Restarting with a laugh

Lyric Fest returns with The Funny Bone

1 minute read
A collage of images of people laughing.
Lyric Fest returns to in-person performances with songs and laughter. (Image courtesy of Lyric Fest.)

Mark Twain advising young people they should never sass their elders unless the elders sass them first? An American poet’s ode on a party for a piglet? These are two of the texts composers have picked for the four songs Lyric Fest will premiere at its first concert of the new season. Lyric Fest is celebrating the resumption of in-person concerts with The Funny Bone, a program featuring songs that promise its audience a good, much-needed laugh.

A Howe-to speech

The Mark Twain piece adds music to a tongue-in-cheek speech he delivered before a club for young girls founded by Julia Ward Howe. The text for the piglet opus is a poem about a pet pig written by award-winning contemporary American poet Susan de Sola. The older songs on the program include a lament for dead shopping malls, an entry in an online dating service, and selections from stage shows that range from Shakespeare’s Falstaff to a musical comedy version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Lyric Fest was founded in 2003 and instantly started winning audiences with a format that mixes the classical art song repertoire with genres like show tunes and cabaret songs. In the last 18 years, they’ve produced over 100 concerts. If they set out to make you laugh, they’ll probably succeed.

What, When, Where

The Funny Bone. Presented by Lyric Fest. $25. Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 3pm at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia; Sunday, October 3 at 3pm at the Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce Street, Philadelphia.

Masks and proof of vaccination are required for all audience members at Lyric Fest performances this season.

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