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The Dress Circle: Summer with the Musicals

Well, it came quicky and in full force. Of course, we’re talking about summer which is already entering its second heatwave. We’re turning to the musicals for songs about “summer” on this week’s Dress Circle (7/7 3:00 p.m.), and we’ve amassed a playlist of fourteen – many of which may be new to you.  

We’re starting with the song that came to mind first, and that’s “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess.” From there however, we’ve gone far afield to gather songs from stage and screen. 

Some of the better-known musicals include “Spring Awakening,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Grey Gardens,” but you’ll also hear songs from “Seventeen” which was based on stories by Booth Tarkington and “The Littlest Revue” a very popular off-Broadway show that stumbled when it transferred to Broadway, 

From London, we’ve got songs from “Summer Song” which was based on the music of Dvorak and starred the wonderful Sally Ann Howes and Cole Porter’s “Ace of Clubs.” 

We’ve turned to studio cast recordings for songs from a lesser-known version of “The Secret Garden” that features Barbara Cook as Martha and a musical version of Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” that comes from a recording of songs from three musicals that also includes “Far from the Madding Crowd” and “Dusky Sally.” 

Just for a bit of happy silliness, we’ve added songs from “Forbidden Broadway” that showcases those summer blockbuster films in a charmingly irreverent way and the always welcome “Oil City Symphony” for a romp of a “Summer Medley.” 

There’s even a cut number from a failed musical by Bock and Harnick that features the composing team themselves. 

All in all, you’ll be able to experience many different aspects of summer without the heat or humidity but with some excellent performances, so it’s a win-win on this week’s Dress Circle, and we hope you’ll join us.

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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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