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LYRICS & LYRICISTS to Return to 92Y With Darius De Haas & More

The new season opens with “Facing the Music,” conceived and hosted by Broadway music director/arranger David Loud.

LYRICS & LYRICISTS to Return to 92Y With Darius De Haas & More

Lyrics & Lyricists will return to the stage of the 92nd Street Y's historic Kaufmann Concert Hall for the 50th anniversary season of the country's preeminent American Songbook series. L&L features artists from theater and beyond presenting original shows with award-winning Broadway and cabaret performers.

The new season opens with "Facing the Music," conceived and hosted by Broadway music director/arranger David Loud, a longtime and beloved L&L artistic director. Based on his forthcoming memoir - also entitled Facing the Music - the show is a journey through his career and such shows as Ragtime, She Loves Me, Merrily We Roll Along and more, full of backstage stories and anecdotes.

An as-yet-untitled show conceived by and starring Darius de Haas explores the life and songs of Sam Cooke, often referred to as the "King of Soul." Cooke began as a gospel singer, crossing over to the pop charts with hit songs like "You Send Me," "Cupid" and "A Change is Gonna Come" and he played a significant role in the civil rights movement, along with friends Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X and Jim Brown. De Haas' Broadway credits include Shuffle Along, The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm, and Carousel, and he is the voice of Shy Baldwin on Amazon Prime's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Broadway music director Ted Sperling closes the 2022 season with "Isn't it Bliss?: Sondheim on Love," a fresh take on Stephen Sondheim as a singular composer of love songs. The show looks at relationships through the work of the inimitable composer whose first-ever public appearance closed L&L's inaugural season in 1971 with an evening discussing his work. Audio of the evening is available here.

"We're thrilled to bring Lyrics & Lyricists back to the stage after a two-season hiatus due to the pandemic," said Amy Lam, Vice President, Tisch Music. "Launched in 1970, this much-loved series and 92Y mainstay will once again be back in our hall with live audiences. This 50th anniversary season offers a microcosm of what has made L&L the standard-bearer of American Songbook series. The original shows by top artistic directors offer unique perspectives on the richness and range of musical theater and popular music, bringing these songs and their magic alive for both longtime fans and new audiences."


March 19, 20, 21

Conceived and Hosted by David Loud
Musical theater legend and Lyrics & Lyricists favorite David Loud celebrates his Broadway-spanning career in a show sparked by his new memoir, Facing the Music. Loud occupies a unique place in Broadway history, with his distinguished career as a leading music director and arranger for shows including Ragtime, She Loves Me, Sondheim on Sondheim, The Scottsboro Boys and more coupled with acting roles in Master Class, Curtains, and the original production of Merrily We Roll Along . He brings stories of his work with Stephen Sondheim, Kander & Ebb and others, behind-the-scenes anecdotes from on and off the stage, and unforgettable songs from his many shows to this joyful, big-hearted celebration of a Broadway life.

April 23, 24, 25

Conceived by and Starring Darius de Haas
Award-winning Broadway dynamo Darius de Haas (Rent, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Carousel, Shuffle Along, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel ) creates and stars in a show spotlighting the life and songbook of the great Sam Cooke. Cooke's rise during his tragically short life took him from local gospel singer to international pop/soul icon to trailblazing entrepreneur to civil rights activist. De Haas recreates Cooke's enduring songs and tracks, from classics of romance ("Wonderful World," "You Send Me," "Cupid," "For Sentimental Reasons") to an anthem of revolution ("A Change is Gonna Come") and many others. An illuminating look at the legacy of a hugely influential artist and a man with the voice of an angel.

June 18, 19, 20

Conceived, Written, Directed, Hosted, and Music Directed by Ted Sperling
Stephen Sondheim's astute, clever, emotionally intelligent exploration of the many facets of love is unrivaled in musical theater. Tony Award winner and Lyrics & Lyricists favorite Ted Sperling conceived and hosts this show looking at love through the Sondheim songbook. The incomparable songs address love in all its phases: its giddy heights ("What More Do I Need"), crushing heartache ("Not a Day Goes By"), manic panic ("Getting Married Today") and the emotional ambivalence Sondheim captured with perfect pitch ("Being Alive"). Hear them and more than a dozen others, including "Send in the Clowns," "Barcelona" and "Move On," in this one-of-a-kind celebration of the most innovative and influential composer-lyricist in Broadway history.

A Brief History of Lyrics & Lyricists:

Lyrics & Lyricists began in 1970, at a time when there was no precedent for a program of first-person histories narrated by great living lyrists. Founding artistic director Maurice Levine himself "at first doubted there would be an audience for such a program," as he related in a New York Times interview. "But a discussion with the lyricist E. Y. (Yip) Harburg ["Over the Rainbow"] changed his mind. 'I went over to visit Yip,' Mr. Levine said, 'and as he talked, I realized that I had only a peripheral understanding of lyrics. What he said was so exciting that I knew I had to have an audience there.' At first, Mr. Levine invited lyricists to talk about their work, which was performed between discussion segments. By 1983, however, Mr. Levine had exhausted the supply of lyricists who were available to give the kind of illustrated lectures the programs had become. His solution was to reconfigure the evenings by providing scripts and adding film clips to the live performances. The series developed a large and loyal following and became the Y's most consistently successful music series. 'We try to give an impression of who the person is, what he stood for and what he tried to accomplish, along with a certain amount of musicology and music history,' he said. 'In three words, we inform entertainingly.'"

Stephen Sondheim, Sheldon Harnick, Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, Hal David, Jerry Herman, Carolyn Leigh and Lynn Ahrens are just a few of the celebrated lyricists who have appeared on the 92Y stage to "inform entertainingly."

As the series evolved beyond its original format of presenting living legends to its now signature mix of shows celebrating the best of Broadway musicals, exploring other facets of American popular music, and looking into the process of a living lyricist, these award-winning Broadway performers are a few of the talented artists who have joined L&L to illuminate the American Songbook: Jonathan Groff, Philippa Soo, Brandon Victor Dixon, Lucie Arnaz, Billy Porter, and Rebecca Luker.

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