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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.

Nov
10

Something for Everybody...?

I gave the Erik and Ken the chance to write about anything they wanted this week. I sort of hate to spoil the surprise of where they've gone, so I'm just going to suggest you hop over to both of their columns. And before you do, here are a couple of clues: 

  • How's Your Romance? - This album's here because one track on it, "Take Love Easy," beautifully fits in with what Erik's written about this week.
  • Gutenberg! The Musical! - One of the performers in this delightful musical comedy just happens to be the sort of performer that Ken discusses in his column this week.

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. 


Given the two different directions Ken and Erik went in their current columns, the Spotify playlist I've assembled is a wonderful mixture of tunes (well known and rarities). Hopefully, I've arranged the selections properly, to create a fun aural playground for you!


Meredith Braun's second studio recording, When Love Is Gone, has just been released by Stage Door Records, and we've got a grand new rendition of a Stephen Sondheim tune as our free song download!


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

  • 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. 
  • 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.

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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Funny Face - To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this classic film the soundtrack has been re-released and on this incarnation you’ll discover pretty extraordinary bonus tracks!
  • 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.
  • Abandoned Heart - A terrific array of Broadway performers has been assembled for this new album showcasing the songwriting talents of Michael Mott. Among the artists who have contributed are Jennifer Damiano, Andy Mientus, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Natalie Weiss.
  • Legally Bound - Andy Karl and Orfeh are a married couple with a pair of powerhouse voices. We've gotten to see them share a couple of scenes together in Legally Blonde, and now with this terrific new album they join up for an entire evening of song.
  • Life Is What You Make It - This EP gives you the soundtrack for the poignant documentary from Jhett Tolentino, who's brought shows such as Hand to God to Broadway. Four of the songs come from singer-songwriter Dennis Sy.
  • The View Upstairs - This pop-infused, New Orleans-set tuner bends time to tell an intriguing and moving story about a little-known slice of gay history. For those of you who didn't get to see this one, it's definitely worth a listen.
  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!

The last big musical opening on Broadway in 2017 will be the highly anticipated revival of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens' Once on This Island.

It seems fitting to pay tribute to this much-loved show and its return to the Great White Way, and I want to give Erik and Ken a little latitude in how they do it.

They'll have a few options. They could talk about Flaherty and Ahrens' work overall, or they could look at musicals (or Broadway songs) with a Caribbean flavor, or perhaps they could take a look at myths as they crop up in tuners. Wonder where each of them will head....

Tags :
Artists

Oct
27

Celestial Bodies

Steve Martin's new play Meteor Shower is just starting up on Broadway, and we'd like to toast this show and its powerhouse cast, which includes Tony-winning musical theatre star Laura Benanti. As it's not a musical, I couldn't ask the guys to consider a composer's body of work or anything like that, so... I asked them to offer up some thoughts about celestial bodies in musical theater. You know, things like meteors. 

Both Erik and Ken have more than risen to the occasion, and you're gonna love both of their columns.

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

  • Songs for a New World - This early show from Tony winner Jason Robert Brown contains the haunting ballad "Stars and the Moon," and you can't beat Jessica Molaskey's rendition on the show's original cast album.
  • Hair - The first words you hear in this iconic rock musical are "When the moon is in the seventh house/And Jupiter aligns with Mars." That seems to more than amply fit the theme this week, so I turn your attention to the original cast recording. Also, remember the show has the song "Walking in Space." 

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 a lot of stuff flying around in our current Spotify playlist and not just stars, moons, and planets. What's really fun about this one, I think, is that the songs span about 75 years of musical theater songwriting and fall into all sorts of genres, from ballads to up-tempo numbers to ensemble songs.


Musician-performer Kyle Riabko reimagines a host of classic Richard Rodgers tunes on his new album, and this week we've got 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:

  • 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.

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.

  • 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.
  • Funny Face - To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this classic film the soundtrack has been re-released and on this incarnation you’ll discover pretty extraordinary bonus tracks!
  • 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.
  • Abandoned Heart - A terrific array of Broadway performers has been assembled for this new album showcasing the songwriting talents of Michael Mott. Among the artists who have contributed are Jennifer Damiano, Andy Mientus, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Natalie Weiss.
  • Legally Bound - Andy Karl and Orfeh are a married couple with a pair of powerhouse voices. We've gotten to see them share a couple of scenes together in Legally Blonde, and now with this terrific new album they join up for an entire evening of song.
  • Life Is What You Make It - This EP gives you the soundtrack for the poignant documentary from Jhett Tolentino, who's brought shows such as Hand to God to Broadway. Four of the songs come from singer-songwriter Dennis Sy.
  • The View Upstairs - This pop-infused, New Orleans-set tuner bends time to tell an intriguing and moving story about a little-known slice of gay history. For those of you who didn't get to see this one, it's definitely worth a listen.
  • Zipperz - Created by Nathaniel Stookey and Dan Harder, this piece started life as a song cycle for orchestra and then became one for two performers. The recording features Manoel Felciano and Robin Coomer, who deliver powerfully on this splendid album.
  • Portraits of Joni – Jessica Molaskey lends her distinctive style and gorgeous voice to a bevy of Joni Mitchell standards.
  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!

When you get our next newsletter, you'll find that I've let Ken and Erik write about whatever they feel like at the time. I figured it was only fair. They so ably rise to the occasion of each assignment I toss at them.

Let a little writers' freedom ring, right?

I have no idea what they might think of for their columns, and as you ponder where they might go, why not take a listen to David Friedman's album A Different Light? It's got the perfect song on it. "Choices."

Tags :
Artists

Oct
13

Falling...Falling...

Fall arrived last month, and in many parts of the country it has seemed as if summer just hasn't wanted to leave us. We want to celebrate the passage into autumn in BwayTunes fashion, not by talking about songs that center on the season but rather ones that play with the idea of "falling." Erik and Ken have come up with two terrific lists that trip, tumble, and stumble delightfully.

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

  • "As We Stumble Along" - The Drowsy Chaperone - One of the highlights of this award-winning tuner was Beth Leavel's delivery of this paean to making it through life (inebriated or not) just by stumbling through it. 
  • "A Trip to the Library" - She Loves Me - Ilona Ritter takes a trip to a library and stumbles across romance, and she sings about her delight in finding love in this delectable Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick tune. 

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. 


I'm hoping you don't feel all sorts of jostled with our new playlist for a fun (I hope) salute to "fall". What I do know is that thanks to the guys' incredible selections this Spotify Playlist is over an hour of swell music.


The cast recording for Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin's Hadestown, an adventuresome rethinking of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, has just come out, and we've got a track as our current Free Song download!


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

  • 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.
  • Funny Face - To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this classic film the soundtrack has been re-released and on this incarnation you’ll discover pretty extraordinary bonus tracks!

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.

  • 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.
  • Abandoned Heart - A terrific array of Broadway performers has been assembled for this new album showcasing the songwriting talents of Michael Mott. Among the artists who have contributed are Jennifer Damiano, Andy Mientus, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Natalie Weiss.
  • Legally Bound - Andy Karl and Orfeh are a married couple with a pair of powerhouse voices. We've gotten to see them share a couple of scenes together in Legally Blonde, and now with this terrific new album they join up for an entire evening of song.
  • Life Is What You Make It - This EP gives you the soundtrack for the poignant documentary from Jhett Tolentino, who's brought shows such as Hand to God to Broadway. Four of the songs come from singer-songwriter Dennis Sy.
  • The View Upstairs - This pop-infused, New Orleans-set tuner bends time to tell an intriguing and moving story about a little-known slice of gay history. For those of you who didn't get to see this one, it's definitely worth a listen.
  • Zipperz - Created by Nathaniel Stookey and Dan Harder, this piece started life as a song cycle for orchestra and then became one for two performers. The recording features Manoel Felciano and Robin Coomer, who deliver powerfully on this splendid album.
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - Santino Fontana, Skylar Astin, and Brynn O'Malley are all sounding pretty marvelous on this just-out recording of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's 1979 tuner.
  • Portraits of Joni – Jessica Molaskey lends her distinctive style and gorgeous voice to a bevy of Joni Mitchell standards.
  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!
  • The Lightning Thief - Based on Rick Riordan’s hit novels for young people, this tuner brings Percy Jackson to the realm of musicals. The show picked up an award nomination or two after its run last season; it’s pretty special.
  • The Hamilton Instrumentals - Fans of the phenomenal hit get to sing along and sound like they’re backed by the Broadway orchestra thanks to this release that simply features the show’s score.

One of the fall's most highly anticipated openings isn't a musical but a play: Steve Martin's Meteor Shower.

Given that Martin was one of the writers of the tuner Bright Star, and also given that the show features Laura Benanti (an actress who moves between musicals and non-musicals with ease), it seemed as if we should toast its pending opening.

So when you next hear from us you'll find that I've asked Ken and Erik to consider musicals and songs about celestial bodies (planets, the universe, etc.) as a kind of tribute to Martin's Meteor. One song that came to mind for me right off the bat was "Stars" from Les Misérables. I'll be curious to see where the guys take this one.

Tags :
Artists

Sep
29

Happy Birthday, Julie Andrews!

On October 1st Julie Andrews celebrates her 82nd birthday, and we are taking this opportunity to toast this incredible performer’s career on stage and screen. Ken and Erik have dedicated their columns to their thoughts about Andrews' work and life, and both are terrific reads!

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

  • Don't Go Into the Lion's Den / Broadway's Fair Julie - This release actually gives you a pair of LPs in one place, beautifully remastered. Andrews' vibrant rendition of "Alexander's Ragtime Band" and her trilling "I Feel Pretty" are just two of the reasons to take a listen to this one. 
  • The King and I - Andrews played Anna to Ben Kingsley's King of Siam for this 1992 recording, and she delivers a spot-on interpretation of the role and music, particularly "Getting to Know You."

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. 


It's a jolly holiday with Julie with our current Spotify playlist. In choosing selections from all of her recordings I've attempted to assemble a musical portrait that does justice to the myriad ways in which she can use her glorious voice.


A rare demo recording for the musical Half a Sixpence is our current Free Song download. It's a rarity that's just been unearthed and a total delight.


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

  • 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."

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.

  • 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.
  • Abandoned Heart - A terrific array of Broadway performers has been assembled for this new album showcasing the songwriting talents of Michael Mott. Among the artists who have contributed are Jennifer Damiano, Andy Mientus, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Natalie Weiss.
  • Legally Bound - Andy Karl and Orfeh are a married couple with a pair of powerhouse voices. We've gotten to see them share a couple of scenes together in Legally Blonde, and now with this terrific new album they join up for an entire evening of song.
  • Life Is What You Make It - This EP gives you the soundtrack for the poignant documentary from Jhett Tolentino, who's brought shows such as Hand to God to Broadway. Four of the songs come from singer-songwriter Dennis Sy.
  • The View Upstairs - This pop-infused, New Orleans-set tuner bends time to tell an intriguing and moving story about a little-known slice of gay history. For those of you who didn't get to see this one, it's definitely worth a listen.
  • Zipperz - Created by Nathaniel Stookey and Dan Harder, this piece started life as a song cycle for orchestra and then became one for two performers. The recording features Manoel Felciano and Robin Coomer, who deliver powerfully on this splendid album.
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - Santino Fontana, Skylar Astin, and Brynn O'Malley are all sounding pretty marvelous on this just-out recording of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's 1979 tuner.
  • Portraits of Joni – Jessica Molaskey lends her distinctive style and gorgeous voice to a bevy of Joni Mitchell standards.
  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!
  • The Lightning Thief - Based on Rick Riordan’s hit novels for young people, this tuner brings Percy Jackson to the realm of musicals. The show picked up an award nomination or two after its run last season; it’s pretty special.
  • The Hamilton Instrumentals - Fans of the phenomenal hit get to sing along and sound like they’re backed by the Broadway orchestra thanks to this release that simply features the show’s score.
  • “Beyond the Moon” - Audra McDonald’s sounding marvelous (natch) on this single from the soundtrack to the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello, Again.
  • Chip Defaa’s Irving Berlin Rediscovered: Rare Songs of Love and Longing – You’ll find a wonderful amalgam of the composer’s forgotten gems on this just-out album.
  • Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – You can’t beat the Berlin score for this show that’s based on the movie classic.

Fall officially arrived last Friday, even though for folks in the East it's been feeling like summer ever since as some sizzling heat settled in.

Hopefully in a couple of weeks things will have become more temperate and the oddball tribute to the season I've thrown at Ken and Erik will be on point.

We've already done the whole seasonal thing, so that didn't make sense. So instead I've asked them to play with the idea of "fall" as it relates to stumbling, tripping, etc. So a tune that could be fair game for them is one like "Falling in Love With Love" from The Boys From Syracuse

I know I can't wait to see what they pick for this one.

Tags :
Artists

Sep
15

Back-to-School Special!

Ah, September. The time when school's back in session and summer vacation already has come to seem as if it were just a distant memory. For this "back to school" time of year, Ken and Erik are looking at songs about teaching and learning. They've come up with some terrific (and surprising) choices, and I'm betting you'll have a great time reading their columns.

The sad news that songwriter Michael Friedman passed away over the weekend is informing my choices for complementing the guys’ work this time around. You can't go wrong listening to either of these anytime, but if you'd like to remember Friedman's remarkable gifts...

  • Love's Labour's Lost - Friedman and director Alex Timbers, who'd written Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson together, brought a contemporary sensibility to Shakespeare's play about a bunch of guys who try to go without women...all because they want to concentrate on their studies. Yeah. Right. <grin>
  • The Fortress of Solitude - School is never far away from the stage in this grand musical about the friendship between a couple of teenage boys. The notion of education and where a kid gets to go, not to mention controlled substances, comes center stage in one number, "High High High School." 

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 get everything from a tune from the 1920s collegiate romp Good News to tracks from recent Broadway hits like Fun Home and Kinky Boots in this week's Spotify playlist. Even the glummest of pupils, I hope, will smile with this musical theater back-to-school special.


Take an aural trip back in time to a moment when Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart were raising money for their musical Barnum with our current free song download. It's a rare listen to a private Backers Audition!


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

  • 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."
  • Abandoned Heart - A terrific array of Broadway performers has been assembled for this new album showcasing the songwriting talents of Michael Mott. Among the artists who have contributed are Jennifer Damiano, Andy Mientus, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Natalie Weiss.

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.

  • Legally Bound - Andy Karl and Orfeh are a married couple with a pair of powerhouse voices. We've gotten to see them share a couple of scenes together in Legally Blonde, and now with this terrific new album they join up for an entire evening of song.
  • Life Is What You Make It - This EP gives you the soundtrack for the poignant documentary from Jhett Tolentino, who's brought shows such as Hand to God to Broadway. Four of the songs come from singer-songwriter Dennis Sy.
  • The View Upstairs - This pop-infused, New Orleans-set tuner bends time to tell an intriguing and moving story about a little-known slice of gay history. For those of you who didn't get to see this one, it's definitely worth a listen.
  • Zipperz - Created by Nathaniel Stookey and Dan Harder, this piece started life as a song cycle for orchestra and then became one for two performers. The recording features Manoel Felciano and Robin Coomer, who deliver powerfully on this splendid album.
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - Santino Fontana, Skylar Astin, and Brynn O'Malley are all sounding pretty marvelous on this just-out recording of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's 1979 tuner.
  • Portraits of Joni – Jessica Molaskey lends her distinctive style and gorgeous voice to a bevy of Joni Mitchell standards.
  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!
  • The Lightning Thief - Based on Rick Riordan’s hit novels for young people, this tuner brings Percy Jackson to the realm of musicals. The show picked up an award nomination or two after its run last season; it’s pretty special.
  • The Hamilton Instrumentals - Fans of the phenomenal hit get to sing along and sound like they’re backed by the Broadway orchestra thanks to this release that simply features the show’s score.
  • Anastasia - Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have written some lovely tunes for this musical about the young woman who might be a Russian princess.
  • 2017 Tony Award Season - You'll get a quick aural snapshot of Broadway in 2016-2017 thanks to this great compilation, which features numbers from the musicals that opened during the course of the season.
  • “Beyond the Moon” - Audra McDonald’s sounding marvelous (natch) on this single from the soundtrack to the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello, Again.
  • Chip Defaa’s Irving Berlin Rediscovered: Rare Songs of Love and Longing – You’ll find a wonderful amalgam of the composer’s forgotten gems on this just-out album.
  • War Paint - Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole both offer up amazing performances in this new show that examines the lives of two corporate titans, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.  
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Tony winner Christian Borle's newest role is the legendary Willy Wonka, and he's sounding grand in this new musical version of the Roald Dahl story that features a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
  • Gershwin: Complete Piano Works - Maurizio Zaccaria dazzles on this recording that features some of Gershwin’s best-known songs in arrangements that the composer himself penned. There are also sterling renditions of some rarities, including “Rialto Ripples.”
  • Hot l Baltimore - You’ll feel like you’ve got the best seat in the house for the original production of this classic Lanford Wilson drama thanks to this recording that preserves the entirety of the show and some grand performances. It’s a valuable release that deserves a listen!
  • Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – You can’t beat the Berlin score for this show that’s based on the movie classic.
  • Hello, Dolly! - Bette Midler's gotten some rave reviews for her performance in this Jerry Herman classic. You'll understand why as you listen to this fantastic just-released cast album that's been getting a lot of play here at BwayTunes.
  • Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 - A marvelously adventuresome musical that's traveled from off-Broadway to Broadway get a new cast album to preserve its latest incarnation, including Josh Groban's terrific sounding central performance. 
  • Amelie – Philippa Soo charms on this recording of the new musical based on the hit indie movie of the same title.
  •  Dreamgirls – This new London cast recording preserves the entirety of the hit 1980s musical, once again reminding listeners that this Motown-infused show could be considered a pop/rock ‘n’ roll opera. It’s a fantastic listen.
  • Seriously Upbeat - A live recording of a Chip Zien concert takes you on a whirlwind and tuneful tour of his career that has included the original productions of shows such as Into the Woods, Falsettos, and Merrily We Roll Along.
  • Blurred Lines - Lea Salonga’s newest solo recording showcases her gorgeous voice as she offers up renditions of such Great American Songbook classics as “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “My Foolish Heart.”

From her screen roles as a practically perfect nanny and a spuriously confident governess to her stage work that ranges from a lovelorn flapper to an adulterous monarch, Julie Andrews has charmed us all.

In just a couple of weeks she'll be celebrating her 82nd birthday (it's Oct. 1 to be precise), and we all want to salute this überly talented performer's career and vocal talents.

How Ken and Erik will approach writing about her remains to be seen. Until their columns appear, take a listen to Julie as she charms her way through her first Main Stem outing, the original Broadway cast recording of Sandy Wilson's gleeful The Boy Friend.

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Artists

Aug
25

Here's To Barbara Cook!

The musical theater world lost a treasure a little over two weeks ago when Barbara Cook passed away. We couldn't let the death of this legendary Broadway performer go unnoticed, and so this week Erik and Ken have penned tributes to the woman and her career.

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

  • No One Is Alone - The 2007 album from Barbara Cook displays her virtuosity with almost any song. The selections on it range from the title track (a tune from Into the Woods) to "Some Other Time" (from On the Town). I've always thought it beautiful.
  • Cheek to Cheek - Cook joins forces with Michael Feinstein on this album, recorded live. It's got some great stuff on it, particularly their goofy duet "You Could Drive a Person Crazy."

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 a selection from the show that introduced Barbara Cook to theatergoers (Flahooley) to some of her last recordings, our current Spotify playlist, I hope, paints an aural portrait of one gifted (and already very much missed) performer.


Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio have delighted millions with their writing for the Despicable Me movies. Now they're doing it with a musical, Bubble Boy, and we've got a wonderful track from that show's cast album for you this week as our Free Song Download.


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

  • Legally Bound - Andy Karl and Orfeh are a married couple with a pair of powerhouse voices. We've gotten to see them share a couple of scenes together in Legally Blonde, and now with this terrific new album they join up for an entire evening of song.
  • Life Is What You Make It - This EP gives you the soundtrack for the poignant documentary from Jhett Tolentino, who's brought shows such as Hand to God to Broadway. Four of the songs come from singer-songwriter Dennis Sy.
  • The View Upstairs - This pop-infused, New Orleans-set tuner bends time to tell an intriguing and moving story about a little-known slice of gay history. For those of you who didn't get to see this one, it's definitely worth a listen.

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.

  • Zipperz - Created by Nathaniel Stookey and Dan Harder, this piece started life as a song cycle for orchestra and then became one for two performers. The recording features Manoel Felciano and Robin Coomer, who deliver powerfully on this splendid album.
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - Santino Fontana, Skylar Astin, and Brynn O'Malley are all sounding pretty marvelous on this just-out recording of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's 1979 tuner.
  • Portraits of Joni – Jessica Molaskey lends her distinctive style and gorgeous voice to a bevy of Joni Mitchell standards.
  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!
  • The Lightning Thief - Based on Rick Riordan’s hit novels for young people, this tuner brings Percy Jackson to the realm of musicals. The show picked up an award nomination or two after its run last season; it’s pretty special.
  • The Hamilton Instrumentals - Fans of the phenomenal hit get to sing along and sound like they’re backed by the Broadway orchestra thanks to this release that simply features the show’s score.
  • Anastasia - Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have written some lovely tunes for this musical about the young woman who might be a Russian princess.
  • 2017 Tony Award Season - You'll get a quick aural snapshot of Broadway in 2016-2017 thanks to this great compilation, which features numbers from the musicals that opened during the course of the season.
  • “Beyond the Moon” - Audra McDonald’s sounding marvelous (natch) on this single from the soundtrack to the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello, Again.
  • Chip Defaa’s Irving Berlin Rediscovered: Rare Songs of Love and Longing – You’ll find a wonderful amalgam of the composer’s forgotten gems on this just-out album.
  • War Paint - Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole both offer up amazing performances in this new show that examines the lives of two corporate titans, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.  
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Tony winner Christian Borle's newest role is the legendary Willy Wonka, and he's sounding grand in this new musical version of the Roald Dahl story that features a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
  • Gershwin: Complete Piano Works - Maurizio Zaccaria dazzles on this recording that features some of Gershwin’s best-known songs in arrangements that the composer himself penned. There are also sterling renditions of some rarities, including “Rialto Ripples.”
  • Hot l Baltimore - You’ll feel like you’ve got the best seat in the house for the original production of this classic Lanford Wilson drama thanks to this recording that preserves the entirety of the show and some grand performances. It’s a valuable release that deserves a listen!
  • Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – You can’t beat the Berlin score for this show that’s based on the movie classic.
  • Hello, Dolly! - Bette Midler's gotten some rave reviews for her performance in this Jerry Herman classic. You'll understand why as you listen to this fantastic just-released cast album that's been getting a lot of play here at BwayTunes.
  • Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 - A marvelously adventuresome musical that's traveled from off-Broadway to Broadway get a new cast album to preserve its latest incarnation, including Josh Groban's terrific sounding central performance. 
  • Amelie – Philippa Soo charms on this recording of the new musical based on the hit indie movie of the same title.
  •  Dreamgirls – This new London cast recording preserves the entirety of the hit 1980s musical, once again reminding listeners that this Motown-infused show could be considered a pop/rock ‘n’ roll opera. It’s a fantastic listen.
  • Seriously Upbeat - A live recording of a Chip Zien concert takes you on a whirlwind and tuneful tour of his career that has included the original productions of shows such as Into the Woods, Falsettos, and Merrily We Roll Along.
  • Blurred Lines - Lea Salonga’s newest solo recording showcases her gorgeous voice as she offers up renditions of such Great American Songbook classics as “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “My Foolish Heart.”
  • In Transit - Billed as "Broadway's first a cappella musical," this show features tunes by the likes of Frozen's Kristen Anderson-Lopez and some grand performances by Justin Guarini, Telly Leung, and Margo Seibert, among others.
  • Iowa - This Todd Almond and Jenny Schwartz musical had its New York premiere back in 2015, and it's great to finally have a cast recording that preserves the show's tuneful zaniness!
  • Groundhog Day - Andy Karl's been earning raves as the star of this new show that's based on the popular Bill Murray film, even with his newly injured knee. The musical has a score by Tim Minchin that's just swell, and this new cast album will definitely deserve some repeated plays.
  • The Soul of Richard Rodgers - Tony winner Billy Porter pays tribute to composer Rodgers on this album that's composed mostly of duets with similarly fantastic singers, many also Tony winners, such as Leslie Odom, Jr., Cynthia Errivo, and Patina Miller. It's a grand listen!

It's back-to-school time around the country. In some places classes have already started up. In others students are just about to head back into the classroom.

So with all things academic in mind, I'm asking Ken and Erik to think about shows and songs that have to do with education.

I've told them that even a song like "An English Teacher" from Bye Bye Birdie counts. It will be interesting to see where they each go with this one...true?

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Artists

Aug
11

A Prince of a Producer-Director

The musical compendium Prince of Broadway will open at Manhattan Theatre Club's Friedman Theatre on Aug. 24. Currently in previews, the show's a tribute to the exceptional lifework of director-producer Harold Prince. We decided to toast both the production and Mr. Prince this week, and so you'll find Erik and Ken sharing their (as usual) sharp insights about the man who's brought us everything from West Side Story to Follies to On the Twentieth Century to The Phantom of the Opera and beyond.

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

  • A Gala Concert for Hal Prince - The big hits from the shows that the visionary director-producer has brought to the stage all come to vivid life on this album, which preserves a concert given in his honor 10 years ago.
  • Flora, the Red Menace - Prince produced this musical that brought an 18-year-old Liza Minnelli to Broadway. It's always a delight, not just for her work but also for the winsome Kander and Ebb score and some other superb performances, particularly from Bob Dishy and Mary Louise Wilson.

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. 


"Steam Heat," "The Music of the Night," "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," and...well, I could go on and on. The Spotify Playlist this week pulls from all of the incredible shows that Harold Prince has worked on during his exceptional career, and it's a beaut, if I do say so myself.


Jessica Molaskey is sounding pretty fantastic on her newest album, Portraits of Joni. I've not been able to get enough of this one and am delighted we've got a track from it to share with 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:

  • The View Upstairs - This pop-infused, New Orleans-set tuner bends time to tell an intriguing and moving story about a little-known slice of gay history. For those of you who didn't get to see this one, it's definitely worth a listen.
  • Zipperz - Created by Nathaniel Stookey and Dan Harder, this piece started life as a song cycle for orchestra and then became one for two performers. The recording features Manoel Felciano and Robin Coomer, who deliver powerfully on this splendid album.
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - Santino Fontana, Skylar Astin, and Brynn O'Malley are all sounding pretty marvelous on this just-out recording of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's 1979 tuner.
  • Portraits of Joni – Jessica Molaskey lends her distinctive style and gorgeous voice to a bevy of Joni Mitchell standards.

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.

  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!
  • The Lightning Thief - Based on Rick Riordan’s hit novels for young people, this tuner brings Percy Jackson to the realm of musicals. The show picked up an award nomination or two after its run last season; it’s pretty special.
  • The Hamilton Instrumentals - Fans of the phenomenal hit get to sing along and sound like they’re backed by the Broadway orchestra thanks to this release that simply features the show’s score.
  • Anastasia - Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have written some lovely tunes for this musical about the young woman who might be a Russian princess.
  • 2017 Tony Award Season - You'll get a quick aural snapshot of Broadway in 2016-2017 thanks to this great compilation, which features numbers from the musicals that opened during the course of the season.
  • “Beyond the Moon” - Audra McDonald’s sounding marvelous (natch) on this single from the soundtrack to the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello, Again.
  • Chip Defaa’s Irving Berlin Rediscovered: Rare Songs of Love and Longing – You’ll find a wonderful amalgam of the composer’s forgotten gems on this just-out album.
  • War Paint - Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole both offer up amazing performances in this new show that examines the lives of two corporate titans, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.  
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Tony winner Christian Borle's newest role is the legendary Willy Wonka, and he's sounding grand in this new musical version of the Roald Dahl story that features a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
  • Gershwin: Complete Piano Works - Maurizio Zaccaria dazzles on this recording that features some of Gershwin’s best-known songs in arrangements that the composer himself penned. There are also sterling renditions of some rarities, including “Rialto Ripples.”
  • Hot l Baltimore - You’ll feel like you’ve got the best seat in the house for the original production of this classic Lanford Wilson drama thanks to this recording that preserves the entirety of the show and some grand performances. It’s a valuable release that deserves a listen!
  • Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – You can’t beat the Berlin score for this show that’s based on the movie classic.
  • Hello, Dolly! - Bette Midler's gotten some rave reviews for her performance in this Jerry Herman classic. You'll understand why as you listen to this fantastic just-released cast album that's been getting a lot of play here at BwayTunes.
  • Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 - A marvelously adventuresome musical that's traveled from off-Broadway to Broadway get a new cast album to preserve its latest incarnation, including Josh Groban's terrific sounding central performance. 
  • Amelie – Philippa Soo charms on this recording of the new musical based on the hit indie movie of the same title.
  •  Dreamgirls – This new London cast recording preserves the entirety of the hit 1980s musical, once again reminding listeners that this Motown-infused show could be considered a pop/rock ‘n’ roll opera. It’s a fantastic listen.
  • Seriously Upbeat - A live recording of a Chip Zien concert takes you on a whirlwind and tuneful tour of his career that has included the original productions of shows such as Into the Woods, Falsettos, and Merrily We Roll Along.
  • Blurred Lines - Lea Salonga’s newest solo recording showcases her gorgeous voice as she offers up renditions of such Great American Songbook classics as “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “My Foolish Heart.”
  • In Transit - Billed as "Broadway's first a cappella musical," this show features tunes by the likes of Frozen's Kristen Anderson-Lopez and some grand performances by Justin Guarini, Telly Leung, and Margo Seibert, among others.
  • Iowa - This Todd Almond and Jenny Schwartz musical had its New York premiere back in 2015, and it's great to finally have a cast recording that preserves the show's tuneful zaniness!
  • Groundhog Day - Andy Karl's been earning raves as the star of this new show that's based on the popular Bill Murray film, even with his newly injured knee. The musical has a score by Tim Minchin that's just swell, and this new cast album will definitely deserve some repeated plays.
  • The Soul of Richard Rodgers - Tony winner Billy Porter pays tribute to composer Rodgers on this album that's composed mostly of duets with similarly fantastic singers, many also Tony winners, such as Leslie Odom, Jr., Cynthia Errivo, and Patina Miller. It's a grand listen!
  • Story Songs - Tony winner Betty Buckley's newest album terrifically showcases her range. It includes everything from a new tune by Joe Iconis written especially for her to Sondheim's "I'm Still Here" to Radiohead's "High and Dry."

News this week of Barbara Cook's death saddened us all at BwayTunes. Erik said to me that day, "It's hard to imagine a world without Barbara Cook."

It's true. For so many years she has been a fixture on stages in New York and around the country.

When you hear from us next, we'll be paying tribute to Ms. Cook and her extraordinary career that spanned more than 60 years. There's so much we all could talk about. 

I'm betting you've been playing your favorite Cook recordings over the past couple of days. If you've not had her At the Met on, do take a listen.

Tags :
Artists

Jul
28

It's Hot

Gosh, it sure has been hot this summer, hasn't it? Whew! In the spirit of we can't do anything but complain about the weather, we decided that if we are gonna gripe, we'll do it with a musical spin. Ken and Erik are talking about songs that are all about being "hot" and center on "heat.

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

  • Big $pender - Peggy Lee brings sultry heat to two Broadway tunes on this album: "Big Spender" from Sweet Charity and "You've Got Possibilities" from It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman.
  • The Most Happy Fella - Passions and temperatures are high in this Texas-set musical, and it seems fitting to mention that this show, which brought us such standards as "Big D" and "Standing on the Corner," also contains the song "Warm All Over."

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. 


Heat in all of its forms - from sexual to mercurial - comes at you with the Spotify playlist this week that covers over 60 years of musical theater history and both famous and little-known tunes. I've tucked in a couple of surprises for you...things that aren't mentioned in the guys' columns, etc....and hope you enjoy!


You'll want to make sure you snag this week's free song download; it's a terrific track from the original cast recording of Bandstand that features some great vocals from Corey Cott and Laura Osnes.


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

  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - Santino Fontana, Skylar Astin, and Brynn O'Malley are all sounding pretty marvelous on this just-out recording of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's 1979 tuner.
  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!
  • The Lightning Thief - Based on Rick Riordan’s hit novels for young people, this tuner brings Percy Jackson to the realm of musicals. The show picked up an award nomination or two after its run last season; it’s pretty special.
  • The Hamilton Instrumentals - Fans of the phenomenal hit get to sing along and sound like they’re backed by the Broadway orchestra thanks to this release that simply features the show’s score.
  • Portraits of Joni – Jessica Molaskey lends her distinctive style and gorgeous voice to a bevy of Joni Mitchell standards.

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.

  • Anastasia - Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have written some lovely tunes for this musical about the young woman who might be a Russian princess.
  • 2017 Tony Award Season - You'll get a quick aural snapshot of Broadway in 2016-2017 thanks to this great compilation, which features numbers from the musicals that opened during the course of the season.
  • “Beyond the Moon” - Audra McDonald’s sounding marvelous (natch) on this single from the soundtrack to the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello, Again.
  • Chip Defaa’s Irving Berlin Rediscovered: Rare Songs of Love and Longing – You’ll find a wonderful amalgam of the composer’s forgotten gems on this just-out album.
  • War Paint - Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole both offer up amazing performances in this new show that examines the lives of two corporate titans, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.  
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Tony winner Christian Borle's newest role is the legendary Willy Wonka, and he's sounding grand in this new musical version of the Roald Dahl story that features a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
  • Gershwin: Complete Piano Works - Maurizio Zaccaria dazzles on this recording that features some of Gershwin’s best-known songs in arrangements that the composer himself penned. There are also sterling renditions of some rarities, including “Rialto Ripples.”
  • Hot l Baltimore - You’ll feel like you’ve got the best seat in the house for the original production of this classic Lanford Wilson drama thanks to this recording that preserves the entirety of the show and some grand performances. It’s a valuable release that deserves a listen!
  • Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – You can’t beat the Berlin score for this show that’s based on the movie classic.
  • Hello, Dolly! - Bette Midler's gotten some rave reviews for her performance in this Jerry Herman classic. You'll understand why as you listen to this fantastic just-released cast album that's been getting a lot of play here at BwayTunes.
  • Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 - A marvelously adventuresome musical that's traveled from off-Broadway to Broadway get a new cast album to preserve its latest incarnation, including Josh Groban's terrific sounding central performance. 
  • Amelie – Philippa Soo charms on this recording of the new musical based on the hit indie movie of the same title.
  •  Dreamgirls – This new London cast recording preserves the entirety of the hit 1980s musical, once again reminding listeners that this Motown-infused show could be considered a pop/rock ‘n’ roll opera. It’s a fantastic listen.
  • Seriously Upbeat - A live recording of a Chip Zien concert takes you on a whirlwind and tuneful tour of his career that has included the original productions of shows such as Into the Woods, Falsettos, and Merrily We Roll Along.
  • Blurred Lines - Lea Salonga’s newest solo recording showcases her gorgeous voice as she offers up renditions of such Great American Songbook classics as “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “My Foolish Heart.”
  • In Transit - Billed as "Broadway's first a cappella musical," this show features tunes by the likes of Frozen's Kristen Anderson-Lopez and some grand performances by Justin Guarini, Telly Leung, and Margo Seibert, among others.
  • Iowa - This Todd Almond and Jenny Schwartz musical had its New York premiere back in 2015, and it's great to finally have a cast recording that preserves the show's tuneful zaniness!
  • Groundhog Day - Andy Karl's been earning raves as the star of this new show that's based on the popular Bill Murray film, even with his newly injured knee. The musical has a score by Tim Minchin that's just swell, and this new cast album will definitely deserve some repeated plays.
  • The Soul of Richard Rodgers - Tony winner Billy Porter pays tribute to composer Rodgers on this album that's composed mostly of duets with similarly fantastic singers, many also Tony winners, such as Leslie Odom, Jr., Cynthia Errivo, and Patina Miller. It's a grand listen!
  • Story Songs - Tony winner Betty Buckley's newest album terrifically showcases her range. It includes everything from a new tune by Joe Iconis written especially for her to Sondheim's "I'm Still Here" to Radiohead's "High and Dry."
  • I Will Always Love You - Deborah Cox is wowing audiences in the national tour of The Bodyguard, and this new album allows you to experience her performance. It comprises eight of the Whitney Huston hits heard in that show.
  • Cockeyed Optimist - Jenn Gambatese delivers some swell interpretations of Rodgers and Hammerstein classics on this one!
  • 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.

In just a few days Prince of Broadway, the theatrical compendium celebrating the shows brought to the stage by the legendary producer-director Hal Prince, starts previews.

The show will officially open on August 24, and we'd like to toast it and Mr. Prince himself here on BwayTunes.

So when you next hear from us (August 11), Ken, Erik and I will all be talking about Prince's musicals. I imagine one of us might mention that recording-breaking show he directed, The Phantom of the Opera.

Tags :
Artists

Jun
16

A Musical Father's Day

Father's Day is just a couple of days off, and so I asked the guys to think about dads in musical theater. You'll find that both Erik and Ken have tackled the assignment with aplomb, and I am pretty sure you'll be surprised at some of the choices they've made this week!

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

  • Bye Bye Birdie - As far as memorable musical dads go, you can't beat Paul Lynde's turn as Mr. MacAfee in this classic tuner. "What is the matter with kids...?"
  • Ragtime - This musical interweaves a trio of stories to examine how America was changing at the beginning of the 20th century. Each one of them features a different sort of father, and so, in addition to just being a great listen, this cast album triply fits this week.

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. 


Dads - present, absent, good, bad - they all commingle (or at least songs that relate to them do) on this week's Spotify playlist. It's about an hour of music that takes you from Broadway's Golden Age through to the present day. And for all you dads out there, Happy Father's Day!


In keeping with our Father's Day theme, we've got a classic Rodgers and Hammerstein song performed by Heather Mac Rae as a tribute to her dad, who so memorably played Curly in Oklahoma! on screen, as our current free song download.


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

  • Anastasia - Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens have written some lovely tunes for this musical about the young woman who might be a Russian princess.
  • 2017 Tony Award Season - You'll get a quick aural snapshot of Broadway in 2016-2017 thanks to this great compilation, which features numbers from the musicals that opened during the course of the season.
  • “Beyond the Moon” - Audra McDonald’s sounding marvelous (natch) on this single from the soundtrack to the movie version of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hello, Again.
  • Chip Defaa’s Irving Berlin Rediscovered: Rare Songs of Love and Longing – You’ll find a wonderful amalgam of the composer’s forgotten gems on this just-out 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.

  • War Paint - Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole both offer up amazing performances in this new show that examines the lives of two corporate titans, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.  
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Tony winner Christian Borle's newest role is the legendary Willy Wonka, and he's sounding grand in this new musical version of the Roald Dahl story that features a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
  • Gershwin: Complete Piano Works - Maurizio Zaccaria dazzles on this recording that features some of Gershwin’s best-known songs in arrangements that the composer himself penned. There are also sterling renditions of some rarities, including “Rialto Ripples.”
  • Hot l Baltimore - You’ll feel like you’ve got the best seat in the house for the original production of this classic Lanford Wilson drama thanks to this recording that preserves the entirety of the show and some grand performances. It’s a valuable release that deserves a listen!
  • Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – You can’t beat the Berlin score for this show that’s based on the movie classic.
  • Hello, Dolly! - Bette Midler's gotten some rave reviews for her performance in this Jerry Herman classic. You'll understand why as you listen to this fantastic just-released cast album that's been getting a lot of play here at BwayTunes.
  • Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 - A marvelously adventuresome musical that's traveled from off-Broadway to Broadway get a new cast album to preserve its latest incarnation, including Josh Groban's terrific sounding central performance. 
  • Amelie – Philippa Soo charms on this recording of the new musical based on the hit indie movie of the same title.
  •  Dreamgirls – This new London cast recording preserves the entirety of the hit 1980s musical, once again reminding listeners that this Motown-infused show could be considered a pop/rock ‘n’ roll opera. It’s a fantastic listen.
  • Seriously Upbeat - A live recording of a Chip Zien concert takes you on a whirlwind and tuneful tour of his career that has included the original productions of shows such as Into the Woods, Falsettos, and Merrily We Roll Along.
  • Blurred Lines - Lea Salonga’s newest solo recording showcases her gorgeous voice as she offers up renditions of such Great American Songbook classics as “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “My Foolish Heart.”
  • In Transit - Billed as "Broadway's first a cappella musical," this show features tunes by the likes of Frozen's Kristen Anderson-Lopez and some grand performances by Justin Guarini, Telly Leung, and Margo Seibert, among others.
  • Iowa - This Todd Almond and Jenny Schwartz musical had its New York premiere back in 2015, and it's great to finally have a cast recording that preserves the show's tuneful zaniness!
  • Groundhog Day - Andy Karl's been earning raves as the star of this new show that's based on the popular Bill Murray film, even with his newly injured knee. The musical has a score by Tim Minchin that's just swell, and this new cast album will definitely deserve some repeated plays.
  • The Soul of Richard Rodgers - Tony winner Billy Porter pays tribute to composer Rodgers on this album that's composed mostly of duets with similarly fantastic singers, many also Tony winners, such as Leslie Odom, Jr., Cynthia Errivo, and Patina Miller. It's a grand listen!
  • Story Songs - Tony winner Betty Buckley's newest album terrifically showcases her range. It includes everything from a new tune by Joe Iconis written especially for her to Sondheim's "I'm Still Here" to Radiohead's "High and Dry."
  • I Will Always Love You - Deborah Cox is wowing audiences in the national tour of The Bodyguard, and this new album allows you to experience her performance. It comprises eight of the Whitney Huston hits heard in that show.
  • Burke Beautiful: The Songs of Johnny Burke - Sharon Paige and Keith Ingram offer up some terrific renditions of songs by Burke, including "Aren't You Glad You're You?," "Swinging on a Star," and "Humpty Dumpty Heart."
  • Broadway at the Keys – Tony Award-winning singer-pianist Levi Kreis (Million Dollar Quartet) gives some Broadway classics a invigorating new spins on his debut solo album.
  • Cockeyed Optimist - Jenn Gambatese delivers some swell interpretations of Rodgers and Hammerstein classics on this one!
  • The Flash - Duet – Music met superheroes on the CW a few weeks back and this EP features performances by Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan, Broadway vet Darren Criss, and Melissa Benoist (of Glee fame), as well as musical vets Victor Garber, Jesse L. Martin, and John Barrowman who deliver "More I Cannot Wish You" from Guys and Dolls.
  • 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. 

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

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

Enjoy the beginning of summer, and to send you on your way I suggest a listen to PS Classics' Love on a Summer Night, which features some great tunes by Sam Davis.

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Jun
02

It's Tony Awards Time!

The 2017 Tony Awards will be handed out on June 11th, and that means it's the time of year when everyone's predicting who's going to pick up prizes for excellence in theater. You can see Ken's and Erik's prognostications in their columns this week!

As the guys have comprehensively gone through the Tony Award lineup, I figured I would point you toward two recordings of off-Broadway shows that have gotten Drama Desk Award nominations this year:

  • Spamilton: An American Parody - Gerard Alessandrini's up for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics for this hysterical take on the phenomenal hit Hamilton.
  • Why We Build the Wall (Selections from 'Hadestown') - This tuner from Anais Mitchell is one of the Drama Desk nominees for Best Musical this year. The full cast album has yet to be released, but you can get a sense of it from the four tracks on this dynamic EP.

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>

Breeze through the 2016-2017 Broadway season with the current playlist on Spotify. There are selections from all of the released cast recordings, plus for the revivals I've tucked in tracks from the shows' original cast albums!


This week's free song download comes from Maurizio Zaccaria's stunning new album Gershwin: Complete Piano Works. Grab it now. You'll be happy you did!


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

  • War Paint - Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole both offer up amazing performances in this new show that examines the lives of two corporate titans, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden.  
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Tony winner Christian Borle's newest role is the legendary Willy Wonka, and he's sounding grand in this new musical version of the Roald Dahl story that features a score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
  • Gershwin: Complete Piano Works - Maurizio Zaccaria dazzles on this recording that features some of Gershwin’s best-known songs in arrangements that the composer himself penned. There are also sterling renditions of some rarities, including “Rialto Ripples.”
  • Hot l Baltimore - You’ll feel like you’ve got the best seat in the house for the original production of this classic Lanford Wilson drama thanks to this recording that preserves the entirety of the show and some grand performances. It’s a valuable release that deserves a listen!
  • Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn – You can’t beat the Berlin score for this show that’s based on the movie classic.

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.

  • Hello, Dolly! - Bette Midler's gotten some rave reviews for her performance in this Jerry Herman classic. You'll understand why as you listen to this fantastic just-released cast album that's been getting a lot of play here at BwayTunes.
  • Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 - A marvelously adventuresome musical that's traveled from off-Broadway to Broadway get a new cast album to preserve its latest incarnation, including Josh Groban's terrific sounding central performance. 
  • Amelie – Philippa Soo charms on this recording of the new musical based on the hit indie movie of the same title.
  •  Dreamgirls – This new London cast recording preserves the entirety of the hit 1980s musical, once again reminding listeners that this Motown-infused show could be considered a pop/rock ‘n’ roll opera. It’s a fantastic listen.
  • Seriously Upbeat - A live recording of a Chip Zien concert takes you on a whirlwind and tuneful tour of his career that has included the original productions of shows such as Into the Woods, Falsettos, and Merrily We Roll Along.
  • Blurred Lines - Lea Salonga’s newest solo recording showcases her gorgeous voice as she offers up renditions of such Great American Songbook classics as “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and “My Foolish Heart.”
  • In Transit - Billed as "Broadway's first a cappella musical," this show features tunes by the likes of Frozen's Kristen Anderson-Lopez and some grand performances by Justin Guarini, Telly Leung, and Margo Seibert, among others.
  • Iowa - This Todd Almond and Jenny Schwartz musical had its New York premiere back in 2015, and it's great to finally have a cast recording that preserves the show's tuneful zaniness!
  • Groundhog Day - Andy Karl's been earning raves as the star of this new show that's based on the popular Bill Murray film, even with his newly injured knee. The musical has a score by Tim Minchin that's just swell, and this new cast album will definitely deserve some repeated plays.
  • The Soul of Richard Rodgers - Tony winner Billy Porter pays tribute to composer Rodgers on this album that's composed mostly of duets with similarly fantastic singers, many also Tony winners, such as Leslie Odom, Jr., Cynthia Errivo, and Patina Miller. It's a grand listen!
  • Story Songs - Tony winner Betty Buckley's newest album terrifically showcases her range. It includes everything from a new tune by Joe Iconis written especially for her to Sondheim's "I'm Still Here" to Radiohead's "High and Dry."
  • I Will Always Love You - Deborah Cox is wowing audiences in the national tour of The Bodyguard, and this new album allows you to experience her performance. It comprises eight of the Whitney Huston hits heard in that show.
  • Burke Beautiful: The Songs of Johnny Burke - Sharon Paige and Keith Ingram offer up some terrific renditions of songs by Burke, including "Aren't You Glad You're You?," "Swinging on a Star," and "Humpty Dumpty Heart."
  • Broadway at the Keys – Tony Award-winning singer-pianist Levi Kreis (Million Dollar Quartet) gives some Broadway classics a invigorating new spins on his debut solo album.
  • Cockeyed Optimist - Jenn Gambatese delivers some swell interpretations of Rodgers and Hammerstein classics on this one!
  • The Flash - Duet – Music met superheroes on the CW a few weeks back and this EP features performances by Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan, Broadway vet Darren Criss, and Melissa Benoist (of Glee fame), as well as musical vets Victor Garber, Jesse L. Martin, and John Barrowman who deliver "More I Cannot Wish You" from Guys and Dolls.
  • 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. 

As we hit the middle of June it's time for Father's Day, and so I've asked Erik and Ken to think about dads in musical theater. Some are upstanding sorts of guys. Others are...well...flawed.

See who they single out as great musical patriarchs in just a couple of weeks.

Until then, you can listen to an album that toasts one real-life musical father, Gordon McRae, thanks to his daughter Heather's beautiful tribute album Songs for My Father.

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Artists