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Ira Gershwin

'An American in Paris': Who Got 'Rhythm'?

Barry Singer | Posted 06.18.2015 | Arts
Barry Singer

These wildly over-existential ponderings were triggered by, of all things, the recently opened, widely celebrated, extravagantly beautiful, production of An American in Paris, which, as so many have been saying, really is great to look at.

Want to Go to Paris? Take a Shortcut Through Broadway

Alexandra Villarreal | Posted 06.14.2015 | Arts
Alexandra Villarreal

Don't get me wrong, there's no problem with being a sex worker, or a wife, or a ballerina, or a heiress if you so choose. But what the female protagonists and antagonists in Gigi and An American in Paris lack is agency in their happily ever afters.

First Nighter: Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon Sparks the Gershwins' 'An American in Paris'

David Finkle | Posted 06.12.2015 | Entertainment
David Finkle

Christopher Wheeldon's choreography for An American in Paris, at the Palace, is so spectacular that you have to forgive anything else wrong with the production--and believe you me, there's plenty to forgive--and I mean plenty.

Patti LuPone Performs in an Intimate Concert at 54 Below (And Why We Adore Her)

Jeryl Brunner | Posted 06.07.2015 | Arts
Jeryl Brunner

There are performers and then there's Patti LuPone. The the two-time Tony and two-time Grammy winning superstar has astonished stage, TV and film audiences since the 1970s.

'Misia': A New Musical At Last

Barry Singer | Posted 05.23.2015 | Arts
Barry Singer

I never knew Vernon Duke but I have been working with him for fifteen years now and I'm delighted to report that we are finally, finally, getting someplace.

The Broadway Musical Season -- Not So Dire

Cara Joy David | Posted 04.26.2015 | Arts
Cara Joy David

Fret not for the Broadway season of new musicals, dear friends. Even if, as rumors have it, a summer (post-Tony) opening is announced for Hamilton, all is not lost for this season of Broadway musicals.

"Snowmageddon" Didn't Stop Legendary Performer Tommy Tune From Enjoying His Encores

Steve Schonberg | Posted 03.30.2015 | Entertainment
Steve Schonberg

"At this point in my life," Tune explained, "I'm 'the spirit of '76.'" A cunning double entendre, this phrase, taken from the American Revolution, stands for self-determination and individual liberty as well as Tune's birthday next month, when he will turn 76.

In Conversation With Debby Boone - Coming to Davies Hall

Sean Martinfield | Posted 02.02.2015 | San Francisco
Sean Martinfield

"I have compassion for both sides -- people coming into the future and starting to get it. It's not about good and bad people. It's just about continuing to tell the truth and the truth will do the work."

Brooklyn, Blintzes, Baseball and Ballads With Johnny Mercer

Michael Sigman | Posted 11.17.2014 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

Rae Sigman, Carl's strong-willed mother, was proud of her son's ability to navigate Beethoven sonatas and improvise pop tunes at the piano. But when he turned 21 and declared his intention to make a living as a songwriter, Rae gave him two choices: doctor or lawyer.

Easy Listener: 5 You-Gotta-Have CDS From Five You-Must-Know Women

David Finkle | Posted 08.05.2014 | Entertainment
David Finkle

If you like great songs -- not necessarily great songs you already know -- and you like women delivering them, here are CDs that you'd be extremely foolish to think you can live without:

First Nighter: Bacharach Revue Awkwardly Asks 'What's It All About?' -- Steve Tyrell Smoothly Answers

David Finkle | Posted 02.04.2014 | Arts
David Finkle

Truth is, Tyrell's effortlessly infallible phrasing has the effect of making what he does appealingly conversational. The emotion he's experiencing is a component of his seemingly off-handed -- smile-smile-smile -- style. Let's just say he's singing for all generations.

Conversations with Gloria Estefan, Julian Lennon and Emmy Wildwood, A Wacky Chat with Tom Ruprecht, Plus a Jessta James Exclusive

Mike Ragogna | Posted 11.03.2013 | Entertainment
Mike Ragogna

2013-09-04-Gloriaestefanragogs.jpg

Ding, Dong! DOMA's Dead: Love Is Sweeping the Country

Rodney Punt | Posted 08.26.2013 | Gay Voices
Rodney Punt

The Supreme Court struck down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and upheld a lower court's dismissal of California's Proposition 8. Let's celebrate the validation of civil rights with a song written over 80 years ago but still relevant today.

Gone With the Wit

George Heymont | Posted 06.12.2013 | Arts
George Heymont

With The Young and the Restless now in its 40th season, how does one capture the painful distance between the witty and the witless that has come to dominate our celebrity-driven culture? Let me turn to a delicious quote from 1975's Chicago.

'Fiorello!' Succeeds: Will It Move To Broadway?

David Finkle | Posted 04.03.2013 | Arts
David Finkle

There may be two outstanding reasons why in 1960 Fiorello! was only the third musical to nab the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Both reasons are craftily on display in the sparkling Encores! revival at City Center.

Easy Reader: Recommending Michael Feinstein on the Gershwins and Him, Gary Marmorstein on Lorenz Hart

David Finkle | Posted 03.01.2013 | Books
David Finkle

Ostensibly, what Feinstein is offering in his book is, as its title promises, a prolonged glimpse into his life as a devoted George and Ira Gershwin protegé.

Word Choice and the Debates

Burke E. Strunsky | Posted 10.24.2012 | Books
Burke E. Strunsky

Not since Bill Clinton questioned the meaning of "is" has a single phrase been parsed as much as Mitt Romney's "binders full of women" uttered in the ...

Quote/Unquote

John O'Toole | Posted 06.25.2012 | Home
John O'Toole

My favorite quote remains Deep Throat's "follow the money" because it not only explains Watergate. It explains everything. Except possibly love and sex, and they really shouldn't be explained. Or studied. Or worse yet, turned into a how-to book or a documentary.

Theater: Matthew Broderick's New Musical Is Modestly 'Nice Work'

Michael Giltz | Posted 04.24.2012 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

The hardest part of creating a new musical is writing good songs. A good tune will let audiences forgive a host of ills in the book and sets and costumes. So if you begin by plundering the vaults of George and Ira Gershwin, your task should be much easier. Nice Work If You Can Get It proves that it's not.

Theater: Glorious Porgy And Bess

Michael Giltz | Posted 03.21.2012 | Entertainment
Michael Giltz

The title is the only clumsy thing about this smartly mounted, beautifully sung and movingly acted new production of the landmark musical theater work.

First Nighter: Genius Jazz Violinist Aaron Weinstein Meets Brilliant Jazz Singer Christine Ebersole in Dual Birdland Triumph

David Finkle | Posted 01.29.2012 | Arts
David Finkle

It's high time someone employs several hundred words to sing the praises of jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein for the widest audience possible.

Rebecca Carroll

Audra McDonald Breaks From 'Porgy and Bess' For Fall Concert Tour

HuffingtonPost.com | Rebecca Carroll | Posted 11.26.2011 | Black Voices

Audra McDonald will take a brief break from the acting hustle to focus on singing after the controversial new musical adaptation of "Porgy and Bess," ...

First Nighter: Cy Coleman's Best is Yet to Come is Here Now at 59E59 Theaters

David Finkle | Posted 07.27.2011 | Arts
David Finkle

The best is yet to come? Not this time. It's already here as it deliciously unfolds by way of singers Sally Mayes, Lillias White and Rachel York.

Sondheim's Lyrics: Rhymes, Reasons and Religion

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Michael Sigman

Though I grew up in an agnostic household, I was rarely in doubt that a spiritual force was afoot. Music, specifically what's come to be called "The Great American Songbook," was our religion.

Michael Feinstein: Top-of-the-Heap Singer, Equally Important Music Archivist-Historian

David Finkle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
David Finkle

If Michael Feinstein's American Songbook accomplishes anything -- it indisputably does -- it's that his commitment to the task of perpetuating the music is at least equal to his devotion to performing.