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92Y Presents CELEBRATING FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Feat. Sheldon Harnick to Close Lyrics and Lyricists 2015 Season

Generations around the world have grown up with Fiddler on the Roof and such unforgettable, iconic songs as "If I Were a Rich Man" and "Sunrise, Sunset." But getting to the "final Fiddler" was a fascinating process, and on May 30, 31 and June 1-closing the 2015 Lyrics & Lyricists season-lyricist Sheldon Harnick takes us inside the creation and history of this cultural landmark. Artistic director Rob Fisher leads a cast featuring vocalists Judy Blazer, Kerry Conte, Jonathan Hadary, Ross Lekites and Alan Schmuckler (additional cast TBA) performing such songs as "We've Never Missed a Sabbath Yet" (the show's original opening number; portions of its melody later heard in "Matchmaker, Matchmaker"), "That's Life" (cut before it could even be rehearsed), and "Dear, Sweet Sewing Machine" (loved by cast and creative team, but not by out-of-town tryout audiences). Familiar melodies with unfamiliar lyrics, rarely heard words and music, even lines never set to a tune-Sheldon Harnick brings Fiddler on the Roof "to life" as he never has before.

"What can we add to the books and studies about the importance of Fiddler? The voice of Sheldon Harnick" says Rob Fisher. "This is Sheldon's long-awaited opportunity to share the decision-making process that resulted in the final score for one of the most beloved pieces of musical theater of all time. He's sharing the songs that led to the songs we know-many not heard since the show's pre-Broadway tryout in Detroit, and some that have never been heard. Along the way, you'll hear bits of music and lyrics that were developed into the familiar score we know." Rob further notes that Sheldon wrote the lyrics for the nearly 50 songs that were tried before the score was finalized, using only one-third of them.

"Rob Fisher and I are preparing a program that will feature twenty of the more interesting songs written for Fiddler on the Roof, but never used," says Sheldon Harnick. "I'm having a wonderfully nostalgic time revisiting these songs."

About the Artistic Team and Cast

Rob Fisher, one of Lyrics & Lyricists' most popular and creative guest artistic directors, is making his tenth appearance on the series and his seventh collaboration with Sheldon Harnick. Rob is currently represented on Broadway as musical score adaptor and supervisor of An American in Paris, which has been nominated for twelve Tony Awards. He was also music consultant for this past spring's Living on Love, starring Renée Fleming. This past February Rob was guest music director for the New York City Center Encores! production of Lady, Be Good!; he was music director and conductor of the Tony Award-winning series from its inception in 1994 through 2005. Among Rob's other Broadway credits, he was musical director of 2011's Anything Goes and 2009's Hair, both of which won Tony Awards for Best Revival. Rob was also musical director of Chicago, Wonderful Town and The Apple Tree, all of which began as Encores! productions. He also regularly creates programs for the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center.

Sheldon Harnick has been a welcome and beloved presence at 92nd Street Y since 1971 when he was a guest in the first season of Lyrics & Lyricists. A graduate of Northwestern University, Sheldon came to New York in the early 1950s and wrote for such revues as New Faces of '52 and The Littlest Revue. In the mid-50s, Broadway star Jack Cassidy introduced him to composer Jerry Bock, and in 1958 Harnick and Bock created their first show, The Body Beautiful. The team wrote six more Broadway musicals, led by two of the most acclaimed productions of the 1960s: Fiorello!, which won the Pulitzer Prize and three Tony Awards, and Fiddler on the Roof, which won nine Tonys and held the record for longest running Broadway musical until Grease in 1980. Three other Harnick-Bock shows received Tony nominations: She Loves Me, The Apple Tree and The Rothschilds. Last year, the York Theatre devoted its entire "Musicals in Mufti" season to the works of Sheldon Harnick. It included three revivals: an early Off-Broadway show, Smiling, the Boy Fell Dead; Harnick and Bock's second collaboration, Tenderloin; and a 1984 parable on democracy, Dragons, with Sheldon providing both music and lyrics. The season also featured the world premiere of his Molière-inspired Malpractice Makes Perfect and a new musical revue, A World to Win. Sheldon is a longtime member of the Dramatists Guild and the Songwriters Guild, and in addition to numerous awards, together with Jerry Bock he is recipient of the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Gary Griffin returns to Lyrics & Lyricists, having previously worked with Sheldon Harnick and Rob Fisher together four times in the last decade. Gary's Broadway credits include directing this past season's Honeymoon in Vegas, the 2006 revival of Sheldon and Jerry Bock's The Apple Tree, and The Color Purple, followed by the national tour. For New York City Center Encores!, he directed The New Moon, Pardon My English, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Music in the Air and Lost in the Stars. His Off-Broadway credits include Saved at Playwrights Horizon and Beautiful Thing at the Cherry Lane Theatre. He directed Rob Fisher's 2012 concert performance of The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall.

Judy Blazer has appeared on Broadway in Love Musik, Neil Simon's 45 Seconds from Broadway, Titanic, Me and My Girl and A Change in the Heir. She was in the New York City Opera productions of Sweeney Todd and Candide, The Torch Bearers with the Drama Dept., Richard Greenberg's Hurrah at Last with the Roundabout Theatre, Bernarda Alba and Hello Again at Lincoln Center Theatre, A Connecticut Yankee for Encores!, and Twyla Tharp's Everlast at the Metropolitan Opera, as vocal soloist.

Kerry Conte makes her Lyrics & Lyricists debut With To Life! This summer she stars as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady at the Theatre by the Sea in Rhode Island, and as Irene Malloy in Hello, Dolly! at the Music Theatre Wichita. This past February she appeared in the Encores! production of Lady, Be Good! In January 2014 Kerry joined L&L favorite Jason Graae to open York Theater's "Musicals in Mufti" celebration of Sheldon Harnick with the musical revue, A World to Win. She earlier participated in the "Musicals in Mufti" cast recording of Harnick and Jerry Bock's 1958 musical, The Body Beautiful.

Jonathan Hadary makes his L&L debut after starring as Tevye last fall in a record-breaking run of Fiddler on the Roof at Washington's Arena Stage. Jonathan has appeared in ten Broadway shows, including his debut in Gemini, Gypsy (Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations), the Jerry Zaks-directed revival of Guys and Dolls, and two Clifford Odets revivals directed by Bartlett Sher-Awake and Sing! and Golden Boy.

He is currently a 2015 Drama Desk nominee for his performance in another Odets revival, Rocket to the Moon and was in Shakespeare in the Park's recent production of A Comedy of Errors.

Ross Lekites travelled to Sofia, Bulgaria this past February, where he performed in a nationally-telecast concert, "A Night of Bernstein," led by Rob Fisher. He recently finished the first national tour of Kinky Boots, where he played Richard Bailey and covered the co-lead role of Charlie Price. He also starred as Tony in the first national tour of the revival of West Side Story and as Joseph in a national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Alan Schmuckler appeared last year in Sheldon Harnick's Dragons, as part of the York Theatre's "Musicals in Mufti" 2014 Harnick celebration. He also appeared in the world premiere of Richard Nelson's Nikolai and the Others for Lincoln Center Theater. His other New York performing credits include Stars of David: Story to Song at the DR2 Theatre, and The Megile of Itzik Manger at the National Yiddish Theatre and Falling For Make Believe at the York Theatre.

About Lyrics & Lyricists

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 Ted Chapin, Rob Fisher, John Pizzarelli, Kathleen Marshall, and Billy Stritch. Lyrics & Lyricists receives underwriting support from Gilda and Henry Block; Kenneth Kolker; The Henry Nias Foundation, courtesy of Dr. Stanley Edelman; The Edythe Kenner Foundation; and the Hite Foundation, Inc.


Discounted Tickets for 35 and Under - www.92Y.org/35andUnder

About 92Y
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 www.92Y.org.


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