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 “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.