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From Stage to Screen

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When Andy told me to pick a topic that involves the relationship between stage and screen, I knew pretty quickly that I would write about some of my favorite film adaptations of stage musicals. That’s because growing up in suburban Cleveland, I got to see very little theatre. My love of musical theatre may have been born after seeing the national tour of Camelot at age eight, but it was nourished through cast recordings and movies based on Broadway shows. Here are 14 film adaptations that for one reason or another float my boat, in chronological order.

Stage to Screen, Vice Versa, and Goodbye

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A SPECIAL NOTE FROM BWAYTUNES FOUNDER JIM RUSSEK:

Once there were record stores that specialized in hard to find music. You could talk to an eccentric but encyclopedic savant, ask questions, find treasures, learn more than you already knew, and you knew plenty.  

Tower Records, Coconuts, Sam Goody’s and other monsters put them out of business and what do you know, the MP3 put the monsters out of business. For musical theatre, New York lost Footlights on East 12th Street and The Colony in the legendary Brill Building. Niche guys finish last.

Goddard Lieberson

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Ken is on vacation this week, but Erik shares some terrific thoughts on and insight about a man who would be turning 108 on April 5: Goddard Lieberson. If it's a name you don't know, he was a record producer behind some of our most cherished cast recordings, who ultimately became the president of Columbia Records and, in that capacity, ensured the company's ongoing commitment to preserving musicals on LP.

Putting the God in Goddard

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Is it just a coincidence that Goddard Lieberson’s first name contains the appellation of a deity? He certainly was the Creator of the original cast recording, as opposed to the original cast album, because he was one of the two men who developed the 33 1/3 rpm long-playing LP format for Columbia Records. Prior to the LP, cast recordings were issued as a series of records, each of which could only contain about three-and-a-half minutes worth of music per side, packaged like a photo album with multiple pages, except here each disc had its own page, i.e., sleeve.

Spring Flings

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I let Ken and Erik go their own way this week. The result is two columns that provide some marvelous insights into musical theater. Don't want to spoil any surprises, so just click the links to read what they've written.

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

What Is the Stars?

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This week I am allowed to select my own topic, and my choice comes out of recent experience. I just finished watching 11 performances of Alan Jay Lerner and John Barry’s 1971 musical Lolita, My Love, based on Vladimir Nabokov’s classic novel, in a book-in-hand concert staging presented as part of the York Theatre Company’s Musicals in Mufti series honoring Lerner’s centenary. I saw all 11 shows because I edited together the script that was used, taking it from six different scripts in the Lerner archives at the Library of Congress.

Wikipedia Musicals

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Today I’d like to discuss a relatively new form of musical theatre. We had the revue and the book musical. Both of which had original songs either as one-offs like in a revue or songs that propelled and commented on the plots. But now we have a wholly new variety of musical theatre, one that I have dubbed the Wikipedia musical.

Just a Cole Porter Song

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I became a Cole Porter aficionado while still a teenager in high school.

Cole Porter

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Each of the great American songwriters had their own voice through their lyrics. And Cole Porter is no exception. Like Irving Berlin, he supplied the lyrics to his tunes an enviable talent. Of all the great lyricists, it was Porter who expressed his difficult emotions in his songs.

Cole Porter - He's the Top!

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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: 


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