Music Theatre International picks up rights for classic Lerner and Loewe musicals

620-5-my-fair-lady-Alan-Jay-Lerner-Frederick-Loewe.imgcache.rev1411666657602.web_Timeless My Fair Lady is one of five classic Lerner & Loewe musicals acquired by leading theatrical licensing agency Music Theatre International (MTI).

The legendary writing team’s much-loved re-working of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, lines up alongside the duo’s much loved Camelot, Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon and their newly restored early work The Day Before Spring.

From 1 June MTI will begin representing My Fair Lady in the UK, US and all English language territories, and the other four titles on a worldwide basis (some restrictions may apply).

Announcing MTI’s latest acquisitions, the organisation’s president Drew Cohen said: “We are honoured to have been selected by the representatives of Lerner and Loewe to represent their musicals. These are among the greatest musicals ever written for Broadway and the West End, and we look forward to sharing them with our customers around the world, from high school auditoriums to regional theatres to opera houses. Not all musicals stand the test of time but these were so exceptional to begin with, and have only become more appreciated over the years.”

Cameron Mackintosh, co-owner of MTI with chairman and CEO Freddie Gershon, and the producer of two critically acclaimed UK revivals of My Fair Lady said: “I was lucky enough to see the original production of My Fair Lady at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane several times, including the last night on my 16th birthday in 1963, when I gate-crashed the party and danced all night.

“Two years later I started my career there as a stage-hand on Camelot, and shortly after that, thanks to a little bit of luck, I met the legendary lyricist Alan Jay Lerner. We became firm friends and Alan directed my first London production of My Fair Lady in 1979. Like Professor Higgins, he taught me so much about the musical theatre that he and Fritz Loewe created so brilliantly. Personally, I am thrilled at the ‘absobloomin’ loverly’ news that their legendary body of work has found a new home with MTI. Bravo Eliza!”

The partnership between librettist/lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986) and composer Frederick Loewe’s (1901-1988) created some of the Golden Age of the musical’s most enduringly popular works.

While Brigadoon, Camelot, My Fair Lady and Paint Your Wagon are widely known across the world, the lesser-known newest addition to the canon is also one of the oldest. The Day Before Spring (1945) had a short Broadway run, and was never recorded or fully revived.

It has enjoyed select concert re-appearances at New York’s Bandwagon (1990); the York Theatre, New York (2007), Lost Musicals, London (2010); and the University of Sheffield (2017). Its representation by MTI will mark the musical’s first release in the secondary market.

Commenting on the MTI deal, a joint statement from Loren Plotkin, trustee of the Alan Jay Lerner Testamentary Trust, and Emily Altman, President of the Frederick Loewe Foundation, reads: “We are delighted that five Lerner and Loewe musicals will now be represented by Music Theatre International. MTI’s success in bringing musicals to new audiences worldwide, its commitment to arts education, and its groundbreaking achievements in schools across the globe, reflect values that we share.

“The partnership of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe is recognised as one of the most successful in musical theatre history; on their behalf, we now look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with MTI.”

Angela Thomas

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