Broadway to Main Street features the songs of Ira Gershwin

March 23, 2017

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Laurence Maslon, author of numerous books on stage and screen musicals (South Pacific, The Sound of Music), and Associate Chair/Arts Professor at the Graduate Acting Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, continues his popular radio series of explorations of the Great American Songbook with a new, hour-long broadcast devoted to Ira Gershwin (pictured above with Tony Bennett in 1968).

Via a discussion of lyrical themes and a choice selection of recordings, Ira Gershwin: George and Beyond spans the lyricist’s career. Featuring works written (sometimes posthumously) with his brother George—Funny Face; Looking for a Boy; Of Thee I Sing; For You, For Me, Forevermore; A Foggy Day; I Can’t Be Bothered Now; They Can’t Take That Away from Me; and Love Is Here to Stay—the show also captures Ira’s wordplay in songs from his sometimes neglected career with other notable composers: Here’s What I’m Here For (Harold Arlen), Don’t Be a Woman If You Can (Arthur Schwartz), In Our United State (Burton Lane), Long Ago and Far Away (Jerome Kern), Island in the West Indies & I Can’t Get Started (Vernon Duke), and You’d Be Hard to Replace (Harry Warren).

George and Ira Gershwin were featured in earlier episodes of the series devoted to Of Thee I Sing, Porgy and Bess, and in a broadcast called Michael Feinstein Sings Ira.

Hosted by WPPB-FM, the National Public Radio affiliate on Long Island, Ira Gershwin: George and Beyond and its companions—now more than 200 in number—can be also be heard at or on iTunes.

The Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Philanthropic Fund is pleased to be a sponsor of Broadway to Main Street.

— Michael Owen