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Jacques Levy

Although best-known for his work in musical theater, Jacques Levy was also an intermittent lyrical collaborator of rock icons Bob Dylan and Roger McGuinn. Delivered in NEW YORK on July 29, 1935, Levy graduated in the Big Apple’s Town University in 1956, getting his PhD in scientific mindset from Michigan Condition School five years afterwards. After many years spent exercising on the Menninger Base in Topeka, Kansas, he came back to NY to indulge his longtime like of theater, initial earning critical see in early 1966 directing a creation of Sam Shepard’s Crimson Cross on the renowned Judson Poets Movie theater. Levy’s discovery was his creation of Jean-Claude truck Itallie’s questionable anti-Vietnam Battle screed America Hurrah, which premiered off-Broadway on the Pocket Movie theater on November 7, 1966 and proceeded to perform more than 700 performances furthermore to getting the movie director an Obie Prize. At exactly the same time, he was also a dynamic person in Joseph Chaikin’s experimental troupe the Open up Movie theater, and in 1967 also helmed Bruce Jay Friedman’s Scuba Duba off-Broadway. Following 1968 abolition of Britain’s Lord Chamberlain’s power of censorship over his country’s nationwide movie theater, critic Kenneth Tynan instantly began plotting to totally increase this newfound innovative independence, authoring the full-frontal nude revue Oh! Calcutta! with funding from London strip-joint magnate Paul Raymond. Tynan recruited Levy to immediate the musical’s Broadway creation, which premiered to rave evaluations and sold-out viewers on June 17, 1969 and didn’t close until August 12, 1972. Through the operate of Oh! Calcutta!, Levy befriended the Byrds frontman McGuinn, collaborating on the psychedelic upgrade of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt which they dubbed Gene Tryp. Although suppliers David Merrick and Don Kirshner both indicated desire for the project, it had been never taken to the stage, although some of its tunes — included in this the strike “Chestnut Mare,” “Only a Time of year,” “Enthusiast from the Bayou” and “Everything” — later on made an appearance on Byrds’ LPs. Levy also added lyrics to many McGuinn solo attempts, including 1973’s Roger McGuinn, 1976’s Cardiff Rose and 1977’s Thunderbyrd. Within the Greenwich Town club another Result in 1975, Levy was contacted by Bob Dylan, who’d been impressed by “Chestnut Mare” and recommended they collaborate — both men instantly absconded for Levy’s close by loft, where they finished that half-finished Dylan structure that would end up being the amazing “Isis.” Levy fostered and amplified the innate narrative theatre in Dylan’s tunes, and collectively they co-authored near a dozen tunes, seven which made an appearance on Dylan’s 1975 recording Desire; perhaps perhaps most obviously was the stirring “Hurricane,” created in response towards the racially-motivated murder arrest of tournament boxer Rubin Carter — when released as an individual, “Hurricane” would become Dylan’s last Top 40 strike for most a period. Levy also helped Dylan conceptualize and stage his now-legendary Rolling Thunder Revue, an all-star concert tour afterwards immortalized in the fifth level of the singer’s Bootleg Series. His lyrics had been also documented by performers as far-ranging as Carly Simon, Crystal Gayle, Joe Cocker and Jerry Lee Lewis. Levy revived Oh! Calcutta! on Sept 24, 1976 — the up to date production went until August 6, 1989 which, combined with unique, translated into some 7,273 shows in all. Nevertheless, his next main directorial effort, Nearly an Eagle, shut after simply three evenings in mid-December of 1982; his musical humor edition of Garry Trudeau’s daily comic remove Doonesbury fared just marginally better, premiering on November 21, 1983 and shutting on Feb 19, 1984. The successive failures precipitated an extended hiatus from your stage, and in 1992 Levy approved an present to mind Colgate University’s Theatre Program. He came back to off-Broadway in 1999, co-directing Exact Switch with Jim Nielsen; Brecht on Brecht adopted a year later on, and in 2002 he helmed Robert Remington Wood’s The Bridge in Scarsdale. Following a battle with malignancy, Levy passed on in NY on Sept 30, 2004. He was 69 yrs . old.

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