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Andy Propst

Editor/Content Chief

Andy Propst is a journalist and author living in New York City. His career has encompassed work with New York Shakespeare Festival founder Joseph Papp and Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe, as well as five years on-air at XM Satellite Radio's XM 28 On Broadway channel. His writing has appeared in The Village Voice, Time Out/NY, Back Stage, and The Sondheim Review, and online at the site he founded, AmericanTheaterWeb.com, as well as TheaterMania.com.

He is currently working on his first book, You Fascinate Me So: The Life and Times of Cy Coleman, to be published in 2015 by Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation.

Jun
08

Tonys 2018

It's Tony Awards season, and so Ken and Erik are offering columns about this year's awards, some predictions, and other thoughts on the history of the Tonys in general. These are both perfect lead-ins to Sunday's ceremony!

To complement Ken's and Erik's columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • 2018 Tony Awards Season  - You'll find tracks from this year's Tony-nominated shows--as well as the other musicals--that opened this season, along with a couple of terrific surprises on this just-out album.
  • A Letter to Harvey Milk - This show couldn't get a Tony nomination this year, because it opened off-Broadway. Nonetheless, it's an intriguing piece of writing (and listening), and as all of the other cast albums for the season are mentioned in Erik's and Ken's columns, I put it here.

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 


You'll hear Broadway's 2017-2018 season unfold with this week's Spotify playlist. I've included cuts from all of the cast albums of the shows that have opened, augmented with tracks featuring Tony-nominated performers in other roles and a few other surprises. Hope you have fun with it!


Harbinger Records has just released its most recent edition of its Songwriter Showcase Series. A two-disc set featuring songs by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, it contains an incredible selection of never-released demos and other gems! It’s our current free download.


Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • Carousel - Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1945 classic has gotten a much-discussed revival with a great array of vocalists! Five of them, in fact, are Tony nominated. Listening to this new album will help you understand why.
  • My Fair Lady - Lerner and Loewe's beloved musicalization of Shaw's Pygmalion is delighting audiences at Lincoln Center Theater, and this new cast recording will let you savor the joys of both the writers' work and the lead performances of Harry Hadden-Paton, Lauren Ambrose, and Norbert Leo Butz.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • Mean Girls - The new musical based on the Tina Fey movie has some bubbly tunes from Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin that prove to be wonderfully infectious! Plus there are some great performers delivering them, notably Tony nominee Taylor Louderman.
  • Hair - 50th Anniversary Cast Recording - It's hard to believe that this rock musical is squarely hitting middle age. This new album from England reminds us of how the tunes are still remarkably vibrant.
  • Frozen - You can enjoy the Broadway incarnation of this hit movie at long last! Caissie Levy and Patti Murin headline this company and are in great voice, and there are also 12 new tunes by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez to enjoy.
  • Sing Happy - The amazing Audra McDonald's recent New York Philharmonic concert is captured in all its glory on this release. What makes it particularly exciting are the number of songs on here that she's never recorded before.
  • Prince of Broadway - The recording of this celebration of the career and vision of director-producer Harold Prince allows listeners to savor both his genius and the history of musical theater while delighting in some terrific new interpretations of classic songs.
  • Hello Again - A host of Broadway vets, from Tony winners Audra McDonald and Martha Plimpton to Cheyenne Jackson and Sam Underwood, are featured on this soundtrack recording for the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa's 1993 musical.
  • Jesus Christ Superstar - John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Brandon Victor Dixon delivered terrific performances on NBC's live broadcast of this Andrew Lloyd Webber--Tim Rice classic. It's fantastic having this soundtrack recording that preserves their work.
  • Cy Coleman - A Jazzman's Broadway - The songwriter-performer lends his distinct jazz sensibility to a trio of musicals on this new release. He covers songs from two Rodgers and Hammerstein tuners (Flower Drum Song & South Pacific), as well as ones from Harold Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg's Jamaica.
  • "True Love" - Patti Murin is sounding pretty extraordinary on this last of four singles of new songs written for the show that's based on the phenomenally successful movie. It's a show that's garnered some raves. This might be one reason why.
  • "Word of Your Body" - The new NBC series Rise is doing the same thing that Fox's Gleedid: release singles of songs performed on the show. Here's one that's a cover from Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Spring Awakening.
  • Unmasked - To coincide with the release of Andrew Lloyd Webber's memoir (which also goes by this title) and in celebration of his 70th birthday (March 22), Universal Music is releasing this four-disc set featuring some of the most acclaimed performances of his songs, along with a swell array of new interpretations. (A two-disc set is also available.)
  • Calendar Girls - This musical, based on the 2003 movie of the same name, has been delighting audiences in the U.K. for a while now. We can finally hear what they've been enjoying thanks to this just-out cast recording.
  • Working - This 1978 show based on Studs Terkel's interviews with regular folks about their jobs sounds utterly of the moment on this new London cast recording. You'll find all of your old favorites here and a couple of terrific new numbers.
  • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me - Lyricist Valerie Vigoda and composer Brendan Milburn have turned out yet another inventive score, this time for a tuner about a sleep-deprived mom who designs video games and late one night gets a visit from the noted (and long-dead) Antarctic explorer. It's a delightful show and album.

I'm going to be traveling for the rest of June and most of July, so there will be a corresponding sabbatical for me in terms of updating BwayTunes. Dodgy WiFi will make big changes to the site difficult at best.

While I won't be sending you a newsletter for a while, I will be keeping new releases up to date on the homepage, and I hope to offer up a couple of free song downloads during this temporary break as well.

Enjoy the beginning of summer, and to send you on your way I suggest a listen to some tracks from Noël Coward's Sail Away, including "The Passenger's Always Right" and "Why Do the Wrong People Travel?"

 

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Artists

May
25

Being Completist

With Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band finally on Broadway, we remembered how the show had been recorded in toto when it premiered off-Broadway in 1968. This got us to thinking about other shows, musical and non, that have been preserved completely. You'll find Erik and Ken waxing eloquent on them in their current columns.

To complement Ken's and Erik's columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • Dreamgirls in Concert  - The Broadway cast album for this tuner severely truncated the Henry Krieger and Tom Eyen score in an effort to make the recording sound more like a pop album. Thankfully, we've got this 2005 release that allows all of the textures and motifs in this richly conceived show to shine through.
  • Songs From an Unmade Bed - Also from 2005 is this zesty recording, featuring a beautiful performance by Michael Winther, which gives you the chance to savor all of the tunes in this amusing, bittersweet, and sometimes heartbreaking song cycle.

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 


A playlist based on  this week's theme seems a little silly; after all, the idea of a complete recording is to give listeners the chance to enjoy a show from beginning to end. Still, there are some grand cuts on all of the albums we're talking about this week, and I think they end up making a swell Spotify playlist.


Stage Door Records continues to comb through fascinating rarities, and with its newest release the label turns the clock back to 1959 and the musical Redhead. We couldn't be more pleased to share a track from this terrific disc as a free download with you this week.


Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • Mean Girls - The new musical based on the Tina Fey movie has some bubbly tunes from Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin that prove to be wonderfully infectious! Plus there are some great performers delivering them, notably Tony nominee Taylor Louderman.
  • Hair - 50th Anniversary Cast Recording - It's hard to believe that this rock musical is squarely hitting middle age. This new album from England reminds us of how the tunes are still remarkably vibrant.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • Frozen - You can enjoy the Broadway incarnation of this hit movie at long last! Caissie Levy and Patti Murin headline this company and are in great voice, and there are also 12 new tunes by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez to enjoy.
  • Sing Happy - The amazing Audra McDonald's recent New York Philharmonic concert is captured in all its glory on this release. What makes it particularly exciting are the number of songs on here that she's never recorded before.
  • Prince of Broadway - The recording of this celebration of the career and vision of director-producer Harold Prince allows listeners to savor both his genius and the history of musical theater while delighting in some terrific new interpretations of classic songs.
  • Hello Again - A host of Broadway vets, from Tony winners Audra McDonald and Martha Plimpton to Cheyenne Jackson and Sam Underwood, are featured on this soundtrack recording for the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa's 1993 musical.
  • Jesus Christ Superstar - John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Brandon Victor Dixon delivered terrific performances on NBC's live broadcast of this Andrew Lloyd Webber--Tim Rice classic. It's fantastic having this soundtrack recording that preserves their work.
  • Cy Coleman - A Jazzman's Broadway - The songwriter-performer lends his distinct jazz sensibility to a trio of musicals on this new release. He covers songs from two Rodgers and Hammerstein tuners (Flower Drum Song & South Pacific), as well as ones from Harold Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg's Jamaica.
  • "True Love" - Patti Murin is sounding pretty extraordinary on this last of four singles of new songs written for the show that's based on the phenomenally successful movie. It's a show that's garnered some raves. This might be one reason why.
  • "Word of Your Body" - The new NBC series Rise is doing the same thing that Fox's Gleedid: release singles of songs performed on the show. Here's one that's a cover from Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Spring Awakening.
  • Unmasked - To coincide with the release of Andrew Lloyd Webber's memoir (which also goes by this title) and in celebration of his 70th birthday (March 22), Universal Music is releasing this four-disc set featuring some of the most acclaimed performances of his songs, along with a swell array of new interpretations. (A two-disc set is also available.)
  • Calendar Girls - This musical, based on the 2003 movie of the same name, has been delighting audiences in the U.K. for a while now. We can finally hear what they've been enjoying thanks to this just-out cast recording.
  • Working - This 1978 show based on Studs Terkel's interviews with regular folks about their jobs sounds utterly of the moment on this new London cast recording. You'll find all of your old favorites here and a couple of terrific new numbers.
  • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me - Lyricist Valerie Vigoda and composer Brendan Milburn have turned out yet another inventive score, this time for a tuner about a sleep-deprived mom who designs video games and late one night gets a visit from the noted (and long-dead) Antarctic explorer. It's a delightful show and album.

The Tony Awards will be handed out on June 10, and the next BwayTunes newsletter should hit your email just two days before. When you open it you'll find Ken's and Erik's prognostications for the ceremony.

I'll be curious to see who they think will win in the various categories, including Best Musical, where the nominees range from The Band's Visit to Frozen to Mean Girls to SpongeBob SquarePants.

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Artists

May
11

Happy Birthday, Irving Berlin!

May 11 is Irving Berlin's birthday. He was born 130 years ago in still-Czarist Russia. To celebrate the composer who brought us such shows as As Thousands CheerAnnie Get Your Gun, and Mister President, to name just a few, and such songs as "Easter Parade" and "White Christmas," I asked Erik and Ken to share some thoughts on his craft and legacy. They've given (no surprise here) us all two grand columns.

To complement Ken's and Erik's columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook  - Elisabeth Welch was a big star back in the 1920s and 1930s. These days she's not talked about much. She should be, as the tracks on this album confirm.
  • This Is the Life - The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra brings period authenticity to a host of Berlin's songs on this album, which features both some of the songwriter's best-loved tunes and some of his lesser-known gems.

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 


Irving Berlin's career spanned over 50 years, and his songs continue to be heard on Broadway today. The Spotify playlist this week represents what has become a 100 year legacy, with period recordings from the first decades of the 20th century and some of more recent vintage to bring us into the 21st.


As part of our tribute to the incomparable songwriter Irving Berlin, we've got a terrific track for you as a free download: a recent recording of one of his rarely heard numbers. It comes from the cast recording of Irving Berlin & Co.


Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • Frozen - You can enjoy the Broadway incarnation of this hit movie at long last! Caissie Levy and Patti Murin headline this company and are in great voice, and there are also 12 new tunes by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez to enjoy.
  • Sing Happy - The amazing Audra McDonald's recent New York Philharmonic concert is captured in all its glory on this release. What makes it particularly exciting are the number of songs on here that she's never recorded before.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • Prince of Broadway - The recording of this celebration of the career and vision of director-producer Harold Prince allows listeners to savor both his genius and the history of musical theater while delighting in some terrific new interpretations of classic songs.
  • Hello Again - A host of Broadway vets, from Tony winners Audra McDonald and Martha Plimpton to Cheyenne Jackson and Sam Underwood, are featured on this soundtrack recording for the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa's 1993 musical.
  • Jesus Christ Superstar - John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Brandon Victor Dixon delivered terrific performances on NBC's live broadcast of this Andrew Lloyd Webber--Tim Rice classic. It's fantastic having this soundtrack recording that preserves their work.
  • Cy Coleman - A Jazzman's Broadway - The songwriter-performer lends his distinct jazz sensibility to a trio of musicals on this new release. He covers songs from two Rodgers and Hammerstein tuners (Flower Drum Song & South Pacific), as well as ones from Harold Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg's Jamaica.
  • "True Love" - Patti Murin is sounding pretty extraordinary on this last of four singles of new songs written for the show that's based on the phenomenally successful movie. It's a show that's garnered some raves. This might be one reason why.
  • "Word of Your Body" - The new NBC series Rise is doing the same thing that Fox's Gleedid: release singles of songs performed on the show. Here's one that's a cover from Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Spring Awakening.
  • Unmasked - To coincide with the release of Andrew Lloyd Webber's memoir (which also goes by this title) and in celebration of his 70th birthday (March 22), Universal Music is releasing this four-disc set featuring some of the most acclaimed performances of his songs, along with a swell array of new interpretations. (A two-disc set is also available.)
  • Calendar Girls - This musical, based on the 2003 movie of the same name, has been delighting audiences in the U.K. for a while now. We can finally hear what they've been enjoying thanks to this just-out cast recording.
  • Working - This 1978 show based on Studs Terkel's interviews with regular folks about their jobs sounds utterly of the moment on this new London cast recording. You'll find all of your old favorites here and a couple of terrific new numbers.
  • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me - Lyricist Valerie Vigoda and composer Brendan Milburn have turned out yet another inventive score, this time for a tuner about a sleep-deprived mom who designs video games and late one night gets a visit from the noted (and long-dead) Antarctic explorer. It's a delightful show and album.
  • The Fiddler Expanding Tradition - Jerry Bock's classic melodies from Fiddler on the Roof sound newly minted on this beautiful new album that showcases the virtuosity of violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, who was the principal soloist in the show's most recent Broadway revival.

Mart Crowley's landmark gay play, The Boys in the Band, arrives on Broadway for the first time next week, 50 years after the original off-Broadway production rocked the New York theater world. That production was famously documented in a complete spoken word recording featuring the original cast.

As a tribute to it I've asked Erik and Ken to talk about complete recordings of shows that are among their favorites: cast albums that capture musicals fully, concerts recorded in their entirety, etc.

I'll be upfront about one of my faves: the concept recording for Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Evita. I think the heavier rock orchestrations are electrifying, and Julie Covington's vocals in the title role have both power and an intriguing ethereal quality.

 

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Apr
27

Back to the...1990s

As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we're starting a set of semi-frequent columns in which I ask Ken and Erik to talk about their favorite musicals of a given decade. To start, I picked the 1990s.

They've both scoured their memories for the shows that opened just before the new millennium, and you'll find a wide array of tuners from both Broadway and off-Broadway have stayed in their heads (for a variety of reasons).

To complement Ken's and Erik's columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • The Secret Garden  - Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman's score for this 1991 musical gets richer with each subsequent listen. If you've not heard it in a while, it might be a great time to pull it out!
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch - This smash off-Broadway hit from Stephen Trask and John Cameron Mitchell debuted in 1999 and went on to inspire a feature film starring Mitchell. A few seasons back, the show, which has attained legions of fans, also got a great Broadway revival, starring Neil Patrick Harris. For me, it's this original recording that remains the most vibrant.

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 


You'll take an aural trip through the 1990s with this week's playlist that features songs from shows ranging from Beauty and the Beast to Rent. How's that for two ends of the musical theater spectrum? I've tried to throw in a couple of curve balls just to make it fun too!


Jenna Ushkowitz sounds pretty darn sultry in our current free song download. It's a track from the soundtrack album for Hello Again, just released by Broadway Records.


Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • Prince of Broadway - The recording of this celebration of the career and vision of director-producer Harold Prince allows listeners to savor both his genius and the history of musical theater while delighting in some terrific new interpretations of classic songs.
  • Hello Again - A host of Broadway vets, from Tony winners Audra McDonald and Martha Plimpton to Cheyenne Jackson and Sam Underwood, are featured on this soundtrack recording for the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa's 1993 musical.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • Jesus Christ Superstar - John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Brandon Victor Dixon delivered terrific performances on NBC's live broadcast of this Andrew Lloyd Webber--Tim Rice classic. It's fantastic having this soundtrack recording that preserves their work.
  • Cy Coleman - A Jazzman's Broadway - The songwriter-performer lends his distinct jazz sensibility to a trio of musicals on this new release. He covers songs from two Rodgers and Hammerstein tuners (Flower Drum Song & South Pacific), as well as ones from Harold Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg's Jamaica.
  • "True Love" - Patti Murin is sounding pretty extraordinary on this last of four singles of new songs written for the show that's based on the phenomenally successful movie. It's a show that's garnered some raves. This might be one reason why.
  • "Word of Your Body" - The new NBC series Rise is doing the same thing that Fox's Gleedid: release singles of songs performed on the show. Here's one that's a cover from Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Spring Awakening.
  • Unmasked - To coincide with the release of Andrew Lloyd Webber's memoir (which also goes by this title) and in celebration of his 70th birthday (March 22), Universal Music is releasing this four-disc set featuring some of the most acclaimed performances of his songs, along with a swell array of new interpretations. (A two-disc set is also available.)
  • Calendar Girls - This musical, based on the 2003 movie of the same name, has been delighting audiences in the U.K. for a while now. We can finally hear what they've been enjoying thanks to this just-out cast recording.
  • Working - This 1978 show based on Studs Terkel's interviews with regular folks about their jobs sounds utterly of the moment on this new London cast recording. You'll find all of your old favorites here and a couple of terrific new numbers.
  • Once on This Island - The current acclaimed revival sounds great on this new cast album from Broadway Records. Hailey Kilgore sparkles in her performance as the show's heroine, Ti Moune, and some of the new orchestrations (courtesy of Michael Starobin, who orchestrated the original production, and AnnMarie Milazzo) are just marvelous.
  • Escape to Margaritaville - The original cast recording of this Jimmy Buffett musical gets its release to coincide with the show beginning previews on Broadway. A top-notch cast and a host of Buffett's feel-good tunes could prove to be a beguiling mid-winter listen.
  • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me - Lyricist Valerie Vigoda and composer Brendan Milburn have turned out yet another inventive score, this time for a tuner about a sleep-deprived mom who designs video games and late one night gets a visit from the noted (and long-dead) Antarctic explorer. It's a delightful show and album.
  • The Fiddler Expanding Tradition - Jerry Bock's classic melodies from Fiddler on the Roof sound newly minted on this beautiful new album that showcases the virtuosity of violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, who was the principal soloist in the show's most recent Broadway revival.

Our next newsletter arrives on May 11, which just happens to be the day that songwriting great Irving Berlin was born. He would have been 130!

To celebrate I'm asking the guys to think about Berlin, his shows, his legacy, etc. There's a lot they could talk about; after all, his long career included everything from "Alexander's Ragtime Band" to Annie Get Your Gun.

I know one of my Berlin-related recordings of late. It was released earlier this year: Irving Berlin's Ragtime Rarities.

 

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Apr
13

They Were Something Wonderful

We're celebrating all things Rodgers and Hammerstein this week for two reasons. First, there's the new production of Carousel that’s recently opened on Broadway. Second, there's a new book out about the songwriters, Todd S. Purdum's Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution, that was just released last week.

Purdum's done a remarkable job of bringing the genesis of the team's shows to life while also contextualizing how they affected musical theater. His astute book also allows readers to understand both men and their complex relationship. It's a terrific read. And so are Erik’s and Ken’s columns!

To complement Ken's and Erik's columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • Cockeyed Optimist  - Jenn Gambatese surveys the R&H canon on this 2017 recording, offering up some of their most beloved tunes. There are also a couple of choice numbers that are less frequently recorded, notably "No Other Love" from Me and Juliet.
  • Rosemary Clooney - The Songbook Collection - Clooney's song stylings for Rodgers and Hammerstein classics on this set include a delectably swinging rendition of "Oh, What a Beautiful Morning" and a movingly bluesy "Love, Look Away." If you don't know her songbooks, they're very much worth a listen.

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 


To paraphrase Mr. Hammerstein, it's a grand time for listening with this week's playlist. You'll find a bevy of the songs he wrote with Mr. Rodgers assembled over on Spotify, cuts from cast recordings as well as some swell covers. All in all it's about 90 minutes of music that I hope you'll enjoy.


A marvelous rarity from Frank Loesser's Greenwillow is our free download this week. It comes from Stage Door Records' terrific compilation of Pat Suzuki vocal gems: Singles and Rarities.


Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • Jesus Christ Superstar - John Legend, Sara Bareilles, and Brandon Victor Dixon delivered terrific performances on NBC's live broadcast of this Andrew Lloyd Webber--Tim Rice classic. It's fantastic having this soundtrack recording that preserves their work.
  • Cy Coleman - A Jazzman's Broadway - The songwriter-performer lends his distinct jazz sensibility to a trio of musicals on this new release. He covers songs from two Rodgers and Hammerstein tuners (Flower Drum Song & South Pacific), as well as ones from Harold Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg's Jamaica.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • "True Love" - Patti Murin is sounding pretty extraordinary on this last of four singles of new songs written for the show that's based on the phenomenally successful movie. It's a show that's garnered some raves. This might be one reason why.
  • "Word of Your Body" - The new NBC series Rise is doing the same thing that Fox's Gleedid: release singles of songs performed on the show. Here's one that's a cover from Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Spring Awakening.
  • Unmasked - To coincide with the release of Andrew Lloyd Webber's memoir (which also goes by this title) and in celebration of his 70th birthday (March 22), Universal Music is releasing this four-disc set featuring some of the most acclaimed performances of his songs, along with a swell array of new interpretations. (A two-disc set is also available.)
  • Calendar Girls - This musical, based on the 2003 movie of the same name, has been delighting audiences in the U.K. for a while now. We can finally hear what they've been enjoying thanks to this just-out cast recording.
  • Working - This 1978 show based on Studs Terkel's interviews with regular folks about their jobs sounds utterly of the moment on this new London cast recording. You'll find all of your old favorites here and a couple of terrific new numbers.
  • Once on This Island - The current acclaimed revival sounds great on this new cast album from Broadway Records. Hailey Kilgore sparkles in her performance as the show's heroine, Ti Moune, and some of the new orchestrations (courtesy of Michael Starobin, who orchestrated the original production, and AnnMarie Milazzo) are just marvelous.
  • Escape to Margaritaville - The original cast recording of this Jimmy Buffett musical gets its release to coincide with the show beginning previews on Broadway. A top-notch cast and a host of Buffett's feel-good tunes could prove to be a beguiling mid-winter listen.
  • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me - Lyricist Valerie Vigoda and composer Brendan Milburn have turned out yet another inventive score, this time for a tuner about a sleep-deprived mom who designs video games and late one night gets a visit from the noted (and long-dead) Antarctic explorer. It's a delightful show and album.
  • The Fiddler Expanding Tradition - Jerry Bock's classic melodies from Fiddler on the Roof sound newly minted on this beautiful new album that showcases the virtuosity of violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, who was the principal soloist in the show's most recent Broadway revival.
  • Lena Hall: Obsessed - Peter Gabriel - The second in a series of monthly releases from the Tony Award-winning performer, this new EP features her exceptional interpretations of songs by Peter Gabriel.

Next time around here on BwayTunes I want to start a new occasional feature for the guys: "Favorite Musicals of..." Every so often I'll ask them to pick four or five musicals from a specific decade that are their favorites.

To start, I figure I'll turn the clock back to the 1990s. I'll be curious to see which shows they pick. 

As I thought about the productions that opened back then, one of the first that came to mind was The Will Rogers Follies.

 

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Artists

Mar
30

April Drollery

With April Fools Day just around the corner, we're getting slightly silly at BwayTunes. No, Erik and Ken aren't writing those sorts of columns filled with fake news reports. Instead they're talking about the "comedy" that's in musical comedy. Let whimsy abound!

To complement Ken's and Erik's columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • Sweet Charity  - Dorothy Fields knew her way around a wry, comic, funny-sad lyric, and because of this had a career that lasted nearly 50 years. This show has one of my favorites of her latter sorts of songs: "Baby, Dream Your Dream," gorgeously delivered by Helen Gallagher and Thelma Oliver on the original cast album.
  • Little Me - When Carolyn Leigh decided she wanted to, she could rhyme internally to astonishing comic effect. One of my favorites from her in this vein is in this show, it comes in the galvanizing "The Other Side of the Tracks." It's the lyric about sitting on a "fat divan."

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 


The goal of this week's playlist is to make you tap your feet, smile, laugh, or maybe even giggle. It's a terrific collection of comedy songs (if I do say so myself), and I'm hoping you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed assembling it.


Before he was writing acclaimed Broadway shows, Cy Coleman was scoring in nightclubs around New York City and on vinyl as a recording artist. This week's free song comes from a new release that celebrates his accomplishments as a jazz performer.


Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • "True Love" - Patti Murin is sounding pretty extraordinary on this last of four singles of new songs written for the show that's based on the phenomenally successful movie. It's a show that's garnered some raves. This might be one reason why.
  • "Word of Your Body" - The new NBC series Rise is doing the same thing that Fox's Gleedid: release singles of songs performed on the show. Here's one that's a cover from Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Spring Awakening.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • Unmasked - To coincide with the release of Andrew Lloyd Webber's memoir (which also goes by this title) and in celebration of his 70th birthday (March 22), Universal Music is releasing this four-disc set featuring some of the most acclaimed performances of his songs, along with a swell array of new interpretations. (A two-disc set is also available.)
  • Calendar Girls - This musical, based on the 2003 movie of the same name, has been delighting audiences in the U.K. for a while now. We can finally hear what they've been enjoying thanks to this just-out cast recording.
  • Working - This 1978 show based on Studs Terkel's interviews with regular folks about their jobs sounds utterly of the moment on this new London cast recording. You'll find all of your old favorites here and a couple of terrific new numbers.
  • Once on This Island - The current acclaimed revival sounds great on this new cast album from Broadway Records. Hailey Kilgore sparkles in her performance as the show's heroine, Ti Moune, and some of the new orchestrations (courtesy of Michael Starobin, who orchestrated the original production, and AnnMarie Milazzo) are just marvelous.
  • Escape to Margaritaville - The original cast recording of this Jimmy Buffett musical gets its release to coincide with the show beginning previews on Broadway. A top-notch cast and a host of Buffett's feel-good tunes could prove to be a beguiling mid-winter listen.
  • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me - Lyricist Valerie Vigoda and composer Brendan Milburn have turned out yet another inventive score, this time for a tuner about a sleep-deprived mom who designs video games and late one night gets a visit from the noted (and long-dead) Antarctic explorer. It's a delightful show and album.
  • The Fiddler Expanding Tradition - Jerry Bock's classic melodies from Fiddler on the Roof sound newly minted on this beautiful new album that showcases the virtuosity of violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, who was the principal soloist in the show's most recent Broadway revival.
  • Lena Hall: Obsessed - Peter Gabriel - The second in a series of monthly releases from the Tony Award-winning performer, this new EP features her exceptional interpretations of songs by Peter Gabriel.
  • 42nd Street - One of the biggest hits in London right now is a new production of this classic tale about an understudy who becomes a star. The Al Dubin-Harry Warren tunes sound particularly sparkling on this just-out cast recording.
  • Between Yesterday and Tomorrow - Originally created as a song cycle to be performed by Barbra Streisand, this piece by composer Michel Legrand and lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman has gone unrecorded for decades. Natalie Dessay has remedied that, performing it with grace and beauty on this sumptuous first-ever recording.
  • The Band's Visit - Just out today is the elegant original cast recording of David Yazbek and Itamar Moses' new hit musical. Fusing sinuous melodies with Middle Eastern-inflected rhythms and harmonies and finished with hints of jazz, Yazbek's superb score is unlike any you've ever heard in a Broadway show.
  • Hamlisch Uncovered - Some never-recorded gems from the late Marvin Hamlisch are collected on this new album. Among the talented performers on the recording are Tony winners Kelli O'Hara and Randy Graff. The songs come from shows as varied as Sweet Smell of SuccessSmile, and Ballroom.

The new Broadway revival of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Carousel will inspire Ken and Erik's columns in a couple of weeks.

Beyond that we're taking the time to discuss the men who gave us this show, Oklahoma!, and The Sound of Music (to name just three) because there's also a great new book about them, Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution, which is just about to be released.

So to get you in the mood for all things Rodgers and Hammerstein, why not take a listen to Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters as she delivers some of their best-loved songs on her Loves album dedicated to them?

 

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Mar
16

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, which we've never done before, I've asked Erik and Ken to write about all things Irish and musical theater in their columns. They've come up with two terrific approaches to this, and some of the shows and characters they've latched onto might surprise you!

To complement Ken's and Erik's columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • You're a Grand Old Flag  - The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra and Rick Benjamin bring period authenticity to George M. Cohan's work, which pulses with an old-time Americana sound and at the same time has a buoyancy befitting his Irish ancestry.
  • Legally Blonde - This musical about California native Elle Woods heading to Harvard doesn't immediately shout "Ireland." Nevertheless, one of the funniest numbers in the show has the country's name for a title. It's her hairdresser's paean to the land where her new age music comes from, and it's beautifully delivered by the ever-so-talented Orfeh.

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 


You'll be ready for the "wearing o' the green" after listening to the songs I've put into this week's playlist. It's just about an hour of tunes compiled from Ken's and Erik's columns, along with some other goodies thrown in for good measure!


Christmas may be a ways off, but it's never too early to take a listen to a heartwarming new tuner like Kris Kringle the Musical. We've got a free track for you from this charming new studio cast recording. 


Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • Unmasked - To coincide with the release of Andrew Lloyd Webber's memoir (which also goes by this title) and in celebration of his 80th birthday (March 22), Universal Music is releasing this four-disc set featuring some of the most acclaimed performances of his songs, along with a swell array of new interpretations. (A two-disc set is also available.)
  • Calendar Girls - This musical, based on the 2003 movie of the same name, has been delighting audiences in the U.K. for a while now. We can finally hear what they've been enjoying thanks to this just-out cast recording.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • Working - This 1978 show based on Studs Terkel's interviews with regular folks about their jobs sounds utterly of the moment on this new London cast recording. You'll find all of your old favorites here and a couple of terrific new numbers.
  • Once on This Island - The current acclaimed revival sounds great on this new cast album from Broadway Records. Hailey Kilgore sparkles in her performance as the show's heroine, Ti Moune, and some of the new orchestrations (courtesy of Michael Starobin, who orchestrated the original production, and AnnMarie Milazzo) are just marvelous.
  • Escape to Margaritaville - The original cast recording of this Jimmy Buffett musical gets its release to coincide with the show beginning previews on Broadway. A top-notch cast and a host of Buffett's feel-good tunes could prove to be a beguiling mid-winter listen.
  • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me - Lyricist Valerie Vigoda and composer Brendan Milburn have turned out yet another inventive score, this time for a tuner about a sleep-deprived mom who designs video games and late one night gets a visit from the noted (and long-dead) Antarctic explorer. It's a delightful show and album.
  • The Fiddler Expanding Tradition - Jerry Bock's classic melodies from Fiddler on the Roof sound newly minted on this beautiful new album that showcases the virtuosity of violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, who was the principal soloist in the show's most recent Broadway revival.
  • Lena Hall: Obsessed - Peter Gabriel - The second in a series of monthly releases from the Tony Award-winning performer, this new EP features her exceptional interpretations of songs by Peter Gabriel.
  • 42nd Street - One of the biggest hits in London right now is a new production of this classic tale about an understudy who becomes a star. The Al Dubin-Harry Warren tunes sound particularly sparkling on this just-out cast recording.
  • Between Yesterday and Tomorrow - Originally created as a song cycle to be performed by Barbra Streisand, this piece by composer Michel Legrand and lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman has gone unrecorded for decades. Natalie Dessay has remedied that, performing it with grace and beauty on this sumptuous first-ever recording.
  • The Band's Visit - Just out today is the elegant original cast recording of David Yazbek and Itamar Moses' new hit musical. Fusing sinuous melodies with Middle Eastern-inflected rhythms and harmonies and finished with hints of jazz, Yazbek's superb score is unlike any you've ever heard in a Broadway show.
  • Hamlisch Uncovered - Some never-recorded gems from the late Marvin Hamlisch are collected on this new album. Among the talented performers on the recording are Tony winners Kelli O'Hara and Randy Graff. The songs come from shows as varied as Sweet Smell of SuccessSmile, and Ballroom.

April Fool's Day will be rolling around just a couple of days after you get the next newsletter.

While I'd prefer the guys not do the sort of April Fool's columns that are filled with false information and fake news (we get enough of that year-round, right?), I do want them to have some fun. 

So I've just thrown the idea of joking and fun at them, and we'll have to wait to see what they come up with. In the spirit of that I thought of a terrifically playful song title to leave you with: "April Fooled Me," a tune by Jerome Kern with a lyric by the inimitable Dorothy Fields. You can find it on Rebecca Lucker's album I Got Love.

 

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Mar
02

Looking at Revues

With the release of the new London cast recording of Working, which assembles a bevy of tunes by a broad range of songwriters, it seemed like an apt moment to talk about the oft-neglected form of the musical revue. Ken and Erik share some favorite recordings and their insights into revues through the years in two delightful columns this week.

To complement Ken's and Erik's columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • Songs From an Unmade Bed  - Lance Horne, Steve Marzullo, and Duncan Sheik are just a few of the songwriters who contributed material for this delightful 2005 one-man revue about contemporary gay life. The tunes are great and so is Michael Winther's performance.
  • A Grand Night for Singing - Tony winner Victoria Clark and Jason Graae are just two of the fantastic vocalists you'll hear on the recording of this charming 1993 revue of songs by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Its conceiver-director, Walter Bobbie, was Tony nominated in the category of best book of a musical despite the show's complete absence of dialogue. 

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 


Works by songwriters ranging from Jule Styne to Cole Porter to Stephen Sondheim brush up against one another with this week's playlist. It's like a digital revue of the best revue cast recordings out there!


The new London cast recording of Working has just been released. It features some new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and we're delighted to have a free track from it for you this week!


Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • Working - This 1978 show based on Studs Terkel's interviews with regular folks about their jobs sounds utterly of the moment on this new London cast recording. You'll find all of your old favorites here and a couple of terrific new numbers.
  • Once on This Island - The current acclaimed revival sounds great on this new cast album from Broadway Records. Hailey Kilgore sparkles in her performance as the show's heroine, Ti Moune, and some of the new orchestrations (courtesy of Michael Starobin, who orchestrated the original production, and AnnMarie Milazzo) are just marvelous.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • Escape to Margaritaville - The original cast recording of this Jimmy Buffett musical gets its release to coincide with the show beginning previews on Broadway. A top-notch cast and a host of Buffett's feel-good tunes could prove to be a beguiling mid-winter listen.
  • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me - Lyricist Valerie Vigoda and composer Brendan Milburn have turned out yet another inventive score, this time for a tuner about a sleep-deprived mom who designs video games and late one night gets a visit from the noted (and long-dead) Antarctic explorer. It's a delightful show and album.
  • The Fiddler Expanding Tradition - Jerry Bock's classic melodies from Fiddler on the Roof sound newly minted on this beautiful new album that showcases the virtuosity of violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, who was the principal soloist in the show's most recent Broadway revival.
  • Lena Hall: Obsessed - Peter Gabriel - The second in a series of monthly releases from the Tony Award-winning performer, this new EP features her exceptional interpretations of songs by Peter Gabriel.
  • 42nd Street - One of the biggest hits in London right now is a new production of this classic tale about an understudy who becomes a star. The Al Dubin-Harry Warren tunes sound particularly sparkling on this just-out cast recording.
  • Between Yesterday and Tomorrow - Originally created as a song cycle to be performed by Barbra Streisand, this piece by composer Michel Legrand and lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman has gone unrecorded for decades. Natalie Dessay has remedied that, performing it with grace and beauty on this sumptuous first-ever recording.
  • The Band's Visit - Just out today is the elegant original cast recording of David Yazbek and Itamar Moses' new hit musical. Fusing sinuous melodies with Middle Eastern-inflected rhythms and harmonies and finished with hints of jazz, Yazbek's superb score is unlike any you've ever heard in a Broadway show.
  • Hamlisch Uncovered - Some never-recorded gems from the late Marvin Hamlisch are collected on this new album. Among the talented performers on the recording are Tony winners Kelli O'Hara and Randy Graff. The songs come from shows as varied as Sweet Smell of SuccessSmile, and Ballroom.
  • Black Manhattan (Volume 3) - Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra shine the spotlight once again on a terrific selection of songs by African Americans from the first part of the 20th century. It's an astonishing collection of material and includes the simply gorgeous overture to My Friend From Kentucky (1913) and the wonderfully exotic "Jewel of the Big Blue Nile" from Baby Blues (1919). This one's a treat from start to finish!
  • Twisted Broadway, Vol. 1 - The a cappella group Blue Jupiter puts a terrific spin on some classic musical theater songs on this new release. Among the shows featured are Pippin,Porgy and Bess, The Sound of Music, and Wicked.

Our next newsletter will arrive just before St. Patrick's Day, so it seems only fitting that we celebrate the holiday by toasting Ireland and the Irish.

I've told Erik and Ken they can look at shows that have Irish themes (like Marc Blitzstein's Juno), songs that are about the country or coming from there, or songwriters of Irish descent. It should be a whole lot of fun!

 

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Feb
16

Be Kind...

Random Acts of Kindness Day falls on February 17, and in honor of this little-known event I've asked Ken and Erik to think about show tunes that celebrate goodness, charity, and the like.

Sadly, Ken's snowed under with two major projects (a documentary and a new biography), and so in the spirit of all of this, he's got the week off. Erik's done his usual (i.e. an amazing job), and I'm certain his column will get you in a charitable mood!

To complement Erik's column, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • Hair  - This classic rock musical has one of the best pleas for kindness I can think of: "Easy to Be Hard." It was the first song that came to mind when I realized there was a day dedicated to kindness.
  • Bat Boy the Musical - This show contains one of the best, and most tuneful, songs about kindness: "Christian Charity." The thing is that no one who's singing about good works is acutally doing them. Let irony reign.

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 


The current playlist runs a gamut of musicals stretching back to the 1940s and straight through to SpongeBob SquarePants. I've matched Erik's column one song to one song, so you'll find that there's over 90 minutes of terrific music on this week’s giving theme for your listening pleasure.


David M. Lippincott's 1954 concept album for The Body in the Seine has been called the "holy grail" of cast recordings. It's soon to come out on CD, and our current free song download is a special preview track from the release.


Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • Escape to Margaritaville - The original cast recording of this Jimmy Buffett musical gets its release to coincide with the show beginning previews on Broadway. A top-notch cast and a host of Buffett's feel-good tunes could prove to be a beguiling mid-winter listen.
  • Ernest Shackleton Loves Me - Lyricist Valerie Vigoda and composer Brendan Milburn have turned out yet another inventive score, this time for a tuner about a sleep-deprived mom who designs video games and late one night gets a visit from the noted (and long-dead) Antarctic explorer. It's a delightful show and album.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • The Fiddler Expanding Tradition - Jerry Bock's classic melodies from Fiddler on the Roof sound newly minted on this beautiful new album that showcases the virtuosity of violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, who was the principal soloist in the show's most recent Broadway revival.
  • Lena Hall: Obsessed - Peter Gabriel - The second in a series of monthly releases from the Tony Award-winning performer, this new EP features her exceptional interpretations of songs by Peter Gabriel.
  • 42nd Street - One of the biggest hits in London right now is a new production of this classic tale about an understudy who becomes a star. The Al Dubin-Harry Warren tunes sound particularly sparkling on this just-out cast recording.
  • Between Yesterday and Tomorrow - Originally created as a song cycle to be performed by Barbra Streisand, this piece by composer Michel Legrand and lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman has gone unrecorded for decades. Natalie Dessay has remedied that, performing it with grace and beauty on this sumptuous first-ever recording.
  • The Band's Visit - Just out today is the elegant original cast recording of David Yazbek and Itamar Moses' new hit musical. Fusing sinuous melodies with Middle Eastern-inflected rhythms and harmonies and finished with hints of jazz, Yazbek's superb score is unlike any you've ever heard in a Broadway show.
  • Hamlisch Uncovered - Some never-recorded gems from the late Marvin Hamlisch are collected on this new album. Among the talented performers on the recording are Tony winners Kelli O'Hara and Randy Graff. The songs come from shows as varied as Sweet Smell of SuccessSmile, and Ballroom.
  • Black Manhattan (Volume 3) - Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra shine the spotlight once again on a terrific selection of songs by African Americans from the first part of the 20th century. It's an astonishing collection of material and includes the simply gorgeous overture to My Friend From Kentucky (1913) and the wonderfully exotic "Jewel of the Big Blue Nile" from Baby Blues (1919). This one's a treat from start to finish!
  • Twisted Broadway, Vol. 1 - The a cappella group Blue Jupiter puts a terrific spin on some classic musical theater songs on this new release. Among the shows featured are Pippin,Porgy and Bess, The Sound of Music, and Wicked.
  • The Ballad of Little Jo - The first cast album for this musical by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger preserves its most recent incarnation, the moving production seen at New Jersey's Two River Theater last season.

The next BwayTunes newsletter will arrive on the day that Ghostlight Records releases the new London cast recording of Working

We'll be celebrating this album (which features new material by Lin-Manuel Miranda) in two ways then. First, we'll have a free download for you to enjoy.

Second, we'll be toasting this 1978 show, whose score was written by a bevy of songwriting greats (Stephen Schwartz and James Taylor, to name just two), by talking about some of our favorite revues.  

So if you're feeling like getting a jump start on this, take a listen to Cowardy Custard, an elegant revue that toasted the work of playwright and songwriter Noël Coward.

 

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Feb
02

Love Is in the Air....

Valentine's Day will soon be rolling around, and I asked Erik and Ken to think about unique musical ways to toast this day of romance, hearts, flowers, candy, etc.

They've wowed me with their columns this week. Very clever and filled with some great tunes!

To complement Erik's and Ken's columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration:

  • Mack & Mabel  - I don't think you can get a more loving song than "I Won't Send Roses," delivered exquisitely by Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters originally. Denial, sometimes, can be a big part of love.
  • Hedwig & the Angry Inch - Another bittersweet tune from me this week: "The Origin of Love," offered up hauntingly and movingly by Neil Patrick Harris in the Broadway production a few years back.

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 


Beyond the songs that Erik and Ken have selected in their columns this week, I've included some of the best traditional love songs for the Valentine's playlist. I hope you enjoy this collection of 90 minutes worth of music. 


Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins has teamed up with Ted Sperling and Oran Eldor to create the utterly delightful new album The Fiddler Expanding Tradition. We're so pleased to have a track from it for you as our current free song download.


Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • The Fiddler Expanding Tradition - Jerry Bock's classic melodies from Fiddler on the Roof sound newly minted on this beautiful new album that showcases the virtuosity of violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, who was the principal soloist in the show's most recent Broadway revival.
  • Lena Hall: Obsessed - Peter Gabriel - The second in a series of monthly releases from the Tony Award-winning performer, this new EP features her exceptional interpretations of songs by Peter Gabriel.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • 42nd Street - One of the biggest hits in London right now is a new production of this classic tale about an understudy who becomes a star. The Al Dubin-Harry Warren tunes sound particularly sparkling on this just-out cast recording.
  • Between Yesterday and Tomorrow - Originally created as a song cycle to be performed by Barbra Streisand, this piece by composer Michel Legrand and lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman has gone unrecorded for decades. Natalie Dessay has remedied that, performing it with grace and beauty on this sumptuous first-ever recording.
  • The Band's Visit - Just out today is the elegant original cast recording of David Yazbek and Itamar Moses' new hit musical. Fusing sinuous melodies with Middle Eastern-inflected rhythms and harmonies and finished with hints of jazz, Yazbek's superb score is unlike any you've ever heard in a Broadway show.
  • Hamlisch Uncovered - Some never-recorded gems from the late Marvin Hamlisch are collected on this new album. Among the talented performers on the recording are Tony winners Kelli O'Hara and Randy Graff. The songs come from shows as varied as Sweet Smell of SuccessSmile, and Ballroom.
  • Black Manhattan (Volume 3) - Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra shine the spotlight once again on a terrific selection of songs by African Americans from the first part of the 20th century. It's an astonishing collection of material and includes the simply gorgeous overture to My Friend From Kentucky (1913) and the wonderfully exotic "Jewel of the Big Blue Nile" from Baby Blues (1919). This one's a treat from start to finish!
  • Twisted Broadway, Vol. 1 - The a cappella group Blue Jupiter puts a terrific spin on some classic musical theater songs on this new release. Among the shows featured are Pippin,Porgy and Bess, The Sound of Music, and Wicked.
  • The Ballad of Little Jo - The first cast album for this musical by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger preserves its most recent incarnation, the moving production seen at New Jersey's Two River Theater last season.
  • Rearrangements of Shadows - Cheryl Bentyne infuses some Stephen Sondheim favorites ("Send in the Clowns," "Everybody Says Don't") and some of the songwriter's rarities ("Sand," "I Wish I Could Forget You") with a swingin' cool jazz vibe on this terrific new album. 
  • Together Again - Alfie Boe and Michael Ball join forces for a second album that brims with great musical theater songs; they include tunes from shows ranging from Kismet to Hamilton. It's a gorgeous-sounding recording.
  • Richard Rodgers Revisited - Kyle Riabko has created new arrangements for classics like "My Favorite Things," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "Bewitched," and when they're combined with his soulful vocals the results can often be dazzling.
  • Almost Like Praying - Lin-Manuel Miranda brought together a fantastic array of Latin music superstars for this single that's helping to raise money for relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In addition to Miranda, the song features performances from the likes of Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, and Ruben Blades. It's a tuneful way to lend a hand.

Who knew that there was a Random Acts of Kindness Day? It rolls around Feb. 17, the day after you'll be receiving the next newsletter.

In an effort to spur everyone toward acts of generosity mid-month, I've asked the guys to think about songs that have to do with good works, kindness, etc.

It should be interesting to see what they'll pick for this one. I'm partial to one song that sort of fits in all of this: "Love and Kindness," from Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella.

 

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