New York Public Library for the Performing Arts delves into its renowned
collections for Writing to Character: Songwriters & the Tony Awards, the
first exhibition to explore the over 70 Broadway shows that have won Tonys for
either Best Musical or Best Score.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Library also
presents a free public program series featuring appearances by such noted
songwriters as Charles Strouse, Maury Yeston, and Lynn Ahrens and Stephen
Flaherty. Writing to Character, co-presented by The New York Public Library for
the Performing Arts and Tony Award Productions, is on view from February 26,
2008 through June 14, 2008 in the Library's Vincent Astor Gallery. Admission is
free. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center
is located at 40 Lincoln
Through annotated scores and scripts, correspondence,
costume and set designs, photographs, window cards, and original cast
recordings, Writing to Character explores the collaborative process of
developing a Tony Award-winning musical. The exhibition also includes
videotaped interviews with such musical theatre luminaries as Richard Rodgers,
Stephen Sondheim, Harold Prince, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, John Kander
and Fred Ebb, Jerry Herman, Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty, and Adam Guettel.
Special nuggets include the guitar on which Duncan Sheik
first plucked the chords out for "Mama Who Bore Me" and then went on to write
the first four songs he composed for Spring
Awakening. In addition, there is the conductor's piano score, with an
additional verse, for "Adelaide's
Lament" from Guys and Dolls, and W.H.
Auden's unused lyrics for "Song of the Quest" for Man from La Mancha. Artifacts include Jerry Bock's notes and revised outlines,
as well as Zero Mostel's script for Fiddler
on the Roof, and the stage manager's promptbook for South Pacific open to "Twin Soliloquies," with hand-written
annotations... and much more!
Admission to all programs is free and is on a first come,
first served basis, except for the May 10 program. For May 10, free tickets
will be distributed one per person, from 1:00 p.m. at the Library's Lincoln Center Plaza
entrance. For further information about
public programs, telephone 212-642-0142 or go to the Library's website at www.nypl.org/lpaprograms.
Photos by Peter James Zielinski
BWW Hi-Res Gallery - Original Version