“Try to Remember” a time when Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt weren’t doing exciting work in our musical theater. As all of us in a packed house heard on Monday, you’d have to go back even further than “The Fantasticks” to their work for revues in the late 1950s, and even to a college musical they wrote at the University of Texas in 1951.
What a privilege for me to be at this benefit for The York Theater, and to hear the team’s great songs knowing that Harvey is still playing the piano every day at 88, and Tom is working on a new musical at 89. The award show itself was star-studded with far many names for me to drop here. But let me just mention Susan Watson (the very first Luisa at Barnard College, and the original Kim McAfee in “Bye Bye Birdie”), Rita Gardner (technically the second Luisa when “The Fantasticks” opened Off Broadway), and the First Ladies of the American Musical, Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford — still “getting their act together” brilliantly in a 60-year-partnership. I’m so proud to be producing a Jones & Schmidt two-CD retrospective on J&S created with the full participation (and passion) of the team. — Bill Rudman, TMTP artistic director
Jones & Schmidt: Hidden Treasures, 1951-2001 is due for release in June 2018. This 2-CD set features nearly 50 songs from musicals including The Fantasticks, 110 in the Shade, I Do, I Do, Celebration and more. Hear rare recordings, demos and cut recordings from Broadway talent like Liz Callaway and Dick Latessa. This collector’s item comes with a deluxe 64-page color booklet with liner notes from Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt.