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92Y Announces Lyrics & Lyricists 2019 Season


92Y announces Lyrics & Lyricists 2019, the 49th season of the country's preeminent American Songbook series. L&L producer Ted Chapin brings a variety of artists from theater and beyond-including Santino Fontana, Mo Rocca, Rob Berman and Chase Brock-to present original revues featuring award-winning Broadway and cabaret performers.

The season opens with a celebration of Rodgers & Hart and continues with a look into the life and work of "Mr. Show Business" himself - Sammy Davis, Jr., a show devoted to Stephen Sondheim's inimitable wordplay, and a deep dive into Oklahoma! at 75. The 2019 season closes with a celebration of television's history of songs and music originally written for that medium, from original musicals by great songwriters to jingles and theme songs.

"I'm excited about the new season, which both looks at the familiar through contemporary eyes and delves into unexplored areas," comments Ted Chapin. "We're welcoming a remarkable group of talented artists who bring a wealth of fresh takes and insights to this extraordinary series."

January 26, 27, 28


Conceived and Written by Santino Fontana
Music Director, David Chase

Sophisticated, romantic, refined - words that describe New York City ... and the songs of Rodgers & Hart. Before the Broadway successes that would introduce countless songbook classics, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart were students attending Columbia University and writing musicals for the school's varsity shows. And NYC was more than just their turf-the city's elegance was their muse. Conceived by the multi-talented Santino Fontana-Tony nominee, Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, and star of the upcoming Broadway musical Tootsie-and music directed by David Chase, the show celebrates 100 years of Rodgers & Hart with their gems ("Where or When," "My Romance," others), and their quintessential valentines to the city ("Manhattan," "I've Got to Get Back to New York"). Join us, as we turn Kaufmann Hall into an isle of joy!

February 23, 24, 25


Artistic Director, Laurence Maslon

Directed by Tazewell Thompson

"I've got to be a star like another man needs to breathe," said Sammy Davis, Jr. Known as "Mr. Show Business," Davis was an electrifying entertainer, with a career that was dazzling in its range and reach: song-and-dance man, Rat Pack member alongside Frank Sinatra, and beyond. It was a career that also triumphed over the oppressive challenges of racism. With a line-up that includes artistic director Laurence Maslon and L&L favorites André de Shields and Betsy Wolfe, we journey through Davis' remarkable career, looking backward and forward from 1964's Golden Boy -the Broadway musical that earned Davis a Tony nomination for Best Actor. And we follow Davis' struggle for identity in 20th century America with the songs that illuminate the complex stages of his life: "Mr. Bojangles," "The Birth of the Blues," and the one that defined him best, "I've Gotta Be Me."

March 30, 31, April 1


Creative team TBA

"No time to sit and dither / While her withers wither with her"-theater's greatest lyricist is also theater's greatest wordsmith. Though Stephen Sondheim has written both music and lyrics for some of the finest scores of the 20th century, it's Sondheim the lyricist we'll spotlight in this very special L&L show. A genius of dexterity, there isn't a lyricist in American music who plays with words and language with greater virtuosity or delivers greater delight. From tongue twisters to passages of alliterative wit, we'll examine how Sondheim puts it all together, as we celebrate the master craftsman with his own brilliant words.

May 4, 5, 6


Hosted by Ted Chapin

Musical Director, Andy Einhorn

Rodgers & Hammerstein's first collaboration wasn't just a theatrical smash hit-it was a game changer. An early dismissal of the show: "No jokes, no legs, no chance," couldn't have proved more wrong. Oklahoma! ushered in an entirely new kind of musical, and with it, the dawning of a new era in musical theater. We look at the birth and life of Oklahoma!-what made it a hit, what keeps it a hit. And we examine the groundbreaking show through its classics ("Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin,' "People Will Say We're in Love"), uncover songs dropped from the production during its pre-Broadway run ("Boys and Girls Like You and Me," others), and explore-with fresh eyes-Oklahoma's! exciting new productions and continued relevance 75 years after its history-making premiere.

June 1, 2, 3


Created by Rob Berman and Chase Brock, Co-Artistic Directors

Hosted by Mo Rocca

Did you know that the last score Cole Porter wrote was for a 1958 musical created for television?! Music in television goes far beyond memorable theme songs, with such original musicals as Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, Stephen Sondheim's Evening Primrose, Cole Porter's Aladdin, and others written expressly for the small screen. Original songs were created for special events ("Love and Marriage" for a television version of Thornton Wilder's Our Town), for variety shows featuring popular singers, and more. Created by co-artistic directors Rob Berman and Chase Brock, and hosted by television's own Mo Rocca of CBS Sunday Morning, this entertaining look at the role of music in television won't be available in re-runs-see it "Live and in Living Color!"

Since 1970, Lyrics & Lyricists, the pioneering American Songbook series, and one of 92Y's signature series, has celebrated the work of songwriters like Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Dorothy Fields, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, Sheldon Harnick, and David Zippel with champions and interpreters of the American Songbook including Rob Fisher, Kathleen Marshall, Billy Stritch, John Pizzarelli, Ted Chapin, and Mark Lamos. 92Y Lyrics & Lyricists receives support from Gilda Block; The Hite Foundation; The Edythe Kenner Foundation; The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation; Ellen F. Marcus; and Howard and Eleanor Morgan.

92nd Street Y is a world-class, nonprofit cultural and community center that fosters the mental, physical and spiritual health of people throughout their lives, offering: wide-ranging conversations with the world's best minds; an outstanding range of programming in the performing, visual and literary arts; fitness and sports programs; and activities for children and families. 92Y is reimagining what it means to be a community center in the digital age with initiatives like the award-winning #GivingTuesday, launched by 92Y in 2012 and now recognized across the US and in a growing number of regions worldwide as a day to celebrate and promote giving. These kinds of initiatives are transforming the way people share ideas and translate them into action both locally and around the world. More than 300,000 people visit 92Y annually; millions more participate in 92Y's digital and online initiatives. A proudly Jewish organization since its founding in 1874, 92Y embraces its heritage and welcomes people of all backgrounds and perspectives. For more information, visit

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