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By Dominic McHugh

The guy in the back of "I can have Danced all evening" and "Almost Like Being in Love", lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986) is largely considered as probably the most vital figures of the yankee musical degree. In penning the lyrics to a couple of the main recognized and liked Broadway exhibits, together with Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, My reasonable Lady, and Camelot, Lerner labored and corresponded with the various maximum luminaries of well known 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 gentle on Lerner's operating relationships with those mythical figures. McHugh's large remark 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. in particular necessary 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 trade among Lerner and Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he used to be to have written The Phantom of the Opera. total, this significant and full of life publication unearths the highs and lows of the profession of 1 of America's wittiest and so much romantic lyricists.

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Alan Jay Lerner: A Lyricist's Letters

The fellow in the back of "I can have Danced all evening" and "Almost Like Being in Love", lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986) is greatly considered as the most very important figures of the yankee musical level. In penning the lyrics to a few of the main recognized and loved Broadway exhibits, together with Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, My reasonable woman, and Camelot, Lerner labored and corresponded with a number of the maximum luminaries of well known 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.

Additional info for Alan Jay Lerner: A Lyricist's Letters

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I do hope I haven’t held you up too long and I wish you all good luck and success. Thanks for thinking of me in the first place.  Pryor, “Billy Wilder Lists ‘Oedipus Rex’ Film,” New York Times, September 5, 1952. Louis Calta, “Dassin Will Stage Bette Davis Revue,” New York Times, September 2, 1952, 19.  Pryor, “Metro to Remake Girl of the West,” New York Times, September 26, 1952, 18. 16 Ludwig Bemelmans (1898–1962) was a writer and illustrator, best known for his children’s books. 14 32 Alan Jay Lerner Of note here is Lerner’s candid self-assessment about his slow progress as a writer and adapter, which frequently caused him to delay or abandon his plans.

It really can be a great musical. It’s so unusual to find high comedy on such a touching, warm level. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that the locale should remain England and that it should be designed and styled completely modern, with no references, however, to anything contemporary. At heart, it’s a timeless fable and bigger than any period. By treating it in a stylized modern fashion it can not only be a great treat to the eye but can give Liza the opportunity to wear magnificent clothes, all of which is very important dramatically as well as visually.

Schwartz’s witty, elegant style was the perfect foil for Lerner’s lightness of touch as a lyricist, and a slew of projects was announced. First up was the movie adaptation of Paint Your Wagon. Only a few of the original Lerner-Loewe songs were now to be retained, and Lerner and Schwartz wrote nine new numbers; although they were never used, copies of the songs are held in the Library of Congress’s Arthur Schwartz Collection. This was the surest sign yet that the rift between Lerner and Loewe was serious.

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