Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

VIDEOS: Three Sheldon Harnick Songs You Have To Hear

VIDEOS: Three Sheldon Harnick Songs You Have To Hear With the Berkshire Theatre Group's production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical FIORELLO! transferring to Off-Broadway's East 13th Street Theater this September, the recent surge of New York productions of the musicals of composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick continues.

Though the Roundabout's Broadway production of SHE LOVES ME and The York's Off-Broadway mounting of THE ROTHSCHILDS have concluded their runs, FIORELLO! joins the hit Broadway revival of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.

Bock passed on in 2010, but Harnick seems to be enjoying the new appreciation of his work by younger theatregoers who weren't around in his heyday.

So here are a few lesser-known Sheldon Harnick selections that every theatre fan should know.

Harnick made his Broadway debut as one of many writers and composers contributing material to producer Leonard Sillman's revue NEW FACES OF 1952. His one song in the show, for which he wrote both words and music, was Alice Ghostley's comic showstopper "Boston Beguine." Here's Ghostley in the musical's movie version.

Harnick continued contributing to Broadway revues like TWO'S COMPANY and John Murray Anderson'S ALMANAC. For THE LITTLEST REVUE, he penned a comical gem for Charlotte Rae, the Renaissance-style ballad "The Shape Of Things." Here it is sung by the beloved jazz performer, Blossom Dearie.

Harnick's partnership with Jerry Bock began with the short-lived 1958 Broadway show, THE BODY BEAUTIFUL. But the next year brought the rousing success of FIORELLO! and Bock and Harnick became one of musical theatre's most successful teams of the 1960s.

This last video features Adam Heller, last seen on Broadway in IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, singing a wonderful song that was cut from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, "When Messiah Comes." It was intended to be Teyve's big second act solo and Zero Mostel loved singing it, but, as Harnick explains after the performance, it was the wrong song for that moment in the story.



Related Stories

From This Author - Michael Dale


Sunday Morning Michael Dale: Dear Funny Girl: Let Julie Benko Sing!
August 7, 2022

Like many theatre fans, I'd been reading the raves she's been getting as Beanie Feldstein's standby, and since I doubted press would be offered comps during her run, I sprung for a ticket to see for myself.

Sunday Morning Michael Dale: Alison Fraser Thrillingly Reinvents Cat On A Hot Tin Roof's Big Mama
July 31, 2022

A popular stage actor best known for being quirkily funny in musicals (Off-Broadway in March Of The Falsettos, on Broadway in Romance, Romance, The Secret Garden and Gypsy), Fraser reinvents a classic character and turns in a performance that thrills with its gutsy power masked by her character's well-rehearsed elegance.

Sunday Morning Michael Dale: All Singing! All Dancing! All Legal! Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville Opens at La MaMa
July 24, 2022

A collaboration of two of Off-Off-Broadway's favorite historically subversive companies, the HERE production of Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville, presented at La Mama is an entrancingly fun and educational two-hour festival of song, dance and spoken word, beginning as a relaxing communal experience and evolving into a call for activism.

Sunday Morning Michael Dale: Ukrainian Children Coming To Brooklyn in a Play They Premiered in a Bomb Shelter
July 17, 2022

Irondale is arranging for Ukrainian solider Oleg Onechchak's ensemble of child actors to give two performances in Brooklyn of Mom On Skype, which was originally performed in a warehouse-turned-bomb-shelter in the city of Lviv.

Sunday Morning Michael Dale: The Fire This Time Festival's 13th Year of Spotlighting Early-Career Playwrights From The African Diaspora
July 10, 2022

With a name lending new urgency to a rhyming couplet from the African-American spiritual 'Mary, Don't You Weep' ('God gave Noah the rainbow sign / No more water, the fire next time') the annual Fire This Time Festival has produced dozens of ten-minutes plays in its mission to 'provide a platform for early-career playwrights from the African diaspora to explore new directions for 21st century theater'.