All tagged Alan Jay Lerner
Lerner and Loewe certainly wrote some gorgeous music together for Broadway and Hollywood musicals. From Brigadoon to My Fair Lady, from Gigi to Camelot, the duo crafted lush, elegant music with sweeping melodies and intelligent, character developing lyrics. The duo also wrote the score for another musical that is seldom revived today, on Broadway or otherwise, but that deserves to be remembered for its potent, often haunting score. That musical is Paint Your Wagon.
One of the most popular musicals of the twentieth century (it was certainly produced by every high school and community theatre) was the 1947 Lerner & Loewe classic Brigadoon. It established the composing team as second only to Rodgers and Hammerstein in prowess, setting the duo up to evolve toward their most celebrated project, My Fair Lady. Brigadoon tells the story of two Americans on a hunting trip in the Scottish Highlands.
Here’s a binge list that I think many of you will love. I went, year by year, and found clips of every Oscar-winning Best Song, from 1934 to the present. It’s one hell of a list, full of great songs an loads of terrific performances. Wherever I could, I tried to find clips from the actual films. Only a few eluded me, so I had to stray outside that format. I enjoyed putting it together for you. In honor of this year’s nominees, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Writing the book for a Broadway musical is a craft that is fraught with landmines. It is the delicate art of creating the framework for musical storytelling, a house of cards on which to hang the songs and characters that will hopefully yield a fascinating depth and a compelling purpose. When a musical fails, the blame is often put squarely on the musical's book, yet if a show succeeds, the book writer is rarely given the credit they are due. Despite the challenges a book writer faces, there has been a handful of craftsmen who have successfully delivered first-rate books that continue to be as potent and perfect as the days these shows opened. Help me celebrate the unsung heroes of musical theatre, the most-enduring of Broadway musical book writers.