Text Box: LYRICIST autographs
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MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN
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Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247

 

Price: $175.00

MINT CONDITION

SHELDON HARNICK  - LYRICIST/COMPOSER

Autographed 8.5” x 11” photograph of Harnick and Jerry Bock working at the piano on a score.  Harnick has added a two bar musical quotation of “Sunrise, Sunset” from their beloved and award winning musical “Fiddler on the Roof”.  The photograph is second state, produced in the last 20 years, however, wonderfully produced and sharp in detail.

Native Chicagoan Harnick (1924 -    ), unlike most lyricists actually played an instrument, the violin.  He graduated from Northwestern University in 1949 with a music degree having contributed music and lyrics to a number of campus musical productions whilst in college.  He worked as a gig musician until he decided to move to New York in 1952 to write for the musical reviews of the time. When he arrived in New York City in 1952, Harnick composer and wrote lyrics for a number of Broadway musical reviews which were still incredibly popular, Leonard Sillman’s “New Faces of 1952”, Charles Sherman’s  “Two’s Company”, “John Murray Anderson’s “Almanac” and “The Littlest Review” took him from 1952-1956.  The famous lyricist Yip Harburg, one of Harnick’s “Gods” caught one of the off Broadway reviews where Harnick had contributed songs where he both composed the tune and the lyrics and suggested his life would be much easier and more fulfilling if he instead worked with an established composer and stick to writing character and comic lyrics. (Harnick was into ballads at the time.) He met his composer-collaborator Jerry Bok (1928-2010) in 1956 and their first musical “Body Beautiful” arrived on Broadway on January 23rd, 1958 and ran until March 15th of  that year, some 60 performances.  Their next collaboration, “Fiorello” ran from November, 1959 to May, 1961, some 795 performances, a real hit at that time.  “Tenderloin” was their next project which ran 216 performances in 1960, “Man In The Moon” was a 7 performance run in 1953. “She Loves Me” ran from April, 1963—January, 1964.  However, “Fiddler on the Roof” which opened on Broadway on September 24th, 1964 at the Imperial Theatre was to become a household name.  It was really the first time since Boris Thomashefsky brought his musical “The Singing Rabbi” uptown for three performances in 1931 that something so ethnically Jewish was produced for the Broadway stage.

 

“Fiddler on the Roof” was based upon tales by the famous Yiddish writer and playwright Sholom Aleichem of Tevye the milkman and his family in the Russian shtetl.  The book for the musical was written by the much older and experienced Joseph Stein, though a departure from his usual fare.  There was much concern the production would be too ethnic for Broadway, however, that was not to be the case.  They hired the famed Jerome Robbins who for decades had hidden his Jewish ethnicity to direct and choreograph the show and from day one with a cast that included veteran Broadway actor Zero Mostel, ballerina Maria Karnilova and actresses Bea Arthur and Julia Migenes among others, it was a hit.  The songs from the show including, “Sunrise, Sunset” which became a Jewish anthem, “Tradition”, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and Mostel’s show stopper, “If I Was A Rich Man” became singles unto themselves.  The Show won the Tony, the Drama Desk Award and the first run ran until July, 1972 some 3,242 performances, a Broadway record which stood until 1979.  The released in November, 1971 starring not Mostel, but Topol who created the role in London’s West End. The Israeli actor who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance. The film received 8 Oscar nominations and won cinematography, score adaptation and sound.  That said, it spurred on the Broadway show for several additional months.

 

“Fiddler” has been revived 5 times on Broadway, 5 times in London’s West End and played in almost every Western Country around the World, as well as Israel.  The work is also a popular musical for performance for grade schools, high schools and universities, as well as both amateur and professional productions around the United States.  The Broadway revivals have also had touring shows.