Richard Skipper will be joined by Karen Oberlin, Leslie Orofino, Maureen Kelley Stewart, Anita Gillette and members of the cast and jazz ensemble of Harlem Repertory Theatre‘s current production of The Wizard of Oz to celebrate Yip’s 121st birthday on Apr. 8, 2017 at 1pm at The Laurie Beechman Theatre’s West Bank Cafe.
The Harlem Repertory Theatre will present Jamaica, the musical show that made Lena Horne a Broadway star, on its 60th anniversary. Featuring a book by Yip Harburg and Fred Saidy, lyrics by Harburg and music by Harold Arlen. This production will be directed by Keith Lee Grant. Performances begin May 27, 2017 and will continue in repertory until Oct. 7. For a full schedule, see Harlem Rep’s web site.
Deena Rosenberg Harburg has taken over from Ernie Harburg as President of The Yip Harburg Foundation effective January 1, 2017. Ernie, who recently turned 90, will still be involved with the Foundation as President Emeritus.
In fall 2016 Harlem Repertory Theatre and The Yip Harburg Foundation premiered a jazzy new stage adaptation of THE WIZARD OF OZ. The response has been enthusiastic. See the reviews at Stage Buddy, The Broadway Blog and Huffington Post and Times Square Chronicles. The show has been extended into spring 2017 with upcoming performances April 1 and 15 and May 6 and 27. Visit the Harlem Repertory Theatre web site for details. 240 E 123rd St., New York, NY.
On August 27, 2016 Yip’s great-grandson David Harburg, working with Children Waiting Everywhere, presented CONCERT FOR UGANDA, to raise funds to help build and paint a new schoolroom at the Bishop Magambo Primary School in Uganda. The concert featured new renditions of songs with lyrics by Yip including “Over the Rainbow,” “Old Devil Moon” and “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” The players were David Harburg, Joseph Shelcusky with music on the piano, Ed Wells sharing his originals and Rob Horning on violin. Venue: EMU Alexander Music Building Recital Hall. The tracks are now available on Spotify.
Walter Rimler’s biography of Harold Arlen, The Man That Got Away: The Life and Songs of Harold Arlen, was published by University of Illinois Press in August 2015. The book contains extensive material about Yip Harburg, who, over a span of nearly fifty years, wrote more than 100 songs with Arlen , including “Over the Rainbow” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon.”
Over the Rainbow: The Life and Rhymes of Yip Harburg by Stuart Stotts was released in paperback in September 2015 by Big Valley Press. It is also available as a Kindle book.
On Aug. 6, 2015 the Huffington Post published “Lyricist Yip Harburg’s Son Ernie: How My Dad Inspired Me to Become a Scientist” by Mike Sigman based on an essay by Ernie entitled “Yip and I.”
The Yip Harburg Songbook. Piano/vocal sheets to 34 songs including “Over the Rainbow,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “April in Paris,” “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady,” “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” “Old Devil Moon,” and an illustrated introductory essay by Stephen Holden. Hal Leonard Publishers, 2009.
Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz? Yip Harburg, Lyricist. by Harold Meyerson and Ernie Harburg. 454 pages, black-and-white and color illustrations. University of Michigan Press, 1993. Paperback edition, 1995.