'The Showtune Mosh Pit' for November 28th, 2012




by Paul W. Thompson

Overheard last weekend under the showtune

video screens at Sidetrack and The Call:

I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one….It’s now full speed ahead into the December holiday season. And it’s a busy one!

Next Monday night, December 3rd, is the big holiday celebration to kick off sales of “Season Of Carols,” the holiday music CD put together by Jeff Award winners Cory Goodrich and Eugene Dizon, featuring dozens of Chicago musical theater performers in fresh arrangements of holiday songs. There are some new songs as well! And on Monday at 7:30 at the Mercury Theater, Melody Betts, the cabaret groups Foiled Again (including Rob Lindley) and The Lincoln Squares (including Michael Mahler--that’s them in the picture), the cast of the Drury Lane Theatre’s BroadwayWorld Chicago Award-nominated production of “Hairspray” and the Mercury Theater’s current production of “The Christmas Schooner” will join together with others to perform some of the selections from the CD. And of course, all proceeds go to Season of Concern, the Chicagoland theater community’s fundraising organization which supports those experiencing catastrophic illness, including HIV/AIDS. Won’t you support the cause and enjoy some great music, too?

Buy tickets to the concert HERE

Buy copies of the CD HERE

In case you’re busy on Monday, there is another holiday concert on Tuesday, December 4th that also features Chicago theater performers. This one is called “Happy Holidays Broadway Style…” and it’s at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. Musical director Doug Peck has pulled together Rob Lindley (busy man), Donica Lynn, Adrian Aguilar and Skyler Adams from Paramount’s BroadwayWorld Chicago Award-nominated production of “Hair,” Caroline Heffernan, Christine Sherrill and Emily Rohm from Paramount’s current “Annie,” and Brian Bohr and Lara Filip from Paramount’s “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (I’m detecting a theme). Jim Corti will host.


While we’re on the subject of recordings, there’s a bona fide Original Cast Recording of a Chicago world premiere production out there, and it’s reportedly a doozy! I’m talking about the BroadwayWorld Chicago Award-nominated production of “Eastland,” which ran through the summer at the Lookingglass Theatre Company on the Magnificent Mile. The original cast album of the show, with music by Ben Sussman and Andre Pleuss and lyrics by Andrew White, is available only through the Lookingglass box office. I hope they are able to make it available through other outlets as well, but maybe they will if it sells well! (Hint, hint).

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Paul W. Thompson Paul W. Thompson, a contributor to BroadwayWorld.com since 2007, is a Chicago-based singer, actor, musical director, pianist, vocal coach, composer and commentator. His career as a performer, teacher and writer is centered at Paul W. Thompson Music, located in Chicago’s historic Fine Arts Building, where he teaches the great songs of Broadway to the next generation of musical theater performers. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Paul was raised in a family of professional musicians and teachers, steeped in classical, gospel, country, pop, sacred and show music. Dubbed a “thin, winsome lad” at the age of 13 by a critic for the Nashville Banner, he earned two degrees in musical theater (a B.F.A. with Honors from Baylor University and an M.M. from the University of Miami, Florida), plus an M.B.A. with Distinction from DePaul University. Paul’s memberships include Actors’ Equity Association, the American Guild of Musical Artists, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (proud voter for the Grammy Awards!), the National Association of Teachers of Singing and New York’s Drama League.

Moving easily between the worlds of classical music, religious music, classic pop and musical theater, Paul has appeared onstage or in the orchestra pit in concerts, musicals, operettas and operas in 30 states and in Europe, in a career spanning more than 35 years. His Chicagoland stage credits include “Forever Plaid” at the Royal George Theater and twenty mainstage productions at Light Opera Works. Paul joined the Chicago Symphony Chorus in 1995 (he was Tenor I Section Leader for four years and sings on two Grammy-winning recordings), and is one of Chicago’s foremost liturgical singers, marking 20 years as a member of the choir at St. James Cathedral (Episcopal) in 2011.He has composed and arranged a number of anthems, hymns and songs for worship and concert use, and collaborates on the creation of new works of musical theater. Paul can be found on Monday nights watching showtune videos at the world-famous Sidetrack nightclub, the inspiration for his weekly column, “The Showtune Mosh Pit.” His proudest achievement is that he has seen the original Broadway production of every Tony Award-winning Best Musical since “Cats.” No, really. Since “Cats!”

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