Maureen Kelley-Stewart will reprise The Wizard of Words: E.Y. “Yip” Harburg on Feb. 7 and 19, 2017 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (downstairs at West Bank Café) in New York City. Musical director and pianist Tedd Firth will again accompany her.
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 “No Room For Humbugs At The Rainbow Room” (Huffington Post, Sept 28, 2016) Nancy Cohen compares Hillary Clinton to a feisty Dorothy and Donald Trump to the Wizard as she notes the thematic similarities between Dorothy’s signature song “Over the Rainbow” (lyric by Yip Harburg, music by Harold Arlen) and John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
For Yip’s son Ernie Harburg, Hillary Clinton is the feisty girl named Dorothy. and the song “Over the Rainbow” is a mantra for social justice, immigration, anti-bigotry and for believing in the right of home to be anywhere you land. The rest, including Trump, is all humbug. Read all about it in Nancy Cohen’s “The Song – ’Over The Rainbow’ with Hillary – One Son’s Dream” in the Huffington Post.
Charlotte Moore’s adaptation of the classic Yip Harburg-Burton Lane-Fred Saidy musical Finian’s Rainbow returned to the Irish Repertory Theatre from Nov. 6, 2016 through Jan. 29, 2017 (extended twice after opening to rave reviews). The initial 2004 engagement was also received with great acclaim. Tony-nominee Melissa Errico reprised her role as “Sharon.”
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.
Maureen Kelley Stewart brought her new show, “The Wizard of Words: Yip Harburg” to The West Bank Café/Laurie Beechman Theatre on May 17th & 22nd, 2016. Joining her on stage was Musical Director Tedd Firth.
“I Hear America Singing: The Immigrant’s Journey,” a celebration of the legacy of E.Y. (Yip) Harburg and of the partnership between The Yip Harburg Foundation and SUNY Empire State College, New York City, was presented in song and speech Monday, May 16, 2016 at Empire State College’s Metropolitan Center, 325 Hudson Street, 3rd floor multipurpose room. The Yip Harburg Foundation is a partner with Empire State College. It supports the college’s offerings and individualized degree plans in musical theatre. The concert was highly praised in a think piece by Jonathan Slaff in News Blaze.