Loesser Will Be More in 12-Hour Marathon of Songs March 20 in NYC Symphony Space in New York City will make more of Loesser than any organization ever has when Wall to Wall Frank Loesser, a free, celebrity-spiked 12-hour marathon of his work, is presented 11 AM-11 PM March 20.
The Manhattan arts organization, known for its Selected Shorts readers' theatre events and eclectic performing arts bookings, targets Broadway and film composer-lyricist Loesser (1910-1969) in its 29th Wall to Wall event. Loesser, of course, wrote songs for such Broadway musicals as Guys and Dolls, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Where's Charley?, The Most Happy Fella and Greenwillow. He also wrote memorable tunes for such films as "Neptune's Daughter" ("Baby, It's Cold Outside"), "Hans Christian Andersen" ("Inchworm," "Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen") and "Destry Rides Again" (Marlene Dietrich's famous "The Boys in the Back Room").
Among performers visiting Symphony Space at 2537 Broadway, at 95th Street, will be theatre stars related (and unrelated) to Loesser productions: Matthew Broderick (How to Succeed...), Liz Callaway (Most Happy Fella), Betty Comden, Debbie Gravitte, Josie de Guzman and Faith Prince (both of Guys and Dolls), Adolph Green, Jonathan Hadary, Mary Cleere Haran, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Linda Lavin, Michele Lee (How to Succeed), widow Jo Sullivan Loesser, Rita Moreno, Rebecca Luker, Richard Muenz, Phyllis Newman (of the tryout flop, Pleasures and Palaces), James Naughton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lee Roy Reams, Steve Ross, John Rubinstein, Marilyn Sokol, Billy Stritch, KT Sullivan, Margaret Whiting and many others.
There is no announced schedule or running order, and the appearances are subject to change.
The event, staged by Symphony Space co-founder Isaiah Sheffer, will feature some 150 songs by 100 performers, covering the range of Loesser's output, including wartime songs ("Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition") and collaborations with composers Jule Styne, Burton Lane, Hoagy Carmichael, Arthur Schwartz and others. The cast of Titanic will sing "Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat" (featuring daughter Emily Loesser).
Also appearing will be Elliott Lawrence, Broadway conductor of How to Succeed... and Abba Bogin, conductor of Greenwillow.
Tickets are not required for the event. Music lovers may come and go throughout the day, but will be seated only suitable breaks. The wait is not long, said a spokesman for symphony space.
Symphony Space began its Wall to Wall series in 1978 with Wall to Wall Bach. Later versions of the marathon concept focused on Mozart, Beethoven, John Cage, Aaron Copland, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin.
Wall to Wall Loesser will be broadcast live on WNYC-AM 820 6 PM 11 PM.
For more information, call Symphony Space at (212) 864-1414.
-- By Kenneth Jones