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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.

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.

Tags :
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?

Tags :
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.

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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.

Tags :
Artists

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.

Tags :
Artists

May
19

Our Best Books...

Any given musical book can often be either its most overlooked or its most maligned element. This week I've asked Ken and Erik to talk about the shows that they think have the best (or feature their most favorite) books. It's fascinating to see what they've picked!

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

  • On the Town - It's pretty easy to dismiss the book for this World War II--era lark, particularly given Leonard Bernstein's music and Jerome Robbins' choreography. But Betty Comden and Adolph Green provide an entirely original book where those elements, plus comedy and a certain amount of bittersweet drama blend seamlessly.
  • Bring It On - No. I'm not saying that this one breaks any ground or is particularly profound. At the same time I think that Jeff Whitty crafted a pretty smart piece and the fact that he managed to sneak in a whole All About Eve plotting device that I never figured out does impress me no end.

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. 


What I've done for this week's playlist over on Spotify is to choose one big number from each of the shows that Erik, Ken, and I have all chosen. It's turned out to be a pretty cool potpourri of tunes, and I hope you enjoy!


Our current free song download comes from a beautifully remastered (and most welcome re-release) of Tim Rice and Stephen Oliver's 1983 musical Blondel!


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

  • 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. 

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.

  • 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.
  • A Bronx Tale - Chazz Palmintieri's autobiographical one-man show has returned to Broadway as a full-blown musical replete with a terrific score by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.
  • Come From Away - This new cast recording allows listeners to savor the heartwarming tales of the airline passengers who were diverted to Newfoundland on 9/11 and the community that welcomed them.
  • 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. 
  • #ThrowbackThursday - Corey Brunish takes the Facebook/Twitter hashtag in a musical direction with this album of classic tunes by songwriters such as George and Ira Gershwin; Jule Styne, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green; and Bart Howard.
  • Philip Glass: Music for 'The Crucible' - Last season a fascinating revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible hit Broadway and one of its chief assets was an intriguing score by Philip Glass, which you can now savor on this cool new release.
  • Dream Ago - This remarkable album comes from a remarkable talent: Gabrielle Stravelli. Her voice has power, warmth, and, sometimes, great humor. It's been hard for me to stop playing this one. If you don't know her work, you should certainly sample some now!

You'll be getting our next newsletter just a little over a week before the 2017 Tony Awards are handed out.

In honor of this annual celebration of the best on Broadway, Ken and Erik will be sharing some of their predictions about who will be picking up prizes come June 11.

Of course one of the biggest questions this year is, which show will pick up the award for Best Musical...Come From AwayDear Evan HansenGroundhog Day, or Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812?

Tags :
Artists

May
05

Happy Birthday, Betty!

Betty Comden, who for more than 60 years partnered professionally with Adolph Green, would have turned 100 on May 3. The team of Comden and Green is, of course, responsible for such Broadway hits as On the Town, Wonderful Town, and Bells Are Ringing and such landmark films as Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon.

Erik and Ken have both written terrific columns that celebrate this writer-performer's centenary. 

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

  • Comden and Green Perform Their Own Songs - Comden started out her professional life as a performer, and she and Green would perform their Party With... on Broadway and around the country from 1958 forward. This album preserves some recordings they made of their work before they had resumed their stage careers.
  • Blossom Dearie Sings Comden and Green - On this album you'll find chanteuse Dearie lending her airy vocals to some of Comden and Green's most popular tunes and some of their lesser-known gems, such as "Dance Only With Me" from Say, Darling.

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. 


Selections from hit Broadway shows and the soundtracks of classic movies are at the center of this week's playlist on Spotify. All of the selections, naturally, relate to this week's celebration of Betty Comden's centenary. To round out the list, I've put in a bunch of swell covers of some of her most popular tunes.


In our ongoing efforts to bring you the latest in new theater-related music, we've got a track from the just-released cast recording of Todd Almond and Jenny Schwartz's musical Iowa as our current free song download.


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

  • 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!

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.

  • 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.
  • A Bronx Tale - Chazz Palmintieri's autobiographical one-man show has returned to Broadway as a full-blown musical replete with a terrific score by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.
  • Come From Away - This new cast recording allows listeners to savor the heartwarming tales of the airline passengers who were diverted to Newfoundland on 9/11 and the community that welcomed them.
  • 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. 
  • #ThrowbackThursday - Corey Brunish takes the Facebook/Twitter hashtag in a musical direction with this album of classic tunes by songwriters such as George and Ira Gershwin; Jule Styne, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green; and Bart Howard.
  • Philip Glass: Music for 'The Crucible' - Last season a fascinating revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible hit Broadway and one of its chief assets was an intriguing score by Philip Glass, which you can now savor on this cool new release.
  • Freaky Friday - There's a lot of giddy fun in this new tuner that's based on the movie of the same name. This new album features two great central performances from Heidi Blickenstaff and Emma Hunton.
  • Len Cariou Presents These Are My Friends - Tony winner Len Cariou is joined by some incredible folks on this album that revisits some of the hits from his career and then moves on to other favorites from the likes of Liz Callaway, Judy Kaye, Lee Roy Reams, and Anita Gillette.
  • Song of Solomon - Ramin Karimloo, who's thrilled audiences in Les Misérables and Love Never Dies, heads up a grand cast on this lavishly produced concept album for a new biblical musical.
  • Dream Ago - This remarkable album comes from a remarkable talent: Gabrielle Stravelli. Her voice has power, warmth, and, sometimes, great humor. It's been hard for me to stop playing this one. If you don't know her work, you should certainly sample some now!

When you get the next BwayTunes newsletter you'll find Ken and Erik offering up their thoughts on this question:

"What are the ten best books for musicals ever written?"

I know I can't wait to see what their choices are. Will either of them include Show Boat? Or what about Hamilton? How's that for hitting two ends of a historical spectrum?

Tags :
Artists

Apr
21

Hello, Jerry!

Legendary singer Bette Midler has just opened in a revival of Hello, Dolly!, and we wanted to welcome her and the show back in our own unique BwayTunes fashion. So this week Erik and Ken have devoted their columns to Herman's superlatively melodic, toe-tapping shows!

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

  • Hello, Dolly! - Yes, I know this one's hardly under the radar. However, this album contains seven bonus tracks of interviews with Carol Channing that make it indispensable. (There are also extra tracks featuring performers who succeeded her in the role, including Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, and Pearl Bailey.)
  • I Am What I Am - For some it might be heresy, but I have to admit that I think that Gloria Gaynor's disco version of this song from La Cage aux Folles manages to capture the defiance and exuberance of Herman's lyric while pushing it to an exhilarating new level.

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. 


Jerry Herman reigns with the current BwayTunes playlist on Spotify. Lots of tunes you know are mixed together with lesser-known gems, some rarely thought-of covers, and more. I'm hoping you enjoy this one a lot. I know it made me smile putting it together.


We've got a great track that's both pop and Broadway for you as this week's free song download. It comes from Doreen Montalvo's album American Soul/Latin Heart, recently released by Broadway Records.


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

  • 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!

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.

  • 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.
  • A Bronx Tale - Chazz Palmintieri's autobiographical one-man show has returned to Broadway as a full-blown musical replete with a terrific score by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.
  • Come From Away - This new cast recording allows listeners to savor the heartwarming tales of the airline passengers who were diverted to Newfoundland on 9/11 and the community that welcomed them.
  • 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. 
  • #ThrowbackThursday - Corey Brunish takes the Facebook/Twitter hashtag in a musical direction with this album of classic tunes by songwriters such as George and Ira Gershwin; Jule Styne, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green; and Bart Howard.
  • Philip Glass: Music for 'The Crucible' - Last season a fascinating revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible hit Broadway and one of its chief assets was an intriguing score by Philip Glass, which you can now savor on this cool new release.
  • Freaky Friday - There's a lot of giddy fun in this new tuner that's based on the movie of the same name. This new album features two great central performances from Heidi Blickenstaff and Emma Hunton.
  • Len Cariou Presents These Are My Friends - Tony winner Len Cariou is joined by some incredible folks on this album that revisits some of the hits from his career and then moves on to other favorites from the likes of Liz Callaway, Judy Kaye, Lee Roy Reams, and Anita Gillette.
  • Song of Solomon - Ramin Karimloo, who's thrilled audiences in Les Misérables and Love Never Dies, heads up a grand cast on this lavishly produced concept album for a new biblical musical.
  • Bare Naked - A bevy of great singers offer up tunes by songwriter Lynne Shankel on this new release, which includes both material from the revised off-Broadway production of Bare as well as some of her more recent writings.
  • Dream Ago - This remarkable album comes from a remarkable talent: Gabrielle Stravelli. Her voice has power, warmth, and, sometimes, great humor. It's been hard for me to stop playing this one. If you don't know her work, you should certainly sample some now!
  • Ruthless! - The cast recording for the often hysterical mash-up of The Bad Seed and All About Eve. Definitely worth checking out.

May 3 would have been lyricist/book writer/screenwriter Betty Comden's 100th birthday. As you'll be getting our next newsletter just a couple of days after that, it seemed only fitting that we pay tribute to this woman, who with partner Adolph Green penned such Broadway shows as On the TownOn the Twentieth Century, and The Will Rogers Follies.

Of course, they were also the writers behind films like Singin' in the RainGood News, and The Band Wagon, among others.

To get you started on an homage to Comden's zestful style (as a performer and a writer), take a listen to her as she and Green do their "Party With...."

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Apr
07

Kline and Coward

Tony winner Kevin Kline has just opened on Broadway in a revival of Noël Coward's Present Laughter. And, of course, both Coward and Kline have deep roots in musical theater.

I asked Ken and Erik to talk about either or both men in their columns, and I think you'll find that they have risen to the challenge with aplomb!

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

  • The Bob's Burgers Music Album - For this animated FOX series Kevin Kline provides the voice for the kinda creepy Mr. Fischoeder. On this album you can hear Kline and Broadway vet Megan Mullally raise their voices together with "Electric Love." It's a tune that was used for a musical-within-the-cartoon about Thomas Edison. (Of course you can also hear his vocals on the soundtrack for the new film Beauty and the Beast, too.)
  • A Changing World - For my money British performer Simon Green is one of the top contemporary interpreters of Noël Coward's songs. (The other is Steve Ross, and Erik discusses him.) You can hear Green's deftness with both the classics and a host of rarities on this beautiful album.

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


To create this week's Spotify playlist I started with songs performed by Kline and some performed by Coward. Then, I moved on to numbers from Coward's shows and the interpretations of his tunes that Erik has talked about. It's turned into one of my favorite Spotify lists, and I'm hoping you agree.


This week's free song download is a genuine rarity: a demo track from a 1960s British musical about Pocahontas. It's from a just-released compilation from Stage Door Records.


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

  • 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.

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

  • A Bronx Tale - Chazz Palmintieri's autobiographical one-man show has returned to Broadway as a full-blown musical replete with a terrific score by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater.
  • Come From Away - This new cast recording allows listeners to savor the heartwarming tales of the airline passengers who were diverted to Newfoundland on 9/11 and the community that welcomed them.
  • 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. 
  • #ThrowbackThursday - Corey Brunish takes the Facebook/Twitter hashtag in a musical direction with this album of classic tunes by songwriters such as George and Ira Gershwin; Jule Styne, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green; and Bart Howard.
  • Philip Glass: Music for 'The Crucible' - Last season a fascinating revival of Arthur Miller's The Crucible hit Broadway and one of its chief assets was an intriguing score by Philip Glass, which you can now savor on this cool new release.
  • Freaky Friday - There's a lot of giddy fun in this new tuner that's based on the movie of the same name. This new album features two great central performances from Heidi Blickenstaff and Emma Hunton.
  • Len Cariou Presents These Are My Friends - Tony winner Len Cariou is joined by some incredible folks on this album that revisits some of the hits from his career and then moves on to other favorites from the likes of Liz Callaway, Judy Kaye, Lee Roy Reams, and Anita Gillette.
  • Song of Solomon - Ramin Karimloo, who's thrilled audiences in Les Misérables and Love Never Dies, heads up a grand cast on this lavishly produced concept album for a new biblical musical.
  • Bare Naked - A bevy of great singers offer up tunes by songwriter Lynne Shankel on this new release, which includes both material from the revised off-Broadway production of Bare as well as some of her more recent writings.
  • Dream Ago - This remarkable album comes from a remarkable talent: Gabrielle Stravelli. Her voice has power, warmth, and, sometimes, great humor. It's been hard for me to stop playing this one. If you don't know her work, you should certainly sample some now!
  • The Student Prince - This new two disc recording of the classic operetta is sounding pretty darn gorgeous thanks to the careful guidance of conductor John Mauceri.
  • Ruthless! - The cast recording for the often hysterical mash-up of The Bad Seed and All About Eve. Definitely worth checking out.
  • Ivanov – A real gem this recording preserves a production of Chekhov's play that starred Sir John Gielgud and Vivien Leigh.

Earlier this spring York Theatre Company presented a concert version of Jerry Herman's Dear World, and soon the incomparable Bette Midler will be opening in his musical Hello, Dolly! on Broadway. 

We've never specifically talked about this songwriter, and so Ken's and Erik's next columns will be dedicated to his musicals from Dolly to Mame, and Milk And Honey to La Cage. Beyond the hits, I'm going to let them figure out how they want to approach Jerry Hermans's legendary career.

If you're feeling like reminiscing about his hit-filled life, one of the best ways I know is to take a listen to the 1985 Broadway revue featuring his songs: Jerry's Girls.

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