Broadway celebrities including multiple Tony Award nominee Judy Kuhn will jog Broadway’s memory about lesser-known musical wordsmiths in the concert Songbook Classics by Unsung Lyricists May 6–8 as part of the Lyrics & Lyricists series at the 92nd Street YM-YWHA in Manhattan.
The event is being written and hosted by a well-known lyricist, Sheldon Harnick of Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello!. He will introduce performances by Kuhn (Fun Home), Aaron C. Finley (Kinky Boots), Elizabeth Stanley (On the Town), and Sal Viviano (The Full Monty).
They will perform songs by Broadway and Hollywood lyricists, including Leo Robin (“Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and “Thanks for the Memories”), Ned Washington (“The Nearness of You” from Romance in the Dark), and Herman Hupfeld (“As Times Goes By” from Everybody’s Welcome, later used in Casablanca), plus works by Mack Gordon, Harry Warren, Joe Burke, Al Dubin, and others.
Series Artistic Director Rob Fisher, who will accompany the singers on the piano, said, “Certain lyrics persist in our brains, and often we know exactly how the song became a part of us, as well as who wrote it. But there are songs that have endured where we know almost nothing about the writers who have managed to permanently plant those words in our heads and hearts. We’ll explore the lives of those lesser-known creators, and celebrate their achievements through anecdotes and the personal insights of our host, Sheldon Harnick.”
Performances are scheduled for 8 PM May 6; 2 PM and 7 PM May 7; and 2 PM and 7:30 PM May 8. To order tickets, visit 92y.org/event/l-l-songbook-classics-by-unsung-lyricists. The 92nd Street YM-YWHA is located at 1395 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.
Kuhn has been a special guest performer on two of Playbill’s Broadway on the High Seas cruises. Playbill’s inaugural river cruise along the Rhône River in May 2017 is sold out, but cabins are available for the Rhine River cruise in August 2017, featuring Seth Rudetsky, Andréa Burns, Faith Prince, Terrence Mann, Charlotte d’Amboise, and Santino Fontana. Playbill Travel is now also booking Broadway on the Danube River for November 2017, with celebrity guests to be announced. Visit PlaybillTravel.com for booking and information.
The 2017 Lyrics & Lyricists series, which began in March with a salute to Dorothy Fields, will conclude June 3–5 with From Camelot to California: The Worlds of Lerner and Loewe. Chuck Cooper, Lauren Worsham, and other performers to be announced will salute the songwriters of Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, My Fair Lady, Gigi, and Camelot, including the songs “Almost Like Being in Love” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.” The series has been presented annually since 1970.