules, Mulan and The Snow Princess). His Broadway credits also include The Goodbye Girl (written with Marvin Hamlisch and Neil Simon), The Woman in White (with Andrew Lloyd Webber, for which he garnered a Tony nomination), the musical stage version of Wendy Wasserstein's bestselling children's book, Pamela's First Musical, written with Wasserstein and City of Angels collaborator Cy Coleman, and special material for Liza Minnelli's Tony Award-winning Liza's at the Palace. Zippel is also an Oscar nominee for the animated Disney movies Hercules and Mulan and more recently wrote the lyrics for "The Star-Spangled Man" featured in the film Captain America: The First Avenger. This is Zippel's fifth L&L appearance. He hosted two shows celebrating Cy Coleman; was one of three host-subjects for The New Breed, a show focusing on new lyricists; and served as artistic director for It Started with a Dream: David Zippel - Lyrics He Wrote, Lyrics He Wishes He Wrote.
Barrett is currently performing on Broadway as Billy Flynn in the Tony Award-winning hit,
Chicago. Prior to his return to New York he was based Las Vegas, opening and starring in the title role in Phantom-The Las Vegas Spectacular. Barrett was nominated for an Olivier Award for his starring role in the London premiere of the Broadway revival of Kiss Me Kate, a performance recorded for broadcast on PBS and available on DVD. Other Broadway credits include Annie Get Your Gun and Grand Hotel.
Singer/actress/author Luft made her Broadway debut in the original production of Promises, Promises, but her showbiz debut was several years earlier in the Christmas episode of The Judy Garland Show, performing with mother Judy and half-sister Liza Minnelli. Musical theater credits also include the national tour of They're Playing Our Song, American and world tour productions of Guys and Dolls and an Irish production of Follies. Luft's stage show Songs My Mother Taught Me is also the title of her debut CD, and her book Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir was adapted as the Emmy Award-winning miniseries Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows starring Judy Davis.
Noll starred on Broadway in the Kennedy Center revival of Ragtime, receiving Tony and Drama Desk nominations and winning a Helen Hayes award. Other Broadway credits include Chaplin, It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues, Jekyll & Hyde and Grease. Noll made her Hollywood Bowl debut singing with Julie Andrews and her opera debut with Plácido Domingo in The Merry Widow and has also performed in numerous Gilbert & Sullivan shows, include The New Moon, The Student Prince, Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado.
Patty's most recent Broadway credit includes the 2012 revival of Evita. She toured nationally with Cats and Fosse before making her Broadway debut in The Boy From Oz starring Hugh Jackman, going on to perform in the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line, 9 to 5 the Musical, The Addams Family and The People in the Picture.
White is a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award-winner for her role in Cy Coleman's The Life. She made her Broadway debut understudying the role of Effie in the original production of Dreamgirls, going on to play the part in the 1987 revival (Drama League Award for Best Actress). Other Broadway credits include Cats, Carrie, Once on This Island, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Chicago and Fela! (Tony nomination). White's film credits include the animated films Hercules and Anastasia, and she is an Emmy Award-winner for her regular role on Sesame Street.
Singer/dancer Yazbeck made his Broadway debut at the age of 11, working with Tyne Daly in the 1989 revival of Gypsy. He spent two years with the show, and after finishing school joined a national tour of Annie Get Your Gun. Yazbeck's Broadway credits include the Trevor Nunn/Susan Stroman revival of Oklahoma!, Never Gonna Dance and Chicago. He also starred in the original revival cast of A Chorus Line and was featured in the making-of documentary Every Little Step. As a child performer in Gypsy, Yazbeck dreamed of playing the role of Tulsa; a dream fulfilled during the 2008 revival starring Patti LuPone, for which he received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. He recently started in the Encores! production of Little Me.