GREAT AMERICAN COMPOSERS SERIES

"Great American Composers" is a series of musical programs which features timeless songs from the brilliant composers and lyricists whose body of work have become musical standards. Each one-hour program highlights a different composer.

Also available: a "sampler" program which presents a handful of songs from each of the Great American Composers.

 


WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG: HAROLD ARLEN

The Wonderful Wizard of Song is a jukebox musical filled with the iconic and nostalgic hits of OZ composer Harold Arlen including That Old Black Magic, I’ve Got The World On A String, One For My Baby, Come Rain Or Come Shine, Stormy Weather, Blues In The Night, It’s Only A Paper Moon, Somewhere Over The Rainbow… and many others!

The show gives the audience a peek into the composer’s life as Dave DeLuca guides them through the musical vignettes traveling from The Cotton Club to the screens of Hollywood, to the Broadway stage and to the Land of Oz!


 


S'WONDERFUL: AN EVENING OF GERSHWIN

'S Wonderful: An Evening of Gershwin celebrates the elegant, unforgettable tunes composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by his brother Ira. In 1924 the brothers teamed up to write the music for their first Broadway hit "Lady, Be Good!"

Once the brothers joined together, their combined talents became one of the most influential forces in the history of American Musical Theatre. This musical tribute features some of the most enduring songs in the American musical canon, including Someone to Watch Over Me, I Got Rhythm, They Can't Take That Away from Me, Summertime, and 'S Wonderful.


 


GOD BLESS IRVING BERLIN

Who walks away from $10 million? Who creates something beloved and beautiful that will eventually earn him well in excess of $10 million, and says he doesn't want the money? Irving Berlin, the composer of God Bless America, that's who! A legend before he turned thirty, Irving Berlin was one of the greatest songwriters in American history. Despite never having had any formal music training, the composer of God Bless America and White Christmas taught himself to play piano (on the black keys only!) and at the age of 23 wrote Alexander’s Ragtime Band, a song that sparked an international dance craze and propelled him to the top ranks of songwriting, resulting in no less than 25 number one hits (out of 1500 songs) in his 60-year career, including: Cheek To Cheek, Always, Blue Skies, I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, How Deep Is The Ocean, and Puttin’ On The Ritz.

Another great American composer, Jerome Kern, concluded that "Irving Berlin has no place in American music - he IS American music."  And this musical tribute proves it!


 


BEGUILED AGAIN: SONGS OF RODGERS & HART

The remarkable partnership of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart spanned twenty-four years, resulting in the scores for thirty stage musicals and nine films. While their songs are acknowledged as among the most sophisticated and witty of their time, they could also be stunning in their simplicity and directness.

Beguiled Again illuminates the astonishing breadth of their output with a musical menu offering selections from the incomparable Rodgers and Hart songbook, songs like Blue Moon, The Lady Is A Tramp, My Funny Valentine, My Heart Stood Still. and Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered.


 


ANYTHING GOES: THE MUSIC OF COLE PORTER

Who doesn't love a Cole Porter tune? I Get a Kick Out Of You, Night and Day, In The Still Of The Night, Too Darn Hot, I've Got You Under My Skin - songs like these have stood the test of time to enter the popular repertoire as standards of the American songbook. They evoke a bygone world of luxury, of Upper East Side apartments, cruise liners and decadent cocktail parties...And they continue to fascinate with their witty lyrics, poignant emotions and wonderful melodies.

Dave DeLuca’s musical tribute to Cole Porter brings to life this rare talent who penned the music and lyrics for such Broadway hits as Anything Goes, Kiss Me, Kate, Silk Stockings and Can-Can, plus countless movie musicals.


 


AT LAST: THE HARRY WARREN SONGBOOK

The Great American Songbook is full of familiar names: George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern. However, the name Harry Warren might not immediately ring a bell. While this gifted Hollywood composer’s name might have eluded the spotlight, his dozens of hits written in the golden age of the film musical certainly have not.

This show details Harry Warren’s musical genius through hits like Chattanooga Choo Choo,  42nd Street,  That’s Amore, Jeepers Creepers, You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby, and At Last.


 


MY HUCKLEBERRY FRIEND, JOHNNY MERCER

Although he is best known as a lyricist, Johnny Mercer also composed music, co-founded Capitol Records, and was a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as those written by others. From the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s, many of the songs Mercer wrote and performed were among the most popular hits of the time. The Johnny Mercer Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He wrote the lyrics to more than fifteen hundred songs, including compositions for movies and Broadway shows. He received nineteen Academy Award nominations, and won four: "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" (music by Harry Warren), "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" (music by Hoagy Carmichael), and “Moon River” and “Days Of Wine And Roses” (music for both by Henry Mancini.)