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Cole Porter - He's the Top!


Next week Roundabout Theatre Company's revival of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate, starring Kelli O'Hara and Will Chase, opens. To celebrate the return of this classic to Broadway, Ken and Erik are toasting the man who wrote the show's exceptional score: Cole Porter.

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

  • Jeri Southern Meets Cole Porter - People on a couple of blogs I follow have been talking a lot about Southern recently, prompting me to go back and re-listen to some of her albums. One of the first I pulled out was this beaut. If you don't know Southern's work, take a listen!
  • The Columbia Album of Cole Porter - You can't surpass this one for majesty and/or lushness. It's a compendium of Porter's best-known songs performed by the late Michel Legrand and his Orchestra.

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. 

Cole Porter's best-loved songs (sung by a variety of fave performers) and a bevy of forgotten or underappreciated gems constitute this week's Spotify playlist. It's a good ninety minutes of listening that I hope you enjoy. 

A delightful rendition of Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" is our free song download right now; it's a cut from a new album from Stage Door Records that brings two London studio cast recordings into the 21st century!

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

  • Heathers - After an acclaimed and often extended off-Broadway run, Kevin Murphy and Laurence O'Keefe's musical version of the 1989 movie of the same name is taking London by storm. That production's cast album is now available over here!
  • Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical - Also just out is the cast recording of this show that had audiences roaring in its off-Broadway run last season. This one uses a bevy of 90s hits, including "Colorblind," "I Want It That Way," and "Genie in a Bottle," as it transports the story of Les Liaisons Dangereuses to the world of Manhattan prep schools.

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.

  • Mythic - Marcus Stevens and Oran Eldor have brought the Greek gods to marvelous, contemporary life in this new musical. That's delighted audiences in the U.K. and now can works its magic on all of us in the U.S. thanks to this original cast recording.
  • Bella: An American Tall Tale - The Playwrights Horizons cast that deftly delivered Kirsten Childs' comically revisionist look at the mythos of the Old West sounds fantastic on this album, where the music fuses contemporary sounds with traditional Broadway ones and Americana.
  • Company - This gender-swapped production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's 1970 classic has been generating a lot of buzz both in the UK and here. It's promised for Broadway in the not-so-distant future. Take a listen to this new cast album to discover what the excitement's about!
  • Unbreakable - Soloists Britney Coleman, Marcus J. Paige, and Lisa Vroman, along with songwriter Andrew Lippa, join the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus for this exciting new cast album of a show that traverses more than a century of the gay experience in America.
  • Follies - Stephen Sondheim's ravishing score for this 1971 musical sounds pretty incredible on this new recording that preserves last year's highly acclaimed London revival cast (from the Royal National Theatre). It's a marvelous addition to the collection.
  • Songs for a New World - This Jason Robert Brown score gets showcased beautifully on a new album that features the cast that presented the show last summer as part of City's Center's Off-Center seriesWhat's great about this recording is that it comes on two CDs meaning it is longer than any previous release of this much-loved show.
  • Band Geeks: The Musical - You'll find some giddy merriment at work in this tuner that's finally come to disc. A romp through the world of high school marching bands, Band Geeks sets toes a-tappin' and mouths a-smilin' from start to finish.
  • The Dancing Years - A rare treat awaits listeners with this new, complete recording of Ivor Novello and Christopher Hassell's 1939 operetta about a man who's in love with two women. Swirling melodies and gorgeous vocals abound on this beautifully assembled studio cast album.
  • Brigadoon - Kelli O'Hara and Patrick Wilson are both in fine voice on this beautiful recording of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner's classic musical. We're all very happy to have a recording of this Encores! presentation.
  • "Loser Geek Whatever" - In anticipation of the Broadway bow of Joe Iconis' Be More Chill, the producers have released this nifty EP featuring three different versions of one of the show's terrific tunes.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Imogen Heap's Drama Desk Award winning score for the epic theatrical adventure featuring J.K. Rowling's renowned boy wizard has been marvelously transformed into four suites for this new recording. 
  • Will He Like Me? - Philip Chaffin lends his voice to over a dozen classic Broadway tunes and, in the process, creates a moving song cycle.

Sometimes I'm just astonished by how amenable Ken and Erik are to the varied topics for columns that I throw at them.

Spring is in the air (sort of), and I'm thinking they need to be given some freedom. So in a couple of weeks I'm going to let them write about whatever is on their minds.

To sort of salute that, take a listen to Caroline Sheen's terrific solo album, Raise the Curtain. On it she delivers the appropriately titled "Anything Can Happen" (from Mary Poppins).

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