City Lit Theater is proudly presenting the last show that the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department‘s longtime chairperson, Sheldon Patinkin, was working on when he passed away in 2014. I’ve Got the World on a String: Harold Arlen’s Songs of Love and Loss–devised by Patinkin and directed by City Lit’s artistic director Terry McCabe, a Theatre Department faculty member–runs March 4-April 10 at 1020 W. Bryn Mawr in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood.
Patinkin, a major presence in Chicago theatre for more than 60 years, created this concept revue of songs by composer Harold Arlen specifically for City Lit Theater. At Terry McCabe’s request, he had whittled down a list of more than 500 Arlen songs and devised a theatrical premise for presenting 23 of them in a character-based revue. He completed that work in August 2014, but had not typed up a finished libretto when he died on September 21 of that year. His niece, Karen Patinkin, gathered all of Patinkin’s notes and outlines related to the revue and provided them to City Lit. McCabe and musical director Kingsley Day, a longtime collaborator with Patinkin, sifted through the material, which made Patinkin’s final intentions for the revue clear. “We are more than pleased,” McCabe says, “to be able to put Sheldon’s final show onstage for him.”
I’ve Got the World on a String is set late at night in a Manhattan bar during the mid-1940s. It features a slew of classic songs that Arlen wrote with various lyricists, including E.Y. Harburg, Ted Koehler, Johnny Mercer, and Ira Gershwin. Arlen’s best-known song, “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz, was named the number one song of the 20th century by the Recording Industry Association of America. Other Arlen standards featured in this production include “That Old Black Magic,” “Stormy Weather,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe,” “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road),” and “The Man that Got Away.”
For tickets, call 773-293-3682 or click here.
‘We are more than pleased to be able to put Sheldon’s final show onstage for him.’
–Terry McCabe, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CITY LIT THEATER