fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Salute to George and Ira Gershwin

I went to a lecture by Robert Wyatt last night on the Gershwins at the Smithsonian. Wyatt is clearly knowledgeable about the subject and has a large personal collection of letters, as well as recordings and film clips, which he used throughout his talk. I can't say I really learned much, beyond a few bits of trivia. For example, Ira Gershwin went to high school (and, later, CCNY) with Yip Harburg. (It seemed like a surprising number of people in the room didn't know who Harburg was. Wyatt mentioned a few of things Harburg wrote the lyrics for, including the score of "The Wizard of Oz." But how one earth does one talk about Yip Harburg without mentioning Finian's Rainbow, his most significant Broadway musical?

Despite not really having much I didn't know, the talk was entertaining. And there were plenty of recordings to listen to. I have only two complaints:
1) Wyatt often talked over the music, which was okay when he was pointing out something to listen for, but less okay when he was simply gushing about how wonderful it was.
2) He went on for 2 1/2 hours - and the seats in the auditorium were not comfortable enough for that.
Tags: musicals

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