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That Awkward Age


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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