Michael John LaChiusa doesn’t write easy musicals. He writes complex, multi-themed and often huge works based on challenging material.
Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre
My theater shelves are already groaning with books about the history of musical theater. Some are well researched but terribly dry reference works. Some are entertaining but hardly definitive source documents. Many of them bear the imprint “OUP” as in Oxford University Press. Today OUP releases another one, and I’m just going to have to […]
Pippin: 2013 Broadway Revival Recording
Ghostlight Records’ “New Broadway Cast Recording” of Pippin offers an hour of highly melodic soft-pop Stephen Schwartz music from what must be one of the most fun shows on Broadway today. It is ample evidence of the musical and performance strengths that justify the show’s capturing the Tony Award for best revival of a musical.
Annie – 2012 Broadway Cast Recording
From the opening trumpet statement of the melody for “Tomorrow” to the launch into “It’s A Hard Knock Life” and the release of “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile,” the new recording of the current revival of Annie establishes a chipper enthusiasm that gladdens the hearts of theater music fans … and that’s just […]
The Yellow Brick Road and Beyond
This relatively short (less than an hour) and occasionally interesting documentary deals with, as its subtitle says, “The History of L. Frank Baum’s Classic Books and Movies.” It doesn’t however, deal with them very comprehensively and leaves quite a lot uncovered.
Musical theatre’s got a new label: Yellow Sound
The drummer from the Broadway production of Avenue Q, Michael Croiter, is at the helm of his own record label and it is making major inroads into the business of musical theater recording. There aren’t many labels competing in the field, but we who have filled our shelves with the recent products of PS Classics, […]
Beating Broadway – How to Create Stories for Musicals That Get Standing Ovations
Writing a musical is a task that takes both talent and training. No one textbook can give you all you need even if you have all the talent in the world. However, while there are many textbooks in print on how to write specific kinds of products – novels, movies, television series, poetry, songs, plays […]
Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy
Michael Kantor’s documentary, Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy, examines the extent to which the Broadway musical has been essentially a Jewish creation. It is a loving tribute to a heritage for which all the world should be grateful given the dozens of well known and indeed hundreds if not thousands of lesser known Jewish composers […]
ClownAround – Obscure circus musical emerges from the RCA vault
A musical theater collection needn’t – indeed shouldn’t – be confined to those timeless hits familiar to all theater aficionados. There are so many fabulous scores that never became standards but deserve to be explored! Many deserve a spot on your theater shelf because of both music and lyrics, while others limp in with one […]
Supporting Player: My Life Upon the Wicked Stage
If you only have time this year to read one autobiography of an actor, make it Richard Seff’s book Supporting Player: My Life Upon The Wicked Stage. If you only have time to read one autobiography of a playwright, make it Richard Seff’s book Supporting Player. If you only have time for one autobiography of […]
Kinky Boots – big winner on Tony night?
If you want to prepare for this Sunday night’s Tony Awards telecast on CBS (8pm EST), you might want to get hold of the new original Broadway cast album of the show that has more nominations than any other, Kinky Boots. With 13 nominations, there are likely to be a good many times when the […]
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, CD release
The series on Tony nominees continues with this look at the recently released Original Broadway Cast recording of the newest revival of Cinderella.