Program Details

I Want to Be Happy: Songs of Joy, Optimism, Resiliency, Discovery, and Transformation

Sheryl Flatow
Music / Drama
Video Catch-up

Course Description

By just about anyone's definition, 2020 will go down in history as a truly awful year. We're all in need of some uplifting, and what better place to recapture that feeling of sheer delight than musical theater? Throughout its history, the art form has thrilled audiences with songs of joy, optimism, resiliency, discovery, and transformation. They can be everything from big, bold showstoppers like "One Day More" to charm songs like "She Loves Me" to intimate ballads like "Some Enchanted Evening." This series will showcase numbers from stage musicals that hearten us, transport us, and boost our spirits. The songs traverse close to 100 years of musical theater history and dozens of composers and lyricists, from Jerome Kern to Lin-Manuel Miranda. But this will not be a mere "hit parade." There will be a discussion about each song, so that it's understood in its original context.


  1. Songs of Joy: 1920s and '30s
  2. Songs of Joy: 1940s and '50s
  3. Songs of Joy: 1960s and '70s
  4. Songs of Joy: 1980s to Present

About the Instructor

  • Sheryl Flatow has written about theater and dance for more than 35 years. She curated major exhibitions in San Francisco on Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin, George Balanchine, and several others. She has also conducted public interviews with leading figures in the arts, including Patti LuPone, Sheldon Harnick, Natalia Makarova, and Estelle Parsons. In addition, Flatow wrote the CD liner notes for "Into the Woods" and "Jerome Robbins' Broadway."

Upcoming programs presented by Sheryl Flatow.

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