Presented by Arts and Artists at St. Paul's, the free 6 PM concert at the Donnell Library Theater pays tribute to the musicals of Sherman Yellen and the late Wally Harper. Concertgoers can expect to hear selections from Yellen and Harper's musicals This Fair World and Josephine Tonight.
Among those scheduled to perform are Penny Fuller, Malcolm Gets, Marcus Neville, Jennifer Smith, Christianne Tisdale, Rachel Cohen, Natalie Venetia Belcon, Lorna Hampson, Kendrick Jones and Terry Burrell. Musical director is Michael Lavine.
This Fair World, according to press notes, is "is a romp of lunacy and humanity with a cast of dreamers and schemers, all taking place during one spring night in New York City and the following day at the great New York World's Fair of 1939-40. For all its frivolity and romance, this musical takes a sharp, satiric view of class and power in America right before WWII, and by inference, today."
Josephine Tonight! is described as a "musical comedy drama based upon the early life of Josephine Baker as told by Carrie, her earthy laundress mother. It is a ragtime to riches story that follows Josephine's remarkable journey from the harsh poverty of the Jim Crow South to the rural Black Vaudeville circuit where she joins the remarkable company of Big Bertha Smith, on to Broadway during the Harlem Renaissance where she marries tap dancer Eddie Baker, concluding with Baker's arrival in Paris, her love affair with Paris, and where at the age of twenty she becomes a star; the icon of the Jazz Age."
The late Wally Harper is best known as the longtime music director and piano accompanist for Tony Award winner Barbara Cook. Sherman Yellen penned the book for the musicals The Rothschilds and Rex and is also author of the play Strangers. The Donnell Library Theater is located in Manhattan at 20 West 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. For further information call Arts and Artists at (212) 265-3495, ext. 336.