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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.

Mar
24

Welcome Spring!

Spring arrived officially on March 20, and we're feeling a lift in our steps. Ken and Erik have each penned columns that help to celebrate the change of season.

We're hoping that their work and the anticipated arrival of warmer weather in your area will put a smile on your face and a similar bounce in your walk.

To complement Erik's and Ken's columns, allow me to offer up the following:

  • Cockeyed Optimist: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein - This just-released album from Jenn Gambatese has one of the quintessential seasonal songs on it: "It Might as Well Be Spring" from State Fair. She's sounding great on this classic and more than a dozen others.
  • "Fresh as a Daisy" - from Panama Hattie - While the above R&H tune echoes Ken's look at springtime song, this little-known Cole Porter ditty fits in beautifully with Erik's musical bouquet.

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. 


From roses to orchids and from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Mel Brooks, Erik and Ken have covered the gamut of musical theater gems to celebrate the arrival of spring.

I've put all of the tunes they mention together with a few more to create this week's Spotify playlist, and the result is more than an hour of merriness.


Alan Menken's music seems to be all around us these days, and we're delighted to have one of his newest tunes as our free song download this week, from the new Broadway hit A Bronx Tale.


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

  • A Bronx Tale - Chazz Palmintieri's autobiographical one-man show has returned to Broadway as a full-blown musical replete with a terrific score by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.
  • Come From Away - This new cast recording allows listeners to savor the heartwarming tales of the airline passengers who were diverted to Newfoundland on 9/11 and the community that welcomed them.

Among the other albums that are newly arrived here at BwayTunes are a great new album that features Sharon Paige and Keith Ingram, Burke Beautiful: The Songs of Johnny Burke; two debut solo albums, Levi Kreis' invigorating Broadway at the Keys and Jenn Gambatese's swell R&H album Cockeyed Optimist;and an EP that features tunes heard on this week's musical episode of CW's The Flash. On this latter one you'll find Tony nominee Jeremey Jordan and Broadway vet Darren Criss raising their voices together with "Put a Little Love in Your Heart," Melissa Benoist (of Glee fame) offering up the classic "Moon River," and musical vets Victor Garber, Jesse L. Martin, and John Barrowman delivering "More I Cannot Wish You" from Guys and Dolls.

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.

  • Spamilton: An American Parody - Gerard Alessandrini (creator of Forbidden Broadway) takes aim at Broadway's mega-hit--and a few other theatrical targets--in this delightful new satire.
  • Beauty and the Beast - "A tale as old as time" indeed, this beguiling animated musical, with a score by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, returns to the screen next week in a new live-action version. Of course, there's a soundtrack (both deluxe and regular) featuring all of your/our faves, plus some additional songs with lyrics by Tim Rice. 
  • #ThrowbackThursday - Corey Brunish takes the Facebook/Twitter hashtag in a musical direction with this album of classic tunes by songwriters such as George and Ira Gershwin; Jule Styne, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green; and Bart Howard.
  • Philip Glass: Music for 'The Crucible' - Last season a fascinating revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible hit Broadway and one of its chief assets was an intriguing score by Philip Glass, which you can now savor on this cool new release.
  • Freaky Friday - There's a lot of giddy fun in this new tuner that's based on the movie of the same name. This new album features two great central performances from Heidi Blickenstaff and Emma Hunton.
  • Len Cariou Presents These Are My Friends - Tony winner Len Cariou is joined by some incredible folks on this album that revisits some of the hits from his career and then moves on to other favorites from the likes of Liz Callaway, Judy Kaye, Lee Roy Reams, and Anita Gillette.
  • Falsettos - The cast recording for this acclaimed revival of the landmark tuners by William Finn and James Lapine sparkles from beginning to end. It's a must-have for all musical theater fans!
  • Dear Evan Hansen - It's the new musical on Broadway that everyone's talking about! You'll understand why after listening to this terrific new release.
  • Song of Solomon - Ramin Karimloo, who's thrilled audiences in Les Misérables and Love Never Dies, heads up a grand cast on this lavishly produced concept album for a new biblical musical.
  • Bare Naked - A bevy of great singers offer up tunes by songwriter Lynne Shankel on this new release, which includes both material from the revised off-Broadway production of Bare as well as some of her more recent writings.
  • Dream Ago - This remarkable album comes from a remarkable talent: Gabrielle Stravelli. Her voice has power, warmth, and, sometimes, great humor. It's been hard for me to stop playing this one. If you don't know her work, you should certainly sample some now!
  • The Student Prince - This new two disc recording of the classic operetta is sounding pretty darn gorgeous thanks to the careful guidance of conductor John Mauceri.
  • "Edelweiss" - Tony winner Billy Porter offers up this classic R&H song as a hopeful (and sadly cautionary) tune for the times in which we live. If you've not listened, do.
  • Ruthless! - The cast recording for the often hysterical mash-up of The Bad Seed and All About Eve. Definitely worth checking out.
  • Ivanov – A real gem this recording preserves a production of Chekhov's play that starred Sir John Gielgud and Vivien Leigh.
  • Junie B. Jones The Musical - The talented songwriting team of Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler have helped bring this kids' favorite to the stage, in an utterly beguiling new tuner.
  • Covenant - I've not listened to it all, but I have enjoyed the pieces I've heard from this recent release. It's a cast recording from California of a show that was written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salvation Army.
  • From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando - Another album that's also a charitable effort is this fantastic release from Broadway Records. This one preserves a concert that featured Broadway's best and whose proceeds supported organizations serving the people affected by the horrific mass shooting at a Florida nightclub earlier this year.

One of the most anticipated non-musicals for the spring is a revival of Noël Coward's Present Laughter, starring Tony Award winner Kevin Kline.

Now, of course, both Coward and Kline have deep roots in musical theater, so I thought it would be fun to ask the guys to write about either or both men.

Kline has starred on stage in shows such as On the Twentieth Century and The Pirates of Penzance and is currently on screen in Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast

Coward's the man behind such tuners as Bitter SweetSail Away, and The Girl Who Came to Supper.

I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing how the guys balance this assignment!

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Artists

Mar
10

Happy Birthday,, Mr. Kander!

On March 18 John Kander will celebrate his 90th birthday.

We couldn't let this milestone go unnoticed, and so I asked Erik and Ken to share some thoughts on the work of the man who has penned the tunes for such classics as Cabaret and Chicago and the melody for "Theme From 'New York, New York.'"

As if those three things (and there are so many more) weren't enough, Kander is still going strong with a new musical playing off-Broadway, Kid Victory.

Beyond the cast recordings of Kander's musicals, here are a couple of other ways to savor his work:

  • The Musicality of Kander & Ebb - Some great talents are assembled on this album that demonstrates the plethora of hits that Kander, with his longtime partner Fred Ebb, penned over the span of some 40 years.
  • Liza: Live From Radio City Music Hall - Liza Minnelli has been singing Kander's music from the very beginning of her career. This album has some of it and also tunes by a host of others. The reason I've included it is that she delivers a socko piece of specialty material that Kander and Ebb wrote for her: the always-amusing "Sara Lee."

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 only rough thing about putting together a playlist of songs by John Kander is having to figure out what songs not to include. There are just so many grand tunes from which to choose.

Thankfully, Ken and Erik made it pretty easy on me, and using their columns as a starting point I've put together about 45 minutes of music for our current Spotify Playlist that encompasses almost the entirety of Kander's career.

Hope you enjoy. Happy birthday, Mr. Kander!


Performer extraordinaire Karen Mason has a new CD out called It's About Time. She's very generously shared a cut from it this week for our free song download, and we couldn't be happier!


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

  • Spamilton: An American Parody - Gerard Alessandrini (creator of Forbidden Broadway) takes aim at Broadway's mega-hit--and a few other theatrical targets--in this delightful new satire.
  • Beauty and the Beast - "A tale as old as time" indeed, this beguiling animated musical, with a score by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, returns to the screen next week in a new live-action version. Of course, there's a soundtrack (both deluxe and regular) featuring all of your/our faves, plus some additional songs with lyrics by Tim Rice. 

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.

  • #ThrowbackThursday - Corey Brunish takes the Facebook/Twitter hashtag in a musical direction with this album of classic tunes by songwriters such as George and Ira Gershwin; Jule Styne, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green; and Bart Howard.
  • Philip Glass: Music for 'The Crucible' - Last season a fascinating revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible hit Broadway and one of its chief assets was an intriguing score by Philip Glass, which you can now savor on this cool new release.
  • Freaky Friday - There's a lot of giddy fun in this new tuner that's based on the movie of the same name. This new album features two great central performances from Heidi Blickenstaff and Emma Hunton.
  • Len Cariou Presents These Are My Friends - Tony winner Len Cariou is joined by some incredible folks on this album that revisits some of the hits from his career and then moves on to other favorites from the likes of Liz Callaway, Judy Kaye, Lee Roy Reams, and Anita Gillette.
  • Falsettos - The cast recording for this acclaimed revival of the landmark tuners by William Finn and James Lapine sparkles from beginning to end. It's a must-have for all musical theater fans!
  • Dear Evan Hansen - It's the new musical on Broadway that everyone's talking about! You'll understand why after listening to this terrific new release.
  • Song of Solomon - Ramin Karimloo, who's thrilled audiences in Les Misérables and Love Never Dies, heads up a grand cast on this lavishly produced concept album for a new biblical musical.
  • Bare Naked - A bevy of great singers offer up tunes by songwriter Lynne Shankel on this new release, which includes both material from the revised off-Broadway production of Bare as well as some of her more recent writings.
  • Dream Ago - This remarkable album comes from a remarkable talent: Gabrielle Stravelli. Her voice has power, warmth, and, sometimes, great humor. It's been hard for me to stop playing this one. If you don't know her work, you should certainly sample some now!
  • The Student Prince - This new two disc recording of the classic operetta is sounding pretty darn gorgeous thanks to the careful guidance of conductor John Mauceri.
  • "Edelweiss" - Tony winner Billy Porter offers up this classic R&H song as a hopeful (and sadly cautionary) tune for the times in which we live. If you've not listened, do.
  • Ruthless! - The cast recording for the often hysterical mash-up of The Bad Seed and All About Eve. Definitely worth checking out.
  • Ivanov – A real gem this recording preserves a production of Chekhov's play that starred Sir John Gielgud and Vivien Leigh.
  • Junie B. Jones The Musical - The talented songwriting team of Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler have helped bring this kids' favorite to the stage, in an utterly beguiling new tuner.
  • Covenant - I've not listened to it all, but I have enjoyed the pieces I've heard from this recent release. It's a cast recording from California of a show that was written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salvation Army.
  • From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando - Another album that's also a charitable effort is this fantastic release from Broadway Records. This one preserves a concert that featured Broadway's best and whose proceeds supported organizations serving the people affected by the horrific mass shooting at a Florida nightclub earlier this year.
  • Half a Sixpence - This new London cast recording proves to be a charmer, thanks to the winning star turn from 22-year-old Charlie Stemp. Based on a novel by H.G. Wells, this show reminds us that money can't buy happiness.
  • Hairspray LIVE - You really can't stop the beat of this Marc Shaiman/Scott Wittman score. It's great to have another recording of it. This one, of course, features the swell performers who were part of NBC's live presentation this week.
  • Schikaneder - Stephen Schwartz's newest musical has premiered in Vienna, and here's the gorgeous sounding new cast recording of that production. The musical's subtitle is "The Turbulent Love Story Behind The Magic Flute." Sort of tells you all you need to know.

While trying to decide what Erik and Ken will write about next, I found myself thinking about the change of seasons, and all of a sudden two lines from The Mikado hit me: "The flowers that bloom in the Spring, tra la/Have nothing to do with the case."

Well, that settled it. We're going to toast the arrival of spring with musical bouquets. I'm asking the guys to think about some of their favorite songs with roses, tulips, daisies, etc. in them.

And should you want to begin shuffling your playlists to the world of blooms, why not start with this week's Free Song Download from Karen Mason's It's About Time?

Tags :
Artists

Feb
24

Previewing Spring

You'll get a great sense of how to plan for your next few months of theatergoing courtesy of Erik's column this week. It's a spring preview in which he discusses some of the musicals (both old and new) that he's most looking forward to seeing between now and June.

And don't worry, our Grammy Award-winning writer Ken Bloom hasn't left us! He's just been traveling out of the country and had to take a week off.

Beyond the shows that Erik's discussed in his column, there are a couple of others to bear in mind:

  • Groundhog Day - Songwriter Tim Minchin, who penned the fanciful score for Matilda, will be returning to Broadway this spring with this musical based on the popular Bill Murray movie of the same name.
  • Joan of Arc: Into the Fire - Having written a hit musical about the larger-than-life Imelda Marcos in Here Lies Love,  David Byrne turns to French heroine St. Joan with this new musical, currently in previews at the Public Theater.

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. 


There's roughly an hour's worth of music assembled for your enjoyment this week on Spotify, all related to shows that will be opening this spring.

It's a pretty rich and varied amalgam of tunes, and I'm hoping that it will help inspire your planning for theatergoing in the weeks and months to come.


There's a lot of tunefulness and genuine fun in this week's free song download; it comes from Broadway Records' off-Broadway cast album for Gayla D. Morgan and Eric H. Weinberger's A Dog Story.


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

  • #ThrowbackThursday - Corey Brunish takes the Facebook/Twitter hashtag in a musical direction with this album of classic tunes by songwriters such as George and Ira Gershwin; Jule Styne, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green; and Bart Howard.
  • Philip Glass: Music for 'The Crucible' - Last season a fascinating revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible hit Broadway and one of its chief assets was an intriguing score by Philip Glass, which you can now savor on this cool new release.
  • Freaky Friday - There's a lot of giddy fun in this new tuner that's based on the movie of the same name. This new album features two great central performances from Heidi Blickenstaff and Emma Hunton.
  • Len Cariou Presents These Are My Friends - Tony winner Len Cariou is joined by some incredible folks on this album that revisits some of the hits from his career and then moves on to other favorites from the likes of Liz Callaway, Judy Kaye, Lee Roy Reams, and Anita Gillette.

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.

  • Falsettos - The cast recording for this acclaimed revival of the landmark tuners by William Finn and James Lapine sparkles from beginning to end. It's a must-have for all musical theater fans!
  • Dear Evan Hansen - It's the new musical on Broadway that everyone's talking about! You'll understand why after listening to this terrific new release.
  • Song of Solomon - Ramin Karimloo, who's thrilled audiences in Les Misérables and Love Never Dies, heads up a grand cast on this lavishly produced concept album for a new biblical musical.
  • Bare Naked - A bevy of great singers offer up tunes by songwriter Lynne Shankel on this new release, which includes both material from the revised off-Broadway production of Bare as well as some of her more recent writings.
  • Dream Ago - This remarkable album comes from a remarkable talent: Gabrielle Stravelli. Her voice has power, warmth, and, sometimes, great humor. It's been hard for me to stop playing this one. If you don't know her work, you should certainly sample some now!
  • The Student Prince - This new two disc recording of the classic operetta is sounding pretty darn gorgeous thanks to the careful guidance of conductor John Mauceri.
  • "Edelweiss" - Tony winner Billy Porter offers up this classic R&H song as a hopeful (and sadly cautionary) tune for the times in which we live. If you've not listened, do.
  • Ruthless! - The cast recording for the often hysterical mash-up of The Bad Seed and All About Eve. Definitely worth checking out.
  • Ivanov – A real gem this recording preserves a production of Chekhov's play that starred Sir John Gielgud and Vivien Leigh.
  • Junie B. Jones The Musical - The talented songwriting team of Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler have helped bring this kids' favorite to the stage, in an utterly beguiling new tuner.
  • Covenant - I've not listened to it all, but I have enjoyed the pieces I've heard from this recent release. It's a cast recording from California of a show that was written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salvation Army.
  • From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando - Another album that's also a charitable effort is this fantastic release from Broadway Records. This one preserves a concert that featured Broadway's best and whose proceeds supported organizations serving the people affected by the horrific mass shooting at a Florida nightclub earlier this year.
  • Half a Sixpence - This new London cast recording proves to be a charmer, thanks to the winning star turn from 22-year-old Charlie Stemp. Based on a novel by H.G. Wells, this show reminds us that money can't buy happiness.
  • Hairspray LIVE - You really can't stop the beat of this Marc Shaiman/Scott Wittman score. It's great to have another recording of it. This one, of course, features the swell performers who were part of NBC's live presentation this week.
  • La La Land - Broadway's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have outfitted Grammy Award winner Justin Hurwitz's melodies for the score for this new movie that stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. There's some charming stuff in here.
  • Schikaneder - Stephen Schwartz's newest musical has premiered in Vienna, and here's the gorgeous sounding new cast recording of that production. The musical's subtitle is "The Turbulent Love Story Behind The Magic Flute." Sort of tells you all you need to know.
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz - Here's the first-ever recording of this show written by Alan Menken, along with David Spencer, in the years between Little Shop of Horrors and The Little Mermaid. This cast album preserves a recent Canadian production that featured considerable new material from the creators.
  • If You Knew My Story - Carmen Cusack dazzled in her Broadway debut in Bright Star last season. Here she is in performance with a host of terrific guest stars.
  • Hamilton Mixtape - Here's a new way to savor the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton! It's an album that features the show's songs performed by artists such as the Roots, Usher, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys.Acoustically Speaking - This recording allows you to savor the talents of two of the original stars from Rent—Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal—in performance at 54 BELOW/Feinstein's.

The next BwayTunes newsletter will arrive just about a week before a milestone birthday: composer John Kander's 90th!

We couldn't let such an important moment go by without toasting the man who penned the melodies for CabaretChicago, and the current off-Broadway offering Kid Victory. So Ken and Erik will be dedicating their columns to him and their thoughts on his exceptional career.

To get you in the mood, I point you toward Harbinger Records' fantastic two-disc compilation of Kander rarities: Hidden Treasures.

Tags :
Artists

Feb
10

I WishI Were in Love Again...

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, we figured that we'd send some musical hearts and flowers your way and just maybe inspire you for the day on which Cupid reigns

Erik and Ken have written two fantastic columns about love in musicals and, in doing so, highlighted a bunch of swell tunes. Their work, I'm pretty sure, will put you in a very romantic mood

And just to spice things up…. We all know relationships can be rough, so I've decided to offer up a pair of songs that capture both the highs and lows of romance:

  • "I Wish I Were in Love Again - Perfectly Frank - This song from Babes in Arms makes love sound both marvelous and kinda unbearable. I happen to be quite fond of this recording from Tony Bennett.
  • "When We Get Our Divorce" - Sunny - Oscar Hammerstein II is known for writing the words for swoony songs such as "People Will Say We're in Love" and "Hello, Young Lovers." He also wrote this wonderfully wry tune about the end (or is it?) of a marriage.

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. 


If you don't feel like sorting through your own music library, this week's playlist on Spotify will give you just over an hour of music that could be the perfect soundtrack for Feb. 14.

There are lots of classics to be found on the playlist, along with some delectable rarities, and I'm hoping it serves as the equivalent of a bouquet of long-stem roses for your ears!


Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, who won a slew of awards for their dramatic family musical Next to Normal, now have the frothy tuner Freaky Friday, and we've got a great track from the new album for you as this week's free song download!


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

  • Dear Evan Hansen - It's the new musical on Broadway that everyone's talking about! You'll understand why after listening to this terrific new release.
  • Freaky Friday - There's a lot of giddy fun in this new tuner that's based on the movie of the same name. This new album features two great central performances from Heidi Blickenstaff and Emma Hunton.
  • Falsettos - The cast recording for this acclaimed revival of the landmark tuners by William Finn and James Lapine sparkles from beginning to end. It's a must-have for all musical theater fans!
  • Len Cariou Presents These Are My Friends - Tony winner Len Cariou is joined by some incredible folks on this album that revisits some of the hits from his career and then moves on to other favorites from the likes of Liz Callaway, Judy Kaye, Lee Roy Reams, and Anita Gillette.
  • Song of Solomon - Ramin Karimloo, who's thrilled audiences in Les Misérables and Love Never Dies, heads up a grand cast on this lavishly produced concept album for a new biblical 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.

  • Bare Naked - A bevy of great singers offer up tunes by songwriter Lynne Shankel on this new release, which includes both material from the revised off-Broadway production of Bare as well as some of her more recent writings.
  • Dream Ago - This remarkable album comes from a remarkable talent: Gabrielle Stravelli. Her voice has power, warmth, and, sometimes, great humor. It's been hard for me to stop playing this one. If you don't know her work, you should certainly sample some now!
  • The Student Prince - This new two disc recording of the classic operetta is sounding pretty darn gorgeous thanks to the careful guidance of conductor John Mauceri.
  • "Edelweiss" - Tony winner Billy Porter offers up this classic R&H song as a hopeful (and sadly cautionary) tune for the times in which we live. If you've not listened, do.
  • Ruthless! - The cast recording for the often hysterical mash-up of The Bad Seed and All About Eve. Definitely worth checking out.
  • Ivanov – A real gem this recording preserves a production of Chekhov's play that starred Sir John Gielgud and Vivien Leigh.
  • Junie B. Jones The Musical - The talented songwriting team of Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler have helped bring this kids' favorite to the stage, in an utterly beguiling new tuner.
  • Covenant - I've not listened to it all, but I have enjoyed the pieces I've heard from this recent release. It's a cast recording from California of a show that was written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salvation Army.
  • From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando - Another album that's also a charitable effort is this fantastic release from Broadway Records. This one preserves a concert that featured Broadway's best and whose proceeds supported organizations serving the people affected by the horrific mass shooting at a Florida nightclub earlier this year.
  • Half a Sixpence - This new London cast recording proves to be a charmer, thanks to the winning star turn from 22-year-old Charlie Stemp. Based on a novel by H.G. Wells, this show reminds us that money can't buy happiness.
  • Hairspray LIVE - You really can't stop the beat of this Marc Shaiman/Scott Wittman score. It's great to have another recording of it. This one, of course, features the swell performers who were part of NBC's live presentation this week.
  • La La Land - Broadway's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have outfitted Grammy Award winner Justin Hurwitz's melodies for the score for this new movie that stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. There's some charming stuff in here.
  • Schikaneder - Stephen Schwartz's newest musical has premiered in Vienna, and here's the gorgeous sounding new cast recording of that production. The musical's subtitle is "The Turbulent Love Story Behind The Magic Flute." Sort of tells you all you need to know.
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz - Here's the first-ever recording of this show written by Alan Menken, along with David Spencer, in the years between Little Shop of Horrors and The Little Mermaid. This cast album preserves a recent Canadian production that featured considerable new material from the creators.
  • If You Knew My Story - Carmen Cusack dazzled in her Broadway debut in Bright Star last season. Here she is in performance with a host of terrific guest stars.
  • Hamilton Mixtape - Here's a new way to savor the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton! It's an album that features the show's songs performed by artists such as the Roots, Usher, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys.
  • Acoustically Speaking - This recording allows you to savor the talents of two of the original stars from Rent—Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal—in performance at 54 BELOW/Feinstein's.
  • Live at 54 BELOW / Feinstein's - This new album, featuring Charles Busch, is another fine entry in Broadway Records' ongoing line of albums of performances from the swank nitery.
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - A terrifically talented group of young performers brings freshness to this classic musical that's based on Charles M. Schulz's characters. It's a very welcome new cast album from Broadway Records. 
  • Moana - The soundtrack from the new Disney animated feature includes new tunes from the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda, some of his first songwriting since the premiere of his groundbreaking Hamilton.
  • Jazz Loves Disney - This new album compiles a host of Disney classics performed by some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.

When you get the next newsletter, we'll be less than a month away from spring, and with the arrival of tulips and warmer temperatures will also come a bumper crop of new musicals.

I've asked Ken and Erik to talk about some of the shows opening this spring that they're particularly looking forward to (either in N.Y. or around the country).

They've got very different perspectives and tastes, so you should get a pretty grand sense of what's just around the corner. One thing that I'll be curious about is the new stage version of Roald Dahl's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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Artists

Jan
27

Celebrating Upstarts!

Happy Birthday Alan Cumming! Yep. The Tony winner's celebrating a birthday (January 27).

To celebrate this man, who, because of things such as Cabaret and The Good Wife, I think of as being something of a maverick, I asked Ken and Erik to talk about musical upstarts.

 I let them choose from writers and characters, and as you might expect, they've not disappointed with their columns this week!

For my contribution to the conversation, why not consider:

  • Lysistrata Jones - A genuine sense of rebellion courses through this musical that's based on a Greek comedy about women withholding sex to stop their men from going into battle. Set on a college campus, the show, and it's heroine, is a youthful maverick.
  • A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant - Songwriter Kyle Jarrow has been shaking up the sound of musicals for a while now. His name's not terribly well known, but his music can be incredibly invigorating, as you will hear on this album and on Beautiful Monster, which features songs from a rocky fairy tale seen off-Broadway last season, The Wildness.

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. 


Your ears will be traversing a gamut of styles and sounds as you listen to the playlist I've put together for you this week.

With the songs and shows that the guys are talking about as its basis, this week's Spotify Playlist delivers over an hour of music that spans about 100 years of music theater writing.


You'll be feeling as if you've taken to the high seas with this week's free song download. It's a track from Stage Door Records' just-out release of Drake's Dream, a musical about seafarer Sir Francis Drake!


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

  • Song of Solomon - Ramin Karimloo, who's thrilled audiences in Les Misérables and Love Never Dies, heads up a grand cast on this lavishly produced concept album for a new biblical musical.
  • Bare Naked - A bevy of great singers offer up tunes by songwriter Lynne Shankel on this new release, which includes both material from the revised off-Broadway production of Bare as well as some of her more recent writings.
  • Dream Ago - This remarkable album comes from a remarkable talent: Gabrielle Stravelli. Her voice has power, warmth, and, sometimes, great humor. It's been hard for me to stop playing this one. If you don't know her work, you should certainly sample some now!
  • The Student Prince - This new two disc recording of the classic operetta is sounding pretty darn gorgeous thanks to the careful guidance of conductor John Mauceri.
  • "Edelweiss" - Tony winner Billy Porter offers up this classic R&H song as a hopeful (and sadly cautionary) tune for the times in which we live. If you've not listened, do.

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.

  • Ruthless! - The cast recording for the often hysterical mash-up of The Bad Seed and All About Eve. Definitely worth checking out.
  • Ivanov – A real gem this recording preserves a production of Chekhov's play that starred Sir John Gielgud and Vivien Leigh.
  • Junie B. Jones The Musical - The talented songwriting team of Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler have helped bring this kids' favorite to the stage, in an utterly beguiling new tuner.
  • Covenant - I've not listened to it all, but I have enjoyed the pieces I've heard from this recent release. It's a cast recording from California of a show that was written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salvation Army.
  • Falsettos - The cast recording for this acclaimed revival of the landmark tuners by William Finn and James Lapine sparkles from beginning to end. It's a must-have for all musical theater fans!
  • From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando - Another album that's also a charitable effort is this fantastic release from Broadway Records. This one preserves a concert that featured Broadway's best and whose proceeds supported organizations serving the people affected by the horrific mass shooting at a Florida nightclub earlier this year.
  • Half a Sixpence - This new London cast recording proves to be a charmer, thanks to the winning star turn from 22-year-old Charlie Stemp. Based on a novel by H.G. Wells, this show reminds us that money can't buy happiness.
  • Hairspray LIVE - You really can't stop the beat of this Marc Shaiman/Scott Wittman score. It's great to have another recording of it. This one, of course, features the swell performers who were part of NBC's live presentation this week.
  • La La Land - Broadway's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have outfitted Grammy Award winner Justin Hurwitz's melodies for the score for this new movie that stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. There's some charming stuff in here.
  • Schikaneder - Stephen Schwartz's newest musical has premiered in Vienna, and here's the gorgeous sounding new cast recording of that production. The musical's subtitle is "The Turbulent Love Story Behind The Magic Flute." Sort of tells you all you need to know.
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz - Here's the first-ever recording of this show written by Alan Menken, along with David Spencer, in the years between Little Shop of Horrors and The Little Mermaid. This cast album preserves a recent Canadian production that featured considerable new material from the creators.
  • If You Knew My Story - Carmen Cusack dazzled in her Broadway debut in Bright Star last season. Here she is in performance with a host of terrific guest stars.
  • Hamilton Mixtape - Here's a new way to savor the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton! It's an album that features the show's songs performed by artists such as the Roots, Usher, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys.
  • Acoustically Speaking - This recording allows you to savor the talents of two of the original stars from Rent—Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal—in performance at 54 BELOW/Feinstein's.
  • Live at 54 BELOW / Feinstein's - This new album, featuring Charles Busch, is another fine entry in Broadway Records' ongoing line of albums of performances from the swank nitery.
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - A terrifically talented group of young performers brings freshness to this classic musical that's based on Charles M. Schulz's characters. It's a very welcome new cast album from Broadway Records. 
  • Moana - The soundtrack from the new Disney animated feature includes new tunes from the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda, some of his first songwriting since the premiere of his groundbreaking Hamilton.
  • Jazz Loves Disney - This new album compiles a host of Disney classics performed by some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
  • The Bodyguard - This London cast recording of the musical that's based on the hit Whitney Huston film gets released as a U.S. tour of the show begins.
  • Spoon River Anthology - We're delighted that this Broadway cast recording of the show that's based on Edgar Lee Masters' poems has finally hit the digital age!

You'll be getting the next BwayTunes newsletter just a few days before Valentine's Day.

To get you in the mood for the holiday of love, I've asked the guys to think about musical romance as a whole. You know "hearts and flowers," "birds and bees," etc.

I have no idea what they'll come up with, but I'm pretty sure they will deliver a couple of fantastic columns that will leave you humming "I'm in the Mood for Love."

And if you want to get a jump start on all of this, take a listen to Tony Bennett's smooth album The Art of Romance.  (I mention this specifically as a way of toasting the legendary singer's 90th birthday!)

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Artists

Jan
13

Superstition

Happy 2017! And, more ominously, Happy Friday the 13th....

Given that our first newsletter for the year is falling on a day traditionally associated with bad luck, I figured I'd ask Erik and Ken to talk about luck and superstition with a musical theater twist.

As always, the guys have tackled the assignment with aplomb, and I'm betting you'll have a blast reading what they have to say.

I'd like to add two genuine rarities to the songs and shows the guys are talking about this week: 

  • "Bad Luck Card" - The Liz Child Quartet includes this great jazz tune on their album Take Flight. The lyric for it is by none other than Langston Hughes, and the sultry melody comes from Peter Madsen.
  • Treemonisha - Given that this Scott Joplin ragtime "opera" has a song that is actually titled "Superstition," it seemed absolutely necessary that I make it one of my picks. If you've never listened to this one, it's a fascinating piece of writing.

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. 


Using Erik's and Ken's columns, along with my own picks for the week, I've put together a playlist of about a dozen songs that are tied into the whole Friday the 13th vibe we're working with this week.

Then I added in a few others to the Spotify list...just because surprises are always sorta necessary.

Hoping you enjoy!


The Globe Theatre in London has just released a terrific album featuring the music and songs from its critically acclaimed productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III. We liked what we heard so much that we asked about sharing a song with you as a free song download, and generously they said, "Yes."


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

  • Junie B. Jones The Musical - The talented songwriting team of Zina Goldrich and Marcy Heisler have helped bring this kids' favorite to the stage, in an utterly beguiling new tuner.
  • Covenant - I've not listened to it all, but I have enjoyed the pieces I've heard from this recent release. It's a cast recording from California of a show that was written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salvation Army.
  • Falsettos - The cast recording for this acclaimed revival of the landmark tuners by William Finn and James Lapine sparkles from beginning to end. It's a must-have for all musical theater fans!
  • From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando - Another album that's also a charitable effort is this fantastic release from Broadway Records. This one preserves a concert that featured Broadway's best and whose proceeds supported organizations serving the people affected by the horrific mass shooting at a Florida nightclub earlier this year.

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.

  • Half a Sixpence - This new London cast recording proves to be a charmer, thanks to the winning star turn from 22-year-old Charlie Stemp. Based on a novel by H.G. Wells, this show reminds us that money can't buy happiness.
  • Hairspray LIVE - You really can't stop the beat of this Marc Shaiman/Scott Wittman score. It's great to have another recording of it. This one, of course, features the swell performers who were part of NBC's live presentation this week.
  • La La Land - Broadway's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have outfitted Grammy Award winner Justin Hurwitz's melodies for the score for this new movie that stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. There's some charming stuff in here.
  • Schikaneder - Stephen Schwartz's newest musical has premiered in Vienna, and here's the gorgeous sounding new cast recording of that production. The musical's subtitle is "The Turbulent Love Story Behind The Magic Flute." Sort of tells you all you need to know.
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz - Here's the first-ever recording of this show written by Alan Menken, along with David Spencer, in the years between Little Shop of Horrors and The Little Mermaid. This cast album preserves a recent Canadian production that featured considerable new material from the creators.
  • If You Knew My Story - Carmen Cusack dazzled in her Broadway debut in Bright Star last season. Here she is in performance with a host of terrific guest stars.
  • Hamilton Mixtape - Here's a new way to savor the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton! It's an album that features the show's songs performed by artists such as the Roots, Usher, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys.
  • Acoustically Speaking - This recording allows you to savor the talents of two of the original stars from Rent—Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal—in performance at 54 BELOW/Feinstein's.
  • Live at 54 BELOW / Feinstein's - This new album, featuring Charles Busch, is another fine entry in Broadway Records' ongoing line of albums of performances from the swank nitery.
  • A Merry Little Christmas - Megan Hilty toasts the holidays with this terrific new album. One particular highlight is her playfully jazzy "Santa Baby."
  • Simply Christmas - Leslie Odom Jr., best actor Tony winner for Hamilton, helps to set the tone for the holiday season with this joyful, jazzy new album.
  • Winter Tracks - Susan Egan's lovely seasonal album from 2006 has finally become digitally available this year. If you've not heard it, take a listen!
  • Christmas on Stage & Screen - Some evergreen holiday tunes get some lavish arrangements on this new album!
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - A terrifically talented group of young performers brings freshness to this classic musical that's based on Charles M. Schulz's characters. It's a very welcome new cast album from Broadway Records. 
  • Moana - The soundtrack from the new Disney animated feature includes new tunes from the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda, some of his first songwriting since the premiere of his groundbreaking Hamilton.
  • Jazz Loves Disney - This new album compiles a host of Disney classics performed by some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
  • The Bodyguard - This London cast recording of the musical that's based on the hit Whitney Huston film gets released as a U.S. tour of the show begins.
  • Spoon River Anthology - We're delighted that this Broadway cast recording of the show that's based on Edgar Lee Masters' poems has finally hit the digital age!
  • Together - Two remarkable vocalists -- Michael Ball and Alfie Boe -- join forces on this tremendous album that features such classics as "Somewhere," 'Music of the Night," and "Over the Rainbow."
  • So Much More: The Songs of Brandon Sturiale - This album, featuring such artists as Michael Cerveris and Natalie Weiss, showcases the formidable songwriting talents of, yes, Brandon Sturiale who has been musical director on a host of shows, including off-Broadway's The Marvelous Wonderettes
  • The Arden Sessions - This new album from Darren Ritchie (Thoroughly Modern MillieLittle Shop of HorrorsWonderland) and his group, the ADDing Machine, has a completely pop vibe to it that I found quite satisfying.
  • Pretty Filthy - Songwriter Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonThe Fortress of Solitude) is in top form with the tunes for this show, developed from interviews, about the adult film industry.

We're going to go to a bi-weekly format for a while this winter. The next newsletter will be arriving in your in-box on January 27, and at that point we'll be doing a sort of toast to Tony winner Alan Cumming, who celebrates a birthday that day.
Cumming--as you probably know from his work in shows such as Cabaret, on television's The Good Wife, and even in solo performance with pieces like Sings Sappy Songs--can be something of a maverick. 

Given this, I've asked Erik and Ken to think about mavericks in musicals. It could be writers, characters, or even the musicals in and of themselves that buck convention.

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Artists

Dec
23

Happy Holidays!

To send you into the holiday weekend, I asked Ken and Erik to write about some of their favorite seasonal tunes. 

When you get over to their columns, you'll find that there are a bevy of little-known Christmas songs (courtesy of Erik) and some fantastic New Year's songs (courtesy of Ken).

Do these guys know how to complement one another or what?

Two Tony-nominated performers have released singles for the season this year, and they've made it very easy for me to echo the guys…One's a Christmas tune; the other's a New Year's song.

  • Christmas Will You Stay? - Laura Osnes sounds lovely as ever as she gives us this new Christmas tune from the talented songwriter Michael Mott.
  • A New Year - Annaleigh Ashford delivers with soulful charm, singing this new song from the gifted songwriting team of Will Van Dyke and Talbott.

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 roll right from Christmas into New Year's Eve with songs from the likes of Jerry Herman, Peter Allen, Meredith Willson, and Richard Rodgers with this week's playlist on Spotify.

It's just over an hour of music that, I hope, you'll find enjoyable as you do your final preparations for your celebrations.


To get you in the spirit for the Christmas weekend, we have a delightful holiday tune as this week's free song download. It's a rare number from Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock, performed by the writers themselves!


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

  • Falsettos - The cast recording for this acclaimed revival of the landmark tuners by William Finn and James Lapine sparkles from beginning to end. It's a must-have for all musical theater fans!
  • Half a Sixpence - This new London cast recording proves to be a charmer, thanks to the winning star turn from 22-year-old Charlie Stemp. Based on a novel by H.G. Wells, this show reminds us that money can't buy happiness.
  • Broadway's Carols for a Cure, Vol. 18 - This annual collection of seasonal tunes has just come out digitally, and there are some beauts on it! The companies of shows on Broadway, off-Broadway, and beyond donate their time and talents for this terrific collection to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, so it's not only a terrific listen; it's also helping to support a marvelous nonprofit.
  • From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando - Another album that's also a charitable effort is this fantastic release from Broadway Records. This one preserves a concert that featured Broadway's best and whose proceeds supported organizations serving the people affected by the horrific mass shooting at a Florida nightclub earlier this year.

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.

  • Hairspray LIVE - You really can't stop the beat of this Marc Shaiman/Scott Wittman score. It's great to have another recording of it. This one, of course, features the swell performers who were part of NBC's live presentation this week.
  • La La Land - Broadway's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have outfitted Grammy Award winner Justin Hurwitz's melodies for the score for this new movie that stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. There's some charming stuff in here.
  • Schikaneder - Stephen Schwartz's newest musical has premiered in Vienna, and here's the gorgeous sounding new cast recording of that production. The musical's subtitle is "The Turbulent Love Story Behind The Magic Flute." Sort of tells you all you need to know.
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz - Here's the first-ever recording of this show written by Alan Menken, along with David Spencer, in the years between Little Shop of Horrors and The Little Mermaid. This cast album preserves a recent Canadian production that featured considerable new material from the creators.
  • If You Knew My Story - Carmen Cusack dazzled in her Broadway debut in Bright Star last season. Here she is in performance with a host of terrific guest stars.
  • Hamilton Mixtape - Here's a new way to savor the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton! It's an album that features the show's songs performed by artists such as the Roots, Usher, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys.
  • Acoustically Speaking - This recording allows you to savor the talents of two of the original stars from Rent—Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal—in performance at 54 BELOW/Feinstein's.
  • Live at 54 BELOW / Feinstein's - This new album, featuring Charles Busch, is another fine entry in Broadway Records' ongoing line of albums of performances from the swank nitery.
  • A Merry Little Christmas - Megan Hilty toasts the holidays with this terrific new album. One particular highlight is her playfully jazzy "Santa Baby."
  • Simply Christmas - Leslie Odom Jr., best actor Tony winner for Hamilton, helps to set the tone for the holiday season with this joyful, jazzy new album.
  • Winter Tracks - Susan Egan's lovely seasonal album from 2006 has finally become digitally available this year. If you've not heard it, take a listen!
  • Christmas on Stage & Screen - Some evergreen holiday tunes get some lavish arrangements on this new album!
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - A terrifically talented group of young performers brings freshness to this classic musical that's based on Charles M. Schulz's characters. It's a very welcome new cast album from Broadway Records. 
  • Moana - The soundtrack from the new Disney animated feature includes new tunes from the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda, some of his first songwriting since the premiere of his groundbreaking Hamilton.
  • Jazz Loves Disney - This new album compiles a host of Disney classics performed by some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
  • The Bodyguard - This London cast recording of the musical that's based on the hit Whitney Huston film gets released as a U.S. tour of the show begins.
  • Spoon River Anthology - We're delighted that this Broadway cast recording of the show that's based on Edgar Lee Masters' poems has finally hit the digital age!
  • Together - Two remarkable vocalists -- Michael Ball and Alfie Boe -- join forces on this tremendous album that features such classics as "Somewhere," 'Music of the Night," and "Over the Rainbow."
  • So Much More: The Songs of Brandon Sturiale - This album, featuring such artists as Michael Cerveris and Natalie Weiss, showcases the formidable songwriting talents of, yes, Brandon Sturiale who has been musical director on a host of shows, including off-Broadway's The Marvelous Wonderettes
  • The Arden Sessions - This new album from Darren Ritchie (Thoroughly Modern MillieLittle Shop of HorrorsWonderland) and his group, the ADDing Machine, has a completely pop vibe to it that I found quite satisfying.
  • The Music Never Ends - Susan Watson, Broadway's original Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie, sounds terrific on her new album, which features such standards as "It Had to Be You," "Old Friends" and "My Ship."
  • Lazarus - Just before his untimely death, David Bowie's musical Lazarus premiered off-Broadway. Inspired by the filmThe Man Who Fell to Earth, the electrifying and very welcome cast album stars Michael C. Hall and Cristin Milioti, among others.
  • Why We Build the Wall - We are going to have to wait until next year to get the cast recording of the acclaimed musical Hadestown that played off-Broadway this summer. Until then, there's this great EP of four songs from the show.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show - This soundtrack release coincides with FOX's starry television presentation of Richard O'Brien's cult classic.
  • Pretty Filthy - Songwriter Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonThe Fortress of Solitude) is in top form with the tunes for this show, developed from interviews, about the adult film industry.

We're going be taking a holiday break here at BwayTunes and will return to you on Friday, Jan. 13. When the next newsletter arrives, you can be sure that Ken, Erik, and I will be totally fired up to start your 2017 off with a bang - musical theater wise.

I wasn't quite sure how to send you off this week, but then I remembered a track from last year's Carols for a Cure album from Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and so I point you toward that recording and the perfect song:  "Christmas Vacation," performed by cast members from Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

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Artists

Dec
16

Christmas Gifts

Trying to figure out gift-giving this time of year can be a tough thing. We decided we'd try to help you a bit this week with some gift suggestions for the musical theater lovers in your life.

Erik and Ken have each fashioned lists of a few albums that would make great gifts, even for the most difficult-to-buy-for people.

I'm betting that you'll find these to be kinda handy, and allow me to start you off with two other suggestions: 

  • Fiddler on the Roof - This new, Grammy-nominated recording has gotten more than its fair share of listens from me over the past few months. Danny Burstein's Tevye, I think, is just a delight, and I can't get enough of Ted Sperling's new orchestrations. This one would be a great gift for the musical theater traditionalist in your life.
  • American Psycho - Musicals about yuppie serial killers don't scream "I'm the perfect Christmas gift," but for the adventuresome listener the London cast recording of Duncan Sheik's '80s-inspired show should be a treat. (Alas, the Broadway version wasn't recorded.) The album's got a great vibe, and there's even one of Broadway's newest holiday songs on it: "Mistletoe Alert."

I'd also like to remind you that Ken's just-published book Show and Tell: The New Book of Broadway Anecdotes could make a great companion to one of the above CDs.

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 give you a sense of the albums that we're all talking about this week, take a listen over on Spotify to our latest playlist. I've tucked in tracks from all of the albums that we've recommended.

I've also augmented with a few more from recent releases and hope that it will inspire you for the last-minute shopping that might be in front of you.


This week's free song download we've got two holiday-time treats from Broadway in a sumptuous mash-up from Klavier Music's Christmas on Stage & Screen, which features the United States Air Force Band & Singing Sergeants!


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

  • Broadway's Carols for a Cure, Vol. 18 - This annual collection of seasonal tunes has just come out digitally, and there are some beauts on it! The companies of shows on Broadway, off-Broadway, and beyond donate their time and talents for this terrific collection to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, so it's not only a terrific listen; it's also helping to support a marvelous nonprofit.
  • From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando - Another album that's also a charitable effort is this fantastic release from Broadway Records. This one preserves a concert that featured Broadway's best and whose proceeds supported organizations serving the people affected by the horrific mass shooting at a Florida nightclub earlier this year.
  • Hairspray LIVE - You really can't stop the beat of this Marc Shaiman/Scott Wittman score. It's great to have another recording of it. This one, of course, features the swell performers who were part of NBC's live presentation this week.
  • La La Land - Broadway's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have outfitted Grammy Award winner Justin Hurwitz's melodies for the score for this new movie that stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. There's some charming stuff in here.
  • Schikaneder - Stephen Schwartz's newest musical has premiered in Vienna, and here's the gorgeous sounding new cast recording of that production. The musical's subtitle is "The Turbulent Love Story Behind The Magic Flute." Sort of tells you all you need to know.

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 Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz - Here's the first-ever recording of this show written by Alan Menken, along with David Spencer, in the years between Little Shop of Horrors and The Little Mermaid. This cast album preserves a recent Canadian production that featured considerable new material from the creators.
  • If You Knew My Story - Carmen Cusack dazzled in her Broadway debut in Bright Star last season. Here she is in performance with a host of terrific guest stars.
  • Hamilton Mixtape - Here's a new way to savor the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton! It's an album that features the show's songs performed by artists such as the Roots, Usher, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys.
  • Acoustically Speaking - This recording allows you to savor the talents of two of the original stars from Rent—Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal—in performance at 54 BELOW/Feinstein's.
  • Live at 54 BELOW / Feinstein's - This new album, featuring Charles Busch, is another fine entry in Broadway Records' ongoing line of albums of performances from the swank nitery.
  • A Merry Little Christmas - Megan Hilty toasts the holidays with this terrific new album. One particular highlight is her playfully jazzy "Santa Baby."
  • Simply Christmas - Leslie Odom Jr., best actor Tony winner for Hamilton, helps to set the tone for the holiday season with this joyful, jazzy new album.
  • Winter Tracks - Susan Egan's lovely seasonal album from 2006 has finally become digitally available this year. If you've not heard it, take a listen!
  • Christmas on Stage & Screen - Some evergreen holiday tunes get some lavish arrangements on this new album!
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - A terrifically talented group of young performers brings freshness to this classic musical that's based on Charles M. Schulz's characters. It's a very welcome new cast album from Broadway Records. 
  • Moana - The soundtrack from the new Disney animated feature includes new tunes from the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda, some of his first songwriting since the premiere of his groundbreaking Hamilton.
  • Jazz Loves Disney - This new album compiles a host of Disney classics performed by some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
  • The Bodyguard - This London cast recording of the musical that's based on the hit Whitney Huston film gets released as a U.S. tour of the show begins.
  • Spoon River Anthology - We're delighted that this Broadway cast recording of the show that's based on Edgar Lee Masters' poems has finally hit the digital age!
  • Together - Two remarkable vocalists -- Michael Ball and Alfie Boe -- join forces on this tremendous album that features such classics as "Somewhere," 'Music of the Night," and "Over the Rainbow."
  • So Much More: The Songs of Brandon Sturiale - This album, featuring such artists as Michael Cerveris and Natalie Weiss, showcases the formidable songwriting talents of, yes, Brandon Sturiale who has been musical director on a host of shows, including off-Broadway's The Marvelous Wonderettes
  • The Arden Sessions - This new album from Darren Ritchie (Thoroughly Modern MillieLittle Shop of HorrorsWonderland) and his group, the ADDing Machine, has a completely pop vibe to it that I found quite satisfying.
  • The Music Never Ends - Susan Watson, Broadway's original Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie, sounds terrific on her new album, which features such standards as "It Had to Be You," "Old Friends" and "My Ship."
  • Lazarus - Just before his untimely death, David Bowie's musical Lazarus premiered off-Broadway. Inspired by the filmThe Man Who Fell to Earth, the electrifying and very welcome cast album stars Michael C. Hall and Cristin Milioti, among others.
  • Why We Build the Wall - We are going to have to wait until next year to get the cast recording of the acclaimed musical Hadestown that played off-Broadway this summer. Until then, there's this great EP of four songs from the show.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show - This soundtrack release coincides with FOX's starry television presentation of Richard O'Brien's cult classic.
  • Simply Heavenly - This Broadway cast album has never been available digitally in the U.S. until now. It's a great recording of a little-known tuner from 1957 that book writer/lyricist Langston Hughes based on his own novels. A very welcome release from our friends at Sony!
  • Divine Miss M (Deluxe Edition) - In anticipation of Bette Midler's return to Broadway in Hello, Dolly! we get a re-release of this classic album with some terrific bonus material.
  • Pretty Filthy - Songwriter Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonThe Fortress of Solitude) is in top form with the tunes for this show, developed from interviews, about the adult film industry.

You'll be getting the next BwayTunes newsletter just a day before Christmas Eve, and to help you celebrate the season, we'll all be talking about some holiday-time albums and songs that could inspire you over the weekend and beyond.

One album that you might just want to sample now is from Megan Hilty. It's her festive new release, A Merry Little Christmas

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Artists

Dec
09

Getting There

Let me start off by just saying congratulations to all of our friends who scored Grammy nominations this week, including the folks at Broadway Records (The Color PurpleFiddler on the Roof) and Ghostlight Records (Bright Star), as well as our very own Ken Bloom, who, with Richard Carlin, picked up a nomination for the Best Album Notes award for Sissle & Blake Sing Shuffle Along!

If you're scratching your head about holiday presents, any of these would be a fab gift.

Now, to shift gears (pun fully intended) over to what you'll find in Ken's and Erik's columns this week, we're saluting the new Broadway musical In Transit, and to do this the guys are writing about songs that have to do with what you might call traveling music--getting from here to there. I think their varied lists are lots of fun and hope you agree.

Here are a couple of oddball entries to consider as my contribution to the whole transportation theme: 

  • Bubbling Brown Sugar - A Tony-nominated hit in its day, this revue is now largely forgotten. It's a pity. The album opens with a great mash up of "Stompin' at the Savoy" and "Take the A Train."
  • Curtains - As this backstage murder mystery unfolds, the creators of the show-within-the-show are trying desperately to complete one song. It crops up in a whole bunch of different incarnations. It's title? "In the Same Boat."

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. 


Planes, trains, automobiles, boats, and even the subway. They are all featured in songs that the guys have talked about this week.

I've done the usual mix and matching and think that you'll find this week's Spotify playlist to be particularly choice. It's just over an hour of music that will have you rarin' to pack a bag and head off for a vacation.


Carmen Cusack, the dazzling star of Bright Star, is now featured on one of Broadway Records' terrific albums recorded live at Feinstein's -- 54 Below. You'll be savoring this free song download for a while!


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

  • Hairspray LIVE - You really can't stop the beat of this Marc Shaiman/Scott Wittman score. It's great to have another recording of it. This one, of course, features the swell performers who were part of NBC's live presentation this week.
  • La La Land - Broadway's Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have outfitted Grammy Award winner Justin Hurwitz's melodies for the score for this new movie that stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. There's some charming stuff in here.
  • Schikaneder - Stephen Schwartz's newest musical has premiered in Vienna, and here's the gorgeous sounding new cast recording of that production. The musical's subtitle is "The Turbulent Love Story Behind The Magic Flute." Sort of tells you all you need to know.
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz - Here's the first-ever recording of this show written by Alan Menken, along with David Spencer, in the years between Little Shop of Horrors and The Little Mermaid. This cast album preserves a recent Canadian production that featured considerable new material from the creators.
  • If You Knew My Story - Carmen Cusack dazzled in her Broadway debut in Bright Star last season. Here she is in performance with a host of terrific guest stars.

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.

  • Hamilton Mixtape - Here's a new way to savor the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton! It's an album that features the show's songs performed by artists such as the Roots, Usher, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys.
  • Acoustically Speaking - This recording allows you to savor the talents of two of the original stars from Rent—Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal—in performance at 54 BELOW/Feinstein's.
  • Live at 54 BELOW / Feinstein's - This new album, featuring Charles Busch, is another fine entry in Broadway Records' ongoing line of albums of performances from the swank nitery.
  • A Merry Little Christmas - Megan Hilty toasts the holidays with this terrific new album. One particular highlight is her playfully jazzy "Santa Baby."
  • Simply Christmas - Leslie Odom Jr., best actor Tony winner for Hamilton, helps to set the tone for the holiday season with this joyful, jazzy new album.
  • Winter Tracks - Susan Egan's lovely seasonal album from 2006 has finally become digitally available this year. If you've not heard it, take a listen!
  • Christmas on Stage & Screen - Some evergreen holiday tunes get some lavish arrangements on this new album!
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - A terrifically talented group of young performers brings freshness to this classic musical that's based on Charles M. Schulz's characters. It's a very welcome new cast album from Broadway Records. 
  • Moana - The soundtrack from the new Disney animated feature includes new tunes from the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda, some of his first songwriting since the premiere of his groundbreaking Hamilton.
  • Jazz Loves Disney - This new album compiles a host of Disney classics performed by some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
  • The Bodyguard - This London cast recording of the musical that's based on the hit Whitney Huston film gets released as a U.S. tour of the show begins.
  • Spoon River Anthology - We're delighted that this Broadway cast recording of the show that's based on Edgar Lee Masters' poems has finally hit the digital age!
  • Together - Two remarkable vocalists -- Michael Ball and Alfie Boe -- join forces on this tremendous album that features such classics as "Somewhere," 'Music of the Night," and "Over the Rainbow."
  • So Much More: The Songs of Brandon Sturiale - This album, featuring such artists as Michael Cerveris and Natalie Weiss, showcases the formidable songwriting talents of, yes, Brandon Sturiale who has been musical director on a host of shows, including off-Broadway's The Marvelous Wonderettes
  • The Arden Sessions - This new album from Darren Ritchie (Thoroughly Modern MillieLittle Shop of HorrorsWonderland) and his group, the ADDing Machine, has a completely pop vibe to it that I found quite satisfying.
  • The Music Never Ends - Susan Watson, Broadway's original Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie, sounds terrific on her new album, which features such standards as "It Had to Be You," "Old Friends" and "My Ship."
  • Lazarus - Just before his untimely death, David Bowie's musical Lazarus premiered off-Broadway. Inspired by the filmThe Man Who Fell to Earth, the electrifying and very welcome cast album stars Michael C. Hall and Cristin Milioti, among others.
  • Why We Build the Wall - We are going to have to wait until next year to get the cast recording of the acclaimed musical Hadestown that played off-Broadway this summer. Until then, there's this great EP of four songs from the show.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show - This soundtrack release coincides with FOX's starry television presentation of Richard O'Brien's cult classic.
  • Simply Heavenly - This Broadway cast album has never been available digitally in the U.S. until now. It's a great recording of a little-known tuner from 1957 that book writer/lyricist Langston Hughes based on his own novels. A very welcome release from our friends at Sony!
  • Divine Miss M (Deluxe Edition) - In anticipation of Bette Midler's return to Broadway in Hello, Dolly! we get a re-release of this classic album with some terrific bonus material.
  • The Savory Collection, Vol. 1: Body and Soul: Coleman Hawkins & Friends - Some terrific jazz recordings from the late 1930s (including Irving Berlin's "Heat Wave") have been resurrected for this new release from the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
  • Pretty Filthy - Songwriter Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonThe Fortress of Solitude) is in top form with the tunes for this show, developed from interviews, about the adult film industry.
  • The Wild and Whimsical Worlds of David Mallamud - Sierra Boggess, Constantine Maroulis, and Christiane Noll are just three of the Broadway vets who have lent their talents to this terrific compilation of numbers by the gifted young songwriter David Mallamud.

Egad. When you get next week's newsletter, Christmas will be just 10 days away. Time for last-minute shopping,right?

We'll try to help you by pointing out some recently released albums that would be great prezzies. AND we're going to be classifying them by the sort of person they would be just right for.

I know I mentioned Sissle & Blake Sing Shuffle Along above, but I figure I'll do it again, as an example. This exceptional compilation of period recordings would be great for fans of musical theater history. It's a treasure trove of period recordings that help put the creation of the landmark musical in terrific perspective.

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Dec
02

What Would You Do?

We're taking a cue from new musical Dear Evan Hansen on BwayTunes this week. That show is about some intriguing and rough moral questions that the title character, a high school senior, has to ask himself.

Both Erik and Ken have come up with arrays of songs and shows that contain similar ethical conundrums. It's great stuff.

As I was waiting for the guys' columns this week, I wondered if either of them would turn toward these songs. They didn't.

  • Anything Goes - The title song for this ebullient Cole Porter classic is the antithesis of the moral conundrum. After all, can there be right and wrong in a world where...er...anything goes? 
  • Nine - The hero at the center of this musical isn't having an ethical dilemma so much as a mid-life crisis that stems from a web of romantic entanglements. At the end of the show his inner child gives him an answer in the always-beautiful "Getting Tall."

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. 


Not only are the songs I talked about above (plus a couple of bonuses from each of those scores) part of this week's Spotify playlist, there are an additional ones inspired by both Ken's and Erik's columns.

Put together I think you've got a grand hour of music that will beguile and maybe even prompt you to ponder some of life's bigger issues.


This week's free song download comes from Ghostlight Records' swell new cast recording of Alan Menken and David Spencer's The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz!


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

  • Hamilton Mixtape - Here's a new way to savor the genius that is Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton! It's an album that features the show's songs performed by artists such as the Roots, Usher, Kelly Clarkson, and Alicia Keys.
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz - Here's the first-ever recording of this show written by Alan Menken, along with David Spencer, in the years between Little Shop of Horrors and The Little Mermaid. This cast album preserves a recent Canadian production that featured considerable new material from the creators.
  • Acoustically Speaking - This recording allows you to savor the talents of two of the original stars from Rent—Anthony Rapp and Adam Pascal—in performance at 54 BELOW/Feinstein's.
  • If You Knew My Story - Carmen Cusack dazzled in her Broadway debut in Bright Star last season. Here she is in performance with a host of terrific guest stars.
  • Live at 54 BELOW / Feinstein's - This new album, featuring Charles Busch, is another fine entry in Broadway Records' ongoing line of albums of performances from the swank nitery.

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.

  • A Merry Little Christmas - Megan Hilty toasts the holidays with this terrific new album. One particular highlight is her playfully jazzy "Santa Baby."
  • Simply Christmas - Leslie Odom Jr., best actor Tony winner for Hamilton, helps to set the tone for the holiday season with this joyful, jazzy new album.
  • Winter Tracks - Susan Egan's lovely seasonal album from 2006 has finally become digitally available this year. If you've not heard it, take a listen!
  • Christmas on Stage & Screen - Some evergreen holiday tunes get some lavish arrangements on this new album!
  • You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown - A terrifically talented group of young performers brings freshness to this classic musical that's based on Charles M. Schulz's characters. It's a very welcome new cast album from Broadway Records. 
  • Moana - The soundtrack from the new Disney animated feature includes new tunes from the incomparable Lin-Manuel Miranda, some of his first songwriting since the premiere of his groundbreaking Hamilton.
  • Jazz Loves Disney - This new album compiles a host of Disney classics performed by some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.
  • The Bodyguard - This London cast recording of the musical that's based on the hit Whitney Huston film gets released as a U.S. tour of the show begins.
  • Spoon River Anthology - We're delighted that this Broadway cast recording of the show that's based on Edgar Lee Masters' poems has finally hit the digital age!
  • Together - Two remarkable vocalists -- Michael Ball and Alfie Boe -- join forces on this tremendous album that features such classics as "Somewhere," 'Music of the Night," and "Over the Rainbow."
  • So Much More: The Songs of Brandon Sturiale - This album, featuring such artists as Michael Cerveris and Natalie Weiss, showcases the formidable songwriting talents of, yes, Brandon Sturiale who has been musical director on a host of shows, including off-Broadway's The Marvelous Wonderettes
  • The Arden Sessions - This new album from Darren Ritchie (Thoroughly Modern MillieLittle Shop of HorrorsWonderland) and his group, the ADDing Machine, has a completely pop vibe to it that I found quite satisfying.
  • The Music Never Ends - Susan Watson, Broadway's original Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie, sounds terrific on her new album, which features such standards as "It Had to Be You," "Old Friends" and "My Ship."
  • Lazarus - Just before his untimely death, David Bowie's musical Lazarus premiered off-Broadway. Inspired by the filmThe Man Who Fell to Earth, the electrifying and very welcome cast album stars Michael C. Hall and Cristin Milioti, among others.
  • Why We Build the Wall - We are going to have to wait until next year to get the cast recording of the acclaimed musical Hadestown that played off-Broadway this summer. Until then, there's this great EP of four songs from the show.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show - This soundtrack release coincides with FOX's starry television presentation of Richard O'Brien's cult classic.
  • Simply Heavenly - This Broadway cast album has never been available digitally in the U.S. until now. It's a great recording of a little-known tuner from 1957 that book writer/lyricist Langston Hughes based on his own novels. A very welcome release from our friends at Sony!
  • Divine Miss M (Deluxe Edition) - In anticipation of Bette Midler's return to Broadway in Hello, Dolly! we get a re-release of this classic album with some terrific bonus material.
  • The Savory Collection, Vol. 1: Body and Soul: Coleman Hawkins & Friends - Some terrific jazz recordings from the late 1930s (including Irving Berlin's "Heat Wave") have been resurrected for this new release from the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
  • Pretty Filthy - Songwriter Michael Friedman (Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonThe Fortress of Solitude) is in top form with the tunes for this show, developed from interviews, about the adult film industry.
  • Cagney - The life of legendary film star James Cagney unfolds in this musical that's got both some grand new songs and a host of classics that he performed in films, tunes like "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "Grand Old Flag." 
  • The Wild and Whimsical Worlds of David Mallamud - Sierra Boggess, Constantine Maroulis, and Christiane Noll are just three of the Broadway vets who have lent their talents to this terrific compilation of numbers by the gifted young songwriter David Mallamud.
  • Himself and Nora – This charming musical about James Joyce sounds particularly lovely in this new off-Broadway cast recording that was captured live at the Minetta Lane Theatre.

It's going to be all about planes, trains, and automobiles here on BwayTunes next week.

Why you may ask?

Well, the answer's twofold. With the holidays there's a lot of travel going on or about to happen, so that's reason number one.

Reason number two concerns the opening of the new a cappella musical In Transit, which unfolds on a subway train. This is our way of welcoming that show to the stage.

Of course, there's another show that unfolds on a speeding train: Cy Coleman, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green's fizzy On the Twentieth Century

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