Rodgers & Hart: A Celebration

Music by Richard RodgersRodgers & Hart: A Celebration at Light opera works

Lyrics by Lorenz Hart

Concept by Richard Lewine & John Fearnley

Directed & Choreographed by Rudy Hogenmiller

Produced by Light Opera Works

At  Light Opera works Second Stage, Evanston

Wonderful night of fabulous songs sung well awaits

The Rodgers & Hart collaboration added 550 tunes and 28 musicals to the American songbook since their initial offering in 1919 that ended in 1943. They wrote for Broadway, for film and for Tin Pan Ally. Larry Hart was know for his sophisticated, melancholy, cleverness with a most “New York” “Broadway” feel. Songs like “Manhattan” – “”The great big city’s a wondrous toy/Just made for a girl and boy” and later – reprises: “The city’s glamor can never spoil/The dreams of a boy and goil.”

While Rodgers’ music is lush, varied and melodic, I believe that it was Larry Hart’s often sad yet smart lyrics that made tunes like “Falling in Love with Love”, “Little Girl Blue”, “My Funny Valentin,” “Blue Moon,” “I Could Write a Book” and “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” American classics.

Richard Rodgers and Larry Hart in 1936
Richard Rodgers and Larry Hart in 1936

The cast of six non-Equity performers handled the R & H songbook well with Bethany Thomas nailing “The Lady is A Tramp” while Amy Brophy, Tiffany Desmond, David Geinosky, Jon Landvick and Rob Riddle each took tuns with smart solos or terrific harmonies that made songs from shows such as Pal Joey, Babes in Arms, The Boys from Syracuse, By Jupiter,” and I Married an Angel come to life.

We hear a rich assort of sad, cute, haunting and comic songs that Rodgers & Hart penned that are seldom performed these days. I’m a believer that theses terrific songbooks need to be showcased so each generation can expedience the genius of major talents from the past.  Audiences hear parts of over 50 songs from R & H as they receive a master lesson in lyric writing and melodic composition. We hear an assortment of moods, emotions and attitudes about love, relationships, fears and hopes from these slick and complex tunes.

Rodgers & Hart: A Celebration

The cast of six work hard and essentially deliver the R & H songbook with skill and loads of heart! (sorry). A fine night of a rich blend of songs by tow masters awaits your call at Light Opera Works Second Stage in Evanston. See this show to hear enchanting songs.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

At Light Opers Works Second Stage, 1420 Maple Ave., Evanston, IL, call 847-869-6300, www.musictheaterworks.com, tickets $27 – $34 – $42,  Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 3 pm, running time is 2 hours, 10 minutes with intermission.