Here’s Elaine Stritch on our stage doing one of the many things she does best… saying whatever she wants. #elainestritch #michaelmusto #comedy #humor #saywhat #sassy #broadway (at 92nd Street Y)
Ethel Merman and chorus girls in the Gershwins’ Girl Crazy (1930)
The next show in our Lyrics & Lyricists series, “Sweepin’ the Clouds Away: Boom, Bust and High Spirits,” opens this weekend. In his artistic director’s note, Robert Kimball writes:
The Rodgers and Hart ingénue was no longer like “A Ship Without a Sail”; she was now selling her “friendship” for “Ten Cents a Dance” as a taxi dancer in the Palace Ballroom…
Yet, even as the Depression worsened, the grim economic situation could not silence the exuberant, life-affirming voices of America’s songwriters or dampen the public’s desire for entertainment that would lift its spirits. Difficult as it is for us to believe, even at the depth of the Depression nearly 200 shows opened in a season. Today that number is around 40….
To read more from Mr. Kimball and to see a sampling of songs from the show, visit the “Program Notes.”
Photo: Masterworks Broadway
#throwbackthursday Elaine Stritch records the original #Broadway cast album of Company in 1970. Joanne becomes one of her most famous roles, earning her a Tony nomination and making her song “The Ladies Who Lunch” iconic. Get your tickets to see the brassy 89 year old talk about her legendary career and new documentary, Shoot Me, at 92Y on Feb 17.
Ryan Shaw sings “Evermore” from his 2012 album Real Love
We’re pleased to present Ryan Shaw, a recent addition to the cast of tonight’s sold-out 80th Birthday Celebration of Songwriter Mike Stoller and his partnership with lyricist Jerry Leiber, which produced such iconic songs like “Jailhouse Rock,” On Broadway, “Love Potion #9” and “Is That All There Is?”
This weekend Ryan just received his third Grammy nomination, Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Yesterday” in his new CD, Real Love, as well as a collective nomination for Best Cast Album for Motown: The Musical. To introduce Ryan, we asked him our “Stoller Q&A.”
What’s your favorite Leiber and Stoller song?
“I Who Have Nothing.” It was my first audition song in New York. It was my second day in New York City on my own, and I had an audition for Smokey Joe’s Cafe. I did my best to recreate Victor Cook’s rendition—and I received a standing ovation from the panel. But the problem came in the dance callback…yikes!
What other artists would you like to perform with whom you haven’t yet?
I would love to perform with Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder (who I now play on Broadway in Motown: The Musical).
All’s well that ends well this Saturday when Lyrics &Lyricists presents its final show of the season, “Brush Up Your Shakespeare: The Bard and the Broadway Musical.” The cast includes three 92Y newcomers who are eager to introduce themselves with our L&L Q&A.
Britney Coleman, who has appeared across the country as Deena in Dreamgirls, Rapunzel in Into the Woods and Kala in Tarzan: The Musical
Daniel Breaker, who played the Donkey in Shrek the Musical and the Youth in Passing Strange on Broadway
Heather Jane Rolff, who’s just finished the 25th anniversary North American tour of Les Misérables
What’s your favorite song from the American Songbook?
Britney: “My Funny Valentine” by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart
Daniel: At the moment, “Willow Willow Willow” from the musical Kean by Robert Wright and George Forrest. This is such a haunting piece that beautifully compliments the “Willow” song in Verdi’s Otello.
Heather: I think my “favorites” change with my moods, but I will always have a soft spot for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg, “Come Rain or Come Shine” by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer and “What’ll I Do?” by Irving Berlin.
Jason Danieley, Sheldon Harnick, Mary Testa
What do Broadway stars listen to when they’re not performing on stage? Jason Danieley (Next to Normal, Curtains, The Full Monty) is appearing in this weekend’s Lyrics & Lyricists show, "W.S. Gilbert and the Broadway He Inspired," and he let us take a peek into his iPod. We’ve recreated his playlist on YouTube.
Matt Munisteri - “Let’s Do Something Bad”
Matt Munisteri - “A Cottage For Sale”
Martin Sexton - “Happy”
Martin Sexton - “Sugarcoating”
James Taylor - “My Traveling Star”
The Steeldrivers - “Guitars, Whiskey, Guns and Knives”
Earth, Wind and Fire - “Shining Star”
Huey Lewis & The News - “Finally Found a Home”
Phil Collins - “Why Can’t It Wait ‘Til Morning”
David Wilcox - “Burgundy Heart-Shaped Medallion”