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The Dress Circle: Songs from the Shows of August

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Happy August! (Well, here’s hoping…) We’re celebrating the month with songs from some of the shows that opened in New York this month on this week’s Dress Circle (8/7 7:00 p.m.). This month, we’ll be looking at shows spanning 115 years of Broadway history. Our earliest show is one from 1905 titled “Easy Dawson.” Although not really a musical, songs were added to a play for its leading man Raymond Hitchcock who was a much-loved leading actor of his day, starring in 34 productions between 1898 and 1928. We have a recording of Hitchcock singing one of those songs on tonight’s program.

Our most recent openings came in 2018 and were three days apart. “Pretty Woman the Musical” is currently the winner, and we’ll hear from the show’s leads Samantha Barks and Andy Karl with one of the wonderfully up-tempo numbers from the score based on the film that starred Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.

We’ll also be hearing from the penultimate recent opening show from 2018, “Gettin’ the Band Back Together” which had it’s start at New Brunswick’s George Street Playhouse.

Along the way we’ll hear from some audience favorites such as “Hairspray,” “La Cage Aux Folles,” “42nd Street,” “Me and My Girl,” and the 1997 revival of “1776.”

Some of the lesser-known shows include “Simply Heavenly” based on stories by Langston Hughes, the unfortunate “Rags” (great score – unfortunate book), “Leave It to Jane,” a 1917 musical by Jerome Kern and P.G. Wodehouse, and the Wright and Forrest adaptation of the music of Edvard Grieg, “The Song of Norway.”

Whether they were box office winners or not, their scores are still worthy of a listen, and audiences will get a sampling on this week’s program.

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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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