By Dominic McHugh
The guy at 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 the most vital figures of the yankee musical degree. In penning the lyrics to a couple of the main famous and cherished Broadway indicates, together with Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, My reasonable Lady, and Camelot, Lerner labored and corresponded with a number of the maximum luminaries of renowned leisure over a profession which spanned 4 a long time, 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 selection of correspondence, so much of it released for the 1st time, writer Dominic McHugh sheds new mild on Lerner's operating relationships with those mythical figures. McHugh's vast observation finds 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. specially priceless is the correspondence from his ultimate years, within 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 crucial and full of life ebook finds the highs and lows of the profession of 1 of America's wittiest and such a lot romantic lyricists.
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Extra resources for Alan Jay Lerner: A Lyricist's Letters
Give Mary and Dick my love and tell them I’m ready to do anything short of homicide to see Mary as Liza. Y. Tuesday, the 20th. Fritz and I have to fly home for a week on matters of Paint My Wagon [sic]. I’ll be at the Algonquin that week and then back on the coast the following Monday. Bon voyage—and keep us posted. Faithfully, Alan Lerner’s relish for the show is palpable. With the benefit of hindsight, it is curious to see how a couple of his initial ideas for the adaptation were very different from the finished product.
Now, of course, following the motion picture,3 there are the ball scenes and the wonderfully touching sequence when she returns to Covent Garden and nobody recognizes her. A scene like that could be developed so that the second scene at Mrs. Higgins’s when the Professor finds her after his long search could Lady Liza or My Lady Liza was the working title of the show until late 1955. For a more detailed genesis of the show, see Dominic McHugh, Loverly: The Life and Times of “My Fair Lady” (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012).
127 Ezio Pinza (1892–1957) was a leading bass with the Metropolitan Opera before his appearance in the original production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific (1949). 128 Harold Arlen (1905–86) was a prolific composer, best remembered for his music for The Wizard of Oz (1939). 130 Eventually, Lerner did complete the songs and screenplay for a film version of Huckleberry Finn with Burton Lane,131 composer of the score for Royal Wedding, though it went unproduced. At a time when Freed was among the most powerful figures in Hollywood and only engaged the best, it is telling that Lerner was hired for or associated with all these films, in spite of barely having passed his thirtieth birthday.
Alan Jay Lerner: A Lyricist's Letters by Dominic McHugh