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 NiteLife Exchange, Stage Buddy, The Broadway Blog, Huffington Post and Times Square Chronicles. The show has been extended to June 2018. Visit the show’s website for details.
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.
The Irish Repertory Theatre presented Finian’s Rainbow in concert at their annual fundraising gala on June 13, 2016 at New York City’s Town Hall. The event was hosted by Saoirse Ronan. IRT also presented the concert at their 2003 gala and it was so successful that they produced a sold-out, extended run of the production in 2004. See Cara Joy David’s blog “Reflections on The Irish Rep and Finian’s Rainbow” from Huffington Post and Robert Goldblum’s “Yip Harburg’s Economic Rainbow” in The Jewish Week.
Leigh Donaldson’s election year thoughts on the relevance of Yip’s light verse appeared in the March 23, 2016 issue of the Bangor Daily News.
Yip Harburg’s great grandson Aaron Harburg introduced performances of songs with Yip’s lyrics as part of United Performing Arts Fund‘s 2016 fundraising campaign kickoff, the theme of which was THE WORDS OF LYRICIST E.Y. “YIP” HARBURG: FOLLOW THE DREAM. UPAF is a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support Wisconsin performing arts groups. The kickoff event took place at Milwaukee’s Pfister Grand Ballroom on March 1, 2016. And on March 2 Aaron and Milwaukee-based syndicated film critic Ryan Jay introduced a screening of The Wizard of Oz in Marquette.