Following last season's new format, the upcoming one will feature five programs designed by five different artistic directors. Award-winning actor André De Shields kicks off the season with a tribute to African-American songwriter Andy Razaf. "Hotcha Razz-Ma-Tazz: The Lyrics of Andy Razaf" will play the Y Nov. 22-24. Razaf, the grand-nephew of the last reigning queen of Madagascar, penned lyrics to such songs as "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Honeysuckle Rose," "This Joint Is Jumping" and "(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue."
Musical theatre historian Robert Kimball will celebrate the lyrics of Mack Gordon in "Serenade in Blue: The Lyrics of Mack Gordon." Those attending the Jan. 29-31, 2005, concerts can expect to hear such songs as "At Last," "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo," "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?," "There Will Never Be Another You," "You'll Never Know" and "You Make Me Feel So Young."
From Feb. 26-28, music director and conductor Rob Fisher will present a "Celebration of Sheldon Harnick." Harnick, with collaborator Jerry Bock, created such Broadway classics as Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me and Fiorello. Harnick will be part of the evening saluting his canon.
Deborah Grace Winer, the author of "On the Sunny Side of the Street: The Life and Lyrics of Dorothy Fields," will appropriately pay tribute to Fields in her show, which is titled "Dorothy's Side of the Street: The Dorothy Fields Centennial Celebration." John Oddo will be the musical director for the March 19-21 concerts, which will salute the lyricist of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Baby)," "Big Spender," "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "Don't Blame Me."
The season will conclude with Paul Trueblood's homage to Betty Comden and Adolph Green. From May 14-16, Trueblood will present "Comes Once in a Lifetime: Betty Comden & Adolph Green." Comden and Green's lyrics were heard in such classic musicals as On the Town, The Band Wagon, Bells Are Ringing and Wonderful Town.The latter is currently enjoying a revival — starring Donna Murphy — at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Subscriptions to the 2004-2005 “Lyrics & Lyricists” season are available by calling (212) 415-5500 or at the 92nd Street Y box office, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street. For more information, go to www.92y.org.