Songwriter Salutes in February — Schmidt/Jones, Sondheim, Leslie Bricusse

By ROB LESTER— Calling all lovers of live music who like to hang out at the intersection of cabaret and musical theatre (on or off) February looks to be a good month for nightclub room salutes to outstanding composers and lyricists of the genre.  (One has a birthday today)  I’ll try to take a hint from them and try to put my message in rhyme, too. If you like, you can sing this column to yourself… first, to the tune of the most celebrated piece of one of the songwriting pairs: Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones’s “Try to Remember” from The Fantasticks. It’s prominently featured in a survey of their work by two ladies who know whereof they sing because they’ve been there and done that musical with fond memories and know the writers and their work very well.  It shows in the show.  But that’s just the start of the month.  So, hum along and try to remember to mark your calendars. Here goes.

Try to remember that long-running show hit

By Jones and Schmidt — I know you know it.

Oh, The Fantasticks is just the beginning.

Their winning songs will make you glow. It

Is so nice, it is so worth the price, when Demas and Rice twice

Salute the duo.

I Do! I Do! advise you to go see their re-do

So: Follow…follow…  [my advice]

     Carole Demas & Sarah Rice  at the Laurie Beechman Theatre   February 4 (at 1 PM) & February 8 (at 7 PM)


The next recommendation in rhyme may cue you to bring out your appointment book, order a drink, and to send in the clowns.

Their singing’s rich.  Oh, what a pair!

Their voices still thrill us when they fill the air.

Each Sondheim rhyme

Will sound sublime


Go see KT.  

Jeff Harnar, too.

I advise: It would be wise

To see them. Please do.

Their shows are great.

And so why wait

Until next year?


KT Sullivan & Jeff Harnar sing Stephen Sondheim

at the Laurie Beechman Theatre   February 5 & 12   (at 7 PM)


Isn’t it bliss? Listen to this:

Green Room 42 waiters will

Serve Sondheim to you.

More songs by Steve.


Isn’t it sweet?  Isn’t it swell?

Sondheim as well one block west,

Go to Yotel.

Oh, yes, there’s more Sondheim in store.

On Feb 24.


The Green Room 42 Staff Show presents Sondheim “served up” by their wait staff (so why wait to make reservations, assuming there are some waiters left who will find time to serve food and drinks, too, although there’s no cover or minimum at this venue on Tenth Avenue & West 42 Street).

Switching from Sondheim to Leslie Bricusse, here’s a melody that normally has his lyric to a melody by frequent collaborator Anthony Newley. It brings us back to the Beechman.

Come with Stearns.  Take some turns

Thru the world of pure imagination.

Take that path that Stearns Matthews will use

In his Bricusse celebration.

Don’t Stop the World, let it spin

…On the 17th, you’re in.


Stearns Matthews is at the Beechman on February 17 singing the work of the man who created much of your favorite chocolate factory, said goodbye to Mr. Chips, said hello to Jekyll & Hyde and taught a lesson to Scrooge: Leslie Bricusse, who turned 87 today!



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