Broadway

The Dress Circle this week (4/14 7:00 p.m.) will be heading off to Carnegie Hall for some concert performances, and there won’t be a single note of classical music.  In 1938, Benny Goodman took a chance and presented the first jazz concert at the hall, and it was successful.  The hall was filled, people danced and enjoyed the concert, and they didn’t tear the seats apart as was feared.  Since that time, there have been a variety of concerts, and we’ll be looking at a few of them.  

Photo courtesy of Brigette Lacombe


What do “Matilda,” “Hair,” “A Chorus Line,” “Big River,” “Waitress,” and “Rent” have in common?  They’re all on this week’s Dress Circle (4/7 7:00 p.m.) because they all opened this month.  Join Ted Otten and Michael Kownacky as they survey some of the shows of April that also include “The Producers,” “Miss Saigon,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” and “Annie” as well.   Don’t forget to visit our Webcasts for any past shows you might have missed and visit our highly suspect website at www.DCSRO.com.

Photo by Matthew Murphy


A real musical menu is on offer for this week’s Dress Circle (3/31 7:00 p.m.).  No, there won’t be any singing produce, but there will be songs from “The Most Happy Fella,” “The Fantasticks,” “Kismet,” “Flower Drum Song,” “A Night in Venice,” and “She Loves Me.”  The menu includes spaghetti, pie, ice cream, Caesar salad, guacamole, wine, and a trip to the supermarket for more.  Tune in for a fun look at some incredible edibles. 

Photo by Joan Marcus


We’ll be enjoying more fruits from the age of the CD on this week’s Dress Circle (3/24 7:00 p.m.) as we sample recordings made by composers and lyricists of their own works.  Many of these recordings were demos or examples of works in progress that they wanted to share with absent partners; some are from public performances, and the results are wonderfully variable.  Some of those professionals include Stephen Sondheim, Cy Coleman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Johnny Mercer, Harold Rome, Frank Loesser, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, and Hoagy Carmichael just to name a few.  

It’s a bit of the less familiar on this week’s Dress Circle (3/17 7:00 p.m.) as we look at some of the recordings released by producer Ben Bagley as part of his “Revisited” series.  You’ll know the composers and lyricists such as Noel Coward, Burton Lane, Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson, Frank Loesser, Richard Rodgers, and Lorenz Hart, but you may not know some of the songs from shows like “The Garrick Gaities,” “Calling All Stars,” “Huckleberry Finn,” “Senor Discretion Himself,” and “Good Morning Dearie.” 

Photo by Maria Barnova


We got a little carried away by overwhelming nostalgia on this week’s Dress Circle (3/10 7:00 p.m.).  While we were planning a previous program, we listened to a cut on a newly acquired CD, and that sent that nostalgia spinning.  The result is this program that looks at some of our musical memories.  Now, these all don’t come from musicals but are pieces that played a role in our childhoods and, often, into our adult lives.  

Lion or lamb, we’ll be celebrating the month of March on The Dress Circle this week (3/3 7:00 p.m.) with songs from some of the shows that opened in New York this month.  Our earliest show this time comes from 1954 and the Jerome Moross / John Latouche retelling of the “Iliad” and “Odyssey” in “The Golden Apple,” and our most recent show is the stage version of Disney’s “Frozen.” 

We’re celebrating black history month on this week’s Dress Circle (2/24 7:00 p.m.) by looking at shows featuring black casts like “Simply Heavenly,” a musical with a book and lyrics by Langston Hughes based on his novel “Simple Takes a Wife” and other “Simple” stories, “Purlie,” a musical based on Ossie Davis’ play “Purlie Victorious,” and “Raisin” based on Lorraine Hansberry’s “Raisin in the Sun.”  

Photo by Maria Baranova



Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we’re going to try to get you in the mood on this week’s Dress Circle (2/10 7:00 p.m.) with some love songs, but not just any love songs, we’re turning to the wonderful pairing of Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers for our sources.  

Photo by Kate Glicksberg / NYC & Company


There are two givens about the beginning of February: the weather will be inconsistent, but The Dress Circle (2/3 7:00 p.m.) will certainly be consistent as we welcome in the month with some of the shows that opened this month.  We’ll look at 100 years of musicals beginning with Jerome Kern’s “Oh, Boy!”, with a book and lyrics by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse from 1917 through to 2017’s revival of “Sunset Boulevard” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don Black, and Christopher Hampton.  

Join Ted Otten and Michael Kownacky as they celebrate the lives and careers of some of the wonderful performers we lost in 2018 on this week’s Dress Circle (1/27 7:00 p.m.).  This is one program we never enjoy planning, but it’s one that we feel compelled to do, and sadly, there were once again far too many to honor in our scant hour program.  Those we’ve chosen include Nanette Fabray, Vic Damone, Tab Hunter, Barbara Harris, and David Ogden Stiers.  

Photo by Joan Marcus


This week’s Dress Circle (1/20 7:00 p.m.) epitomizes that great television interjection, “But wait!  There’s more!” as we look at some “bonus tracks” from the age of the CD.  With the advent of a CD being able to hold 80 minutes of music, many companies gave us material from cast recordings, film scores, and demo recordings that was never available in the age of 78’s and LP’s.  

Photo by Matthew Murphy


Photo by Julieta Cervantes


Photo by Jan Versweyveld


2019 is being welcomed in on The Dress Circle (1/6  7:00 p.m.) as we look at some of the shows that opened in New York in January.  We’ll sample songs from hits like “Beautiful The Carole King Musical,” Lynn Arhens and Stephen Flaherty’s “Ragtime,” Charlie Smalls’ “The Wiz,” and George and Ira Gershwin’s “Strike Up the Band” as well as Jerry Herman’s “The Grand Tour,” Albert Hague and Arnold B. Horwitt’s “Plain and Fancy,” and a few other favorites.  If you’re detoxing from the holidays, Broadway musicals are the perfect fit. 

Entering the New Year is a daunting thought for many, but on this week’s Dress Circle (12/30 7:00 p.m.) we’re going to try to help with some words of encouragement from the musicals.  With that in mind, “Don’t Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be” because “You Never Know What You Can Do Until You Try.”  “Keep a Stiff Upper Lip” as you “Take the Moment” because “Every Day Comes Something Beautiful.”  “You’ve Got to Look Out for Yourself” and “Keep a Stiff Upper Lip” so that you can “Make Someone Happy.”  Oh, just “Come Out of the Dumpster” and “Get Happy”!

Joan Marcus


Photo by Deen van Meer


The work of Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson will be showcased on this week’s Dress Circle (12/16 7:00 p.m.) as we look at their musical written with lyricist Tim Rice that mixes personal relationships and political intrigue played against the background of the international chess tournament.  “Chess” began as a concept album in 1984 and made it to the London stage two years later where it stayed until 1989.  It crossed the Atlantic to Broadway in 1987 but had a much shorter stay of only 68 performances.  

Photo by Joan Marcus


After EVITA, Andrew Lloyd Webber wanted to work on something a bit less massive, and on this week’s Dress Circle (12/2 7:00 p.m.), we’ll look at that smaller show’s beginnings on TV and growth into a full evening for the stage.  The musical is “Tell Me on a Sunday” and tells the story of a British girl’s relationship adventures in the United States.  The television special starred Marti Webb, and she also appeared in the West End production when it became “Song and Dance” with the addition of Webber’s “Variations” which he wrote for his cellist brother Julian.  

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