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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.

Feb
08

Unusual Love Songs

Valentine's Day looms - and so we're looking at love songs here on BwayTunes.com. The challenge I put to Erik and Ken was to name some of their favorite "unusual" romantic numbers. They've each provided a delectable assortment of songs, and I'm betting you'll enjoy and smile as you read their columns.

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

  • The Visit - A youthful romance that went horribly wrong sets the stage for this darkly bittersweet musical, and one number, "You, You, You," haunts as you hear how its one-time optimism turned sour.
  • Honeymoon in Vegas - Goofy can be unusual, right? It's why I've picked Jason Robert Brown's "I Love Betsy," the opening number for this show based on the movie of the same name. It beautifully sets the tone for this loopy tuner.

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 find some hearts and flowers tucked in among some other interesting things with this week's Spotify playlist: our nod to Valentine's Day 2019! 


Andrew Lippa's newest musical takes you on a fascinating and marvelously tuneful journey through LGBTQ history. Our free song download this week is a great way to dive into this terrific new recording. 


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

  • Company - This gender-swapped production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's 1970 classic has been generating a lot of buzz both in the UK and here. It's promised for Broadway in the not-so-distant future. Take a listen to this new cast album to discover what the excitement's about!
  • Unbreakable - Soloists Britney Coleman, Marcus J. Paige, and Lisa Vroman, along with songwriter Andrew Lippa, join the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus for this exciting new cast album of a show that traverses more than a century of the gay experience in America.

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.

  • Follies - Stephen Sondheim's ravishing score for this 1971 musical sounds pretty incredible on this new recording that preserves last year's highly acclaimed London revival cast (from the Royal National Theatre). It's a marvelous addition to the collection.
  • Songs for a New World - This Jason Robert Brown score gets showcased beautifully on a new album that features the cast that presented the show last summer as part of City's Center's Off-Center seriesWhat's great about this recording is that it comes on two CDs meaning it is longer than any previous release of this much-loved show.
  • Band Geeks: The Musical - You'll find some giddy merriment at work in this tuner that's finally come to disc. A romp through the world of high school marching bands, Band Geeks sets toes a-tappin' and mouths a-smilin' from start to finish.
  • The Dancing Years - A rare treat awaits listeners with this new, complete recording of Ivor Novello and Christopher Hassell's 1939 operetta about a man who's in love with two women. Swirling melodies and gorgeous vocals abound on this beautifully assembled studio cast album.
  • Brigadoon - Kelli O'Hara and Patrick Wilson are both in fine voice on this beautiful recording of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner's classic musical. We're all very happy to have a recording of this Encores! presentation.
  • "Loser Geek Whatever" - In anticipation of the Broadway bow of Joe Iconis' Be More Chill, the producers have released this nifty EP featuring three different versions of one of the show's terrific tunes.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Imogen Heap's Drama Desk Award winning score for the epic theatrical adventure featuring J.K. Rowling's renowned boy wizard has been marvelously transformed into four suites for this new recording. 
  • Will He Like Me? - Philip Chaffin lends his voice to over a dozen classic Broadway tunes and, in the process, creates a moving song cycle.

I'm being told that readers are genuinely enjoying our "by the decade" series, and Ken and Erik have said they enjoy writing them.

So when you get our newsletter next time out, you'll find that we're turning back the clock to the 1940s.

I imagine that Rodgers and Hammerstein might figure in their columns (lol), and I know that I'd be remiss in not mentioning Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green's On the Town.

Coincidentally (truly), a new pairing of studio recordings of this show will be coming out at the end of the month, courtesy of Stage Door Records. You can learn a bit more about that release by clicking here.

 

Tags :
Artists

Jan
25

The 1970s

So this week Erik and Ken look back at the 1970s and have named some of their favorite musicals from the decade. What do you think has made their respective lists? There are a lot of familiar titles in the mix, and some terrifically unexpected ones as well! 

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

  • Mack and Mabel - Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart's revisitation to the era of silent films had a powerhouse cast and, in my mind, an utterly beguiling score. It had only a brief Broadway run, but the joys of Herman's music live on thanks to the original cast recording.
  • The Wiz - This retelling of The Wizard of Oz introduced a young Stephanie Mills to the world and a song that became a semi-hit "Ease on Down the Road." The subsequent movie version might have slight tarnished the musical's reputation, but I remain a big fan of the original cast recording. If you've not listened in a while, not might be a good time to throw it on your player.

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


We've turned the clock back about fifty years this week on BwayTunes, and this week's Spotify playlist gleefully wanders through the musicals of the 1970s (both hits and flops), along the way you'll hear some of what I presume might be your faves from the decade and a few tunes that you're unfamiliar with. I'm sort of proud of this one.


Our free song download this week comes from Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses, a fascinating musical look at the life and career of a man who shaped much of the landscape of New York City. Heading up the cast (and prominently featured on the album) is Constantine Maroulis as the title character.


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

  • Follies - Stephen Sondheim's ravishing score for this 1971 musical sounds pretty incredible on this new recording that preserves last year's highly acclaimed London revival cast (from the Royal National Theatre). It's a marvelous addition to the collection.
  • Songs for a New World - This Jason Robert Brown score gets showcased beautifully on a new album that features the cast that presented the show last summer as part of City's Center's Off-Center seriesWhat's great about this recording is that it comes on two CDs meaning it is longer than any previous release of this much-loved show.

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.

  • Band Geeks: The Musical - You'll find some giddy merriment at work in this tuner that's finally come to disc. A romp through the world of high school marching bands, Band Geeks sets toes a-tappin' and mouths a-smilin' from start to finish.
  • The Dancing Years - A rare treat awaits listeners with this new, complete recording of Ivor Novello and Christopher Hassell's 1939 operetta about a man who's in love with two women. Swirling melodies and gorgeous vocals abound on this beautifully assembled studio cast album.
  • Brigadoon - Kelli O'Hara and Patrick Wilson are both in fine voice on this beautiful recording of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner's classic musical. We're all very happy to have a recording of this Encores! presentation.
  • "Loser Geek Whatever" - In anticipation of the Broadway bow of Joe Iconis' Be More Chill, the producers have released this nifty EP featuring three different versions of one of the show's terrific tunes.
  • Broadway My Way - Heather Headley, Tony winner for Aida, reinterprets such classics as "Over the Rainbow," "Look to the Rainbow," and "Home" on this lush new recording.
  • The Greatest Showman Reimagined - P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Bareilles, and Kesha are just some of the artists featured on this album that brings you new versions of the songs from the hit movie that starred Hugh Jackman.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Imogen Heap's Drama Desk Award winning score for the epic theatrical adventure featuring J.K. Rowling's renowned boy wizard has been marvelously transformed into four suites for this new recording. 
  • Will He Like Me? - Philip Chaffin lends his voice to over a dozen classic Broadway tunes and, in the process, creates a moving song cycle.

When you get the next newsletter, it'll be less than a week until Valentine's Day.

I figure that it would be a good time to talk about "love" and all of that, but I wanted Ken and Erik to have some fun too.

So....I have asked them to put together short lists of some of the most unusual love songs written for musicals. Not sure what they'll pick, but I do know I'm gonna be interested to see their final answers.

One show and a couple of songs that came to me while I was thinking about it is Grand Tour. Jerry Herman's score for this musical has several tunes that express love but in unconventional ways. If you don't know it, I heartily suggest a listen. AND, Grand Tour also fits in with this week's theme of 1970s musicals.

Tags :
Artists

Jan
11

God, That's Good....

Happy New Year! It's the time for resolutions, and on many people's list is dieting or eating healthier. Being playful, I thought it might be fun to have Erik and Ken think about songs that center on food or cooking. If you've put such a goal for yourself on the docket for 2019, I hope their columns will inspire you to keep your resolution and, if not, I know you'll find they're talking about a delightful array of songs. 

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

  • Sunday in the Park With George - A baker's artistry (and the fact that he makes himself emotionally available) is what lures Dot away from Georges in the first act of this show, and nothing beats Bernadette Peters' delivery of "Everybody Loves Louis," as her character sings the praises of her beloved baker.
  • Best Little Whorehouse in Texas - This is a cast recording I've not listened to in a while. I had forgotten how much fun it was and also its moments of genuine poignancy. It's a song in the latter category that makes it apt for this week's eating theme: "Hard Candy Christmas."

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 might want to have a snack or two handy when you fire up this week's Spotify playlist. It's filled with songs about eating, cooking, and food. But maybe the hour or so of music will simply send you into a reverie, and so additional noshes won't be necessary.


Who doesn't enjoy getting away from it all? This week we've got a free download track that takes you on a bit of an excursion, and it comes to you from the delightful new album Chip Deffaa's Irving Berlin Travelogue.


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

  • Band Geeks: The Musical - You'll find some giddy merriment at work in this tuner that's finally come to disc. A romp through the world of high school marching bands, Band Geeks sets toes a-tappin' and mouths a-smilin' from start to finish.
  • The Dancing Years - A rare treat awaits listeners with this new, complete recording of Ivor Novello and Christopher Hassell's 1939 operetta about a man who's in love with two women. Swirling melodies and gorgeous vocals abound on this beautifully assembled studio cast 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.

  • Brigadoon - Kelli O'Hara and Patrick Wilson are both in fine voice on this beautiful recording of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner's classic musical. We're all very happy to have a recording of this Encores! presentation.
  • "Loser Geek Whatever" - In anticipation of the Broadway bow of Joe Iconis' Be More Chill, the producers have released this nifty EP featuring three different versions of one of the show's terrific tunes.
  • Broadway My Way - Heather Headley, Tony winner for Aida, reinterprets such classics as "Over the Rainbow," "Look to the Rainbow," and "Home" on this lush new recording.
  • The Greatest Showman Reimagined - P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Bareilles, and Kesha are just some of the artists featured on this album that brings you new versions of the songs from the hit movie that starred Hugh Jackman.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Imogen Heap's Drama Desk Award winning score for the epic theatrical adventure featuring J.K. Rowling's renowned boy wizard has been marvelously transformed into four suites for this new recording. 
  • Will He Like Me? - Philip Chaffin lends his voice to over a dozen classic Broadway tunes and, in the process, creates a moving song cycle.
  • Singing You Home - Conceived by Laura Benanti, and featuring artists such as Josh Groban, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Audra McDonald, this bi-lingual children's album is a fundraiser for a very worthy cause. Proceeds from the album sales will go directly to the non-profit organizations RAICES and ASTEP to help reunite and support families separated at the border.
  • Head Over Heels - The Go-Go's hits from the early 1980s meet an obscure Renaissance narrative poem in this merry lark of a Broadway musical. It's a giddy and toe-tapping retro listen.
  • Pretty Woman - The first hit of the new 2018-2019 season is this musical based on the popular 1990 movie. Andy Karl and Samantha Barks tackle the roles originally played by Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and the infectious score comes from Brian Adams and Jim Wallace. Definitely worth a listen!

When you get the next newsletter, you'll find that I've sent Ken and Erik scurrying back some fifty years.

They'll be doing another entry in what's becoming a popular, ongoing series here on BwayTunes: a look back at the musicals of a specific decade. In a couple of weeks the guys will be reflecting on their favorite shows from the 1970s.

It was an interesting 10 years for musical theater, filled with some intriguing flops and some genuinely groundbreaking shows. I know I'm going to be curious to see what the guys pick.

I know one that would be at the top of my list: John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Bob Fosse's Chicago.

 

Tags :
Artists

Dec
07

Seasonal Things 2018

I asked Ken and Erik to go "seasonal" for their columns this week, and they have gone in two entirely different directions. Both are terrific pieces of writing about some swell music, and I think each will make you smile.

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

  • Norm Lewis Christmas Album - This Broadway leading man lends his supple voice to a host of favorites on this just-out album. There are also some clever (and entirely appropriate) surprises. I think you'll enjoy.
  • "All I Want for Christmas"- Telly Leung has recorded this lovely version of a holiday-time favorite to help raise money for the nonprofit ASTEP. The organization's great work centers on bringing the arts into the lives of young people from underserved communities in the U.S. and around the world to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty.

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've stuck with traditional for this week's Spotify playlist. It's about one hour of seasonal favorites from stage and screen musicals, along with other songs offered up by some of Broadway's finest performers.


We've got an utterly delightful track for you to listen to as this week's free song download. It's a marvelous tune called "Noël, Noël" that's been curated on the new two-disc set Lost West End: The Revues.


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

  • Brigadoon - Kelli O'Hara and Patrick Wilson are both in fine voice on this beautiful recording of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner's classic musical. We're all very happy to have a recording of this Encores! presentation.
  • "Loser Geek Whatever" - In anticipation of the Broadway bow of Joe Iconis' Be More Chill, the producers have released this nifty EP featuring three different versions of one of the show's terrific tunes.

There have also been a host of new holiday albums that have come out in recent weeks, including the two I mentioned above as well as Steve Ross’ It’s Almost Christmas Eve, Michael Longoria’s Merry Christmas Darling, and Gigi Bermingham’s Cabaret Noël.

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.

  • Broadway My Way - Heather Headley, Tony winner for Aida, reinterprets such classics as "Over the Rainbow," "Look to the Rainbow," and "Home" on this lush new recording.
  • The Greatest Showman Reimagined - P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Bareilles, and Kesha are just some of the artists featured on this album that brings you new versions of the songs from the hit movie that starred Hugh Jackman.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Imogen Heap's Drama Desk Award winning score for the epic theatrical adventure featuring J.K. Rowling's renowned boy wizard has been marvelously transformed into four suites for this new recording. 
  • Will He Like Me? - Philip Chaffin lends his voice to over a dozen classic Broadway tunes and, in the process, creates a moving song cycle.
  • Singing You Home - Conceived by Laura Benanti, and featuring artists such as Josh Groban, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Audra McDonald, this bi-lingual children's album is a fundraiser for a very worthy cause. Proceeds from the album sales will go directly to the non-profit organizations RAICES and ASTEP to help reunite and support families separated at the border.
  • Twelfth Night - Songwriter Shaina Taub's songs for the Public Theater's recent production of Shakespeare's romance got some terrific reviews. The production had a very short run, so we're lucky to have this album that allows all of us who missed it to enjoy Taub's exceptional tunefulness.
  • Head Over Heels - The Go-Go's hits from the early 1980s meet an obscure Renaissance narrative poem in this merry lark of a Broadway musical. It's a giddy and toe-tapping retro listen.
  • Idina: Live - Broadway's original Elphaba, Idina Menzel, sounds pretty fantastic on this recording that features some pop classics and some great musical theater tunes, including a number from the tuners she has starred in.
  • Pretty Woman - The first hit of the new 2018-2019 season is this musical based on the popular 1990 movie. Andy Karl and Samantha Barks tackle the roles originally played by Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and the infectious score comes from Brian Adams and Jim Wallace. Definitely worth a listen!
  • Gettin' the Band Back Together - There's a gleeful rock sound at work in this Broadway cast recording. It's an album that's full of some unexpected pleasures.
  • Hundred Days - The Bengsons’ quirky off-Broadway show comes to compact disc with verve on this new cast recording!

The holiday season is upon us! And theoretically you'd be getting our next newsletter just two days before Christmas. I wanted to give Erik and Ken a holiday gift, and so I told them they could take the rest of the month off.

This means you'll be getting our next newsletter just as you've started dealing with your New Year's resolutions.

For some people the top of such a list is about eating healthier or dieting, so it seemed only appropriate to have the guys pen columns about songs centered on food as we begin 2019. One of my faves is "I Can Cook Too" from On the Town.

I'll close by wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons and look forward to sharing more great music with you in 2019.

 

Tags :
Artists

Nov
23

By the Decade - The 1950s

This week were throwing one of sporadic backward glances at a particular decade in musical theater history. Ken and Erik are tackling the 1950s, and their lists of favorite shows from the decade include many titles you know and perhaps a few that you don't know or ones that will surprise you.

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

  • Bells Are Ringing - Composer Jule Styne and lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green were at the height of their game with this 1956 musical that snagged a Tony Award for its star, Judy Holliday. (She bested My Fair Lady nominee Julie Andrews, if you can believe it!)
  • Two on the Aisle - Styne, Comden, and Green started their collaboration in 1951 with this revue that targeted some of the pop cultural, political, and societal topics of the day, including the big Broadway hits that were running as the 1950s dawned.

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. 


Perhaps you'll feel as if you've taken a time machine back some sixty to seventy years with this week's Spotify playlist. It's a heady compilation of tunes from the musicals of the 1950s and encompasses the shows we all know and love, as well as ones we rarely--if ever--think of.


SimG Records has released a cast album for a delightful family-friendly musical, Imaginary. I'm betting you will be charmed by the free download we have for you this week.


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

  • Broadway My Way - Heather Headley, Tony winner for Aida, reinterprets such classics as "Over the Rainbow," "Look to the Rainbow," and "Home" on this lush new recording.
  • The Greatest Showman Reimagined - P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Bareilles, and Kesha are just some of the artists featured on this album that brings you new versions of the songs from the hit movie that starred Hugh Jackman.

There have also been a host of new holiday albums that have come out in recent weeks, including The Norm Lewis Christmas Album, Steve Ross’ It’s Almost Christmas Eve, Michael Longoria’s Merry Christmas Darling, and Gigi Bermingham’s Cabaret Noël, as well as Telly Leung’s single, “All I Want for Christmas,” which benefits a fantastic nonprofit, ASTEP.

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.

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Imogen Heap's Drama Desk Award winning score for the epic theatrical adventure featuring J.K. Rowling's renowned boy wizard has been marvelously transformed into four suites for this new recording. 
  • Will He Like Me? - Philip Chaffin lends his voice to over a dozen classic Broadway tunes and, in the process, creates a moving song cycle.
  • Singing You Home - Conceived by Laura Benanti, and featuring artists such as Josh Groban, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Audra McDonald, this bi-lingual children's album is a fundraiser for a very worthy cause. Proceeds from the album sales will go directly to the non-profit organizations RAICES and ASTEP to help reunite and support families separated at the border.
  • Twelfth Night - Songwriter Shaina Taub's songs for the Public Theater's recent production of Shakespeare's romance got some terrific reviews. The production had a very short run, so we're lucky to have this album that allows all of us who missed it to enjoy Taub's exceptional tunefulness.
  • Head Over Heels - The Go-Go's hits from the early 1980s meet an obscure Renaissance narrative poem in this merry lark of a Broadway musical. It's a giddy and toe-tapping retro listen.
  • Idina: Live - Broadway's original Elphaba, Idina Menzel, sounds pretty fantastic on this recording that features some pop classics and some great musical theater tunes, including a number from the tuners she has starred in.
  • Pretty Woman - The first hit of the new 2018-2019 season is this musical based on the popular 1990 movie. Andy Karl and Samantha Barks tackle the roles originally played by Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and the infectious score comes from Brian Adams and Jim Wallace. Definitely worth a listen!
  • Gettin' the Band Back Together - There's a gleeful rock sound at work in this Broadway cast recording. It's an album that's full of some unexpected pleasures.
  • Hundred Days - The Bengsons’ quirky off-Broadway show comes to compact disc with verve on this new cast recording!

By the time you get our next newsletter we will be a week in December and the holiday season will be underway in earnest.

I've asked Erik and Ken to come up with something season. I've just left it there. They're both clever fellows, so I'm sure they will rise to that vagueness beautifully.

To get a jump-start on all things seasonal, I'll point you toward the just-released It's Almost Christmas Eve, featuring marvelous vocals from cabaret's Steve Ross, along with Suellen Estry, Benjamin Weil, and Ron Spivak.

Tags :
Artists

Nov
09

That Awkward Age

The Prom--about a high school fete in Indiana--will soon be opening on Broadway. I wanted to toast the show, and so I thought let's talk about teenagers in musicals. You'll find Ken and Erik have both been very clever in crafting their columns!

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

  • Thrill Me - Two 19 year-olds in 1920s Chicago conspired to murder a 14 year-old boy, just for the "thrill" of it. Stephen Dolginoff turned this chilling, true tale into a fascinating musical.
  • Bat-Boy: The Musical - Teen love meets Greek tragedy and tabloid headlines in this hilariously off-beat musical from Laurence O'Keefe, Keythe Farley, and Brian Flemming.

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've got just about an hour of fantastic, teen-centric music to listen to with this week's Spotify playlist. The selections range from songs from some of our hottest Broadway offerings today to some numbers that are, indeed, forgotten gems from Broadway's Golden Age.


Our free song this week comes from Philip Chaffin's wonderful new album, Will He Like Me?, released by PS Classics. It's a song cycle from the LGBTQ perspective that uses a marvelous array of show tunes.


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

  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Imogen Heap's Drama Desk Award winning score for the epic theatrical adventure featuring J.K. Rowling's renowned boy wizard has been marvelously transformed into four suites for this new recording. 
  • Will He Like Me? - Philip Chaffin lends his voice to over a dozen classic Broadway tunes and, in the process, creates a moving song cycle.

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.

  • Singing You Home - Conceived by Laura Benanti, and featuring artists such as Josh Groban, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Audra McDonald, this bi-lingual children's album is a fundraiser for a very worthy cause. Proceeds from the album sales will go directly to the non-profit organizations RAICES and ASTEP to help reunite and support families separated at the border.
  • Twelfth Night - Songwriter Shaina Taub's songs for the Public Theater's recent production of Shakespeare's romance got some terrific reviews. The production had a very short run, so we're lucky to have this album that allows all of us who missed it to enjoy Taub's exceptional tunefulness.
  • Head Over Heels - The Go-Go's hits from the early 1980s meet an obscure Renaissance narrative poem in this merry lark of a Broadway musical. It's a giddy and toe-tapping retro listen.
  • Idina: Live - Broadway's original Elphaba, Idina Menzel, sounds pretty fantastic on this recording that features some pop classics and some great musical theater tunes, including a number from the tuners she has starred in.
  • Pretty Woman - The first hit of the new 2018-2019 season is this musical based on the popular 1990 movie. Andy Karl and Samantha Barks tackle the roles originally played by Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and the infectious score comes from Brian Adams and Jim Wallace. Definitely worth a listen!
  • Gettin' the Band Back Together - There's a gleeful rock sound at work in this Broadway cast recording. It's an album that's full of some unexpected pleasures.
  • Hundred Days - The Bengsons’ quirky off-Broadway show comes to compact disc with verve on this new cast recording!
  • Who’s Your Baghdaddy? - It's taken a while but this deliriously silly show has gotten a cast recording. It’s a giddy look back on the United States’ Middle Eastern policy of a time gone by that’s looking darn good these days. This release is just one of many new albums from Broadway Records. Among the label’s other titles you should check out are: Session Girls, Wicked Clone, Tonya and Nancy, and The Boy Who Danced on Air.
  • Beast in the Jungle - John Kander has written a marvelously lush score for this work based on the Henry James short story. It's a richly satisfying listen that you'll probably be savoring for some time to come!
  • Unexpected Joy - Composer Janet Hood and lyricist Bill Russell provided some genuinely infectious pop-theater songs for this tuner about a singer-songwriter who's attempting to move on after the death of her longtime performing--and life--partner.
  • Sunset Boulevard - Kim Criswell provides the vocals for Norma Desmond on this new release. Her beautiful voice brings a new dimension to songs such as “With One Look,” and the backing from the National Symphony Orchestra is particularly sumptuous.
  • Summer: The Donna Summer Musical - One of Broadway's newest hits, this show takes a whirlwind tour through the fascinating life and electrifying music of pop diva Donna Summer.

Erik and Ken will be turning the clock back for one of our periodic glimpses at a specific decade in Broadway history.

They last tackled the 1990s, and so for their next columns, I'm asking them to write about some of their favorite shows from a bit further in the past: 1950s.

It was a great decade for musical theater no doubt. One of my favorite, silly shows from the era is Bells Are Ringing, with a delightfully daffy score by Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

Tags :
Artists

Oct
27

Happy Halloween!

It's almost Halloween, and I sent Erik (Ken's traveling and has to sit this week out) on mission - write a column about musical theater that evokes the spirit of the holiday. Erik's been very clever (tricky?), and I think that you'll find that he's talking about some real aural treats.

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

  • Be More Chill - This Joe Iconis musical that's en route to Broadway for 2019 premiere has a terrific song that's called "Halloween." I'm a big fan of the number, and this album overall. I imagine you know it, but in case not....
  • Meet Me in St. Louis - This classic movie musical came to Broadway in 1989, and naturally the stage show contained the beloved Christmas song that we all know by heart. It also had a new song, one written about Halloween, and if you have never heard "Ghosties and Ghoulies," you owe it to yourself to take a listen.

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


Things that go bump in the night aren't terribly musical, but don't fret the new Spotify playlist isn't scary or unpleasant. Instead it's filled with a host of songs that are just perfect for the Halloween Holiday. I promise it's not at all scary.


Mark Sonnenblick's musical Midnight at the Never Get just opened at the York Theatre to some amazing reviews, and as a Halloween "treat"--our free song download-- we've got a demo track from this delightful new show!


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

  • Singing You Home - Conceived by Laura Benanti, and featuring artists such as Josh Groban, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Audra McDonald, this bi-lingual children's album is a fundraiser for a very worthy cause. Proceeds from the album sales will go directly to the non-profit organizations RAICES and ASTEP to help reunite and support families separated at the border.
  • Twelfth Night - Songwriter Shaina Taub's songs for the Public Theater's recent production of Shakespeare's romance got some terrific reviews. The production had a very short run, so we're lucky to have this album that allows all of us who missed it to enjoy Taub's exceptional tunefulness.

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.

  • Head Over Heels - The Go-Go's hits from the early 1980s meet an obscure Renaissance narrative poem in this merry lark of a Broadway musical. It's a giddy and toe-tapping retro listen.
  • Idina: Live - Broadway's original Elphaba, Idina Menzel, sounds pretty fantastic on this recording that features some pop classics and some great musical theater tunes, including a number from the tuners she has starred in.
  • Pretty Woman - The first hit of the new 2018-2019 season is this musical based on the popular 1990 movie. Andy Karl and Samantha Barks tackle the roles originally played by Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and the infectious score comes from Brian Adams and Jim Wallace. Definitely worth a listen!
  • Gettin' the Band Back Together - There's a gleeful rock sound at work in this Broadway cast recording. It's an album that's full of some unexpected pleasures.
  • Hundred Days - The Bengsons’ quirky off-Broadway show comes to compact disc with verve on this new cast recording!
  • Who’s Your Baghdaddy? - It's taken a while but this deliriously silly show has gotten a cast recording. It’s a giddy look back on the United States’ Middle Eastern policy of a time gone by that’s looking darn good these days. This release is just one of many new albums from Broadway Records. Among the label’s other titles you should check out are: Session Girls, Wicked Clone, Tonya and Nancy, and The Boy Who Danced on Air.
  • Beast in the Jungle - John Kander has written a marvelously lush score for this work based on the Henry James short story. It's a richly satisfying listen that you'll probably be savoring for some time to come!
  • Unexpected Joy - Composer Janet Hood and lyricist Bill Russell provided some genuinely infectious pop-theater songs for this tuner about a singer-songwriter who's attempting to move on after the death of her longtime performing--and life--partner.
  • Sunset Boulevard and Evita - This two-fer album from Jay Records finds. Ria Jones and Matt Bogart headliners in the former while Madalena Alberto and Max von Essen are featured for the second. All are sounding quite, quite good, and the album is certainly worth a listen.
  • Sunset Boulevard - Kim Criswell provides the vocals for Norma Desmond on this new release. Her beautiful voice brings a new dimension to songs such as “With One Look,” and the backing from the National Symphony Orchestra is particularly sumptuous.
  • Summer: The Donna Summer Musical - One of Broadway's newest hits, this show takes a whirlwind tour through the fascinating life and electrifying music of pop diva Donna Summer.
  • Desperate Measures - Shakespeare's Measure for Measure gets a contemporary, country-western spin in this musical that's enjoying a highly acclaimed and popular off-Broadway run.

When you next hear from me it will be just a few days before the opening of the new Broadway musical The Prom.

With music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and a book by Bob Martin and Beguelin, the show imagines what happens in Indiana when a group of actors descends on an Indiana high school that's discriminating against a student who wants to bring a same-sex date to the titular springtime dance.

To toast this new show Ken and Erik are going to be searching their memories for other musicals with teenage characters or songs about that "awkward age."

 

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Oct
12

Musical Monologues

Soliloquies and monologues in musicals are the topic this week, and Erik and Ken have scoured hundreds of shows looking for some of the best songs that feature characters talking (singing, really) aloud about their inner thoughts and feelings. They've come up with some genuinely unexpected numbers, and I'm betting you'll have a great time reading their columns.

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

  • Chess - You'll actually find several songs in this show where the characters are singing about their inner lives. I know Chessdoesn't necessarily fall into the category of obscure, but with at least four musical soliloquies it seemed only appropriate to mention.
  • Bring It On - Late in this show about high school cheerleading squads, the seemingly sweet Eva delivers "Killer Instinct," and in doing so reveals her true self in a maliciously gleeful monologue.

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. 


Kelli O'Hara, Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, and Patti LuPone are just a few of the performers whom you'll find belting out musical monologues on this week's Spotify playlist. Beyond being over an hour of swell listening (if I do say so myself), it is also a fascinating trip through roughly 75 years of musical theater writing.


Our free track this week comes from Stage Door Records' just-out release of the original London cast of the gorgeous 1950s jazz-infused musical, King Kong. The album and the song are both terrific.


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

  • Head Over Heels - The Go-Go's hits from the early 1980s meet an obscure Renaissance narrative poem in this merry lark of a Broadway musical. It's a giddy and toe-tapping retro listen.
  • Idina: Live - Broadway's original Elphaba, Idina Menzel, sounds pretty fantastic on this recording that features some pop classics and some great musical theater tunes, including a number from the tuners she has starred in.

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.

  • Pretty Woman - The first hit of the new 2018-2019 season is this musical based on the popular 1990 movie. Andy Karl and Samantha Barks tackle the roles originally played by Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and the infectious score comes from Brian Adams and Jim Wallace. Definitely worth a listen!
  • Gettin' the Band Back Together - There's a gleeful rock sound at work in this Broadway cast recording. It's an album that's full of some unexpected pleasures.
  • Hundred Days - The Bengsons’ quirky off-Broadway show comes to compact disc with verve on this new cast recording!
  • Who’s Your Baghdaddy? - It's taken a while but this deliriously silly show has gotten a cast recording. It’s a giddy look back on the United States’ Middle Eastern policy of a time gone by that’s looking darn good these days. This release is just one of many new albums from Broadway Records. Among the label’s other titles you should check out are: Session Girls, Wicked Clone, Tonya and Nancy, and The Boy Who Danced on Air.
  • Beast in the Jungle - John Kander has written a marvelously lush score for this work based on the Henry James short story. It's a richly satisfying listen that you'll probably be savoring for some time to come!
  • Unexpected Joy - Composer Janet Hood and lyricist Bill Russell provided some genuinely infectious pop-theater songs for this tuner about a singer-songwriter who's attempting to move on after the death of her longtime performing--and life--partner.
  • Sunset Boulevard and Evita - This two-fer album from Jay Records finds. Ria Jones and Matt Bogart headliners in the former while Madalena Alberto and Max von Essen are featured for the second. All are sounding quite, quite good, and the album is certainly worth a listen.
  • Sunset Boulevard - Kim Criswell provides the vocals for Norma Desmond on this new release. Her beautiful voice brings a new dimension to songs such as “With One Look,” and the backing from the National Symphony Orchestra is particularly sumptuous.
  • Summer: The Donna Summer Musical - One of Broadway's newest hits, this show takes a whirlwind tour through the fascinating life and electrifying music of pop diva Donna Summer.
  • Desperate Measures - Shakespeare's Measure for Measure gets a contemporary, country-western spin in this musical that's enjoying a highly acclaimed and popular off-Broadway run.

You'll get our next newsletter less than a week before Halloween, and it's that holiday that Erik and Ken will be writing in their next columns.

Yes, I know there aren't a lot of musicals that unfold on this day when we all are focused on ghosts, witches, devils...and candy! So, I've just asked the guys to write about songs that, in some way to them, are appropriate for the day.

No idea where either of them will go with it all. As I was thinking about Halloween and such my mind turned to one recently released album, the new London cast recording of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein.

 

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Artists

Oct
12

Musical Monologues

Soliloquies and monologues in musicals are the topic this week, and Erik and Ken have scoured hundreds of shows looking for some of the best songs that feature characters talking (singing, really) aloud about their inner thoughts and feelings. They've come up with some genuinely unexpected numbers, and I'm betting you'll have a great time reading their columns.

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

  • Chess - You'll actually find several songs in this show where the characters are singing about their inner lives. I know Chessdoesn't necessarily fall into the category of obscure, but with at least four musical soliloquies it seemed only appropriate to mention.
  • Bring It On - Late in this show about high school cheerleading squads, the seemingly sweet Eva delivers "Killer Instinct," and in doing so reveals her true self in a maliciously gleeful monologue.

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. 


Kelli O'Hara, Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, and Patti LuPone are just a few of the performers whom you'll find belting out musical monologues on this week's Spotify playlist. Beyond being over an hour of swell listening (if I do say so myself), it is also a fascinating trip through roughly 75 years of musical theater writing.


Our free track this week comes from Stage Door Records' just-out release of the original London cast of the gorgeous 1950s jazz-infused musical, King Kong. The album and the song are both terrific.


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

  • Head Over Heels - The Go-Go's hits from the early 1980s meet an obscure Renaissance narrative poem in this merry lark of a Broadway musical. It's a giddy and toe-tapping retro listen.
  • Idina: Live - Broadway's original Elphaba, Idina Menzel, sounds pretty fantastic on this recording that features some pop classics and some great musical theater tunes, including a number from the tuners she has starred in.

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.

  • Pretty Woman - The first hit of the new 2018-2019 season is this musical based on the popular 1990 movie. Andy Karl and Samantha Barks tackle the roles originally played by Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and the infectious score comes from Brian Adams and Jim Wallace. Definitely worth a listen!
  • Gettin' the Band Back Together - There's a gleeful rock sound at work in this Broadway cast recording. It's an album that's full of some unexpected pleasures.
  • Hundred Days - The Bengsons’ quirky off-Broadway show comes to compact disc with verve on this new cast recording!
  • Who’s Your Baghdaddy? - It's taken a while but this deliriously silly show has gotten a cast recording. It’s a giddy look back on the United States’ Middle Eastern policy of a time gone by that’s looking darn good these days. This release is just one of many new albums from Broadway Records. Among the label’s other titles you should check out are: Session Girls, Wicked Clone, Tonya and Nancy, and The Boy Who Danced on Air.
  • Beast in the Jungle - John Kander has written a marvelously lush score for this work based on the Henry James short story. It's a richly satisfying listen that you'll probably be savoring for some time to come!
  • Unexpected Joy - Composer Janet Hood and lyricist Bill Russell provided some genuinely infectious pop-theater songs for this tuner about a singer-songwriter who's attempting to move on after the death of her longtime performing--and life--partner.
  • Sunset Boulevard and Evita - This two-fer album from Jay Records finds. Ria Jones and Matt Bogart headliners in the former while Madalena Alberto and Max von Essen are featured for the second. All are sounding quite, quite good, and the album is certainly worth a listen.
  • Sunset Boulevard - Kim Criswell provides the vocals for Norma Desmond on this new release. Her beautiful voice brings a new dimension to songs such as “With One Look,” and the backing from the National Symphony Orchestra is particularly sumptuous.
  • Summer: The Donna Summer Musical - One of Broadway's newest hits, this show takes a whirlwind tour through the fascinating life and electrifying music of pop diva Donna Summer.
  • Desperate Measures - Shakespeare's Measure for Measure gets a contemporary, country-western spin in this musical that's enjoying a highly acclaimed and popular off-Broadway run.

You'll get our next newsletter less than a week before Halloween, and it's that holiday that Erik and Ken will be writing in their next columns.

Yes, I know there aren't a lot of musicals that unfold on this day when we all are focused on ghosts, witches, devils...and candy! So, I've just asked the guys to write about songs that, in some way to them, are appropriate for the day.

No idea where either of them will go with it all. As I was thinking about Halloween and such my mind turned to one recently released album, the new London cast recording of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein.

 

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Artists

Sep
28

The Bernstein Centenary

Late in August we paid tribute to playwright-lyricist Alan Jay Lerner's centenary. We're now saluting another gentleman who would have turned 100 this year: Leonard Bernstein. In fact the composer would have reached his milestone just a few days before Lerner. Ken and Erik have both written terrific tributes to the man who wrote such shows as On the Town and West Side Story, and I'm betting you'll find some kernels of little-known lore in them both as you read.

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

  • West Side Story Reimagined - Bobby Sanabria's impressive Latin Jazz reworking of this Bernstein score pulses with intensity from start to finish. Beyond being a swell listen, it's also raising money for the citizens of Puerto Rico as they continue to rebound from last year's horrific hurricanes.
  • Wonderful Town - This Bernstein show has had some powerhouse leading ladies, from Rosalind Russell in the original 1953 production to Donna Murphy in a 2003 revival. Thanks to this new concert recording, there's now another name on the list of actors who have shone brightly as Ruth Sherwood: Alysha Umphress. She's pretty darn wonderful as she delivers such songs as "100 Easy Ways to Lose a Man" and "Conga!" and makes them her own. 

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 find music from original cast recordings of Leonard Bernstein's shows as well as a plethora of cover versions and numbers as performed in revivals of his acclaimed musicals in this week's Spotify playlist. It's over an hour of electrifying musicality.


Our new free song download comes from the just-released Broadway cast recording of Gettin' the Band Back Together. It's a terrific intro to the show and the charms of Mark Allen's score.


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

  • Pretty Woman - The first hit of the new 2018-2019 season is this musical based on the popular 1990 movie. Andy Karl and Samantha Barks tackle the roles originally played by Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, and the infectious score comes from Brian Adams and Jim Wallace. Definitely worth a listen!
  • Gettin' the Band Back Together - There's a gleeful rock sound at work in this Broadway cast recording. It's an album that's full of some unexpected pleasures.
  • Hundred Days - The Bengsons’ quirky off-Broadway show comes to compact disc with verve on this new cast recording!
  • Who’s Your Baghdaddy? - It's taken a while but this deliriously silly show has gotten a cast recording. It’s a giddy look back on the United States’ Middle Eastern policy of a time gone by that’s looking darn good these days.

This latter release is just one that’s just arrived courtesy of Broadway Records. Among the label’s other titles you should check out are: Session Girls, Wicked Clone, Tonya and Nancy, and The Boy Who Danced on Air.

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.

  • Beast in the Jungle - John Kander has written a marvelously lush score for this work based on the Henry James short story. It's a richly satisfying listen that you'll probably be savoring for some time to come!
  • Unexpected Joy - Composer Janet Hood and lyricist Bill Russell provided some genuinely infectious pop-theater songs for this tuner about a singer-songwriter who's attempting to move on after the death of her longtime performing--and life--partner.
  • Sunset Boulevard and Evita - This two-fer album from Jay Records finds. Ria Jones and Matt Bogart headliners in the former while Madalena Alberto and Max von Essen are featured for the second. All are sounding quite, quite good, and the album is certainly worth a listen.
  • Sunset Boulevard - Kim Criswell provides the vocals for Norma Desmond on this new release. Her beautiful voice brings a new dimension to songs such as “With One Look,” and the backing from the National Symphony Orchestra is particularly sumptuous.
  • Summer: The Donna Summer Musical - One of Broadway's newest hits, this show takes a whirlwind tour through the fascinating life and electrifying music of pop diva Donna Summer.
  • Desperate Measures - Shakespeare's Measure for Measure gets a contemporary, country-western spin in this musical that's enjoying a highly acclaimed and popular off-Broadway run.

Erik and Ken will be writing about a unique sort of song in their next columns.

I've asked them to think about numbers where characters are engaged in soliloquizing or working through an internal monologue.

I know the guys will come up with a fascinating array of songs on the topic. Will either of them take the one that immediately comes to mind? That, of course, would be "Soliloquy," from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's Carousel.

 

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