Lerner and Loewe
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Lerner and Loewe were the team of lyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe, known primarily for the music and lyrics of some of Broadway's most successful musical shows, including My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Brigadoon.
Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, more commonly known as Fritz, met in 1942 at the Lambs Club in New York City where, according to Loewe, he mistakenly took a wrong turn to the men's room and walked past Lerner's table. Having recognized him, he asked if Lerner wrote lyrics and Lerner confirmed he did.
Lerner claimed to be the more dominant member of the partnership, which is supported by interviews with their close friends, saying that he would throw out the first two melodies that Loewe would write to any song even if they were both perfect. He said he always knew, with a little pushing, Loewe was capable of greater work. Loewe also worked perfectly with Lerner, who would agonize for weeks over a lyric. Unlike other collaborators Lerner would work with, Loewe was the most understanding of the time Lerner needed for his lyrics and would never pressure him to complete the work.
Regardless of their professional relationship, Lerner and Loewe were close friends and remained so until the end of their lives. On October 21, 1956, Lerner and Loewe appeared together as contestants on the panel quiz show What's My Line?. Their final public appearance was in December 1985, when they received a Kennedy Center Honor, six months before Lerner's death.
Lerner said this of Loewe:
"There will never be another Fritz... Writing will never again be as much fun. A collaboration as intense as ours inescapably had to be complex. But I loved him more than I understood or misunderstood him and I know he loved me more than he understood or misunderstood me."
- Life of the Party (1942)
- What's Up? (1943)
- The Day Before Spring (1945)
- Brigadoon (1947)
- Paint Your Wagon (1951)
- My Fair Lady (1956)
- Camelot (1960)
- Gigi (1973) – stage version adapted from the film
Films and film adaptations
- Brigadoon (1954)
- Gigi (1958)
- My Fair Lady (1964)
- Camelot (1967)
- Paint Your Wagon (1969)
- The Little Prince (1974)
- Lees, Gene (2005, originally published 1991). The Musical Worlds of Lerner and Loewe. University of Nebraska Press (bisonbooks.com), ISBN 0-8032-8040-8
- Green, Benny, Editor (1987). A Hymn to Him : The Lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 0-87910-109-1
- Lerner, Alan Jay (1985). The Street Where I Live. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80602-9
- Green, Benny. "Frederick Loewe, a prince of musical comedy", The Guardian, February 16, 1988, p. 33