Lyrics & Lyricists Season Will Salute Rodgers, Coleman, Merman and More | Playbill

News Lyrics & Lyricists Season Will Salute Rodgers, Coleman, Merman and More Kathleen Marshall, James Naughton and Billy Stritch are among the hosts who will organize and present concerts as part of the 92nd Street Y's 2016 Lyrics & Lyricists season.

Kathleen Marshall Photo by Monica Simoes

Deborah Grace Winer serves as artistic director of the series, which invites guest artistic directors to curate individual concerts. The 2016 guest artistic directors: Kathleen Marshall, on songs written on the road that became Broadway hits; Billy Stritch, on Cy Coleman’s jazz side; Ted Sperling, on legendary leading lady Ethel Merman; and the team of Ted Chapin and Bill Rudman, on Rodgers after Hammerstein. James Naughton, a favorite L&L performer, makes his artistic director debut in a show exploring the time when the American Songbook, country and rock ‘n’ roll vied for control of the radio.

Here's a closer look at the 2016 series and the artists:

A Funny Thing Happened: Songs from the Road to Broadway
Jan. 9-11, 2016
Cast TBA Kathleen Marshall, artistic director and host
"Sometimes a single song can save a show. Three-time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall reveals the stories behind “Comedy Tonight” (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and other 11th-hour songs penned out of town, only to become Broadway’s biggest hits."

Battle of the Airwaves! When the Songbook Met Rock & Country
February 27-29
James Naughton, Artistic Director & Host
Once upon a time, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash vied for control of America’s airwaves. Relive that exhilarating musical moment—when the Songbook battled rebellious rock ’n’ roll and country—with two-time Tony Award winner James Naughton, in his debut as an L&L artistic director.

Witchcraft: The Jazz Magic of Cy Coleman
March 19-21
Billy Stritch, Artistic Director & Host
From Sweet Charity to City of Angels, Cy Coleman is beloved for his Broadway scores—not to mention classic standards like “Witchcraft” and “The Best Is Yet to Come.” But he also doubled as a jazz pianist. Join singer-pianist sensation, Grammy winner Billy Stritch for a magic ride to Coleman’s swinging side. Everything's Coming Up Ethel: The Ethel Merman Songbook
April 16-18
Ted Sperling, Artistic Director & Host
Momma Rose, Annie Oakley--nobody belted the big roles like Broadway titan Ethel Merman. George Gershwin told her never to take voice lessons, and he and his fellow Songbook scribes--from Berlin to Porter— worshipped Merman as a muse. Celebrate the songs, the songwriters and their larger-than-life leading lady with Tony Award-winning music director Ted Sperling.

I Have Confidence: Rodgers After Hammerstein
May 21-23
Ted Chapin and Bill Rudman, Co-Artistic Directors & Hosts
Rodgers and...Sondheim? Harnick? Charnin? Late in life, Richard Rodgers, one of Broadway’s greatest composers, partnered with an amazing array of talent. See video interviews, hear unearthed writings and delve deep inside these rich collaborations, with R&H authority Ted Chapin and SiriusXM host Bill Rudman.

Lyrics & Lyricists shows are Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday at 2 and 7 PM, and Monday at 2 and 7:30 PM. Subscriptions to the five-concert series running from January to May are on sale now, starting at $290. Individual tickets start at $58 and go on sale August 3; 92Y’s 35 & Under program also offers access to steeply discounted tickets for all performances. Phone (212) 415-5500 or visit for tickets and more information.

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