Lerner, Alan Jay

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Lerner, Alan Jay,

1918–86, American lyricist and librettist, b. New York City. After two years as a radio scriptwriter, Lerner began an association with the composer Frederick Loewe that resulted in several popular musicals, including Brigadoon (1947, film 1954), Paint Your Wagon (1951, film 1969), Camelot (1960, film 1967), and the Academy-Award-winning film Gigi (1958). Their highly successful My Fair Lady (1956, film 1964), an adaptation of Shaw's Pygmalion, has been translated into many languages. Lerner also wrote Love Life (1948) with Kurt WeillWeill, Kurt
, 1900–1950, German-American composer, b. Dessau, studied with Humperdinck and Busoni in Berlin. He first became known with the production of two short satirical surrealist operas, Der Protagonist (1926) and Der Zar lässt sich photographieren
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 and the book for the film An American in Paris (1951).

Bibliography

See his autobiography, On the Street Where I Live (1978, rev. ed. 1994); biography by E. Jablonski (1996); studies by G. Lees (1990) and S. Citron (1995).

Lerner, Alan Jay

(1918–86) lyricist, librettist; born in New York City. Son of a wealthy owner of a women's clothing store chain, he enjoyed the privileges of a cultured family. He began piano lessons at age five and wrote his first songs as a teenager, but his father planned for him to enter the diplomatic service. While at Harvard he contributed to the Hasty Pudding Club Shows in 1938 and 1939; during the summers of 1936 and 1937 he studied at Juilliard. An accident in a boxing match cost him sight in his left eye, and after graduation (1940) he went to New York City determined to write for the theater. He wrote radio scripts and contributed to satirical revues, and in 1942 he met composer Frederick Loewe. They began their collaboration on such hit musicals as Brigadoon (1947), My Fair Lady (1956), and Gigi (1958). Lerner also collaborated on other works, writing the libretto and lyrics for Love Life (1948), music by Kurt Weill, and the screenplay for An American in Paris (1951). He rejoined Loewe for Camelot (1960) but they had a falling-out and went their own ways. Lerner wrote the words for two other musicals, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever (1965) and Coco (1969). He rejoined Loewe in 1973 to make a stage version of their film musical, Gigi, and then for their last collaboration, The Little Prince (1974). Lerner's final musicals were not successful but he had earned his place as one of the most meticulous wordsmiths in the history of American musicals.
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CREDITS: A musical in two acts with music by Burton Lane; lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, book by Peter Parnell, based on the original book by Lerner.
15 Newmarket A musical with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, it tells the story of a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every 100 years, although to the villagers, each century seems no longer than one night.
The song was written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe for their 1951 Broadway hit of the same name.
QUIZ CHALLENGE: 1 San Marino' 2 The Four Apostles' 3 The Philippines' 4 Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe' 5 Tin.
The Hungarian film producer Gabriel Pascal wanted to turn the play into a musical, and finally he found Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner to do it.
Harburg, Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, and Johnny Mercer, whose careers (with the exception of Mercer) have been well covered.
My Fair Lady, the hit musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe based on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York City.
Looking back, Ralph believes that the hold the musical had on him as a child stemmed from lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe's perfect union of the music and story.
The show, with a score by Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner, is remembered mostly for the incandescent performance of Barbara Harris (as a chainsmoking kook with an uncanny ability to "remember" 18th-century London) and for Vincente Minnelli's 1970 movie version starring Barbra Streisand and Yves Montand.
In addition to taking swipes at his most vociferous critics (Robert Brustein and John Lahr), Sondheim thorughly flays Noel Coward, Oscar Hammerstein II, Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Alan Jay Lerner and Cole Porter.