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

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

One of our favorite singers will be featured on this week’s Dress Circle (10/8  7:00 p.m.) as we look at the legendary Ella Fitzgerald through her incredible series of recordings that are catalogued under the “Songbook” Title.  Fitzgerald, who began singing by chance in 1934 when her name was drawn at random to be a contestant in an amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre, wowed the audience with her rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s “Judy” at the spur of the moment.  She had intended to dance but changed her mind at the last minute.  She would go on to be known as the “First Lady of Song” for

The first Dress Circle program of October (10/1   7:00 p.m.) will be the traditional monthly feature that looks at some of the shows that opened this month.  This time we’ll be including some recent works like “Big Fish” and “The Last Ship” as well as looking back at favorites like “Cabin in the Sky,” “Mack and Mabel,” and “The Boy from Oz” with performances by Julie Andrews, Hugh Jackman, Norbert Leo Butz, Bernadette Peters, and more.  The varied menu will also include “High Button Shoes,” “Victor/Victoria,” “Wicked,” and “Porgy and Bess.”   Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and that y

To many people, the name Johnny Burke is unknown, and we’ll be trying to remedy that on this week’s Dress Circle (9/24 7:00 p.m.) when we air a Johnny Burke Songbook.  We guarantee you’ll know many of the songs penned by this gifted lyricist who also wrote music when the occasion arose, and we’ll sample some of those songs from his Broadway musical “Donnybrook!” based on “The Quiet Man,” as well as some of his film work for the “Road” films of Hope and Crosby, “Rio,” “Morocco,” and “Utopia.”  Please join us every Sunday evening or as a webcast on The Classical Network’s website.  You can al

This week’s Dress Circle (9/17  7 p.m.) is taking a second look at some of our “new to us” recent acquisitions before they enter our permanent catalogue to be used in upcoming programs.  We’re including a few cast recordings including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the failed 2015 revival of “Gigi” which starred Vanessa Hudgens, and the current London cast of “Dreamgirls” starring Amber Riley.  Composer Charles Strouse will perform a few of his own works from the CD "Charles Strouse Sings," and we'll also showcase Kristin Chenoweth in performance from her televised special "Coming Home."

It’s all about some “recent acquisitions” on this week’s Dress Circle (9/10 – 7:00 p.m.).  One of us has had extra time on his hands, so the time for shopping in on-line bargain bins for CDs has increased.  The result is that we’ve had an influx of “new to us” CDs that we’d like to share before they get worked into our catalogue for future Dress Circle programming.  This week is the first of two programs and will include selections from The Burt Bacharach Album: Broadway Sings the Best of Burt Bacharach, Young Love: The Best of Tab Hunter, the current Broadway hit “Waitress,” a wonderful mu

The Dress Circle this week (9/3 7:00 p.m.) will welcome in the month of September by looking at just a few of the shows that have opened this month.  Our “baker’s dozen” includes the sadly overlooked “Fine and Dandy” by one of Broadway’s lady composers, Kay Swift along with Bock & Harnick’s “Fiddler on the Roof,” Marguerite Monnot’s “Irma La Douce,” Sandy Willson’s “The Boy Friend,” Mark Hollmann’s “Urinetown,” and the 2011 revival of Sondheim’s “Follies.”   The varied list also includes songs from Friml’s “The Vagabond King,” Berlin’s “As Thousands Cheer,” and the 1974 revival of “Gyps

For many, it’s truly the “most wonderful time of year” as it’s back to school time for many communities.  As always, we’ll be celebrating the happy event with a visit from some of our favorites including songs from “New Faces of 1952,” “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” “That’s What Kids Do,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,”  and "School of Rock” among several others.  We’re also including two wonderful monologues by the charming British comedienne Joyce Grenfell.  As always, you can visit us at www.DCSRO.com or on Facebook.  

The Dress Circle will be taking a second look at the Smithsonian American Songbook CD series on this week’s program (8/20 7:00 p.m.).  This time, our composers include Duke Ellington, Kurt Weill, Richard Whiting, and Harold Arlen and will include performances by Rosemary Clooney, Dick Powell, Mildred Bailey, Bobby Short, Alice Faye, Nat King Cole, Ethel Merman, and Pearl Bailey along with several others.  Join us for an hour of delightfully nostalgic songs performed by some of the best singers of the 20th century.  

A ”songbook” of the Broadway works by Frank Wildhorn will air this Sunday (8/13 - 7:oo p.m.) on The Dress Circle.  Broadway audiences first heard the music of Wildhorn in 1997 when he added three songs, with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, to the stage version of “Victor/Victoria” after the death of Henry Mancini.  Within two years, his first complete show and biggest hit “Jekyll & Hyde,” with book and lyrics by Bricusse, would be the talk of Broadway and go on to run for 1543 performances.

To borrow a few lines from the musicals, “It’s too darn hot,” “We’re having a heat wave,” and “Ain’t it awful the heat; ain’t it awful?” which is why there are so few Broadway openings in the months of July and August: It was simply too hot for both cast and audience.  Shows closed for the summer or moved to a “summer home” somewhere in the country until the heat broke.  Shows were even performed in mostly open-air spaces on rooftops to “beat the heat.”  Because there were fewer shows during the sumer, we combine the openings from July and August so that we can still feature a varied menu o

It’ll be a bit of nostalgia on this week’s Dress Circle (7/30 – 7:00 p.m.) as we take our first look at a series of CDs published under the title The Smithsonian American Songbook.  This program will look at songs by a variety of composers and lyricists such as Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Johnny Mercer, Frank Loesser, E.Y.

Beginning with Memorial Day in May, many communities enjoy a summer of a variety of parades, and this week’s Dress Circle (7/23 – 7:00 pm) will be looking at some of the parades featured in a variety of musicals including a desire to be included from “Anyone Can Whistle,” the parade of humanity found in “Grand Hotel,” the one and only Macy’s parade in “Here’s Love,” a wedding parade in “Flower Drum Song,” and an anthem to life from “Hello, Dolly!” along with many more familiar and unfamiliar shows.  Don’t forget to join us on Face Book and at our website www.DCSRO.com.  You’ll also find rec

The Dress Circle this week (7/16 7:00 p.m.) will feature the second program in our series celebrating the life and talents of George Gershwin.  Along with selections from musicals such as “Lady Be Good!”, “Oh, Kay,” and “Funny Face” as well as the films “Delicious” and “The Goldwyn Follies” which was the last film for which Gershwin wrote songs before his death.  Join us for some familiar and unfamiliar music from this American original, and don’t forget to look for webcasts of programs you may have missed.

George Gershwin died tragically young on July 11, 1937, just weeks away from his 39th birthday, and to mark the 80th anniversary of his death, we'll be airing two programs dedicated to his work.

The Dress Circle this week (7/2 7:00 p.m.)  will be taking a second look at musicals that have been performed in concert settings.  Usually, this is done to aid a charity and features an all-star cast.  This is true in the case of the concert version of "Dreamgirls" which was in benefit of The Actors' Fund.  This recording starred Lillias White, Audra McDonald, Heather Headley, and Billy Porter.

It's going to be a Glee-ful program this Sunday (6/25 - 7:00 pm) as The Dress Circle takes a look at the six seasons of the wildly popular series dedicated to high school choral singing, "Glee."  The show ran for 121 episodes and included over 728 music performances by its talented cast as well as some of the biggest names from the worlds of Broadway and pop music.   Joining regular cast members like Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele, and Naya Rivera you'll hear performances by Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth in songs from Broadway and Hollywood.

On The Dress Circle this Sunday (6/18 ) at 7:00 pm, we'll be inviting you to get up and dance as we look at ballets and dances from Broadway musicals.    Included will be "La Princess Zenobia" from "On Your Toes" as well as The Sadie Hawkins Ballet from "Li'l Abner" and The "Havana scene" from "Guys and Dolls."  More Richard Rodgers music will be featured through ballets from "Carousel" and "Oklahoma!" as well.  Put on your dancing shoes, and join us for a happy hour of music from the stage.

The Dress Circle on Sunday, June 11 (7 pm) will be featuring selections from five musicals that have played at London's Royal National Theatre.  Included will be Judi Dench in Sondheim's "A Little Night Music," Frank Loesser's "Guys and Dolls" with Julie Covington and Ian Charleson, Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady" Starring Martine McCutcheon and Jonathan Pryce, Leonard Bernstein's "Candide," and Maria Friedman in "Lady in the Dark" by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin.  Also included will be selections from "Oklahoma!" featuring Hugh Jackman and Peter Poylcarpou.

  This week, we're delving into one of our favorite topics: American Musicals Performed in Foreign Languages. After we begin with "Schlittenfahrt," we'll turn to some other familiar songs sung in Dutch, German, French, Italian, and Japanese. Some of the shows included are BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, MAN OF LA MANCHA, THE DESERT SONG, SWEET CHARITY, GREASE, and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and more.

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