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The Dress Circle: A Tribute to Sheldon Harnick - Part 1

We lost one of Broadway’s shining lights on June 23rd this year when Sheldon Harnick passed away at the age of 99. On this week’s Dress Circle (7/9 7:00 p.m.), we’re beginning a celebration of his lyric writing career with songs from five hit shows he wrote with his partner, Jerry Bock, between the years of 1959 and 1970.

“Fiorello!” from 1959 was about the larger-than-life personality of Fiorello H. LaGuardia and his rise to being an incredibly popular mayor of New York. Tom Bosley won a Tony for his performance in the title role, and the show won the Pulitzer Prize for drama that year.

“Fiddler on the Roof” was the mega-hit of its day when it opened five years later, and won all but one of the Tony awards for which it was nominated. It’s been back on Broadway an additional five times and has traveled around the world many times.

“She Loves Me” which comes from the same source material as “The Shop Around the Corner,” “In the Good Old Summertime,” and “You’ve Got Mail” features an endearing score but never achieved the popularity we felt it should have.

“Tenderloin” is based on a novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams about a minister’s ill-fated attempt to clean up the Tenderloin or red-light district of Manhattan that made-up a large portion of the east side of midtown eventually spanning from 14th to 62nd Streets between 5th and 8th Avenues.

We’ll conclude this installment with a look at “The Rothschilds” which starred Hal Linden and looks at the historical and political rise of this powerful banking family from its humble beginnings in Germany through to its financial empire that helped fund Napoleon’s defeat. This was the last show Bock and Harnick created together.

You’ll definitely know some of the songs on this week’s program, but we’re happy to introduce you to others in this first look at the work of Sheldon Harnick.

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Ted Otten is co-host of The Dress Circle
Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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