All tagged Lerner & Loewe
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.
Lerner and Loewe are considered by many, after Rodgers and Hammerstein, to be the “duo supreme” of musical theatre composing teams. They certainly got onboard for the Rodgers and Hammerstein formula, and many of their musicals owe their success to that template. From their early scores for Brigadoon and Paint Your Wagon, to film with Gigi and The Little Prince, to their masterpiece My Fair Lady, the partnership yielded some of the most elegant, sophisticated, and memorable music in the history of musicals.
As I was writing my piece on Falsettos earlier this week, I was thinking about how William Finn captured so much in the lyric "Keeping up my head as my heart falls out of sight" in the terrific "Holding to the Ground." It got me thinking about what lyrics stopped me in my tracks with their efficiency and complexity in summing up a character in just a few short words. This week, for my "Top-Ten List," I have decided to explore that theme a little further: The Top-Ten Lyrics that Perfectly Capture the Moment and Character. Since I have already delved more deeply into "Holding to the Ground" in a former article, I will leave that one off of this list (for the opportunity to explore an additional song).
Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe created intoxicating scores for the musical classics Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, and Camelot. The songs from these musicals will sweep you off their feel with their theatricality, emotional sweep, and revealing character pieces. Lerner and Loewe also produced the score for the "Best Picture" winner of 1958, Gigi, also picking up an Oscar for the the title song. Vincente Minnelli directed the elegant musical (based on the story by Colette) about a young french girl groomed for courtesanship by her aunt and grandmother in the hopes of securing Gigi's future by pimping her out to the rich playboy Gaston. Apparently, being a "kept woman" is a family trade, passed down through the generations.