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Lorenz HartA Poet on Broadway$
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Frederick Nolan

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195102895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102895.001.0001

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Bothered and Bewildered

Bothered and Bewildered

(p.271) 34 Bothered and Bewildered
Lorenz Hart

Frederick Nolan

Oxford University Press

Writing the kind of cynical, callous, suggestive lyrics needed for characters like Joey Evans was a paid vacation for Lorenz Hart. He was writing for Gene Kelly, whom he idolized, for Vivienne Segal, whom he adored. Every step of the way Richard Rodgers matched his partner, producing melodies ranging from the torrid to the tawdry. In fact, when he first played “Bewitched,” George Abbott took him to one side and said, “Dick, don't you think that melody is too sweet for the kind of lyrics Larry has written?” By the time Brooks Atkinson revised his opinion, Hart was not around to see his faith in the play vindicated, to hear “Bewitched” become the number one song in the Hit Parade. Unquestionably the finest achievement of the Rodgers and Hart partnership, Pal Joey, is notable for one other reason: it marked the beginning of the end for Hart.

Keywords:   Joey Evans, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Bewitched, George Abbott, Brooks Atkinson, Pal Joey

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