For much of Lyric Stage's history, it was dedicated to new or rarely seen musicals. Then, as it got into the business of revivals with full orchestras, the titles were often some of the best-known in musicaldom: My Fair Lady, The King and I, Gypsy, Oliver! and Bye, Bye Birdie among them. (The current season ends with a full-orchestra Oklahoma!, after a concert version of Kismet, opening tonight.)
But for Lyric's 2012-13 season—its 20th—the shows are mix of all that. The five works will all be performed with a full orchestra, and while the names behind the shows are big, the titles, with the exception of The Music Man and maybe 1776, aren't.
This is exciting news for musical lovers who have been waiting for revivals of classic but rarely seen gems like Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella and Rodgers and Hart's Too Many Girls. Not only will they be fully staged, but they'll be accompanied by orchestras with more than 30 pieces, mostly likely with restored orchestrations. We knew Too Many Girls was coming, because in 2009 Lyric received an NEA grant to restore the piece.
Loesser, best known for Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, figures prominently into the season with two shows: The aforementioned Fella, (1956) and also his 1965 flop Pleasures and Palaces, which closed on an out-of-town tryout in Detroit.
Here is the complete season lineup (descriptions from Lyric Stage):
The Most Happy Fella
Sept. 7-16, 2012
Book, music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, based on They Knew What They Wanted by Sidney Howard
Sweeping romantic musical about Tony, an aging vintner, and his mail order bride featuring "Big D" and "Standing on the Corner (Watching All the Girls Go By)."
Oct. 27–Nov. 4, 2012
Music and lyrics by Sherman Edwards, book by Peter Stone.
Exciting musical about the birth of the greatest nation in the history of the world.
Pleasures and Palaces
Jan. 24–27, 2013
Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, book by Sam Spewak and Frank Loesser
Historical hijinks abound in this unknown masterpiece from American musical theater legend Frank Loesser.
Too Many Girls
April 26–May 5, 2013
Music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart, book by George Marion, Jr.
Go team! Rodgers & Hart's collegiate musical comedy featuring the hits "I Didn't Know What Time it Was," "I Like to Recognize the Tune" and "You're Nearer."
The Music Man
Jun 14–23, 2013
Book, music and lyrics by Meredith Willson, story by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey
An affectionate look at Everytown, U.S.A. The All-American musical comedy.
Season subscriptions are on sale now. Call 972-252-2787 or visit www.lyricstage.org.