By Dominic McHugh
The fellow at the back of "I may have Danced all evening" and "Almost Like Being in Love", lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986) is commonly considered as probably the most very important figures of the yankee musical degree. In penning the lyrics to a few of the main famous and liked Broadway indicates, together with Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, My reasonable Lady, and Camelot, Lerner labored and corresponded with many of the maximum luminaries of renowned leisure over a profession which spanned 4 a long time, from performers like Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews to composers like André Previn, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Strouse, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and particularly Frederick Loewe.
In this wealthy choice of correspondence, such a lot of it released for the 1st time, writer Dominic McHugh sheds new gentle on Lerner's operating relationships with those mythical figures. McHugh's huge remark finds Lerner's turbulent partnerships with Loewe and Lane, his affection for Harrison, and his reverence for Burton. specific emphasis is put on Lerner's aborted initiatives with composers like Richard Rodgers and Arthur Schwartz. in particular important is the correspondence from his ultimate years, within which he labored on a film model of The Merry Widow, a BBC television sequence approximately musicals, and a musical model of My guy Godfrey, none of which got here to fruition. the gathering ends with a poignant ultimate trade among Lerner and Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he was once to have written The Phantom of the Opera. total, this significant and vigorous booklet unearths the highs and lows of the occupation of 1 of America's wittiest and such a lot romantic lyricists.
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Additional info for Alan Jay Lerner: A Lyricist's Letters
151 Suskin, Opening Night, 531–532. 149 150 “From This Day On” 23 As you know, neither Cheryl [Crawford], Fritz [Loewe] nor I expected you to leave so soon, and although I certainly do not blame you for feeling the need of a rest, it does put us in a kind of difficult position. We are trying very, very hard to find a replacement, but so far we have been unsuccessful. Brown152 and Jack Oakie153 are unavailable. We have two or three other ideas, as of yesterday, that we will get into immediately.
He is trying to recapture some of the comic naiveté of life in an old mining town. In the second act he runs into some mass resistance that impedes the movement of the production but the first act is freely sketched, spontaneous and convivial. ”150 Others were less kind: Robert Garland (Journal-American) called it “monotonous” and “quite repetitious,” William Hawkins (World-Telegram and Sun) said it had “gigantic faults,” Walter Kerr (Herald Tribune) commented that “Mr. Lerner seems more interested in the authenticity of his background than in the joy of his audience,” and Richard Watts Jr.
140 Kathryn Grayson (1922–2010) was one of MGM’s top stars, with screen appearances including Show Boat (1951) and Kiss Me Kate (1953). Brady, “Paramount Names Stallings to Post,” New York Times, March 14, 1951, 52. Cyd Charisse (1922–2008) was a leading actress and dancer for MGM in the 1950s, with credits including The Band Wagon and Silk Stockings. 142 Louis Calta, “Paint Your Wagon Will Arrive Oct. 15,” New York Times, June 19, 1951, 33. 143 Lewis Funke, “News and Gossip Gathered on the Rialto,” New York Times, September 2, 1951, 53.