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BWW Album Review: ONCE UPON A TIME STEP (Songs from the Ron Lytle Musical Fairy Tales) is Fun

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Audiences will find the ditties tuneful enough to entertain.

BWW Album Review: ONCE UPON A TIME STEP (Songs from the Ron Lytle Musical Fairy Tales) is Fun

Recently released from Take The Cakeable Records, ONCE UPON A TIME STEP (Songs from the Ron Lytle Musical Fairy Tales) is a fun exercise in family-friendly, schmaltzy showtunes written in classic musical theater styles. The songs on the record are all pulled from Lytle's collection of one-act fairy tale musicals. There's not a single track on the album that really sticks with you, but I imagine anyone who programs children's theater who gives ONCE UPON A TIME STEP a listen will be reaching out to Lylte to license a show or two.

Those familiar with Lytle are already well aware that his original compositions hew closely to the Golden Age songwriters of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley. Luckily, for the adults who listen to ONCE UPON A TIME STEP, this recording is a cut above standard children's musical fare. Even if you don't walk away from the record singing any of the songs, adult audiences will find the ditties tuneful enough to entertain.

The album features earnest and endearing performances from Will Arundell, Jessica Coker, John Erreca, Jordyn Foley, Natasha Hacking, Juanita Harris, Tania Johnson, Alonso Melgoza, Michael Mendelsohn, Anita Poole, Marah Sotelo, Oscar Tomosada, and Chris Vettel. Each breathes enough life into these songs that it is easy to imagine them being performed under the warm glow of community or regional theater amber stage lights and gifting the audience with an amusing diversion from their regular day-to-day.

As an album, ONCE UPON A TIME STEP feels zany. The tracks follow no tangible flow, so each song is its own moment. Based on pre-existing knowledge of these classic fairy tales and their characters, it's not hard to understand where each song may fit narratively within their individual stories. In this format, the collection feels like a greatest hits album or even a musical revue.

ONCE UPON A TIME STEP (Songs from the Ron Lytle Musical Fairy Tales) is available on CD from Amazon as well as Alliance Entertainment affiliated brick and mortar retailers. Signed copies of the CD are available directly from the composer's website (www.RonLytle.com), where sound clips can also be previewed.


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