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Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: CABARETThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: CABARET
by Ben Rimalower - May 10, 2019

Cabaret is one of the most successful, popular and influential musicals ever written. You can call it's Kander and Ebb's masterpiece or a defining triumph for Hal Prince or Bob Fosse and in any case, you'll be right on the money. So it's no wonder I have so many damn recordings of the score. The good news is they are all available for streaming on various platforms and so I can throw out all these CDs without having to do any uploading. (more...)
Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCHThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH
by Ben Rimalower - May 3, 2019

I can remember so well senior year of college when my friend Claudio came back from a trip to New York all abuzz over little drag rock show he'd seen Off-Broadway called Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I was grilling him for details on Audra and Marin in Ragtime and whether there was anything we could steal from Sam Mendes for our off-campus production of Cabaret, but Claudio only wanted to talk about Hedwig. The clincher for me was when he mentioned the star--and author--was John Cameron Mitchell. I was obsessed with John on the original cast albums of The Secret Garden and Hello Again. 'Okay, okay,' I agreed. I would see this Hedwig when I moved to New York four months later. (more...)
Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: SONG & DANCEThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: SONG & DANCE
by Ben Rimalower - April 26, 2019

The West End and Broadway musical Song & Dance has taken up a lot of space in my CD collection. In addition to the Original London Cast Recording starring Marti Webb (recorded live at the Palace Theatre in 1982), the 1984 British television broadcast from the stage of recently closed production at the Palace starring Sarah Brightman and the Original Broadway Cast Recording (of just the songs half, no dance music...) starring Bernadette Peters, I'm also including the original 1979 'Tell Me on a Sunday' album starring Marti Webb in her first stab at the material, from which the sung portion of Song & Dance was derived, as well as its 2003 London production starring Denise Van Outen. (more...)
Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: SWEET CHARITYThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: SWEET CHARITY
by Ben Rimalower - April 12, 2019

Like the rest of you, I've spent this week obsessing over 'Fosse Verdon' on FX and especially Gwen Verdon, played brilliantly on the series by Michelle Williams, in a performance that makes you want to reinvestigate what made Gwen so great. Sweet Charity is the perfect place to start. Gwen became a star and won her first Tony in a featured role in Can Can and she gained worldwide acclaim (and number 2 in a total of four Tonys) as Lola in Damn Yankees on stage and screen and of course there were many other shows and movies and TV appearances, but Sweet Charity was the show Bob Fosse (and Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields and Neil Simon) created just for her. She may have lost the Tony to Angela Lansbury in Mame, but Gwen got that iconic poster and all those songs. (more...)
Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: LES MISERABLESThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: LES MISERABLES
by Ben Rimalower - April 5, 2019

Oh my god, I have literally nothing to say about Les Miz. Well, maybe not nothing... not literally! It's not gonna be hard to throw these out, I'll tell you that much. I have so many freaking Les Miz CDs and they all take up so much space at two--even three--discs a pop. The only one I ever really listened to in its entirety more than a couple of times was the Original London cast anyway. (more...)
Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: GYPSYThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: GYPSY
by Ben Rimalower - March 29, 2019

As I'm going through all my Gypsy CDs (yes, to ensure I have them all either on my hard drive or accessible in the cloud, before throwing them out), I'm finding myself weirdly most drawn to Tyne Daly's recording, from her Tony-winning performance in the 1989 revival. The thing is I know Tyne Daly, I mean I know her work. She's been a familiar and distinctive presence on stage and screen for as long as I can remember and I even have a few musical theater recordings featuring her singing, but hers is not a singing voice I live with on a LITERALLY daily basis like, say, Ethel Merman's, Angela Lansbury's, Bette Midler's, Bernadette Peters's or Patti LuPone's. So to me, Tyne Daly's Rose is a unique sound that I can only identify with Tyne Daly's Rose and, therefore, a character. For today, that's the Gypsy I most feel like listening to. (more...)
Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: FALSETTOSThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: FALSETTOS
by Ben Rimalower - March 1, 2019

Okay, this week, I only have to throw out two CDs, but it hurts! I'll never forget May 31, 1992--the 46th Annual Tony Awards. I had just turned 16 and was eagerly tuning in to absorb the Broadway of it all. I didn't really know much about any of the shows, other than that friends and family in New York had flipped for Guys And Dolls and that my parents had loved an earlier incarnation of Jelly's Last Jam when it played the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. Glenn Close was hosting and Patti LuPone was presenting and I was not moving from my seat on the couch until I had a ranked list of the shows I wanted to see when I got to New York to visit my grandparents for Thanksgiving. (more...)
Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: EVITAThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: EVITA
by Ben Rimalower - February 22, 2019

Woof. This week is the biggest decluttering task I've attempted yet-throwing out my Evita CDs. I got 99 problems and Evita CDs are all of them. And that's not including the vinyl and the bootlegs on audio cassette. And the strange flash drives people handed me in dark bars muttering something about Elaine Paige and 'A New Argentina.' (more...)
Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: INTO THE WOODSThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: INTO THE WOODS
by Ben Rimalower - February 8, 2019

Well, my little piggies and wolves, the next CDs I'm eliminating from my apartment are all the recordings of all the versions of Into The Woods. I'm talking London cast, movie version, Broadway revival and ouch, the one that's gonna leave a gaping hole in my heart, that beautiful Original Broadway Cast Recording starring Joanna Gleason, Chip Zien, Tom Aldredge, Robert Westenberg and above them all as the Witch (receiving the deal-breaking top billing the producers previously refused Patti LuPone when they offered her the role) Bernadette Peters. (more...)
Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: GUYS AND DOLLSThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: GUYS AND DOLLS
by Ben Rimalower - February 1, 2019

Well, next up in decluttering my apartment is clearing out the big, tall stack of different Guys and Dolls CDs I've spent a few decades collecting. I think I could hack this particular task without any tears (or maybe like you know without having to blog about it) were it not for that gorgeous black square with the orange and yellow title letters thrown into the air alongside perfect pair of cartoon dice. 1992 Grammy Award-winning New Broadway Cast Recording, it's gonna be hard to leave you, baby. (more...)
Throwing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: THE RINKThrowing Out My CDs by Ben Rimalower: THE RINK
by Ben Rimalower - January 25, 2019

Ben Rimalower revisits favorite musical theater recordings as he digitizes and declutters his collection. This week's spotlight is on the Original Broadway Cast CD of The Rink starring Chita Rivera and Liza Minnelli, with music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb and book by Terrence McNally. (more...)