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Paul Masse, Artistic Director

A new five-part series available to stream exclusively on Stage Access!

Connect with the Artists and music you love. Five newly created short-form programs explore the work of the composers and songwriters who have been part of our history. Created by Artistic Director Paul Masse and filmed on our historic stage, these original programs celebrate the essential energy of performers and writers who continue to be inspired by the evolving nature of music and the arts as a response to the energy of the moment.


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As a companion to the Gershwin program from this past March (rescheduled for Spring of 2021), this program is set among excerpts of letters and archival interviews with George Gershwin and his brother and lyricist Ira Gershwin, his longtime musical collaborator Kay Swift, and the legendary pianist Oscar Levant. The words of Todd Duncan and Anne Brown, the original Porgy and Bess, provide an intimate perspective on the creation of Gershwin’s “folk opera” and the invaluable contributions of its performers. Peppered among hits like “Embraceable You” and “Love Is Here To Stay” are pieces of essays written by George Gershwin in which he pondered and pontificated on the meaning of “jazz” and the definition of “music” itself. Asserting his constant effort to eschew genres, Gershwin wrote: “From any sound critical standpoint, labels mean nothing at all. Good music is good music, even if you call it ‘oysters.’”


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60 years ago, on May 3, 1960, at the tiny Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village, The Fantasticks opened on the sparsest of budgets and ran uninterrupted for nearly 42 years, closing on January 13, 2002 after a record 17,162 performances. Its elegance and simplicity endured four decades of the chaotic world going “Round and Round” while its creators continued their evolution into several uptown successes. Including 110 In the Shade and I Do! I Do!, the jewel box of creativity that is the Jones and Schmidt collaboration is perhaps the most steadfast of its kind.


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The groundbreaking works of Richard Rodgers, most famously in his collaborations with Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, gave us the foundation of the modern musical form. But Rodgers also left a family lineage that has enriched the craft in abundant fashion. In a loose song cycle format, this program will weave his work with the charming and witty creations of daughter Mary Rodgers (Once Upon a Mattress) and the complex and extraordinary palette of grandson Adam Guettel (The Light in the Piazza, Floyd Collins), as we look toward the progression of musicals over the decades and into the future.


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It is said that Jule Styne published over 1,500 songs in his lifetime, a staggering number that spans decades and includes dozens of collaborators. Beginning with Sammy Cahn in the 1940s, his lyricists would include names like Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Leo Robin, Bob Merrill, and Stephen Sondheim. Styne wrote some of our most famous songs and classic Broadway hits, with a multitude of lesser-known work along the way. The lasting power of star vehicles like Gypsy and Funny Girl has remained throughout every sea change of cultural mood and sentiment.


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As a celebration of our performers, and the necessary medium of film to tell these stories at this moment in time, this special program presents some of the best songs specifically written for film ever since the genre first achieved the technology to capture sound. A diverse concert of hits like “Moon River” and “The Man That Got Away” mixed in with other songs from decades of film history offers a look at the effect of these songs on an audience and how, even in a non-musical film, music is key to unlocking the emotional journey of storytelling.

Featured Artists

Farah Alvin

Farah Alvin’s Broadway credits include It Shoulda Been You, Nine, The Look of Love, Saturday Night Fever, and Grease! among othersOff-Broadway credits include Window Treatment (cast album), Goldstein, The Last Smoker In America ...

Allison Blackwell

Broadway: Pretty Woman:The Musical (Violetta), A Night with Janis Joplin (Aretha Franklin),The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Disney’s The Lion King. Other shows include: Caroline, or Change (Moon, Washing Machine, Dottie Moffett), Les Miserables ...

Nikki Renée Daniels

Nikki Renée Daniels recently played Angelica Schuyler in Hamilton at the CIBC Theater in Chicago. Broadway: Company(Jenny), The Book of Mormon (Nabulungi), The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Clara), Les Miserables (Fantine) ...

Brandon Victor Dixon

Brandon Victor Dixon, following his Emmy Award nominated turn opposite John Legend as Judas in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar, most recently starred in FOX’s RENTonFOX, Amazon’s Modern Love, and as Terry Silver on the STARZ hit Power ...

Katherine Henly

Praised for her captivating and affecting portrayals in genres ranging from opera, to musical theater, jazz, and pop throughout the United States and abroad, soprano Katherine Henly has performed with LA Opera, Washington National Opera ...

Jeff Kready

Mr. Kready was most recently seen on Broadway standing by for the “title” role of Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels in Tootsie. Other Broadway: Monty Navarro in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder ...

James T. Lane

From Philadelphia. West End: The Scottsboro Boys, A Chorus Line - Revival (Palladium Theatre). Broadway: Kiss Me, Kate (Paul), King Kong the Musical, The Scottsboro Boys (Ozie Powell/Ruby Bates), Chicago ...

Telly Leung

Telly Leung is a New York City native, Broadway performer, recording artist, producer, & theater arts teacher. His Broadway & national touring credits include Aladdin in Disney's "Aladdin" on Broadway, In Transit, Allegiance ...

Kara Lindsay

Broadway: Beautiful (Cynthia Weil), Wicked (Glinda), Newsies (Katherine) Original Cast/ Fathom Events Film. National Tour: Wicked (Glinda), Little House on the Prairie (Laura). Paper Mill Playhouse: Newsies ...

Paul Masse

Paul Masse has led the Broadway orchestras of The Scottsboro BoysThe Gershwins’ Porgy and BessHoller If Ya Hear MeIt Shoulda Been You, Fun HomeAvenue Q, Anastasia, Dear Evan Hansen and Wicked, and has played in the pit of ...

Julia Murney

Julia Murney appeared on Broadway as Elphaba in Wicked after playing the role on the national tour for which she received an Acclaim Award. Other New York credits include Lennon, The Wild Party (Drama Desk nomination), The Vagina Monologues ...

Zachary Noah Piser

Zachary Noah Piser is currently the Evan Hansen alternate on Broadway (performing Wednesday and Saturday matinees), after originating Dear Evan Hansen’s premiere international production in Toronto. Other Broadway: Wicked (Boq) ...

Zachary Prince

Zachary is thrilled to join 92Y and Paul Masse for this exciting virtual series! Most recently, he earned critical acclaim as “Adam” in Christopher Wheeldon’s closing production of An American in Paris at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France. 

Pearl Sun

Broadway: Come From AwayIf/Then, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; Off-Broadway: Assassins, Merrily We Roll AlongHappiness, The Seven. National Tours/Regional: Next to Normal, The PriceBernstein’s Mass, Yoshimi Battles ...

Mariand Torres

Mariand Torres grew up in Miami,Florida and has called NYC home for almost 15 years. She recently wrapped her run as Elphaba in the National Tour of Wicked, which was immediately followed by a run of the musical Fun Home at Kansas City Rep ...

Major support for 92Y Lyrics and Lyricists is provided by Gilda Block; Theodore Cohn; The Hite Foundation; The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation; Ellen F. Marcus; Howard and Eleanor Morgan; Suzi and Martin J. Oppenheimer; Lynda and Robert Safron / The Edythe Kenner Foundation; and The Estate of Kathryn W. Stein. Additional support is provided by Stuart and Barbara Kreisberg and Aaron Lieber and Bruce Horten.