There's a cut song from Spelling Bee (at least I've seen it attributed as such) called "Eight Cigarettes a Day," which is a great slow-burn freakout. I know it appeared in the William Finn Lincoln Center concert.
My personal favorite is by Tom Jones. He seems to GET the two layers the song operates on better than the young and wistful Collins or the forever-on-top-of-the-world Sinatra. Like Desiree, Jones is living in a perpetual ongoing series of second acts, so the romantic and the showbiz side of it both make sense coming out of his mouth.
Freak out songs Oct 6
2019, 12:08:57 AM
Tim Curry does “Anyone Who Had a Heart” as a gay nervous breakdown on his solo album.
Opinions about JUDY Oct 4
2019, 08:26:38 PM
Well now, I'm not gonna talk about Judy. In fact, we're not gonna talk about Judy at all, we're gonna keep her out of it.
These things feel urgent and moral when looked at in present tense, and utterly silly in past tense. Like if a video of the Tom O'Horgan Jesus Christ Superstar surfaced, you wouldn't watch it on moral grounds?
In fact, I believe the well-known bootlegs of the original "Carrie" are in the Library of Congress now, thanks to the efforts of kitsch chronicler Vinnie Rattolle.
Experiment Oct 3
2019, 05:13:49 PM
I had a teacher in college who was not only anti-bootleg, but anti filming... AND anti cast recording. He was a purist who believed in the ephemeral nature of stage works, and he was nostalgic for the days of the encore, when you could stop a show and cheer to hear the song again, the better to bask in it since you couldn't take the record home with you.
And he was a young dude, not someone who remembered seeing Ethel Merman sing "I Don't Know Why." Friggin' hipsters.
I think canonically the “man who owns the store” is the same child predator that inspired the famous movie M, in which he was played by Peter Lorre.
Songs From Musicals That Don't Exist Sep 24
2019, 07:29:57 AM
The song mentioned above, In Germany Before the War, is the “song about the child molester.” Newman is a satirist with a famously dark sense of humor, but he plays the self-delusion and queasy nostalgia of an old monster for his glory days pitch-black straight. It’s haunting.
But no worries, Newman is no more a pedophile than Sondheim is a cannibal baker.
2019, 10:21:37 AM
Castalbums.org would have a near-complete list of compilations "Castle on a Cloud" appeared on. Perhaps if you go there you'll be able to pinpoint which compilation it was?
The Manhattans did "Tomorrow" from Annie as a Motown slow jam in the "Midnight Train to Georgia" style, and it's so well-fitted to that style that you'd almost think it were the original version. The interesting thing is that, without changing a single lyric, it becomes a lonely-hearted "morning after" song instead of an optimistic look at the future.
"In Germany Before the War" by Randy Newman is a complete one-off in his catalogue, a chilling approximation of the Sondheim/Wheeler sound written several years before Sweeney Todd. It's not from a musical but it seems like it would have been, and it paints the picture of an alternate universe where Newman became one of Broadway's most acclaimed and adventurous composers.
In "Frank: The Voice," there's a story that during Sinatra's teen-idol days in the mid-1930s, ushers would have to scrub the floors and seats of urine from women who either lost control of their bowels or had squirting orgasms during the show. It was a different era, when something as tame and almost pallid as "The Song Is You" could send people into such hysterics.
Is Leslie Uggams coming back to BROADWAY?? Sep 15
2019, 08:20:40 PM
If you picture the dance and movement people around the world instinctively do when “New York, New York” plays, you’ve got a crude rudimentary cake walk. Strut, kick, strut, kick.
It started in the black community as a ragtime era dance mocking the way snooty white people preened and walked, but grew into a larger more grandiose style. It was subsumed into musical theatre as the musical pullback and strut that now more commonly signifies the transition into a song’s kick line finale.
Tony Kushner's "The Visit" [London] Sep 14
2019, 10:50:58 AM
It's a new translation and adaptation. The original play is not in English, and much like Brecht's "Threepenny Opera" has been translated and adapted in numerous ways with no "official" canon version, "The Visit" is the same way."
One that I just remembered, although it's the music that does the heavy lifting and not the scenery: the transition from Vegas back to New Jersey in the finale of "The Wedding Singer."
We get a quick blast of the show's main theme from "It's Your Wedding Day," and then the band transitions (for the only time in the show) to playing New Jersey-style rock and roll, glockenspiel and accordion and all, to signify we've made it back to Jersey. It's a