Anglo-American singer Amanda Thorpe will give an encore performance of songs from her new CD, Bewitching Me: The Lyrics of Yip Harburg, on May 7, 2015 at Rockwood Music Hall, following up on her successful prior engagement at that venue on March 2. The 15-song album is dedicated to the lyrics of Yip, bringing an idiosyncratic post-modern cabaret approach to some of the most popular (“It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “April in Paris”) and obscure (“Willow in the Wind,” “Paris Is a Lonely Town”) songs in Yip’s catalogue. The hard copy of the disc (available through CDBaby and iTunes) contains a bonus track duet with Ben Harburg and liner notes with a preface by music industry veteran Mitchell Cohen as well as a note from Amanda about the song selection.
San Francisco-based singer Linda Kosut released her new CD, Easy Come, Easy Go: The Music of Johnny Green, in September 2014. Green, best known as an Oscar-winning musical arranger and conductor of Hollywood film scores (including An American in Paris and Raintree County) wrote a number of popular songs early in his career, including about ten with Yip. Two of those songs, “I’m Yours” and the never-before-recorded “Foolish Baby,” are on this CD. Green’s most famous song is “Body and Soul.”
Bloomer Girl, Yip’s 1944 musical with Harold Arlen and a book by Sig Herzig and Fred Saidy, was ahead of its time with its feminist and anti-racist themes. At the Provincetown Playhouse in NYC Oct. 3-5, 2014.
The 2009 revival of Finian’s Rainbow brought Cheyenne Jackson, Jim Norton, Christopher Fitzgerald, and Kate Baldwin to the St. James Theatre to revisit Yip’s still timely lyrics and Burton Lane’s glorious score that raise issues such as racial harmony, social equality, and living beyond one’s means.
“Finian’s Rainbow overflows with songs that are pure heaven, propelled by Yip Harburg’s wit and Burton Lane’s timeless sense of melody. Scrumptious!” – Elizabeth Vincentelli, The New York Post (2009)
“Infectious song and exuberant dancing are on abundant display in this thoroughly winning, joyous production.” – Charles Isherwood, The New York Times (2009)
APPLY FOR THE EMPIRE STATE COLLEGE – YIP HARBURG FOUNDATION PARTNERSHIP IN MUSICAL THEATRE STUDIES
NEW YORK, June 10, 2014 – Applications are being accepted for the Empire State College (ESC) – Yip Harburg Foundation’s (YHF) unique undergraduate degree in Musical Theatre studies, a resource partnership for musical theatre training at Empire State College Metropolitan Center. The degree unites theatre professionals as mentors with students wishing to design their own degrees.
The partnership offers students a unique B.A. in the Arts that reflects their interest in Musical Theatre. ESC degrees are designed for students who need maximum flexibility, including older students returning to college after a hiatus or who are studying part time around work or family commitments. The degree allows students to “do it their own way” without time constraints. Its strengths include affordability, the opportunity to study with a wide variety of peers, mentorship of one-on-one advisers and the proximity New York City’s vast cultural resources. This enhances the curriculum, since the City becomes a “rich classroom,” providing an array of experiences and activities, which can be utilized for credit as students work toward their degrees. Students profit from the college’s flexible approach to learning and the opportunity to earn college credit through work and life experience.
SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE
The Yip Harburg Foundation has donated $4,000 for scholarships to the program for 2013-2014 and has pledged $4,000 for next year. Applicants may be present or aspiring performers, directors/choreographers and designers from virtually any part of the musical theatre business.
This program is an affirmation of the Yip Harburg values and was developed in collaboration with Cynthia Ward, Dean of ESC’s Metropolitan Center and Deena R Harburg, Executive Vice – President of the Yip Harburg Foundation.
The benefits of Musical Theatre studies are not limited to the trade. It can build self-esteem, confidence, collaborative and communicative skills throughout moral building that is useful in public speaking, almost any line of work and life.
“A Day in The Life” – The Musical Theatre Studio, Spring 2014
An Eastside Community High School – Yip Harburg Foundation Collaboration
Spring semester 2014, East Side Community High School. A group of 11th and 12th graders spend four periods a week in a musical theatre studio led by The Yip Harburg Foundation. Resident Teaching Artists and theatre professionals, including Deena Harburg, executive producer, worked alongside the students to develop an original play written by both students and teachers. The final show, “A Day in the Life” was filled with songs taught to the students from the musical theatre cannon along with scenes and scenarios written and developed throughout the semester from the personal stories and lives of the students themselves.
On Aug. 18, 2013 Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new stage version of The Wizard of Oz will end its run at the Mirvish Theatre in Toronto before embarking on a North American tour. This new stage adaptation is headed by Danielle Wade (as Dorothy), who was chosen by the Canadian public through CBC TV’s reality show “Over The Rainbow,” launches Sept. 10 at The Smith Center in Las Vegas, NV.
Starring opposite Wade are Canadian actor Cedric Smith as the Wizard, Mike Jackson (Chicago) as the Tin Man, Lee MacDougall (Mamma Mia! in Toronto and the U.S. tour) as the Lion, Jamie McKnight (The Producers in Toronto) as the Scarecrow, Robin Evan Willis (Shaw Festival) as Glinda and Jacquelyn Piro Donovan(Les Miz, Miss Saigon, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Closer Than Ever) as the Wicked Witch of the West.
On January 14, 2013 ABC-TV’s Good Morning America broadcast a performance of the Yip Harburg-Harold Arlen classic “Over the Rainbow” by students from Newtown, Connecticut, the scene of the Dec. 14, 2012 shooting tragedy.
We are thinking of you.
“Why, oh why can’t I?”
– E. Y. “Yip” Harburg