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Sherman Yellen


July 3, 2024

Berlin, incidentally, could not write music.  He could play piano—not too well, and in only one key.  He would play, sing, and hum songs that he created, which a musical secretary would then take  down and put into written form for him.  The typed lyrics that Shaw saved (with the words  “you’re a dumb kop”) may have been typed by Berlin himself or may have been dictated by Berlin  to a musical secretary. In any event, the songs “Angelo” and “It Can’t Be Did” have  survived only because Lillian Shaw happened to be  a “saver.”  By contrast, Shaw’s good friend, Fanny Brice, for whom Berlin also wrote  special material, was not a “saver.”  [more]

92nd Y’s Lyrics & Lyricists Series: I Have Confidence: Rodgers After Hammerstein

May 26, 2016

Above the stage on a screen throughout the presentation were projected photographs illustrating Rodgers’ career and appropriate backdrops for the locales of the shows. Brief insightful video interviews with Rodgers’ daughter Linda, lyricists Sheldon Harnick and Martin Charnin, playwright Sherman Yellen, historian Ken Bloom, Rodgers grandson Peter Melnick, record producer Thomas Z. Shepard, and the actor John Cullum were shown. A 1974 Public Television interview conducted by James Day showed the aged Rodgers ravaged by strokes and throat cancer but still vital and articulate. [more]

Rothschild & Sons

October 31, 2015

The surviving original creators, book writer Sherman Yellen and lyricist Sheldon Harnick, have written a new streamlined version of the show now called Rothschild & Sons which is being given its world premiere by the York Theatre Company. With a cast of eleven (most playing multiple roles) led by Cuccioli now playing patriarch Meyer and an orchestra of three, the show is a powerful study of anti-Semitism in Europe at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century and the desire of the Rothschild family to break down both the walls of poverty and those of prejudice. While the new adaptation performed in one act is both engrossing and admirable, it may not be the definitive final version as it is devoid of humor, a necessary ingredient to make a musical popular. [more]