By Dominic McHugh
The fellow at the back of "I can have Danced all evening" and "Almost Like Being in Love", lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986) is extensively considered as probably the most very important figures of the yankee musical level. In penning the lyrics to a few of the main recognized and cherished Broadway exhibits, together with Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, My reasonable Lady, and Camelot, Lerner labored and corresponded with the various maximum luminaries of renowned leisure over a occupation which spanned 4 many years, 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 mild on Lerner's operating relationships with those mythical figures. McHugh's huge observation unearths 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 tasks with composers like Richard Rodgers and Arthur Schwartz. specifically precious is the correspondence from his ultimate years, during 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 alternate among Lerner and Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he was once to have written The Phantom of the Opera. total, this significant and energetic 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 resources for Alan Jay Lerner: A Lyricist's Letters
127 Ezio Pinza (1892–1957) was a leading bass with the Metropolitan Opera before his appearance in the original production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific (1949). 128 Harold Arlen (1905–86) was a prolific composer, best remembered for his music for The Wizard of Oz (1939). 130 Eventually, Lerner did complete the songs and screenplay for a film version of Huckleberry Finn with Burton Lane,131 composer of the score for Royal Wedding, though it went unproduced. At a time when Freed was among the most powerful figures in Hollywood and only engaged the best, it is telling that Lerner was hired for or associated with all these films, in spite of barely having passed his thirtieth birthday.
I believe in the gutsy musical I tried to do. 156 But even the revised touring version folded quickly, and Wagon never quite repeated the success of Brigadoon. Curiously, the London production (1953: 477 performances) ran longer than its Broadway incarnation (289 performances), suggesting that perhaps the exoticism of the Wild West was more appealing to a British audience. Then again, it hardly mattered any more. Brigadoon hinted at what was to come from the Lerner and Loewe team, and Love Life was among the most ambitious musicals Broadway had yet seen.
Lerner wrote: The existence of the German story Germelshausen comes as no surprise to me at this time. It was not long after I had completed the first draft of Brigadoon that a friend informed me of it. At that time I obtained a copy and read it; and I was, of course, amazed at the resemblance. Then, upon delving into the matter a little further, I discovered that there existed another German legend much older than Germelshausen upon which the latter was either based or to which it bore an equally striking resemblance.