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Lyrics & Lyricists: From Camelot to California—The Worlds of Lerner and Loewe

| June 21, 2017

Lyrics & Lyricists

From Camelot to California:
The Worlds of Lerner and Loewe

92nd Street Y, NYC, June 4, 20117

Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes

Frederick Loewe & Alan Jay Lerner

Seventy years ago, Broadway first-nighters saw a mythical village emerge from an on-stage mist. A chorus softly sang the words, “Brigadoon, Brigadoon”—and so premiered the first Broadway collaboration of lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe. It was a partnership celebrated in the June outing of the 92nd Street Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists series.

Under the artistic direction of Rob Berman—who also served, warmly and succinctly, as the program’s writer and host—the show featured performances by Broadway stars Chuck Cooper, his daughter Lilli Cooper, Bryce Pinkham, Ron Silverman, and Lauren Worsham—all of whom shone in a smartly paced program of almost three-dozen solos, duets, and varied show-wise combinations.

Supported by a five-piece band led by Mark C. Mitchell at the piano, the cast presented a musical panorama of Lerner & Loewe hits from their on-again/off-again relatively partnership.  Among the numbers were the romantic “Come to Me, Bend to Me” and “Almost Like Being in Love,” from Brigadoon; the wistful “Wandrin’ Star” and “They Call the Wind Maria” from Paint Your Wagon; “If Ever I Would Leave Youand “How to Handle a Woman” (the secret, revealed  in the lyric: “Love her, love her, love her”), from Camelot; “She Is Not Thinking of Me”; the title song from Gigi and, of  course, such now-classics from My Fair Lady as “On the Street Where You Live,” “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” “Show Me,” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.” Large-screen visuals, projected behind the performers, included the program booklets and scenes representing the various shows, as well as shots of Lerner and Loewe at work throughout their collaboration.

Lyrics & Lyricists, which has been under the wise and lively overall artistic direction of Deborah Grace Winer, is going on hiatus after a “request” evening on June 26, to return at the start of 2018. Deborah has announced that she is stepping down from that post, after 13 years, to take on “new challenges to bring audiences ever-fresh visions of the American Songbook.”

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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