January 3, 2013 News
THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG: The Music of Harold Arlen, a musical revue featuring such classic Harold Arlen songs as Stormy Weather, Come Rain or Come Shine, Paper Moon, Accentuate-The-Positive, Lets Fall in Love, and all the much-loved tunes from THE WIZARD OF OZ, begins previews at St. Luke’s Theatre, 308 West 46th Street, NYC on Monday, December 17th at 7 PM and opens officially on Thursday, January 10 at 8 PM. (Previews were originally scheduled to begin on December 13th.)
The Wonderful Wizard of Song moves from The Cotton Club, thru Harold Arlen’s Hollywood Years to Broadway, sharing inside stories of how some of the world’s most beloved songs were created as well as sharing rare behind the scenesfootage from The Wizard of Oz taken by Harold Arlen himself. Featuring The Three Crooners, George Bugatti, Marcus Goldhaber and Joe Shepherd, with Antoinette Henry, the Arlen revue makes its New York debut after a national tour to 18 cities and a month-long run at the Debbie Reynolds Theatre in Las Vegas.
Produced by Yellow Brick Productions in association with Shea Arender, Steven Colucci and Jerry Rosenberg, THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG has direction & musical staging by Broadway veteran Gene Castle. The original concept is by Nigel Wright, Sam Arlen and George Bugatti with special thanks to Harold Arlen’s son Sam Arlen for all archival and historical content.
Born in 1905, HAROLD ARLEN began playing with local bands, movie houses, vaudeville troupes and cabaret as a teenager in his home town of Buffalo, NY. His early collaboration with Ted Koehler, beginning in 1930, lead to writing such hits as “Between the Devil and the Deep blue Sea” and “I’ve Got the World on A String” for the famed Cotton Club. In 1939 he won the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Over The Rainbow” from THE WIZARD OF OZ and earned 8 more Academy Award nominations including “The Man That Got Away” from “A Star is Born”. Arlen was enshrined in The Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971 and passed away in 1986 at age 81. George Bugatti, Co-Founder (with Sam Arlen) of the Harold Arlen Foundation, said: “If Arlen has just written “Over the Rainbow” he would be assured of his place in the Great American Songbook. Aside from being Judy Garland’s life-long signature, Rainbow was rated #1 by the Recording Industry Association of America and the named one of the “Songs of the Century” by the National Endowment for the Arts.”
The Musical Director for THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG is Frank Ponzo with arrangements by Steve Rawlins, Arty Schroeck and Chris Hoffman. There will be a 4 piece on-stage band. Set and lighting design are by Josh Iacovelli with costumes by Amy Pedigo and additional artistic scenic design by Steve Colucci. Jessimeg Productions is General Manager.
The performance schedule for THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF SONG is: Mondays @ 7, Wednesdays @ 2 and Thursdays @ 8. Tickets at $69.50 & $39.50 are available through TeleCharge at www.TeleCharge.com or (212) 239-6200. (The performance on December 20th will begin at 7 PM instead of 8 PM and there will be no show on December 24th.)
The show runs approximately 80 minutes without intermission.