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The Dress Circle: Songs from the Shows of June

Welcome to June, and we’re going to usher in the month, as we usually do, on this week’s Dress Circle (6/5 7:00 p.m.) with songs from some of the shows that opened in New York this month.

We don’t have a large number from which to choose for two reasons. Many of the early musicals closed or went out of town over the summer months because the lack of air conditioning made the performances unbearable for both audiences and casts. Secondly, since 1977, the Tony Awards have been presented in June. (Before that, they were given primarily in March or April since their inception in 1947.) Shows were loathe to open in June because audiences may be focused on the Tony Awards, and voters would have to remember the show for nearly an entire year before the next one. Hence, we have fewer openings from which to choose.

However, we still have an interesting selection on this week’s program. We’re spanning 101 years in our musicals this time. Our first show comes from 1910, and it’s the long-forgotten musical entitled “The Summer Widowers.” It was quite popular in its day, but very little is remembered about it now. Fortunately, we have a recording of one of the songs from the show performed by Irene Franklin who introduced it in the show. The song is “Red-Head.”

Our must recent opening will once again have to default to “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” which opened in 2011 whose troubles were legion. (Only one show has opened in June since then, and that was the failed “Holler if Ya Hear Me” with music by Tupac Shakur, but we don’t have the promo CD from the show, so we can’t feature it.)

The rest of our playlist runs the gamut from the better-known shows such as “Godspell,” “She Loves Me,” and “Chicago” to some older, forgotten scores like “Wish You Were Here,” “Seventeen,” and the off-Broadway production of “I’m Getting My Act Together.”

We’ll also hear from two of the box office “winners” for the month: “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” and “Grease.”

After some digging, we’re also very pleased to be able to air two other historical recordings: Buddy Clark singing a song he performed in “The Streets of Paris” entitled “Robert the Roue” and Fred and Adele Astaire in “Sweet Music” as they performed it in “The Band Wagon.”

Once again, we’re offering a wonderfully varied selection of songs, and we hope you’ll join us for another pleasant hour.

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Ted Otten is co-host of The Dress Circle
Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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