BWW Interviews: Broadway Vet Natalie Toro Releases New Single 'Just in Time for Christmas'
Broadway veteran Natalie Toro is thrilled her latest tune debuts just in time for the holidays. Toro's version of JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, penned by Nancy LaMott, is already drawing fan raves, and it's only been a few days since its release.
Adding to her Broadway and touring credits (LES MIS, IN THE HEIGHTS, A TALE OF TWO CITIES, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, CATS, A CHRISTMAS CAROL), Toro is thrilled to continue recording songs that are meaningful to her. This latest song is reflective and emotional without being sentimental, and its non-denominational appeal crosses a variety of barriers, she said recently.
The song bemoans the commercialization of the season while casting hope for genuine love, with scenes of New York landmarks framing the tune. "The words are so profound," she said in a recent interview. "I sing about how commercialized Christmas has become, yet I've found true love which reignites the passion of the holiday's true meaning. Everyone seems to be rushing around buying gifts for people they don't even know and neglecting to find the true meaning of Christmas."
Toro insists that the love sung about could be about anyone. "All of a sudden, this love interest comes in and it could be anyone -- a lover, a parent, even a dog," she said with a deep-throated laugh. "It's not even necessarily a love song, whoever listens to the words can figure out what that love represents."
The Broadway talent got her start at the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem when she was barely 5 years old. "I remember insisting that I wanted to hold the mike, and the audience got behind me. So I got the mike! she recalled. Before her big song, she had noticed a hot dog vendor near the theater and Toro wanted one. "My father said if I sang all the words he would buy me five hot dogs," she said with a laugh. It was a good bet, because not only did Toro remember all the words to the song, she won. So five hot dogs later, Toro was one happy camper. "And now I'm a vegetarian," she said.
Toro was touring with INTO THE HEIGHTS in Utah and was very interested in recording JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS when plans got jammed by Hurricane Sandy. "My orchestrator [Edward B. Kessel] had to evacuate because he lives in New Jersey and there were lots of obstacles in the way of the song being produced," she said. "But we did it."
Others on the project included a sister and brother team (Andrew and Dawn Makay) who worked on opposite coasts of the country to get the single out. The New York-centric video for the song was put together in a short amount of time, with shots of Central Park, Columbus Circle and Riverdale included.
"My producer enthusiastically worked on this project knowing its message had the potential to touch a wide audience," Toro said. "I want people to add the song to their holiday playlist. Keep listening, tell your friends, press the 'like' button on my Facebook page," she said.
"The song brought everyone together because we knew the song has the potential to lift the spirits of everyone who hears it," Toro said. "And that's what Christmas is all about."