More than any other major composer for American musicals, Harold Arlen (1905-86) crossed over from the world of Broadway and Hollywood to jazz. His music is steeped in both the blues and in the rich Hebraic tradition of his family (his father was a cantor in Buffalo, where Arlen grew up). This music runs so deep that it’s become a permanent part of our culture.
TMTP first explored Arlen’s music 10 years ago, but we wanted to revisit his songs this season – reason being that this is the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. It’s a musical masterpiece that has delighted and touched five generations since its debut, and here in Cleveland, that fifth generation embraces the songs in our Kids Love Musicals! program for elementary schools.
When you come to our January 18 concert, “Over the Rainbow: The Songs of Harold Arlen,” you’ll be astonished by his output, that’s for sure, especially as brought to life by a cadre of marvelous jazz artists: pianist Joe Hunter and vocalists Erin Keckan, Vince Mastro and Evelyn Wright, with Bryan Thomas on bass and Ray Porrello on drums. Songs include “Blues in the Night,” “That Old Black Magic,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Stormy Weather,” “I’ve Got the World on a String,” “The Man that got Away,” and of course, “Over the Rainbow.”
Don’t miss our two-week Footlight Parade conversation with Broadway legend John Cullum! Catch Footlight Parade in Cleveland on WCLV 104.9 every Saturday at 6pm.
You can also visit PRX.org to stream our Footlight Parade archives!
December 27: A Visit with Martin Charnin – Part 1
The stellar lyricist of Annie
just turned 80, and his musicals also include work with Mary Rodgers, Vernon Duke and Harold Arlen.
January 3: A Visit with Martin Charnin (Part 2)
In this installment, the story behind Annie plus selections from Two by Two, Charnin’s musical with Richard Rodgers.
January 10: A Visit with Martin Charnin (Part 3)
More from Annie, along with the hit revue Upstairs at O’Neals’ and Charnin’s musical with Richard Rodgers, I Remember Mama (the composer’s final show).
Another tour de force from TMTP and Harbinger Records! Click here for more information on how you can pre-order “Sheldon Harnick: Hidden Treasures,” which features 53 demos and cut songs from 17 shows including Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, Fiorello!, The Apple Tree and The Rothschilds as well as rarities from The Body Beautiful, Trafalgar, Smiling the Boy Fell Dead, Rex and A Wonderful Life.
This year, TMTP is adding a new 4-week residency to the Kids Love Musicals! line-up to serve children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other cognitive learning differences.
Click here to see more about this special initiative (we promise it will make you smile!).