Music Theatre International, the licensing company that represents shows from West Side Story to Fiddler on the Roof, Sweeney Todd, and Rent, has announced a major acquisition of five musicals from the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe catalogue.
MTI will now represent the Broadway classics My Fair Lady, Camelot, Brigadoon, and Paint Your Wagon, as well as a newly restored early work, The Day Before Spring. Beginning June 1, MTI will rep My Fair Lady in the U.S., U.K., and all English-language territories, with the other four titles to be represented globally. The titles were formerly represented by the Tams-Witmark Music Library.
This will mark the first time that secondary performance rights to The Day Before Spring—Lerner and Loewe’s short-lived 1945 musical—have been available for licensing.
“We are honored to have been selected by the representatives of Lerner and Loewe to represent their musicals,” said MTI President Drew Cohen. “These are among the greatest musicals ever written for Broadway and the West End, and we look forward to sharing them with our customers around the world, from high school auditoriums to regional theatres to opera houses.”
Cohen added, "Not all musicals stand the test of time but these were so exceptional to begin with, and have only become more appreciated over the years.”
MTI Chairman and CEO Freddie Gershon offered, “A toast to our new family members, Messrs. Lerner and Loewe: We're so glad you sought to fly…/And we know the reason why…/You're part of MTI/Now we're all on the street where you live/(What a great way to celebrate Eliza Doolittle Day!).”
Sir Cameron Mackintosh, co-owner of MTI with Gershon, and himself the producer of two highly acclaimed U.K. revivals of My Fair Lady (in 1979 and 2001, respectively), said: “I was lucky enough to see the original production of My Fair Lady at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane several times, including the Last Night on my 16th birthday in 1963, when I gate-crashed the party and danced all night. Two years later I started my career there as a stage hand on Camelot, and shortly after that, thanks to a little bit of luck, I met the legendary lyricist Alan Jay Lerner. We became firm friends and Alan directed my first London production of My Fair Lady in 1979. Like Professor Higgins, he taught me so much about the musical theatre that he and Fritz Loewe created so brilliantly. Personally I am thrilled at the absobloomin’ loverly news that their legendary body of work has found a new home with MTI. Bravo Eliza!”
In a joint statement, Loren Plotkin, trustee of the Alan Jay Lerner Testamentary Trust, and Emily Altman, President of the Frederick Loewe Foundation, said, “We are delighted that five Lerner & Loewe musicals will now be represented by Music Theatre International. MTI’s success in bringing musicals to new audiences worldwide, its commitment to arts education, and its ground breaking achievements in schools across the globe, reflect values that we share. The partnership of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe is recognized as one of the most successful in musical theatre history; on their behalf, we now look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with MTI.”
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