When Barbara Harris (who'd already played Eve, Barbera, and Ella) became "Passionella" in the song "Gorgeous", her Tony was secured. (And besting Mary Martin and Lotte Lenya was no mean feat.)
Linda Hopkins, in "Inner City"...choose your song.
Larry Blyden in "Forum".... First Act "I'm Calm" was riotous, but the Act Two reprise of "Lovely" with Phil Silvers [who also deserved his Tony if only for "Free"] was unforgettable.
Gwen Verdon - "What
Coded Theatre Phrases Jan 14
2015, 05:15:02 AM
Funny how many of the initial translatable phrases were many of the critical comments of the original "West Side Story" and "Company".
Musicals in Christian Colleges Jan 14
2015, 05:11:29 AM
"TINTYPES" might work well, because it's an American-popular-music and history circa 1888 to 1918, with great musical challenges for the cast and marvelous orchestrations. I suppose one might be able to get an option to do it with a cast larger than five. Hell, royalties are royalties and the show isn't performed that often.
The "fantasy" shows like "PETER PAN" or "IT'S A BIRD, IT'S A PLANE, IT'S SUPERMAN" or ""THE APPLE TREE" could also work.
Little moments on cast albums that you love Jan 8
2015, 10:23:16 PM
"Cool Considerate Men" (1776), the breathtaking orchestration behind the mad-dog vocals when, after "...and that is why they will follow us..." "To the RIGHT..." That recording so brilliantly captures what Onna White did with the actors onstage. Prescient and Terrifying.
Barbara Harris [well, in anything] transforming from Eve to Barbera to Ella to Passionella on "The Apple Tree" album - "What Makes Me Love Him?" in Act One, into her faux-traumatized "Sajar, Sanjar, this choice is tea
Musicals with exotic locales Jan 7
2015, 01:56:18 AM
Boy howdy. I kinda thought the original post was clearly asking about "Exotic" in the sense of mid-20th-century USA "exotic". "Girl Crazy"? Nope. SOUTHWESTERN, maybe, but only exotic if you're FROM Bangladesh. And as for "Rent" being as distant and....NAH...folks from Missouri don't think of the East Side as exotic, just depraved. How funny that a simple question turns a bunch of people into white-wine-answering esoterics.
So I'd just add the original (and horrendous) "Shangri-La"
Favorite Numbers with Counterpoint Jan 7
2015, 01:49:31 AM
What you're describing is a QUODLIBET. Meaning TWO DIFFERENT tunes on top of each other, making musical-luv. Lots of songs have phrases of melody riding on top of each other, but that's not the deal you're discussing, right? And semi-contrapuntal melodics aren't really that either... As an arranger, we often just call them "Countermelodies". Like in "Pajama Game" when the tape recorder sings counter to Sid's "Hey There". A tune like "Fugue for Tinhorns" isn't that. either. It's a classic F
Broadway Love Songs Jan 7
2015, 01:38:18 AM
"Old Devil Moon" (from "Finian's Rainbow") is spectacular in a sultry almost-bossa rhythm, if it's slow and sexy enough. "Why Did I Choose You?" (from "The Yearling") can actually introduce and weave in-and-out of the above.
If you just wanna have fun on Valentine's Day, sing the best Bacharach/David love song ever: "She Likes Basketball".
And don't worry about the key. Unless you're working with Karaoke tracks, who cares? Good heavens; take the sheet music and change the
First show seen on broadway? Sep 16
2014, 06:19:34 PM
I'd seen a lot of touring productions coming through Los Angeles, but my first "On Broadway" double-whammy was in December of 1971: First night in NYC, "Follies" -- Second night: "Company". Got to go backstage for both and meet some of the performers, then work with some of them on a project soon afterwards. Pretty heady for a young fellow.
Into the Woods-- Baker's Wife Sep 16
2014, 06:14:59 PM
I agree that going back to the lyrics and studying them will be helpful. Also, study them backwards (that is, in terms of back-mapping her character development with a new set of eyes/ears). I think two of her most telling moments are lines around music. One, towards the end, when she's dead and speaks to her husband's concern about not having children: "Nonsense. Of COURSE you were meant to have children." The other, which of course is aided by Ms. Gleason's wonderful delivery, is after her
Age Appropriate Kurt Weill songs Aug 8
2014, 11:52:55 PM
"Come In, Mornin'" from the unfinished "Huckleberry Finn" is a lovely little piece, works well for a young man -- I did an arrangement where it went into a light 2/4 feeling later in the song, and it was a successful audition song for the guy. "Economics" from "Love Life" can be fun at any age, I'd think. You'd have to be a very wise twenty-something!!! "Here I'll Stay" from the same show is an interesting and lovely song. If you want a "bigger" number, check out "The Trouble With Women" from
Best funny and showy love song? Jun 29
2014, 08:34:56 PM
If you have a legit voice, and if you have a fantastic falsetto, you can sing both parts to "Oh, Happy We" from "Candide". The mis-matched intentions of Candide and Cunegonde are a marvelous joke on what a marriage should probably not be. Showy, to say the least.
Musicals with SMALL Casts Jun 28
2014, 09:45:05 PM
TINTYPES. (2 men, 3 women: Original Tony-nominated production included Jerry Zacks, Lynne Thigpin, Trey Wilson and Carolyn Mignini, and Mary Catherine Wright.) 2 men, 3 women. Voices need MUCH flexibility due to DIFFICULT vocal arrangements, in many styles from about 1889 to 1918. When I did the show I pulled the band down to two pianos. Wonderful staging opportunities.
The Fantasticks Jun 28
2014, 09:37:43 PM
Harp and Piano in the original score. Turning the harp into a second piano due to a non-harpist situation has been done in a lot of performances. The harp part is pretty tricky, to boot. In a Chicago production with which I was involved (in late 1972) the producers had to replace the first harpist who'd been contracted because as the music-rehearsals moved forward, it was discovered she simply couldn't play the part. This caused no deal of difficulty with the Musician's Union, but eventually
A Day in the Death of Joe Egg Apr 11
2014, 05:08:51 AM
Zena Walker won the Tony for the first B'way go-round. Stockard Channing SHOULD have won for the revival. It is a mesmerizing and powerful play, and probably too well-made and frightening for contemporary audiences who think that pieces by Terrance MacNally are cutting-edge.
Tony for Best Orchestrations Apr 11
2014, 05:02:07 AM
I still think it is pathetic that while the TonyTeam festoons awards for SOUND DESIGN and ORCHESTRATIONS, they've still come up with NO good reason to not honor MUSICAL DIRECTOR. Supposedly it is because "nobody realllllly knows what that artist DOES".... Huh? Orchestrators are a brilliant lot (well, some not so brilliant) and deserve recognition as long as the awards are being splattered about. But to not include the man or woman who first-off created the (honored) sound of the show, and mad
Where an usher puts his heart in what he ushes. Where the seats caress your carcass with their plushes. And the fountain changes color when it gushes.
Come with me, where the drinking cups are always free. It's a wonderland where everyone is Alice. And the Ladies' Room is bigger than a palace.
2013, 09:18:45 PM
"Carefully Taught" from SOUTH PACIFIC is angry, hurt, requires a fair amount of vocal dexterity, and (if you can do it), the final "you've got to be carefully taught" can be sung up the octave, which makes it more "audition"-y impressive. And it's short.