By Josh Dalton
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Just like in any other field, in musical theatre there is an upper echelon. The best writers of the best are easy to name: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, George Gershwin, and the one and only Sheldon Harnick.
Sheldon Harnick is a Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning theatre veteran. He has written or co-written some of the most respected musical theatre pieces of this century. Among his credits are "Fiddler on the Roof" and "She Loves Me," which he co-wrote with Jerry Bock.
The University of Arizona theatre arts department is now presenting "No Song More Pleasing: The Musical Theatre of Sheldon Harnick." It is a musical review that compiles the best from Harnick's forty-year career. "No Song More pleasing" is directed and devised by Daniel Yurgaitis, with divine intervention from Harnick, of course.
Harnick, speaking of the review, said, "[Yurgaitus] grouped the material into separate categories . love, comedy, if that's not the same thing ." Harnick has also said that the cast is "solid" and that he is "very pleased with it."
Harnick's beginnings in musical theatre date back to college. He had no idea what he wanted to do when a friend of his who had gone to see "Finian's Rainbow" lent him the soundtrack. That was when he made his choice. "Listening to Harburg's lyrics was a revelation," Harnick said.
Harnick also discussed some of hie future projects. "I'd like people to know that I am still working," he said. One upcoming work is an animated film that is due for release in March and is now under the working title of "The world is One Big Chelm." Chelm is the Yiddish word for town of fools.
Harnick is also working on a musical adaptation of the children's book The Phantom Tollbooth that he says is appropriately geared toward children.
For fans of Harnick's, "No Song More Pleasing" promises to please. Don't miss it.
"No Song More Pleasing" opens tonight and runs through Nov. 6. For information call 621-7008
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