LYRICS & LYRICISTS at 92Y Opens Season Celebrating Yip Harburg

By: Dec. 16, 2019
LYRICS & LYRICISTS at 92Y Opens Season Celebrating Yip Harburg

Lyrics & Lyricists™ opens its new season with a salute to Yip Harburg, who appeared on the 92nd Street Y stage for L&L's first show in December 1970. Harburg was a master lyricist, poet, and book writer who worked with more than 40 composers in writing over 600 songs, including such classics as "April in Paris," "Old Devil Moon," "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady," "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?," "Paper Moon," and, of course, "Over the Rainbow." Mikaela Bennett, Clifton Duncan, Desi Oakley, Megan Sikora and Nick Spangler bring Harburg's story to life-from his Lower East Side childhood to being blacklisted by HUAC. Matt Kunkel's direction, with musical direction by Paul Masse and a script by Jon Marans, weaves together Harburg's comedic and political sides.

Jon Marans comments, "The genius of Yip Harburg-his lyrics not only make you laugh, make you cry, but also make you think. And make you question... your life, the world around you. Questions literally abound throughout his songs. "Brother Can you Spare a Dime?" "April in Paris, whom can I run to? What you have done to my heart?" "If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why can't I?"

Adds Matt Kunkel, "One of my favorite quotes from Yip is: 'Words make you think thoughts, music makes you feel a feeling, but a song makes you feel a thought.' Some people think that musicals are not the place to be political, that the point is just escapism entertainment. What I love about Yip is that his work, dating all the way back to the 1930s, was all about change, with its goal to make you think about something in a completely different light than where you started."

John Kelly, Lighting Design
Dan Scully, Projection Design
Lori Wekselblatt, Production Stage Manager
Telsey + Company, Casting

Coming up in 2020

February 22, 23, 24

Jerry Herman: YOU I LIKE
Conceived and Music Directed by Andy Einhorn
From Hello, Dolly! and Mame to La Cage aux Folles, no one has written "showtunes" with as much exuberance as Jerry Herman, whose joyful scores have sent us from the theater humming for more than 50 years. His musicals offer an optimistic approach to the human condition, finding common ground with his audience by showing us that the differences between us are, in fact, what unite us. Join us as Andy Einhorn leads a terrific cast in an unforgettable evening celebrating a Broadway master.

March 21, 22, 23

George Gershwin: YOU'VE GOT WHAT GETS ME
Conceived and Music Directed by Paul Masse
In George Gershwin's short 38 years, he and his brother Ira created dozens of the most beloved songs of all time, forever changing the sensibilities of the writers who came after. In this same way, he was influenced by 20th century classical composers like Debussy and Ravel. Distilling his symphonic grandeur, the sounds of 1920s Harlem, and the style of Tin Pan Alley into new virtuoso arrangements for two pianos, joined by a cast of versatile performers, we explore this evolution from classical to opera to jazz and beyond.

April 18, 19, 20

Stephen Schwartz, Featured Lyricist and Composer
With Special Guests Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich, John Bucchino, Khiyon Hursey
Wicked ... Godspell ... Pippin ... To appreciate the songwriting brilliance of lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz, one need only look up at some of Broadway's most iconic marquees. The Tony, Oscar and Grammy Award winner joins us for a celebration of his illustrious career through his songs and anthems, sharing the stage with some of the brilliant young talents he has championed through the ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop and sharing why he is so invested in nurturing the next generation of musical theater lyricists, composers and librettists.

May 30, 31 and June 1

David Loud, Artistic Director, Writer, Arranger & Host
Noah Racey, Director
George Abbott was one of the last of the theater impresarios who served as both director and producer. His creative touch on stage and off and his incredibly prolific output during the 1940s and 50s resulted in Broadway hit after Broadway hit. It also led to a collaborative partnership with a promising young protégé-Hal Prince-giving us back-to-back Tony Award-winning smashes in The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees. Lyrics & Lyricists favorite David Loud takes us through the legacy of this Broadway giant and shares the inside stories of the golden age.

Since 1970, Lyrics & Lyricists™, the pioneering American Songbook series, and one of 92Y's signature series, has celebrated the work of songwriters like Lynn Ahrens, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, Dorothy Fields, Sheldon Harnick, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and David Zippel with champions and interpreters of the American Songbook including Rob Berman, Rob Fisher, David Loud, Kathleen Marshall, John Pizzarelli, and Ted Sperling. 92Y Lyrics & Lyricists receives support from Gilda Block; Theodore Cohn; The Hite Foundation; The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation; Ellen F. Marcus; Howard and Eleanor Morgan; and Lynda and Robert Safron / The Edythe Kenner Foundation. Yip Harburg: Sunday, 7 pm performance is supported by The Hite Foundation. Jerry Herman: Sunday, 7 pm performance is supported by Suzi and Martin Oppenheimer. Stephen Schwartz: Saturday, 8 pm performance is supported by Lynda and Robert Safron / The Edythe Kenner Foundation. George Abbot: Supported by Gilda Block.

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