Ted Otten

Program Host

Ted Otten is co-host of The Dress Circle

The Dress Circle airs Sundays at 7 pm. 

You can also hear Ted, along with his The Dress Circle co-host, on JazzOn2, every Wednesday evening from 7pm, eastern, for Strike Up the Band, a program celebrating the big bands and dance bands of jazz.

Ways to Connect

Listeners are in store for an hour of wonderful singing on this week’s “Dress Circle”  (5/13  7:00 p.m.) when Dinah Shore is featured singing songs from Broadway and Hollywood including songs from her film outing with Alan Jones and Robert Merrill entitled “Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick." 

There may be May flowers and all that, but this week’s Dress Circle (5/6 7:00 p.m.) has very little to do with them because we’re focusing on the shows that opened in or on their way to New York.   Our list includes “The Baker’s Wife,” a Stephen Schwartz show that closed on its way to Broadway, the legendary “Fantasticks,” and “The Most Happy Fella,” Frank Loesser’s monumental romantic musical.  We’re also including “Passion,” Stephen Sondheim’s chamber opera about a different kind of love, and Lena Horne’s one-woman show that wowed audiences for over 300 performances.   

A fringe benefit of the CD era is the theme for this week’s Dress Circle (4/29 7:00 p.m.).  The standard LP could hold about 44 minutes of music, so when CDs arrived that could hold 80 minutes, record labels were in a quandary:  Should they just ignore the remaining time or try to fill it with something?   We’re very happy that they filled it with something that those of us who love musicals are thrilled to have:  Bonus tracks – alternate takes, cut songs, songs left off of the LP because of time constraints, demo recordings, and interviews with stars and creators.  

With all of the negative news flying about, most of us need a “happy place” to which we can escape to hide from the madness.  This week’s Dress Circle (4/22  7:00 p.m.) will offer up some happy places that are found in a variety of musicals.   Join us as we head to “Never Never Land” with Peter Pan, “My Own Little Corner” with Cinderella, and “Loveland” from “Follies.”   

Two words that are dear to the hearts of many people are Walt Disney, and on this week’s Dress Circle (4/15  7:00 p.m.) we’ll hear some of the music associated with Disney films but not by the originators in a show called Everybody Does Disney.  For instance, from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” we’ll hear “Heigh-Ho,” but it will be performed by The Shanghai Quartet.  “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” from “Cinderella” gets an “Andrews Sisters” treatment by Michelle Nicastro.  Louis Armstrong will stop by to perform “The Bear Necessities” from “The Jungle Book.  

If you’re a fan of musicals written expressly for television, we’ll have four more for you on this week’s Dress Circle (4/8 7:00 p.m.).  Our first seems be on its way to a Broadway production, but it had its start on the cult-favorite television series “Smash.”  The musical is titled “Bombshell” by Marc Shaiman and Scott M. Riesett.  

There will be no fooling on this week’s Dress Circle (4/1 7:00 p.m.) when we once again take a look at some of the shows that opened this month.  A few of those “shows of April” are “Beauty and the Beast,” the current smash “Anastasia,” “Carousel,” “Hallelujah, Baby!”, “The Secret Garden,” and “She Loves Me” along with several more.  Join us for another diverse evening of great music from Broadway.  As always, thank you for being a part of our musical family.  

This weekend, many people will be celebrating Palm Sunday, and The Dress Circle will join in the celebration with an all-star production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber / Tim Rice musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” (3/25  7:00 p.m.)  Beginning as a concept album in 1970, the first authorized concert version of the material was seen in Pittsburgh, PA in July of 1971 with the world premier staged presentation arriving on Broadway in October of 1971.  It would have its West End Premiere in 1972.  

The 3/18

 (7:00 p.m.) Dress Circle will feature recordings produced by The York Theatre Company which, for over 48 years, has been dedicated to the production of New Musicals, and through their Musicals in Mufti Series, concert performances of forgotten shows.  Ted Otten and Michael Kownacky have found and will be sampling four recordings of shows presented by The York Theatre Company on this week’s program.  

John Barrowman is best known to American television audiences for his appearances on “Dr. Who” and “Torchwood,” but this week’s Dress Circle (3/11 7:00 p.m.) is dedicated to his wonderful performances in musicals, mostly in London’s West End.  You’ll hear him perform songs from his starring roles in “Matador,” “Anything Goes,” “The Fix,” and “Hair” along with “Grease,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and the totally forgotten musical, “Jean Seberg.”  If you only know Barrowman from his television appearances, this week’s program is sure to be a pleasant surprise.

We’ll be “crossing over” on this week’s Dress Circle (2/25  7:00 p.m.).  Well, the singers will be crossing over as some of opera’s greatest sing favorites from the world of Broadway.  Those singers include Eileen Farrell, Robert Merrill, Rise Stevens, Dorothy Kirsten, Thomas Hampson, Kiri Te Kanawa, Jerry Hadley, Frederica von Stade, and more.  We’ve scheduled songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Frank Loesser, Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, and the Gershwins from shows like “South Pacific,” “Music in the Air,” “The Most Happy Fella,” “Allegro,” and “The New Moon.” 

This week’s Dress Circle (2/18  7:00 p.m.) will be a survey of some of the CDs of a group formed in 1995 called “The Broadway Kids.”  This rotating cast of young people between the ages of eight and sixteen, had to appear in at least one Broadway or off-Broadway show or a major national tour in order to audition, and we’ll be looking at three of their eight CDs including The Broadway Kids “Sing Broadway,” “Back on Broadway,” and “Sing America.”  

Valentine’s Day is creeping up, and The Dress Circle will be all about love this week (2/11  7:00 p.m.) with songs that ask some musical questions from some rather unfamiliar shows.  We’ll begin with a few “love” songs with titles that just were just too good to resist like “Kiss Me and Kill Me with Love” from “Ankles Aweigh” and “I Love You Like a Table” from “Waitress,” but the bulk of the show will be a series of songs that ask a variety of questions about love like “Must It Be Love?” from “Bajour,” “Why Did You Make Me Love You?” from “Radio Gals,” and “Where Is Love?” 

The Dress Circle begins the month of February (2/4  7:00 p.m.) with its monthly feature to showcase some of the shows that have opened this month.  The menu of productions spans some 72 years with the earliest being Irving Berlin’s long forgotten musical “Face the Music” from 1932.  Along the way, we’ll also be looking at a musical was based on some of the stories of Chaucer from “The Canterbury Tales” starring Hermione Baddeley.  

Just for fun, this week’s Dress Circle (1/28  7:00 p.m.) will be celebrating “Backward’s Day” a few days early.  Every January 31st, Backwards Day gives people the chance to reverse their ways, to go back to a simpler way of life, just to have a wonderful time eating dinner for breakfast, wearing their clothes backwards, talking backwards, or even just saying goodbye when they meet someone. 

Join the Dress Circle for a trip to London on this week’s program (1/21  7:00 p.m.)  as we look at five musicals that have been mounted by the Royal Shakespeare Company.  Of course, we’ll include music from the world-wide sensation “Les Miserables.” 

The works of Stephen Sondheim will be featured on this week’s Dress Circle (1/14 7:00 p.m.) but nothing from cast recordings.  Instead, we’ll be featuring a variety of ladies who have recorded Sondheim’s music over the years.  The list includes Judy Collins who has the honor of singing “Send in the Clowns,” the only Sondheim song that made it into the popular charts where it spent eight weeks and made it to number 6 in 1975.  

Welcome to January and a new year that’s hopefully happy and healthy for you and yours.  This week’s Dress Circle (1/7  7:00 p.m.) is staying with tradition as we’ll take a look at some of the shows that have opened on Broadway during the chill of January.  Those shows include “The Happy Time,” “Sweet Charity,” “Darling of the Day,” “Celebration,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936” among others.  It’s a great mix of old and new, just like every New Year, and it’s here for you at The Classical Network.  Join us each week at 7:00 p.m.

It seems that there are always suggestions for ways to approach the New Year, and on this week’s Dress Circle (12/31  7:00 p.m.), we thought we’d add a few more but from the musicals.  Some of those “words of wisdom” come from shows like “Do I Hear a Waltz?”, “Snoopy,” “The Tap Dance Kid,” “Mame,” “Mr.

Take a break from the festivities this week and spend an hour on Christmas Eve (7:00 p.m.) with The Dress Circle for some favorite holiday moments from the musicals such as “The Gift of the Magi” by Peter Ekstrom, “A Year with Frog and Toad” by the Reale brothers, and “Scrooge” by Leslie Bricusse, as well as a few film songs from “The Santa Clause,” “The Snowman,” and “The Muppet Christmas Carol” and some nostalgia with songs such as “Christmas in Killarney” sung by Bing Crosby and Kenny Gardner singing “The Merry Christmas Waltz.”   

For many of us, television and television specials have played a large part of our various holiday traditions as we grew-up, and we’ll look at a few of those in the fifth part of our series exploring original musicals for television.  We’ve included songs from five original television scores including Angela Lansbury in Jerry Herman’s “Mrs.

An anthem in a musical usually comes when a character is at a crossroads, and we’ll be taking a look at a variety of anthems on this week’s Dress Circle (12/10  7:00 p.m.).   At some point in most musicals, one or more characters have to take stock of their situation and overcome some obstacle in order to find a happy ending, and that moment of personal crisis has given birth to some of the greatest songs in musicals.  Join as we sample anthems from “Ragtime,” “Steel Pier,” “Chess,” “La Cage Aux Folles,” “The Color Purple,” “Company,” and more.  It’ll be an hour of memorable numbers and per

For many, holiday preparations are already at a fever pitch, that’s why we’re taking a break this week (12/3  7:00p.m.) from holiday fare to take a look at some of the show that opened on Broadway in December.  We’ll turn to some Christmas themed shows at the end of the month, but we hope that you’ll join us for a respite without a sprig of holly in sight!  Some of the shows from which you’ll hear songs are Oscar Hammerstein’s adaptation of Bizet in “Carmen Jones,” the Gershwin’s “Lady Be Good!”, Richard Rodgers’ and Lorenz Hart’s “Pal Joey,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” by Jule Styne and Leo

What do people look forward to most at Thanksgiving time?  We say it’s the leftovers, so we’ll look to some more Broadway turkeys because there are just so many of them.  This time, the cut-off is a dozen or fewer performances, and we’ve been able to find songs from a dozen of those shows.  Join us for some excellent songs from shows you didn’t even know you missed such as “Honkey Tonk Nights,” “Jerome Kern Goes to Hollywood,” “Christine,” “Dance a Little Closer,” “The Red Shoes,” “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?”, and “Welcome to the Club” to name a few.  We hope you had a

Just in time for Thanksgiving!  This week’s Dress Circle (11/19  7:00 p.m.) will feature some Broadway Turkeys!  We took a look at the champs last week, so it’s only fair that we take a look at some of the failures that outnumber them by at least 10 to 1.  There are many factors that contribute to a show’s failure.  The show may just be bad, the direction or casting misguided, or one aspect, either the book or score, just isn’t up to par, but sometimes, there are unseen factors as when a backer pulls out, reviews are mediocre even though the show is good, and many more.

As in everything, Broadway has its share of winners and losers, and this week (11/12  7:00 p.m.) we’ll be looking at some box office champs that ran more than 3,000 performances.  We’ll end with the current leader, “Phantom of the Opera” which has over 12,000 performances on Broadway.  Along the way, we’ll sample “A Chorus Line,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Grease,” “Rent,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Miss Saigon,” and “Wicked” along with five more.    Celebrate the best Broadway has to offer this week, and every week, on The Dress Circle.  Don’t forget to look for the webcasts of shows you may mi

The Dress Circle is ushering in November (11/5  7:00 p.m.) with our monthly feature as we look at some of the shows that opened this month.  This time, we’ll be sampling a dozen shows that includes “Into the Woods,” “Seussical,” “The Lion King,” “Billy Elliott,” “Grand Hotel,” and “Young Frankenstein” by performers such as Christopher Fitgerald, Roger Bart, Sutton Foster, Joanna Gleason, Robert Westenberg, Heather Headley, and David Shiner.  We’ll also hear selections from “Mary Poppins,” “Jersey Boys,” “Kiss Me Kate,” and “Teddy and Alice” as well.  Don’t forget to follow The Dress Circle

We’re taking a look at duets on this week’s Dress Circle (10/29  7:00 p.m.), and they’re not just for lovers.  From shows like “Barnum,” “Napoleon,” “Calamity Jane,” “Strike Up the Band,” “Carousel,” and “Out of This World,” you’ll hear Glenn Close, Jim Dale, Susan Watson, Doris Day, Howard Keel, Jo Sullivan, Robert Weede, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and others share the ups and downs of all sorts of relationships.  Join us for music of times that are happy, wistful, combative, sad, philosophical, and silly.  Oh, there will be songs about love too.  Join us this and every Sunday,

The musical theatre world lost a true legend on August 8th of this year, and we decided to wait until closer to Barbara Cook’s birthday to celebrate her life and incredible career that spanned over six decades on this week’s DRESS CIRCLE (10/22  7:00 p.m.).  Cook, born in Atlanta, Georgia, decided to try a stage career in New York in 1948 at the age of 21, and her talents were recognized almost immediately.  She appeared/starred in eighteen productions beginning with “Flahooley” in 1951 and including “She Loves Me,” “The Music Man,” “Carousel,” “Plain and Fancy,” “Candide,” “Show Boat,” and

With the way things are going in the world, one could easily wish for the old days when things were thought to be better even when they really weren’t.  We thought we’d take a look at how Broadway musicals remembered the “Good Old Days” with songs from a variety of musicals like the wistful memory of “Try to Remember” from “The Fantasticks” and “Lilacs Bring Back Memories” from “Nunsense.”  From “Damn Yankees” we’ll hear a happy memory of a troubled times in “Those Were the Good Old Days” and a flood of warm memories in “The Happy Time.”  There will also be a sampling of songs about relatio

Pages