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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.

Jan
19

Looking Back: 2017

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

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

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

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

<hr>

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


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


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

  • 42nd Street - One of the biggest hits in London right now is a new production of this classic tale about an understudy who becomes a star. The Al Dubin-Harry Warren tunes sound particularly sparkling on this just-out cast recording.
  • Between Yesterday and Tomorrow - Originally created as a song cycle to be performed by Barbra Streisand, this piece by composer Michel Legrand and lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman has gone unrecorded for decades. Natalie Dessay has remedied that, performing it with grace and beauty on this sumptuous first-ever recording.

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

  • The Band's Visit - Just out today is the elegant original cast recording of David Yazbek and Itamar Moses' new hit musical. Fusing sinuous melodies with Middle Eastern-inflected rhythms and harmonies and finished with hints of jazz, Yazbek's superb score is unlike any you've ever heard in a Broadway show.
  • Hamlisch Uncovered - Some never-recorded gems from the late Marvin Hamlisch are collected on this new album. Among the talented performers on the recording are Tony winners Kelli O'Hara and Randy Graff. The songs come from shows as varied as Sweet Smell of SuccessSmile, and Ballroom.
  • Black Manhattan (Volume 3) - Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra shine the spotlight once again on a terrific selection of songs by African Americans from the first part of the 20th century. It's an astonishing collection of material and includes the simply gorgeous overture to My Friend From Kentucky (1913) and the wonderfully exotic "Jewel of the Big Blue Nile" from Baby Blues (1919). This one's a treat from start to finish!
  • Twisted Broadway, Vol. 1 - The a cappella group Blue Jupiter puts a terrific spin on some classic musical theater songs on this new release. Among the shows featured are Pippin,Porgy and Bess, The Sound of Music, and Wicked.
  • The Ballad of Little Jo - The first cast album for this musical by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger preserves its most recent incarnation, the moving production seen at New Jersey's Two River Theater last season.
  • Rearrangements of Shadows - Cheryl Bentyne infuses some Stephen Sondheim favorites ("Send in the Clowns," "Everybody Says Don't") and some of the songwriter's rarities ("Sand," "I Wish I Could Forget You") with a swingin' cool jazz vibe on this terrific new album. 
  • Together Again - Alfie Boe and Michael Ball join forces for a second album that brims with great musical theater songs; they include tunes from shows ranging from Kismet to Hamilton. It's a gorgeous-sounding recording.
  • Richard Rodgers Revisited - Kyle Riabko has created new arrangements for classics like "My Favorite Things," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "Bewitched," and when they're combined with his soulful vocals the results can often be dazzling.
  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • Almost Like Praying - Lin-Manuel Miranda brought together a fantastic array of Latin music superstars for this single that's helping to raise money for relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In addition to Miranda, the song features performances from the likes of Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, and Ruben Blades. It's a tuneful way to lend a hand.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.

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

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

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

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

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Artists

Jan
05

Let's Start at the Beginning...

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

  • 42nd Street - One of the biggest hits in London right now is a new production of this classic tale about an understudy who becomes a star. The Al Dubin-Harry Warren tunes sound particularly sparkling on this just-out cast recording.
  • Between Yesterday and Tomorrow - Originally created as a song cycle to be performed by Barbra Streisand, this piece by composer Michel Legrand and lyricists Marilyn and Alan Bergman has gone unrecorded for decades. Natalie Dessay has remedied that, performing it with grace and beauty on this sumptuous first-ever recording.
  • In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.
  • The Band's Visit - Just out today is the elegant original cast recording of David Yazbek and Itamar Moses' new hit musical. Fusing sinuous melodies with Middle Eastern-inflected rhythms and harmonies and finished with hints of jazz, Yazbek's superb score is unlike any you've ever heard in a Broadway show.
  • Hamlisch Uncovered - Some never-recorded gems from the late Marvin Hamlisch are collected on this new album. Among the talented performers on the recording are Tony winners Kelli O'Hara and Randy Graff. The songs come from shows as varied as Sweet Smell of SuccessSmile, and Ballroom.
  • Black Manhattan (Volume 3) - Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra shine the spotlight once again on a terrific selection of songs by African Americans from the first part of the 20th century. It's an astonishing collection of material and includes the simply gorgeous overture to My Friend From Kentucky (1913) and the wonderfully exotic "Jewel of the Big Blue Nile" from Baby Blues (1919). This one's a treat from start to finish!
  • Twisted Broadway, Vol. 1 - The a cappella group Blue Jupiter puts a terrific spin on some classic musical theater songs on this new release. Among the shows featured are Pippin,Porgy and Bess, The Sound of Music, and Wicked.
  • The Ballad of Little Jo - The first cast album for this musical by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger preserves its most recent incarnation, the moving production seen at New Jersey's Two River Theater last season.
  • Rearrangements of Shadows - Cheryl Bentyne infuses some Stephen Sondheim favorites ("Send in the Clowns," "Everybody Says Don't") and some of the songwriter's rarities ("Sand," "I Wish I Could Forget You") with a swingin' cool jazz vibe on this terrific new album. 
  • Together Again - Alfie Boe and Michael Ball join forces for a second album that brims with great musical theater songs; they include tunes from shows ranging from Kismet to Hamilton. It's a gorgeous-sounding recording.
  • Richard Rodgers Revisited - Kyle Riabko has created new arrangements for classics like "My Favorite Things," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "Bewitched," and when they're combined with his soulful vocals the results can often be dazzling.
  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • Almost Like Praying - Lin-Manuel Miranda brought together a fantastic array of Latin music superstars for this single that's helping to raise money for relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In addition to Miranda, the song features performances from the likes of Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, and Ruben Blades. It's a tuneful way to lend a hand.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.

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

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

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

Tags :
Artists

Dec
15

'Tis the Season...

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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


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

  • The Band's Visit - Just out today is the elegant original cast recording of David Yazbek and Itamar Moses' new hit musical. Fusing sinuous melodies with Middle Eastern-inflected rhythms and harmonies and finished with hints of jazz, Yazbek's superb score is unlike any you've ever heard in a Broadway show.
  • Hamlisch Uncovered - Some never-recorded gems from the late Marvin Hamlisch are collected on this new album. Among the talented performers on the recording are Tony winners Kelli O'Hara and Randy Graff. The songs come from shows as varied as Sweet Smell of SuccessSmile, and Ballroom.

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

  • Black Manhattan (Volume 3) - Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra shine the spotlight once again on a terrific selection of songs by African Americans from the first part of the 20th century. It's an astonishing collection of material and includes the simply gorgeous overture to My Friend From Kentucky (1913) and the wonderfully exotic "Jewel of the Big Blue Nile" from Baby Blues (1919). This one's a treat from start to finish!
  • Twisted Broadway, Vol. 1 - The a cappella group Blue Jupiter puts a terrific spin on some classic musical theater songs on this new release. Among the shows featured are Pippin,Porgy and Bess, The Sound of Music, and Wicked.
  • The Ballad of Little Jo - The first cast album for this musical by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger preserves its most recent incarnation, the moving production seen at New Jersey's Two River Theater last season.
  • Rearrangements of Shadows - Cheryl Bentyne infuses some Stephen Sondheim favorites ("Send in the Clowns," "Everybody Says Don't") and some of the songwriter's rarities ("Sand," "I Wish I Could Forget You") with a swingin' cool jazz vibe on this terrific new album. 
  • Together Again - Alfie Boe and Michael Ball join forces for a second album that brims with great musical theater songs; they include tunes from shows ranging from Kismet to Hamilton. It's a gorgeous-sounding recording.
  • Richard Rodgers Revisited - Kyle Riabko has created new arrangements for classics like "My Favorite Things," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "Bewitched," and when they're combined with his soulful vocals the results can often be dazzling.
  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • Almost Like Praying - Lin-Manuel Miranda brought together a fantastic array of Latin music superstars for this single that's helping to raise money for relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In addition to Miranda, the song features performances from the likes of Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, and Ruben Blades. It's a tuneful way to lend a hand.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.
  • Don't Monkey With Broadway - Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone serves up a grand assortment of songs and anecdotes on this just-out two disc set that’s nothing short of fantastic.

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

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

Tags :
Artists

Dec
01

'Once on This Island' Returns

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

  • Black Manhattan (Volume 3) - Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra shine the spotlight once again on a terrific selection of songs by African Americans from the first part of the 20th century. It's an astonishing collection of material and includes the simply gorgeous overture to My Friend From Kentucky (1913) and the wonderfully exotic "Jewel of the Big Blue Nile" from Baby Blues (1919). This one's a treat from start to finish!
  • Twisted Broadway, Vol. 1 - The a cappella group Blue Jupiter puts a terrific spin on some classic musical theater songs on this new release. Among the shows featured are Pippin,Porgy and Bess, The Sound of Music, and Wicked.

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

  • The Ballad of Little Jo - The first cast album for this musical by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger preserves its most recent incarnation, the moving production seen at New Jersey's Two River Theater last season.
  • Rearrangements of Shadows - Cheryl Bentyne infuses some Stephen Sondheim favorites ("Send in the Clowns," "Everybody Says Don't") and some of the songwriter's rarities ("Sand," "I Wish I Could Forget You") with a swingin' cool jazz vibe on this terrific new album. 
  • Together Again - Alfie Boe and Michael Ball join forces for a second album that brims with great musical theater songs; they include tunes from shows ranging from Kismet to Hamilton. It's a gorgeous-sounding recording.
  • Richard Rodgers Revisited - Kyle Riabko has created new arrangements for classics like "My Favorite Things," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "Bewitched," and when they're combined with his soulful vocals the results can often be dazzling.
  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • Almost Like Praying - Lin-Manuel Miranda brought together a fantastic array of Latin music superstars for this single that's helping to raise money for relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In addition to Miranda, the song features performances from the likes of Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, and Ruben Blades. It's a tuneful way to lend a hand.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • Someone to Watch Over Me  - Ella Fitzgerald and the London Symphony Orchestra exquisitely complement one another on this incredible new release. Just take a listen to the album’s title track or “Bewitched” and you’ll be hooked.
  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.
  • Don't Monkey With Broadway - Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone serves up a grand assortment of songs and anecdotes on this just-out two disc set that’s nothing short of fantastic.
  • Kid Victory - The latest musical from John Kander, working with Greg Pierce, is a fascinating and often wonderful listen.
  • In Full Swing - Seth MacFarlane lends his smooth vocals to a host of American Songbook classics on this new album. Among the recording's niftiest tracks are "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "I Like Myself," and "Almost Like Being in Love."
  • Gershwin & Wild - Pianist Joanne Polk tackles Earl Wild’s exceptional arrangements of George Gershwin’s melodies, including “Embraceable You” and “I Got Rhythm.” This one’s a beaut.
  • Glorious Quest: Hits from the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals - British baritone Rodney Earl Clarke sounds pretty fantastic on this new recording of great songs like “Lonely Town” from On the Town and “This Nearly Was MIne” from South Pacific.
  • Bernstein: The Complete Solo Piano Works - Leann Osterkamp’s grand album collects Leonard Bernstein’s piano compositions. Many of the pieces here are ones that he wrote as gifts for friends such as Stephen Sondheim and Aaron Copland, and some are receiving their first recording here.

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

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

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

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Artists

Nov
10

Something for Everybody...?

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

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

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


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


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


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

  • The Ballad of Little Jo - The first cast album for this musical by Mike Reid and Sarah Schlesinger preserves its most recent incarnation, the moving production seen at New Jersey's Two River Theater last season.
  • Rearrangements of Shadows - Cheryl Bentyne infuses some Stephen Sondheim favorites ("Send in the Clowns," "Everybody Says Don't") and some of the songwriter's rarities ("Sand," "I Wish I Could Forget You") with a swingin' cool jazz vibe on this terrific new album. 
  • Richard Rodgers Revisited - Kyle Riabko has created new arrangements for classics like "My Favorite Things," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "Bewitched," and when they're combined with his soulful vocals the results can often be dazzling.

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

  • Together Again - Alfie Boe and Michael Ball join forces for a second album that brims with great musical theater songs; they include tunes from shows ranging from Kismet to Hamilton. It's a gorgeous-sounding recording.
  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • Almost Like Praying - Lin-Manuel Miranda brought together a fantastic array of Latin music superstars for this single that's helping to raise money for relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In addition to Miranda, the song features performances from the likes of Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, and Ruben Blades. It's a tuneful way to lend a hand.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • Someone to Watch Over Me  - Ella Fitzgerald and the London Symphony Orchestra exquisitely complement one another on this incredible new release. Just take a listen to the album’s title track or “Bewitched” and you’ll be hooked.
  • Funny Face - To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this classic film the soundtrack has been re-released and on this incarnation you’ll discover pretty extraordinary bonus tracks!
  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.
  • Don't Monkey With Broadway - Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone serves up a grand assortment of songs and anecdotes on this just-out two disc set that’s nothing short of fantastic.
  • Kid Victory - The latest musical from John Kander, working with Greg Pierce, is a fascinating and often wonderful listen.
  • In Full Swing - Seth MacFarlane lends his smooth vocals to a host of American Songbook classics on this new album. Among the recording's niftiest tracks are "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "I Like Myself," and "Almost Like Being in Love."
  • Gershwin & Wild - Pianist Joanne Polk tackles Earl Wild’s exceptional arrangements of George Gershwin’s melodies, including “Embraceable You” and “I Got Rhythm.” This one’s a beaut.
  • Glorious Quest: Hits from the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals - British baritone Rodney Earl Clarke sounds pretty fantastic on this new recording of great songs like “Lonely Town” from On the Town and “This Nearly Was MIne” from South Pacific.
  • Bernstein: The Complete Solo Piano Works - Leann Osterkamp’s grand album collects Leonard Bernstein’s piano compositions. Many of the pieces here are ones that he wrote as gifts for friends such as Stephen Sondheim and Aaron Copland, and some are receiving their first recording here.
  • Abandoned Heart - A terrific array of Broadway performers has been assembled for this new album showcasing the songwriting talents of Michael Mott. Among the artists who have contributed are Jennifer Damiano, Andy Mientus, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Natalie Weiss.
  • Legally Bound - Andy Karl and Orfeh are a married couple with a pair of powerhouse voices. We've gotten to see them share a couple of scenes together in Legally Blonde, and now with this terrific new album they join up for an entire evening of song.
  • Life Is What You Make It - This EP gives you the soundtrack for the poignant documentary from Jhett Tolentino, who's brought shows such as Hand to God to Broadway. Four of the songs come from singer-songwriter Dennis Sy.
  • The View Upstairs - This pop-infused, New Orleans-set tuner bends time to tell an intriguing and moving story about a little-known slice of gay history. For those of you who didn't get to see this one, it's definitely worth a listen.
  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!

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

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

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

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Artists

Oct
27

Celestial Bodies

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

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

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

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

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


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


Musician-performer Kyle Riabko reimagines a host of classic Richard Rodgers tunes on his new album, and this week we've got one of them for you as our Free Song download!


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

  • Together Again - Alfie Boe and Michael Ball join forces for a second album that brims with great musical theater songs; they include tunes from shows ranging from Kismet to Hamilton. It's a gorgeous-sounding recording.
  • Richard Rodgers Revisited - Kyle Riabko has created new arrangements for classics like "My Favorite Things," "You'll Never Walk Alone," and "Bewitched," and when they're combined with his soulful vocals the results can often be dazzling.

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

  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • Almost Like Praying - Lin-Manuel Miranda brought together a fantastic array of Latin music superstars for this single that's helping to raise money for relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In addition to Miranda, the song features performances from the likes of Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, and Ruben Blades. It's a tuneful way to lend a hand.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • Someone to Watch Over Me  - Ella Fitzgerald and the London Symphony Orchestra exquisitely complement one another on this incredible new release. Just take a listen to the album’s title track or “Bewitched” and you’ll be hooked.
  • Funny Face - To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this classic film the soundtrack has been re-released and on this incarnation you’ll discover pretty extraordinary bonus tracks!
  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.
  • Don't Monkey With Broadway - Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone serves up a grand assortment of songs and anecdotes on this just-out two disc set that’s nothing short of fantastic.
  • Kid Victory - The latest musical from John Kander, working with Greg Pierce, is a fascinating and often wonderful listen.
  • In Full Swing - Seth MacFarlane lends his smooth vocals to a host of American Songbook classics on this new album. Among the recording's niftiest tracks are "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "I Like Myself," and "Almost Like Being in Love."
  • Gershwin & Wild - Pianist Joanne Polk tackles Earl Wild’s exceptional arrangements of George Gershwin’s melodies, including “Embraceable You” and “I Got Rhythm.” This one’s a beaut.
  • Glorious Quest: Hits from the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals - British baritone Rodney Earl Clarke sounds pretty fantastic on this new recording of great songs like “Lonely Town” from On the Town and “This Nearly Was MIne” from South Pacific.
  • Bernstein: The Complete Solo Piano Works - Leann Osterkamp’s grand album collects Leonard Bernstein’s piano compositions. Many of the pieces here are ones that he wrote as gifts for friends such as Stephen Sondheim and Aaron Copland, and some are receiving their first recording here.
  • Abandoned Heart - A terrific array of Broadway performers has been assembled for this new album showcasing the songwriting talents of Michael Mott. Among the artists who have contributed are Jennifer Damiano, Andy Mientus, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Natalie Weiss.
  • Legally Bound - Andy Karl and Orfeh are a married couple with a pair of powerhouse voices. We've gotten to see them share a couple of scenes together in Legally Blonde, and now with this terrific new album they join up for an entire evening of song.
  • Life Is What You Make It - This EP gives you the soundtrack for the poignant documentary from Jhett Tolentino, who's brought shows such as Hand to God to Broadway. Four of the songs come from singer-songwriter Dennis Sy.
  • The View Upstairs - This pop-infused, New Orleans-set tuner bends time to tell an intriguing and moving story about a little-known slice of gay history. For those of you who didn't get to see this one, it's definitely worth a listen.
  • Zipperz - Created by Nathaniel Stookey and Dan Harder, this piece started life as a song cycle for orchestra and then became one for two performers. The recording features Manoel Felciano and Robin Coomer, who deliver powerfully on this splendid album.
  • Portraits of Joni – Jessica Molaskey lends her distinctive style and gorgeous voice to a bevy of Joni Mitchell standards.
  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!

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

Let a little writers' freedom ring, right?

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

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Artists

Oct
13

Falling...Falling...

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

  • Hadestown - It's taken a while, but there's finally a full cast recording for this tuner that dynamically reframes Greek myth for the 21st century. It's a most welcome new release.
  • Almost Like Praying - Lin-Manuel Miranda brought together a fantastic array of Latin music superstars for this single that's helping to raise money for relief efforts in Puerto Rico. In addition to Miranda, the song features performances from the likes of Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony, and Ruben Blades. It's a tuneful way to lend a hand.
  • You Never Know - It's been out of print for a while now, so it’s great to have this sterling-sounding recording of a Cole Porter rarity back as a digital download. If you’ve never listened, you should!
  • Someone to Watch Over Me  - Ella Fitzgerald and the London Symphony Orchestra exquisitely complement one another on this incredible new release. Just take a listen to the album’s title track or “Bewitched” and you’ll be hooked.
  • Funny Face - To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this classic film the soundtrack has been re-released and on this incarnation you’ll discover pretty extraordinary bonus tracks!

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

  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.
  • Don't Monkey With Broadway - Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone serves up a grand assortment of songs and anecdotes on this just-out two disc set that’s nothing short of fantastic.
  • Kid Victory - The latest musical from John Kander, working with Greg Pierce, is a fascinating and often wonderful listen.
  • In Full Swing - Seth MacFarlane lends his smooth vocals to a host of American Songbook classics on this new album. Among the recording's niftiest tracks are "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "I Like Myself," and "Almost Like Being in Love."
  • Gershwin & Wild - Pianist Joanne Polk tackles Earl Wild’s exceptional arrangements of George Gershwin’s melodies, including “Embraceable You” and “I Got Rhythm.” This one’s a beaut.
  • Glorious Quest: Hits from the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals - British baritone Rodney Earl Clarke sounds pretty fantastic on this new recording of great songs like “Lonely Town” from On the Town and “This Nearly Was MIne” from South Pacific.
  • Bernstein: The Complete Solo Piano Works - Leann Osterkamp’s grand album collects Leonard Bernstein’s piano compositions. Many of the pieces here are ones that he wrote as gifts for friends such as Stephen Sondheim and Aaron Copland, and some are receiving their first recording here.
  • Abandoned Heart - A terrific array of Broadway performers has been assembled for this new album showcasing the songwriting talents of Michael Mott. Among the artists who have contributed are Jennifer Damiano, Andy Mientus, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Natalie Weiss.
  • Legally Bound - Andy Karl and Orfeh are a married couple with a pair of powerhouse voices. We've gotten to see them share a couple of scenes together in Legally Blonde, and now with this terrific new album they join up for an entire evening of song.
  • Life Is What You Make It - This EP gives you the soundtrack for the poignant documentary from Jhett Tolentino, who's brought shows such as Hand to God to Broadway. Four of the songs come from singer-songwriter Dennis Sy.
  • The View Upstairs - This pop-infused, New Orleans-set tuner bends time to tell an intriguing and moving story about a little-known slice of gay history. For those of you who didn't get to see this one, it's definitely worth a listen.
  • Zipperz - Created by Nathaniel Stookey and Dan Harder, this piece started life as a song cycle for orchestra and then became one for two performers. The recording features Manoel Felciano and Robin Coomer, who deliver powerfully on this splendid album.
  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater - Santino Fontana, Skylar Astin, and Brynn O'Malley are all sounding pretty marvelous on this just-out recording of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's 1979 tuner.
  • Portraits of Joni – Jessica Molaskey lends her distinctive style and gorgeous voice to a bevy of Joni Mitchell standards.
  • Bubble Boy - There are delights aplenty to be heard on this cast album of a show written by one of the guys responsible for the hit film Despicable Me. It's definitely worth a listen!
  • The Lightning Thief - Based on Rick Riordan’s hit novels for young people, this tuner brings Percy Jackson to the realm of musicals. The show picked up an award nomination or two after its run last season; it’s pretty special.
  • The Hamilton Instrumentals - Fans of the phenomenal hit get to sing along and sound like they’re backed by the Broadway orchestra thanks to this release that simply features the show’s score.

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

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

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

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Artists

Sep
29

Happy Birthday, Julie Andrews!

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

  • SpongBob SquarePants, the Musical - Everyone's favorite below the sea ‘toon will soon be arriving on Broadway in a musical and in anticipation of his bow on the Great White Way comes this tuneful and funny original cast recording.
  • Sunday in the Park With George - Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford delivered marvelously on stage in this Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, and it's terrific to have their work preserved on this just-released cast album.
  • Don't Monkey With Broadway - Tony Award-winner Patti LuPone serves up a grand assortment of songs and anecdotes on this just-out two disc set that’s nothing short of fantastic.
  • Kid Victory - The latest musical from John Kander, working with Greg Pierce, is a fascinating and often wonderful listen.
  • In Full Swing - Seth MacFarlane lends his smooth vocals to a host of American Songbook classics on this new album. Among the recording's niftiest tracks are "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "I Like Myself," and "Almost Like Being in Love."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Artists

Sep
15

Back-to-School Special!

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

  • In Full Swing - Seth MacFarlane lends his smooth vocals to a host of American Songbook classics on this new album. Among the recording's niftiest tracks are "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "I Like Myself," and "Almost Like Being in Love."
  • Abandoned Heart - A terrific array of Broadway performers has been assembled for this new album showcasing the songwriting talents of Michael Mott. Among the artists who have contributed are Jennifer Damiano, Andy Mientus, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Jenna Ushkowitz, and Natalie Weiss.

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

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

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

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

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

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Artists

Aug
25

Here's To Barbara Cook!

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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