To close out the 2012 season of 92nd Street Y's Lyrics & Lyricists, Rex Reed pays tribute to the studio that gave us such iconic movie musicals as 42nd Street, Yankee Doodle Dandy, A Star is Born and My Fair Lady. Vocalists Christine Andreas, Polly Bergen, Jason Graae, Sue Raney and Tom Wopat perform the hit songs from a Warner Bros. songwriter lineup that included legends like Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne and Harry Warren.
L&L shows are Saturday at 8 pm, Sunday at 2 and 7 pm, and Monday at 2 and 8 pm. Individual tickets begin at $52. There is a special under-35 ticket price of $25 for the Saturday and Sunday evening shows.
Hitting its stride as a musical powerhouse during the Great Depression, Warner Bros. gave audiences a few hours of escape from their travails at movies like 42nd Street and the Gold Diggers series, with upbeat tunes and backstage stories set to Busby Berkeley's over-the-top choreography and dazzling camera work. With movies like Night and Day, Rhapsody in Blue and I'll See You in My Dreams celebrating songwriters like Cole Porter, George Gershwin and Gus Kahn, respectively, the studio pioneered a new genre – the biopic.
Along with its most famous star, Bette Davis, the studio's stable included Depression-era icons Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell. James Cagney won an Oscar for his role as songwriter George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy. Eddie Cantor, who played himself in Hollywood Canteen, also wrote the "Merrie Melodies" theme song and was caricatured several times in Warner Bros. cartoons. Doris Day starred in 17 Warner Bros. movies, including The Pajama Game, Calamity Jane, and her last, Young at Heart, which also starred Frank Sinatra. For Judy Garland, the studio produced the second version of A Star is Born in 1954, and produced a third in 1976, starring Barbra Streisand.
Thanks in large part to Warner Bros., Broadway came to the big screen and every town in America, with film renditions of hit shows like Gypsy, The Music Man, My Fair Lady and Camelot.
Saturday, June 2 / 8 pm
Sunday, June 3 / 2 pm
Sunday, June 3 / 7 pm
Monday, June 4 / 2 pm
Monday, June 4 / 8 pm