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The Dress Circle: A Necessary Number?

It’s all about numbers on this week’s Dress Circle (10/22 7:00 p.m.), rather small numbers, as we look at musicals and revues calling for casts of one to four performers.

One may be the loneliest number, but it’s also the total cast for our first two musicals. “Love Linda” is about Linda Lee Thomas, the wife of Cole Porter, and from it, we’ll be featuring a lesser-known song, “There’s a Hollywood That’s Good.” Our other “one-hander” is a television musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black featuring the originator of the solo role, Marti Webb.

For casts of two, we’re off to “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” which features Audra McDonald as Billie Holiday, the Schmidt and Jones adaptation of Jan de Hartog’s “The Fourposter” which looks at the highs and lows of a loving marriage entitled “I Do! I Do!,” and the off-B’way compilation of songs cut from Stephen Sondheim musicals that run under the title of “Marry Me a Little.” Of course, we can’t forget the current Broadway offering of “Gutenberg! The Musical” which features two actors playing some twenty roles between them.

The musicals with casts of three include Bock & Harnick’s “The Apple Tree,” a musical revue by Maltby & Shire titled “Starting Here, Starting Now,” Jonathan Larsen’s autobiographical “Tick…Tick…Boom!,” and “What About Luv” by Marren and Birkenhead which is a musicalization of a riotous comedy by Murray Schisgal that takes place on the Brooklyn Bridge. Oh, we’ll also hear from Sondheim again, and the revue of his music that originated in London, “Side by Side by Sondheim.”

Our trio of casts of four come from the nostalgic “Forever Plaid,” the look at married life titled “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” and another Malby and Shire revue, “Closer Than Ever.”

We’re very pleased with this week’s playlist which features some more wonderful songs from shows that offer big rewards from small casts.

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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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