On November 15th from 7:30pm – 10pm at the Kaufman Music Center, 129 West 67th Street musical theater will be in session. The musical theatre is known as the domain of certain super-talents with strings of hits: Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, the Gershwins, etc. Most of the writers who create one great show go on to create another.
But there is a fascinating subset of writers who, for one reason or another, hit it big once and never repeated. Sometimes it’s a once-in-a-lifetime idea. Sometimes it’s a collaboration that falls apart. Some writers keep trying with diminishing returns, some milk their first big hit for all it’s worth, and some walk away to pursue other goals. Of course, some unfortunately pass away too early, never getting the chance to repeat or surpass their original effort. Whatever the reason, we often refer to individuals or composing teams that had only a single acclaimed show as one-hit wonders.
On Tuesday evening, November 15, the prestigious concert series Broadway Playhouse joins forces with adult education phenomenon One Day University to produce Broadway’s One Hit Wonders. This lecture/concert will examine iconic shows like The Music Man, Hair, Oliver! Grease, Man of La Mancha, The Boy Friend, Promises, Promises, Rent, 1776 and The Wiz, to understand what made them great, and why their creators couldn’t or didn’t repeat. Top Broadway performers including Tony nominee Marc Jacoby will interpret the classic songs and Drama Desk-nominated composer/lyricist and Director of Theater at Kaufman Sean Hartley will provide commentary, insights, anecdotes and conjecture to explore this fascinating anomaly in American musical history.