By Robert Viagas
27 Oct 2013
Sheldon Harnick did not start out to be a Tony- and Pulitzer-winning lyricist. In the 1940s the future wordsmith of Fiddler on the Roof, the Applie Tree, She Loves Me, Tenderloin and Fiorello! tells PlaybillEDU™ that he was a student at Carl Schurz High School in Chicago, planning to study the violin.
"I played in my high school orchestra and my local community orchestra," he said. "A friend of mine who was a year ahead of me invited me to go up to Northwestern to see the WAA-MU Show. These are revues written and staged by the students, and so lavish that critics from the Chicago newspapers would come. [The annual shows are still in existence]. I had done some lyric writing in high school, but seeing those WAA-MU shows changed my life."
"Going to Northwestern was a very important experience for me. I learned there that theatre was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life."
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