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Tori Hartshorn


BWW Album Review: THE JONATHAN LARSON PROJECT Is An Uncovered Musical Treasure Trove
April 19, 2019

It's not everyday you get rediscovered music, posthumously released music from a musical theater icon, but alas that day has come. "The Jonathan Larson Project" is a new album featuring previously unreleased music from the late composer and playwright. This collection of songs comes from shows that never had seen the light of day in addition to some standalone tracks. Larson tragically passed away in 1996 at the young age of 35, but not before leaving us with the soon-to-be cultural touchstone RENT and highly commendable, autobiographical tick, tick... BOOM! Ghostlight Records released this compilation of songs earlier this month. Give it a listen here! The physical CD is set for release this June, in tandem with a 40-page hardcover book contextualizing the material.

February 8, 2019

Phone rings, door chimes, in comes musical modernization! Closing in on 50 years since its Broadway debut, George Furth and Stephen Sondheim's COMPANY returns with a revolutionary new production in the West End. This rendition sees the previously male lead role Bobby now as the female Bobbie, portrayed by Rosalie Craig. This gender-swap is thanks to the direction of Marianne Elliott, who worked side by side with Sondheim on the revamping. The COMPANY 2018 London Cast Recording was recorded at RAK Studios in London.  As previously reported, footage of the cast recording was preserved for a forthcoming documentary on the production.

BWW Album Review: THE NORM LEWIS CHRISTMAS ALBUM Is A Joyful, Jazzy Gift
December 14, 2018

Last month, Broadway baritone Norm Lewis released his latest album, THE NORM LEWIS CHRISTMAS ALBUM. Don't let the title deceive you though. While there are are great number of classic holiday tracks, there is also a healthy sprinkling of theater classics. The 18-track album reaches far and wide into the catalog of holiday standards. Lewis produced the album with Richard Jay-Alexander, with Jeremy Katz executive producing.

BWW Album Review: Heather Headley Returns To Her Roots On New Solo Album BROADWAY MY WAY
November 21, 2018

Last week, Heather Headley released her new album, BROADWAY MY WAY.  This is the latest addition to recorded repertoire for this Grammy and Tony, and it is a welcome one at that. In fact, this is Headley's first solo album that is comprised of songs in the musical theater cannon. Her other albums, outside of various cast recordings, have dabbled more heavily in genres such as Gospel, Pop and R&B. Her skills in crossing genres is not lost on this album, and in fact adds to her style and inventiveness.

BWW Album Review: Renée Fleming Hits a High Note With New Album BROADWAY
October 5, 2018

Genre is not a word that seems to be in Renee Fleming's vocabulary, just as her vocal ability does not confine her to a certain arena. The four time Grammy award winner graced the Broadway stage last season as Nettie in Rodgers and Hammerstein's CAROUSEL, opposite Jessie Mueller and Josh Henry. Not only that, but the renowned soprano also nabbed a Tony nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for said role. It is only right that Decca Classics just released Ms. Fleming's latest album full of musical theater classics, aptly titled BROADWAY.

BWW Album Review: From Hollywood Boulevard To The Beverly Wilshire, There Is Something About PRETTY WOMAN Cast Recording
October 3, 2018

Get ready for movie night on Broadway! The latest flick to get the Broadway treatment is the 1990 hit rom-com PRETTY WOMAN. The musical is shaping up to be popular at the box office, seems to be the current standout for the 2018-2019 Broadway season so far. It joins the ranks of a bevy of musicals that have been adapted from films, like Mean Girls, Frozen, The Band's Visit, the forthcoming KING KONG, to name a few. PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL recently opened on at the Nederlander Theatre, and Atlantic Records just released the original Broadway cast recording last week. Give it a listen here!

BWW Album Review: Jessica Vosk Flies High With Debut Studio Album WILD AND FREE
August 24, 2018

Jessica Vosk, aka WICKED's current Elphaba, has vocals that cut deep and wide. Her debut album "Wild and Free" debuted at #14 on iTunes, and is currently making a dent on the  Billboards. If it is a testament to the cult following of fans she has, "Wild and Free" was fully crowdfunded in a matter of days. As Broadway Records' latest release, Vosk proves that not only is she a musical theatre force of nature, but she also hold her own in the world of pop music.

BWW Album Review: Donna Summer Fans Will Love To Love The Original Broadway Cast Recording of SUMMER
August 12, 2018

It can be tough out there for a jukebox musical. Many have come, few have stayed. Yet, it seems like Broadway can't get enough of them. Recent hits like JERSEY BOYS and BEAUTIFUL: THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL are the picture of what a staged jukebox success looks like. They have paved the great white way in gold for future musicals of the like to flood their way in.  SUMMER: THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL is one of latest in the new class jukebox musical to hit the Broadway stage. The show opened to subpar reviews at the Lunt-Fontanne theater this spring, after a 2017 premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse. Republic Records, with producers Tommy Mottola and The Dodgers, released the original cast recording this past July.

BWW Album Review: CAROUSEL 2018 Broadway Cast Recording Will Have You Spinning With Jubilation
June 20, 2018

For the first time in over 20 years, Rodgers and Hammerstein's CAROUSEL is gracing the Broadway stage once again. The classic American musical tells the unconventional love story between Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan. This production sees Josh Henry as Bigelow, the charismatic but impulsive carnival barker, and Jessie Mueller as Jordan, an enduring millworker. For CAROUSEL to run without a hitch, the key is a cast that can bring it vocally and through dance. Henry and Mueller are joined by an incredibly talented cast- including Lindsay Mendez, Renee Fleming, and Alexander Gemignani- giving cause for this to be one of the most well rounded, talented casts of a musical currently on Broadway. The 2018 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's CAROUSEL opened on April 12 at The Imperial Theater on Broadway. Craft Recordings partnered with the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization to  release the subsequent cast recording digitally on June 8, with a physical release date set for July 13.

BWW Album Review: There Is No Room In The Burn Book For MEAN GIRLS Original Broadway Cast Recording
June 1, 2018

Regardless of whether fetch happens or not, MEAN GIRLS fans can for sure be glad the 2004 hit film is now a musical-- a 12 time Tony nominated musical no less. The musical iteration of Tina Fey's MEAN GIRLS opened on Broadway last month after an out of town run in Washington D.C. Like the film, this new production tells the tale of Cady Heron (Erika Henningsen) and her mission to take down "the plastics", aka the aforementioned "mean girls". The comedy and cleverness hit you like a bus with original  music from Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin, accompanying Fey's book. Atlantic Records released the original cast recording digitally on May 18, with a physical release date set for June 15.

BWW Album Review: FROZEN Original Broadway Cast Recording Is Perfect Storm of Heart-Warming Humor
May 18, 2018

FROZEN is Disney's latest foray of into moving musicals from the screen to stage.  The story of sisterly love is currently melting frozen hearts on Broadway, joining its current counterparts ALADDIN and THE LION KING on the Great White Way (because of the snow, of course). Walt Disney Records also released the original cast recording digitally on May 11, and physical copies will be available on June 8.

BWW Album Review: Let The Praise Rise For JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE IN CONCERT Original Soundtrack
April 12, 2018

NBC's live concert staging of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR aired this past Easter Sunday. Largely sung from the perspective of Judas, listeners join THE JOURNEY through final week in the life Jesus Christ, from Palm Sunday to the arrest and crucifixion. Performed live on a set of exposed scaffolding in Brooklyn's Marcy Armory, this live musical gave cause to all of its televised musical predecessors. Masterworks Broadway released the live recording of the vivacious television event digitally on April 6th, with a physical version to follow on April 20.

BWW Album Review: MURIEL'S WEDDING (The Original Cast Recording) Effortlessly Marries Classic ABBA Hits With Original Pop Numbers
February 16, 2018

In the heyday of movies being adapted for the stage, one can't be shocked to see the ABBA infused MURIEL'S WEDDING next up to bat for the musical treatment. Based on the 1994 Australian blockbuster of the same title, MURIEL's WEDDING THE MUSICAL had its world premiere late last year thanks to the Sydney Theatre Company and Global Theatre. Maggie McKenna played the title role of Muriel Heslop. Growing up in Porpoise Spit, our ABBA obsessed protagonist is the outcast who incessantly dreams of the perfect the wedding and groom.

BWW Album Review: THE GREATEST SHOWMAN Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Has All The Shine of A Thousand Spotlights
December 20, 2017

BWW Album Review: THE GREATEST SHOWMAN Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Has All The Shine of A Thousand Spotlights

BWW Album Review: Michael Ball & Alfie Boe Give Listeners A Double Dose of Dream Duo
November 30, 2017

You can't help but admire artists who surely know how to play to their strengths. To make matters even better, you can't help appreciate when those artists happen to be famed vocalists Michael Ball and Alfie Boe. They surely showcase what they do best with their second collaborative album, TOGETHER AGAIN, released October 27, 2017 via Decca Records.

BWW Album Review: MONSTERSONGS (World Premiere Recording) Roars with Originality
October 23, 2017

What comes to mind when you hear the words blood, brains, ghosts and mummies? Halloween might be a popular presumption, but it shouldn't be the only one with Broadway Records latest album Monstersongs now released. This new album, which also serves as a graphic novel, tells the inner-workings of some of the thoughts and sentiments of a various paradigm of monsters. Think of it as a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of some misunderstood monsters. Helmed by The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical composer, Rob Rokicki, the compilation of songs is best served with the Monstersongs: The Digital Graphic Novel. Illustrated by the artistically versed David O'Neill, the novel gives you the chance to pair the music with the exemplified art for a synergistic intake experience. David O'Neill's illustrations and Rokicki's compositions make for an immersive storytelling experience.

BWW Album Review: YOU NEVER KNOW (World Premiere Cast Recording) Reissue is Perfectly Porter
October 13, 2017

You Never Know is undoubtedly one of Cole Porter's lesser known musicals. In fact, on multiple occasions, Porter himself has even referred to it as his least favorite body of work with which he is associated. However, keep in mind though the popular saying that you are your own worst critic. While there may be some who agree with him, Porter's animosity towards this piece might not be the most endorsed stance. The World Premiere Cast Recording for this deep cut musical of his was originally released in 2001. Having been out of print for numerous years now, on October 6, 2017, Ghostlight Records has digitally re-released the original recording.

BWW Album Review: Patti LuPone's DON'T MONKEY WITH BROADWAY is a Musical Theatre Tour De Force
October 5, 2017

Look up Broadway in the Merriam-Webster dictionary and you will get the standard description of the hub of theatrical entertainment in midtown Manhattan. Begging to differ, the real definition should be just two words: Patti LuPone. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone familiar with the musical theatre icon. The few who might not be in agreement should take just one listen to Ms. LuPone's most recent release, Don't Monkey with Broadway. Joined on this two-disc set by her music director and accompanist, Joseph Thalken, we are gifted with storied and show-stopping renditions of Broadway classics and lesser known hits. This is Ms. LuPone's third album with Broadway Records, following previous releases Far Away Places (2013) and Matters of the Heart (2015). On this new iteration, she does not disappoint. In fact, she vigorously delivers and Broadway Records proves that quality and quantity are both thankfully exceeded when it comes to this leading lady.

BWW Album Review: SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS Bubbles Over With Relentless Optimism
September 29, 2017

You've seen him on your television screen for years, but now it is time for the sponge to take the stage. That's right, the one and only SpongeBob SquarePants is set to take a Broadway bow this coming November, in the rightfully titled SpongeBob SquarePants The New Musical. Before making it to the great white way, audiences were able to test the waters last summer when the show debuted at Chicago's Oriental Theatre. On September 22, 2017, audiences can also dive into the SpongeBob SquarePants The New Musical: Original Cast Recording, thanks to Sony's Masterworks Broadway.