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Sometimes a truly great song finds itself in the midst of an unsuccessful show.

The not-so-hot Very Warm for May gave us the unforgettable “All the Things You Are”; the timeless “Here’s That Rainy Day” came out of the less-than-sunny Carnival in Flanders. Tony Award®–winning lyricist David Zippel (City of Angels, Disney’s Hercules) picks and polishes these hidden gems in a show that’s perfect for the Broadway buff.

Click on the Program Notes tab to see a selection of songs from the show.


David Zippel, artistic director, writer & host
Brad Haak, music director & piano
Lorin Latarro, choreographer

Starring
Brent Barrett, vocals
Lorna Luft, vocals
Christiane Noll, vocals
Jessica Lea Patty, vocals
Lillias White, vocals
Tony Yazbeck, vocals

Deborah Avery, woodwinds / Stephanie Cummins, cello / Steven Millhouse, bass / Perry Cavari, drums

Laura Bergquist, associate music director
Lee Wilkins, associate choreographer

 

The series is underwritten by Gilda and Henry Block, and Kenneth Kolker z”l.

Explore the Music

(Click the names below to expand info.)

Artistic Director’s Note

By David Zippel

When the team at 92nd Street Y invited me to come back to Lyrics & Lyricists (quite happily for the fifth time) I enthusiastically pitched them the idea of creating a show comprised of great songs from flop musicals. Given that the vast majority of Broadway musicals are unsuccessful, there are hundreds of less than terrific shows which contain wonderful songs worth revisiting. Even legendary Broadway songwriters, the gods and goddesses who are the very pillars of the American Songbook, have come face to face with failure. Consequently, we should not find it shocking that among their less than perfect shows are songs that equal their finest creations.

This compilation, I hope, will be filled with surprises: songs that you walked in humming but had no idea were given birth in stillborn musicals, and songs that you have never heard, and will walk out humming, that disappeared without a trace along with the shows for which they were created.

There are far more first-rate songs that qualify for this concert than we could possibly include. For example:

“He Touched Me,” from the forgotten Drat, the Cat, and “Why Did I Choose You,” from the equally obscure The Yearling, became perennial standards of the American Songbook as a result of shimmering, unforgettable performances by Barbra Streisand. “He Touched Me” was originally introduced in the show as “She Touched Me” and was sung by Streisand’s then- (and first) husband, Elliott Gould. Sammy Fain and Irving Kahal’s stunning “I Can Dream, Can’t I” found its way into the world in the 1938 failure Right This Way, only to be scooped up by Tommy Dorsey and The Andrews Sisters, whose recordings inspired many other artists to embrace the song, from Cass Elliott to Cleo Laine to Karen Carpenter.

You will hear the über-standard “As Time Goes By,” which hails from an open-andshut 1931 Broadway wipeout entitled Everybody’s Welcome; it was sung by Frances Williams, a major Broadway star of the time who appeared with the Marx Brothers in Broadway’s The Cocoanuts, and who was credited with popularizing the dance craze, the Charleston. The song was more successfully resurrected 13 years later by Dooley Wilson in the film classic Casablanca, which, this time, resulted in cinema and songbook immortality. I have even deigned to revisit some of my own on and off Broadway misadventures, which I hope you will find worthy of inclusion.

My illustrious cast, creative team and I are eager and ready to introduce you to this musical gold, which I can assure you, has been thoroughly panned.

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Selected Song List

Here is a selection of songs from “Panning for Gold: Great Songs from Flop Shows”:

ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, music by Jerome Kern
From Very Warm for May (1940)

GLITTER AND BE GAY
Lyrics & music by Leonard Bernstein
From Candide (1956)

GOOD THING GOING
Lyrics & music by Stephen Sondheim
From Merrily We Roll Along (1981)

THEY DON'T MAKE 'EM LIKE THAT ANYMORE
Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, music by Elmer Bernstein
From How Now, Dow Jones (1967)

TIME HEALS EVERYTHING
Lyrics & music by Jerry Herman
From Mack and Mabel (1974)

TIME STOPS
Lyrics & music by Andrew Lippa
From Big Fish (2013)

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Artist Bios

David Zippel, artistic director, writer & host

As a lyricist, David Zippel has won a Tony Award and earned two Academy, two Grammy and three Golden Globe nominations. His songs are included on more than 25 million CDs around the world.

He has the distinction of winning his Tony Award, with Cy Coleman, in his Broadway debut, City of Angels. He also won New York’s Drama Critics and Drama Desk awards, and London’s Olivier and Evening Standard awards. His next Broadway show, The Goodbye Girl, with music by Marvin Hamlisch and book by Neil Simon, earned him an Outer Critics Circle nomination for Best Lyrics. David wrote the lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White, earning them a Tony nomination for Best Score, and the show received five Olivier nominations.

David also wrote for Barbara Cook and Liza Minnelli on their now-legendary Broadway shows. Many other great singers have performed David’s lyrics, including Christina Aguilera, Michael Bolton, Linda Eder, Cleo Laine, Ricky Martin, Barbra Streisand, Mel Tormé and Stevie Wonder. With David Friedman he started Midder Music, a record company created to introduce the world to the singing of Nancy LaMott. This is David’s fifth appearance on Lyrics & Lyricists; his most recent was as artistic director for “It Started with a Dream: David Zippel—Lyrics He Wrote, Lyrics He Wishes He Wrote,” in February 2009.

David conceived and directed The Best Is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman which won the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Best Revue, following award-winning runs in California. A revue of his own songs, It’s Better With a Band, played off- Broadway and in London. David directed and co-wrote with Matthew Wilder and Cheri and Bill Steinkellner the musical Princesses, inspired by the classic novel, A Little Princess. It played at Goodspeed Musicals and 5th Avenue Theatre. Last year he conceived and directed They’re Playing His Songs: The Music of Marvin Hamlisch at McCallum Theatre and Cape Playhouse.

With Alan Menken, David wrote the songs for Disney’s Hercules; “Go the Distance” was a No. 1 record and was nominated for Academy and Golden Globe awards. With Matthew Wilder he wrote the songs for Disney’s Mulan, which earned him additional Academy, Grammy and Golden Globe nominations. He earned his third Golden Globe nomination for The Swan Princess. More recently, he wrote the USO montage, including the song “Star-Spangled Man,” for Captain America: The First Avenger. A graduate of Harvard Law School, he is delighted not to practice law.

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Brad Haak, music director & piano

Last November Brad Haak was music director for Il Divo—A Musical Affair at the Marriott Marquis Theatre. He previously worked on Broadway as music director for the entire six-year run of Disney’s Mary Poppins and for Elton John’s Lestat. Brad has been music supervisor and orchestrator for composer Paul Gordon, creator of the Broadway musical Jane Eyre, on his Jane Austen’s Emma at the Old Globe and, together with director John Caird, on 15 US and four international productions of Gordon’s musical Daddy Long Legs; the Tokyo production of Jane Eyre; and Little Miss Scrooge at the Rubicon Theatre. They will collaborate again for the premiere of Gordon’s Sense and Sensibility at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre in March 2015.

Brad has helmed more than 30 regional productions, including this spring’s South Pacific at the Paper Mill Playhouse. While at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, he won a 2011 Jeff Award for music direction for Follies, and he received a 2012 nomination for Sunday in the Park with George, both directed by Gary Griffin. Last month Brad conducted a concert version of Stephen Schwartz’s Children of Eden at the Kennedy Center.

In the concert hall, Brad has collaborated with such stars as Audra McDonald, Kristen Chenoweth, Dick Van Dyke and Sir Paul McCartney. He has provided orchestrations for the New York Pops, Boston Pops and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Among his upcoming projects is a new staging of An American in Paris with director/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. The musical will premiere this fall at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

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Lorin Latarro, choreographer

Lorin Latarro created choreographic movement for the recent revival of Waiting for Godot with Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen. Also on Broadway, she was choreographer for Scandalous and associate choreographer for Hands on a Hardbody and American Idiot. At Lincoln Center Lorin was associate choreographer for the new Rigoletto at The Metropolitan Opera, the revue An Evening of Sondheim at the Rose Theater, and Juilliard Opera productions of The Magic Flute, The Love for Three Oranges and Hansel and Gretel, which was broadcast on PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center.”

Off-Broadway, Lorin choreographed the New York City Center Encores! production of Fanny, City Club at the Minetta Lane Theatre and David Zippel’s revue, The Best Is Yet to Come: The Music of Cy Coleman. Outside New York, Lorin has choreographed The Rocky Horror Show, Ain’t Misbehavin’, A Grand Night for Singing and It’s A Wonderful Life at the Bucks County Playhouse; Kiss Me, Kate at the Barrington Stage Company in the Berkshires; and Saving Aimee at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, among many others.

On television, Lorin choreographed Greenday’s performance on the 2010 Grammy Awards and dance commercials for Savion Glover and Coco Rocha. As a performer, Lorin has appeared in 14 Broadway shows, including American Idiot, Guys and Dolls and Curtains, and she has danced with Twyla Tharp, the Martha Graham Dance Company and Momix. Lorin is founder of artammo.org, which creates flash-mob events in support of gun control across the country. Her website is Latarro.com.

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Brent Barrett, vocals

Brent Barrett is currently starring as Billy Flynn in Chicago and has toured numerous times with the production, receiving a Los Angeles Drama Critics Award. Other Broadway credits include starring roles in West Side Story, Annie Get Your Gun, Dance a Little Closer, Grand Hotel and Candide. In his off-Broadway work, Brent originated the role of Hannibal in Silence! The Musical and appeared in Closer Than Ever and March of the Falsettos. He starred in the New York City Center Encores! production of The Pajama Game and New York City Opera’s Brigadoon.

Brent played Captain Hook, opposite Cathy Rigby, in the 2012 national tour of Peter Pan. He spent two years in Las Vegas as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular, and he played King Arthur in the Paper Mill Playhouse’s Camelot. He received an Olivier Award nomination for his starring role in the London premiere of the recent revival Kiss Me, Kate, which was recorded for PBS.

As a concert artist, Brent has received critical acclaim for his performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony, the Boston Pops, Minnesota Opera, Opera Pacific and Michigan Opera. He is the founding member and producer of The Broadway Tenors. His CDs include the solo albums Christmas Mornings, The Alan Jay Lerner Album and The Kander & Ebb Album; numerous cast albums and The Maury Yeston Songbook. His film and television credits include The Producers, Hercules, Longtime Companion and “All My Children.” His website is brentbarrett.com.

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Lorna Luft, vocals

Born to legendary entertainer Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft, Lorna Luft made her performing debut singing on “The Judy Garland Show.” Since then, she has had dozens of starring and guest-starring roles on film and television, ranging from Grease 2 and Where the Boys Are ’84 to the series “Murder She Wrote” and “Sean Saves the World.” Lorna was co-executive producer of Life with Judy Garland, the miniseries based on her best-selling memoir, Me and My Shadows, which won five Emmy Awards.

For the past several years, Lorna has been starring in American and British productions of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, including the 2011 production at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Her other theatrical credits include her Broadway debut in Promises, Promises; Off-Broadway’s Snoopy and Extremities; the national tour of They’re Playing Our Song; a British tour of Pack of Lies; and Gypsy, Grease, Guys and Dolls, Mame and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, among many others.

Lorna is also a gifted concert and cabaret artist, performing in the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, London Palladium and L’Olympia in Paris. Last October she reunited with her sister Liza Minnelli for “Lorna Luft’s Pink Party,” a pair of concerts at Birdland to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Her highly acclaimed multimedia production, Songs My Mother Taught Me—The Judy Garland Songbook, melds one of the world‘s most familiar songbooks with personal memories. It won two Ovation Awards, and a CD based on the show was released by First Night Records.

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Christiane Noll, vocals

Christiane Noll starred on Broadway in the Kennedy Center revival of Ragtime, receiving Tony and Drama Desk award nominations, and winning a Helen Hayes Award for her portrayal of Mother. She received a Drama Desk nomination for her most recent Broadway role, Hannah in Chaplin, and she appeared in It Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues and Jekyll & Hyde. Christiane also appeared in The New Moon for the New York City Center Encores!, and her Off- Broadway credits include Frankenstein: A New Musical and Closer Than Ever.

Christiane’s national tours, all in leading roles, include Urinetown, for which she received an Ovation Award; City of Angels; Grease and Miss Saigon; and she was on the Australia/Thailand tour of South Pacific. Regionally, Christiane starred in The Student Prince at Paper Mill Playhouse; the American premiere of The Witches of Eastwick at Virginia’s Signature Theatre; and Lizzie Borden at Goodspeed Musicals. She made her opera debut in The Merry Widow with Plácido Domingo at the Washington National Opera.

Christiane is a regular guest artist with orchestras across the country and around the world. She made her Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Henderson in his last performance with The New York Pops and her Hollywood Bowl debut singing with Julie Andrews. In New York she has sung cabaret at Feinstein’s, Joe’s Pub, 54 Below and Birdland. She played Sister Margaretta in NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live!,” and her sixth solo CD, Gifts: Live at 54 Below, was released last year. Her website is christianenoll.com and on Twitter she is @christianenoll.

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Jessica Lea Patty, vocals

Jessica Lea Patty appeared this past April in the New York City Center Encores! production of The Most Happy Fella, and in last season’s It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s Superman. A proud Broadway “gypsy,” Jessica was last seen on Broadway in the revival of Evita, where she understudied and performed the title role of Eva Perón. She was also the Cassie Alternate in the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line, where she performed the role every Sunday.

Jessica’s other Broadway credits include the original company of The Addams Family, creating the role of the Flapper and understudying the roles of Morticia and Wednesday Addams; Roundabout Theatre Company’s original production of The People in the Picture, where she understudied and performed the role of Red Martin; and the original company of 9 to 5 the Musical, understudying the role of Judy Bernly. Jessica made her Broadway debut in The Boy from Oz, starring Hugh Jackman. She also toured North America with Cats and Fosse.

Last summer Jessica starred as Velma Kelly in Chicago at Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, and last fall she starred in I Love a Piano, a musical celebration of Irving Berlin at the Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, Florida. In December she performed on the CBS “36th Annual Kennedy Center Honors,” in the segment honoring Shirley MacLaine. She has also appeared on four Tony Award broadcasts, “Dancing with the Stars,” “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Good Morning America.” She teaches Broadway-style workshops and dance classes throughout the New York City area. Her website is jessicaleapatty.com.

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Lillias White, vocals

Lillias White is winner of the “Quadruple Crown” of Broadway honors; she won the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Friends of New York Theatre awards as Sonja in The Life. She received a Tony nomination for her most recent Broadway appearance, in Bill T. Jones’s Fela!, and her many other Broadway credits include Cats, Chicago, Dreamgirls, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Once on This Island.

Last May Lillias starred in August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Forum in Los Angeles. She won an Indy Award and received an Ovation Award nomination for David Zippel’s The Best Is Yet to Come: A Cy Coleman Musical in its Ventura, California, run, and remained with the show when it moved Off-Broadway to the 59E59 Theaters. Elsewhere in New York, Lillias won an Audelco Award for Crowns and an Obie Award for Romance in Hard Times, and starred in The Princess and the Black-Eyed Pea at AMAS.

Most recently, Lillias made an acclaimed 54 Below debut with her latest cabaret show, “The Lillias White Effect,” on May 1 to 3. She has also performed in New York at Jazz@Lincoln Center, the Apollo Theater, Feinstein’s and Carnegie Hall, and across the country in venues such as The Kennedy Center, Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood and The Venetian Room in San Francisco. On screen, Lillias voiced The Lead Music in Disney’s Hercules and can be seen in Pieces of April and Game Six. She played Bloody Mary in the 2006 PBS live broadcast of “Great Performances: South Pacific in Concert from Carnegie Hall.”

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Tony Yazbeck, vocals

Tony Yazbeck made his Broadway debut at age 11 as one of the Newsboys in Gypsy with Tyne Daly, dreaming of one day playing Tulsa. His dream came true when he won the role in the revival with Patti LuPone, receiving an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. He has most recently starred on Broadway as Billy Flynn in Chicago, Phil Davis in Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Al in the revival of A Chorus Line. Other credits include Oklahoma! and Never Gonna Dance.

Tony appeared off-Broadway in Fanny Hill at the York Theatre, and he has performed in numerous New York City Center Encores! presentations: On the Town, Gypsy, The Apple Tree, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Pardon My English and this past February’s Little Me. Last fall Tony starred in Harmony at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, and for the past two summers he has worked in the Berkshires, first at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Far From Heaven, and then last summer with the Barrington Stage Company in On the Town. Other recent regional credits include the starring role in Singin’ in the Rain at the St. Louis Muny; My One and Only at Goodspeed Musicals, earning a Connecticut Critics Circle Award; and Sycamore Trees at Virginia’s Signature Theatre, receiving a Helen Hayes Award.

This August Tony makes his 54 Below debut with his show “The Floor Above Me.” He was in NBC’s “Smash,” and the feature documentary Every Little Step. Tony is a master teacher and panelist for the National YoungArts Foundation, currently assisting Bill T. Jones. His website is tonyyazbeck.net.

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Musicians: Deborah Avery, woodwinds / Stephanie Cummins, cello / Steven Millhouse, bass / Perry Cavari, drums

Woodwind player Deborah Avery can be heard on Broadway in the orchestra for Bullets Over Broadway while maintaining an active jazz, studio and orchestral performance career. She has played in more than 50 Broadway productions across the country, including Wicked, Chicago, La Cage aux Folles, Mary Poppins, West Side Story and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. This past holiday season Deborah was appointed lead alto saxophone for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and she currently serves as principal clarinet of the Riverside County Philharmonic. She began her musical studies at age 5 on the drums, but soon switched to wind instruments, earning degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California.

Cellist Stephanie Cummins currently plays for the Broadway musical Rocky. Other Broadway shows include Mary Poppins, Lestat, Sweet Charity, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seussical and Footloose as well as special engagements with Linda Eder. One of her greatest honors was to be personally selected by Jerome Robbins to accompany a single dancer onstage for his work Suite of Dances, in performances with both the San Francisco and New York City ballets. Stephanie has toured with Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Diana Ross and Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. She was a member of the New Jersey Symphony for 13 years, and she has performed and toured with Mostly Mozart, the American Symphony and American Ballet Theatre.

Electric/double bassist Steven Millhouse is currently playing for the Broadway show Pippin. He previously performed in the revival of Godspell as well as other Broadway productions, and he plays for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Since 2010 he has been touring the world with international star Ute Lemper, and he has played with 4 Girls 4: Andrea McArdle, Maureen McGovern, Donna McKechnie and Faith Prince; he also appears in jazz and rock clubs in New York City and elsewhere. He has performed and recorded with stars of Broadway, film and television, including Edie Falco from “Nurse Jackie,” Michael Feinstein, Tommy Tune and Bernadette Peters. Steven is also a wine lover with hopes of becoming a sommelier.

Drummer Perry Cavari has just finished playing in Inventing Mary Martin for the York Theatre Company. Earlier this year he was drummer for Norm Lewis in his show, “Who Am I,” for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series, and Patrick Page for his show, “Good to be Bad,” at 54 Below. Perry’s many Broadway credits include Big Fish, Elf, Leap of Faith, Young Frankenstein, The Drowsy Chaperone, Fosse and The Producers. He can be heard on the soundtracks of The Producers and Chicago; for the latter he composed and performed the drum solo “A Tap Dance,” featuring Richard Gere as dancer. He also played for Howard McGillin’s CD, Where Time Stands Still, and Clyde Robert’s CD, Read ‘em & Weep.

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