The series, which is hosted by John Kenrick, a musical theatre lover who created Musicals101.com, will present "The Presidency in Musicals" Sept. 9. The 5 PM discussion will focus on musicals that take audiences into the White House "for intimate glimpses of our Commanders-in-Chief and their families." Expect Kenrick to spotlight Ziegfeld Follies and First Lady Suite, among others.
The series continues Sept. 17 with an examination of George and Ira Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing, which spoofed presidential politics and eventually won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the first musical to ever be honored with that distinction. The 1 PM discussion will also explore how the brothers conquered not only Tin Pan Alley and Broadway but Hollywood as well.
The life and career of George M. Cohan will be the subject of the Sept. 24 discussion, which begins at 5:30 PM. This patriotic show-business legend wrote more than 40 Broadway plays and musicals and composed over 500 songs. In 1941, Cohan was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his song "Over There," a war-time standard.
The fall series will conclude Sept. 30 at 5 PM with an examination of the works of playwright George S. Kaufman. In addition to his numerous plays (The Man Who Came to Dinner, You Can't Take It With You, Dinner at Eight), Kaufman also penned the books for such musicals as Of Thee I Sing and I'd Rather Be Right.
Tickets, priced at $10, will be available at the door the day of the discussion. The York Theatre Company in Saint Peter's Theatre is located at 54th Street, east of Lexington Avenue. For reservations call (212) 935-5824, ext. 21.