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America has given the world many new forms of music, from ragtime and jazz to the blues and country, but arguably the most American of all is the Broadway musical. From George M. Cohan to Lin-Manuel Miranda, the rhythm of Broadway has been the heartbeat of America. And on Sunday, December 1, Broadway legend Thomas Z. Shepard will bring his unique perspective on that rhythm to the Port Jefferson Library.
America’s pre-eminent producer of Broadway cast albums, Shepard is the winner of 12 Grammy Awards. He’s a gifted composer, pianist, orchestrator and even forensic musicologist, but his most enduring legacy is etched in the grooves of hundreds of records. If you’ve ever listened to the recorded versions of Ain’t Misbehavin’, Crazy for You, Dames at Sea, 42nd Street, George M.!, Jelly’s Last Jam, Kiss of the Spider Woman, La Cage aux Folles, Me and My Girl, The Secret Garden, 1776, Victor/Victoria or Zorba, you’ve heard the work of Thomas Z. Shepard. His long relationship with Stephen Sondheim has produced iconic recordings of such shows as Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Marry Me a Little, Merrily We Roll Along, Pacific Overtures, Side by Side by Sondheim, Sunday in the Park with George and Sweeney Todd.
Now he’s offering Broadway fans a true insider’s view through his brand-new lecture program, Recording Broadway: An Afternoon with Thomas Z. Shepard. Appearing live and in person, Shepard will talk about the historic shows he’s worked on and the memorable personalities with whom he’s worked, including stars such as Julie Andrews, Sarah Brightman, Yul Brynner, Betty Buckley, Barbara Cook, Joel Grey, Danny Kaye, Angela Lansbury, Mandy Patinkin, Bernadette Peters, Anthony Quinn, Debbie Reynolds, Barbra Streisand and more, as well as legendary Broadway creators such as Harold Arlen, Leonard Bernstein, Fred Ebb, Jerry Herman, Sheldon Harnick, John Kander, Richard Rodgers and, of course, Stephen Sondheim.