Broadway Revivals Unlimited

Update, January, 2011: West Side Story completed its Broadway run and began a national tour in 2011, but several revivals are on tap for the rest of the year, including Anything Goes (Cole Porter), Bubbling Brown Sugar (Ellington, et al), and Hello Dolly! (Jerry Herman). New treatments of classic musicals are still coming fast and furious in New York. Rodgers and Hart’s Pal Joey and a new production of Frank Loesser’s Guys...

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“Christmas” in August

“Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” (and you thought Mel Brooks was the first composer to command that his name be placed above the title) is coming to Broadway for a limited run during the holidays. The stage version of “White Christmas” has been playing in various towns around the country for years, but apparently, as a limited-run show, never made sense economically for New York. One can only hope the show provides a fraction of the...

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One Enchanted Evening (Mostly)

Update, December, 2010 I  hope that those who didn’t see this show in person caught the hi-def telecast on Live from Lincoln Center this past fall—definitely a gem for your permanent collection. July, 2008—It’s been a very good year for anyone in New York who loves or studies the American Songbook and its foundation in the Broadway musicals of the pre-rock era. There’s been a concert production of Kern and Hammerstein’s...

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Happy Music, Sad Lyrics

Quick, what do Rodgers and Hammerstein and the Hollies have in common (besides the carousel metaphor, I mean)? Spin the Amazon, er, carousel, and treat yourself to selections from the team and the band to find out what I’m getting at. <a...

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New Cast Soundtracks

Stephen Holden of the New York Times, one of the most astute music and film critics in the country, has nailed it again. His analysis of the current crop of cast albums does a great job of describing the appeal of the newer sounds of Broadway while avoiding the patronizing or dismissive tone many writers adopt when writing about the Broadway tradition. There has been no doubt for decades that Broadway needed a shot (or many shots) of...

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The Long and Short of “Show Boat”

June 24, 2008—On June 10th I attended the concert staging of “Show Boat” at Carnegie Hall. The New York Times review is here, but my own feelings are echoed most closely by Steven Suskin’s review in Variety. A week later TCM replayed the 1951 MGM film version, which starred Kathryn Grayson and Howard Keel. These two versions illustrate the essential fact of the “Show Boat” universe: no two versions are exactly alike. The...

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