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Toujours la Soupe

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The year-end holidays, from Thanksgiving to Hanukah to Christmas to Kwanzaa to New Year’s, are all intimately connected with food. So we are starting off the new year with a look at musical theatre songs that have an epicurean inclination. In salute to 2019, here are 19 of my choosing.

Food,Glorious Food

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Rodgers and Hart wrote the song “I’ll Have a Little of You on Toast” for an obscure radio mini-musical featuring Helen Morgan. All I can say is, the song’s quality is equal to its title.

God, That's Good....

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

Seasonal Things 2018

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

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

There’s Something About a War

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This week my intentionally vague charge from editor Andy Propst is to write “something seasonal.” I think that’s his way of letting me off the hook this year about writing a Christmas music column. In any event, I’m availing myself of the opportunity. My blog goes live on Dec. 7, which just happens to be Pearl Harbor Day. So I decided to look at musicals that take place during wartime.

Holidays Mixtape

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Folks, hope you’re having a Happy Hannukah if that’s your thing. Or no holiday at all of you don’t believe. But we all have to agree that as far as theatre songs go it’s Christmas all the way. Ironically many, if not most of the great Christmas songs were written by writers of the Jewish persuasion. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes America great!!

There’s a plethora of great Christmas songs from musical theatre. Here’s my list of the best known ones listed alphabetically by show. I think it would make a really terrific mix tape (mix CD?) (mix playlist?).

By the Decade - The 1950s

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

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

Favorites by Decade – The 1950s

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I have to pick only five favorite musicals from this incredibly fruitful decade? Really?! Well, it can’t be done. I winnowed it down to six indispensable Broadway titles, but I just couldn’t get to five. Then, to spice it up a bit, I added five off-Broadway shows, as I did for the 1990s column back in April. As off-Broadway was born in the 1950s, I wondered if I could find five titles, but it wasn’t hard at all.

Twixt Twelve and Twenty

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This week’s topic is teenagers in musicals, in salute of next week’s Broadway opening of The Prom, about an adolescent girl in small-town Indiana who is forbidden to bring her girlfriend to the titular event.

“What’s Wrong with These Kids Today?”

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‘Twas ever thus through history. And musical history too. Face it, we were all jerks between the ages of thirteen and nineteen. All along the way at every birthday we thought we had it all figured out. The amazing thing is perhaps no matter how old you are you never quite have everything figured out.

And teenagers in past musical theater are mostly delightfully lost. The first stirrings of adulthood. Beginning relationships. Finding out who we are and our place in the world. All themes explored through song and story.


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