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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.

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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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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Artists

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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Jan
19

Looking Back: 2017

Erik and Ken glance back at 2017 in their columns this week. They're both talking about the theater-related recordings that caught their ears and imaginations. Both guys have gravitated toward a swell and diverse array of albums, and I'm hoping they might point you to a few things that you might not have encountered.

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

  • Don't Monkey With Broadway - The two-time Tony winner surveys an extraordinary array of musical theater (and a number of songs you wouldn't necessarily expect her to perform) on this live recording of a cabaret show. It's a terrific listen and a nifty glimpse of this oh-so-talented performer.
  • Black Manhattan, Vol. 3 - I've found myself playing this compilation of music more than expected. I'm always a big fan of the period sound of Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. This third installment of music by African-American composers from a century ago has captured my imagination. particularly the song "Love Will Find a Way" and the overture to My Friend From Kentucky.

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. 

<hr>

You get to take a tuneful trip through last year with our newest Spotify playlist. I've included tracks from the albums the guys and I have discussed and tucked in a few more "honorable mentions," just to give you a total sense of what hit our digital and physical musical libraries last year.


Seth Bisen-Hersh and R.C. Staab have written a grand new musical based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Diamond as Big as the Ritz. A studio cast album was just released, and we've got a track from it for you as our free song download.


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

  • 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.

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 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.
  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • 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.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.

Our next newsletter will arrive a little over a week before Valentines Day. 

As musicals, generally, are all about love, I'm going to throw it wide open to Erik and Ken, and let them have their way with a "Valentine Salute."

I'm pointing you toward Fade Out-Fade In because it's a show that gets the romantic ball rolling for its heroine with a savagely funny (pun fully intended) song. So this could be the beginning of a column or song list about comic love songs.

No clue as to where the guys will go with all of this. Just know I'm anxious to read what they come up with.

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Jan
05

Let's Start at the Beginning...

Happy New Year! 2018 has begun, and while we've started previous years with looks at resolutions and other such timely topics, we've never gone to something as simple as what we're doing this week. Erik and Ken are looking at songs that are, in their own way, about new beginnings.

Both are great reads, and I'm pretty sure you'll have a good time with them, maybe even pulling out some recordings you haven't listened to in a while.

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

  • She Loves Me -  Ilona Ritter has a new start in this delightful confection from Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, and Joe Masteroff. She lays out her plans in "I Resolve," delivered most recently (and charmingly) on Broadway by Jane Krakowski.
  • Bat Boy: The Musical - For reasons way too complex to go into here, a woman decides that it's time that she, her daughter, and the titular boy-beast go into hiding from her husband. The song in which she announces her plan, "Three-Bedroom House," is one of the most joyously funny ones I know of, particularly when delivered by Kaitlin Hopkins and Kerry Butler.

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. 


We're starting off 2018 with songs about beginnings, and you'll find a trove of terrific melodies and clever lyrics in the complementary Spotify playlist I've put together. It's an hour of pleasure, I think, and hope you agree.


Chip Deffaa recently released another in his ongoing series of recordings celebrating Irving Berlin. This new one toasts the legendary songwriter's ragtime melodies, and we're delighted to have one of them for you as our free song download.


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

  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • 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.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.

When you get our next newsletter you'll find that Ken and Erik are casting backward glances at 2017.

They'll be considering the shows that opened during the year and the recordings that we've gotten from them.

Of course, one of the most visible productions and cast albums has been the new staging of Hello, Dolly! that stars Bette Midler. It's a grand listen (as if you didn't already know that).

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Dec
15

'Tis the Season...

It's the middle of the holiday season, and I asked Ken and Erik to help you celebrate it in their columns this week. They've come up with a pair of fascinating columns, and I bet you'll be smiling as you read both.

Before you hop over to see what the guys are up to this week, let me wish you all the best for the season and the New Year from all of us at BwayTunes!

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

  • Carols for a Cure, Vol. 19 -  This annual fundraising disc for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is always a delight in my book, and this year there are some pretty swell tracks to be found on it. I'm particularly fond of "Down in Yon Forest," performed by some of the company of Dear Evan Hansen.
  • Christmas After Midnight - You'll find occasional Broadway performer Fantasia delivering a mixture of holiday classics and some new tunes on this splendid album. Alongside soulful renditions of "Silent Night" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," there are also ones such as "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto." It's a grand mix.

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. 


Because the guys have taken two such different approaches to celebrating the season, I'm going out on my own with our current Spotify playlist. I've just put together about an hour of my favorite Broadway-styled holiday music. I hope you enjoy.


Barry Anderson and Mark Petty have shared a delightful original holiday song with us for this week's free song download. It's from their album Wish that's also raising money for a terrific cause!

Barry Anderson and Mark Petty have shared a delightful original holiday song with us for this week's free song download.


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

  • 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.

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.

  • 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.
  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • 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.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.
  • Don't Monkey With Broadway - Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone serves up a grand assortment of songs and anecdotes on this just-out two disc set that’s nothing short of fantastic.

When we enter 2018 we’re hoping to do it on a fun and tuneful note, and Erik, Ken, and I will all be talking about new beginnings as they relate to musical theater. I look forward to sharing the guys’ columns with you in just a few weeks.

Until then, you can listen to Bat-Boy: The Musical and specifically "Three Bedroom House," the number in the show that is all about starting over.

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Dec
01

'Once on This Island' Returns

The new Broadway production of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens' Once on This Island will be opening in just a few days. We wanted to celebrate this award-winning show's return to the Main Stem, and so Erik and Ken are examining it and its authors in their columns...from two very different, and interesting, angles.

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

  • Mexican Hayride - This  show, with a score by Cole Porter, unfolds south of the border, so it sort of fits with the tropical side of Once on This Island. Further on this release of the original Broadway cast recording there's a bonus track that perfectly matches Ken's column, and so it seems necessary to mention it.
  • Nice Fighting You - This two-CD set preserves a 54 Below concert that paid tribute to songwriters Ahrens and Flaherty. They perform, along with a bevy of Broadway's best, and you'll find some genuine rarities in the mix on this one.

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. 


Warm breezes, tropical climes, an excursion to Brooklyn, and a trip to turn-of-the-last-century America all are part of this week's Spotify playlist. This far-flung group of songs is, in actuality, a perfect tribute to Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, songwriters unafraid to journey just about anywhere in their work.


This week's free song download comes from Younger Than Springtime, a new collection of recordings by singer William Tabbert. It's the ideal track to get you in the spirit of the season.


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

  • 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.

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 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.
  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • 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.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • Someone to Watch Over Me  - Ella Fitzgerald and the London Symphony Orchestra exquisitely complement one another on this incredible new release. Just take a listen to the album’s title track or “Bewitched” and you’ll be hooked.
  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.
  • Don't Monkey With Broadway - Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone serves up a grand assortment of songs and anecdotes on this just-out two disc set that’s nothing short of fantastic.
  • Kid Victory - The latest musical from John Kander, working with Greg Pierce, is a fascinating and often wonderful listen.
  • In Full Swing - Seth MacFarlane lends his smooth vocals to a host of American Songbook classics on this new album. Among the recording's niftiest tracks are "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "I Like Myself," and "Almost Like Being in Love."
  • Gershwin & Wild - Pianist Joanne Polk tackles Earl Wild’s exceptional arrangements of George Gershwin’s melodies, including “Embraceable You” and “I Got Rhythm.” This one’s a beaut.
  • Glorious Quest: Hits from the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals - British baritone Rodney Earl Clarke sounds pretty fantastic on this new recording of great songs like “Lonely Town” from On the Town and “This Nearly Was MIne” from South Pacific.
  • Bernstein: The Complete Solo Piano Works - Leann Osterkamp’s grand album collects Leonard Bernstein’s piano compositions. Many of the pieces here are ones that he wrote as gifts for friends such as Stephen Sondheim and Aaron Copland, and some are receiving their first recording here.

You'll be getting our next newsletter just about 10 days before Christmas. 

We'll be celebrating the holiday season here on BwayTunes, and in order not to be a total Scrooge to Erik and Ken, I'm going to leave it to them to decide how they want to raise their musical theater glasses (so to speak).

Our current free song download, I'm sure, will get you in the spirit, but if you need something else to make your world seem festive, take a listen to New York City Christmas. It's a terrific recording from a few years back and features Broadway's best delivering a wide variety of seasonal music.

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