Glad to Be Unhappy: The Lyrical Life of Lorenz Hart, a celebration of one of America's most esteemed lyricists, ends its run at Los Angeles' Theatre West Dec. 17. Gogi Grant and Bill Hayes, who first teamed up forty years ago in Oklahoma!, star. Forty-nine of Hart's songs (with music by his partner, Richard Rodgers) are reprised by Grant and Hayes, directed by Betty Garrett and William Mead.
Garrett, a co-founder of Theatre West, has herself been a Broadway luminary and a star of the MGM musical era, including twice being Frank Sinatra's love interest ("On the Town" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"). TV audiences will remember her as Edna Babish on "Laverne and Shirley."
Mead is a dancer, actor and choreographer. At age 11 he was a solo guest artist at Radio City Music Hall and he later appeared in many Broadway shows, including the final 2 1/2 years of A Chorus Line.
Hart, the son of German-Jewish immigrants, suffered from bouts of depression all his life, yet wrote many songs that celebrated love, joy and romance. He started writing lyrics at a young age and came to fame when he teamed up with Rodgers. Grant and Hayes will interpret such songs as "My Funny Valentine," "Isn't It Romantic?" and "Thou Swell." Producing for Theatre West are Larry Thomas and John Gallogly.
Theatre West is located at 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. For tickets and information call (323) 851-7977 or visit www.theatrewest.org -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent