Broadway

John Barrowman is best known to American television audiences for his appearances on “Dr. Who” and “Torchwood,” but this week’s Dress Circle (3/11 7:00 p.m.) is dedicated to his wonderful performances in musicals, mostly in London’s West End.  You’ll hear him perform songs from his starring roles in “Matador,” “Anything Goes,” “The Fix,” and “Hair” along with “Grease,” “Sunset Boulevard,” and the totally forgotten musical, “Jean Seberg.”  If you only know Barrowman from his television appearances, this week’s program is sure to be a pleasant surprise.

The Dress Circle: Songs from the Shows of March

Mar 1, 2018

The weather may be unpredictable, but this week’s Dress Circle (3/4 7:00 p.m.) certainly isn’t.  Since it’s the beginning of the month, we’ll once again look at our monthly feature showcasing the musicals that opened on and off-Broadway during March.  We’re featuring Joel Grey and Anne Reinking in the 1975 musical about Joan of Arc and Charlemagne entitled “Goodtime Charley” and the fabled 1954 off-Broadway revival of Weill and Brecht’s “The Threepenny Opera” featuring Bea Arthur, and it’s very nice to hear her in her prime.  



We’ll be “crossing over” on this week’s Dress Circle (2/25  7:00 p.m.).  Well, the singers will be crossing over as some of opera’s greatest sing favorites from the world of Broadway.  Those singers include Eileen Farrell, Robert Merrill, Rise Stevens, Dorothy Kirsten, Thomas Hampson, Kiri Te Kanawa, Jerry Hadley, Frederica von Stade, and more.  We’ve scheduled songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Frank Loesser, Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, and the Gershwins from shows like “South Pacific,” “Music in the Air,” “The Most Happy Fella,” “Allegro,” and “The New Moon.” 

This week’s Dress Circle (2/18  7:00 p.m.) will be a survey of some of the CDs of a group formed in 1995 called “The Broadway Kids.”  This rotating cast of young people between the ages of eight and sixteen, had to appear in at least one Broadway or off-Broadway show or a major national tour in order to audition, and we’ll be looking at three of their eight CDs including The Broadway Kids “Sing Broadway,” “Back on Broadway,” and “Sing America.”  

The renovated Helen Hayes Theater reopens in a few weeks, and also enlarges the scope of non-profit producers on Broadway. Howard Shapiro explains more about it this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

Valentine’s Day is creeping up, and The Dress Circle will be all about love this week (2/11  7:00 p.m.) with songs that ask some musical questions from some rather unfamiliar shows.  We’ll begin with a few “love” songs with titles that just were just too good to resist like “Kiss Me and Kill Me with Love” from “Ankles Aweigh” and “I Love You Like a Table” from “Waitress,” but the bulk of the show will be a series of songs that ask a variety of questions about love like “Must It Be Love?” from “Bajour,” “Why Did You Make Me Love You?” from “Radio Gals,” and “Where Is Love?” 

Emilio Madrid-Kuser/Broadway.com

Broadway's "Phantom of the Opera" has reached another milestone in its storied stage history. Join Howard Shapiro this week on In a Broadway Minute as he notes this and other accomplishments of this Broadway favorite. In a Broadway Minute airs Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

The Dress Circle begins the month of February (2/4  7:00 p.m.) with its monthly feature to showcase some of the shows that have opened this month.  The menu of productions spans some 72 years with the earliest being Irving Berlin’s long forgotten musical “Face the Music” from 1932.  Along the way, we’ll also be looking at a musical was based on some of the stories of Chaucer from “The Canterbury Tales” starring Hermione Baddeley.  

Joan Marcus

John Lithgow is on Broadway in a one-man show he’s written about storytelling and his father. He also performs stories by Ring Lardner and P. G. Wodehouse. Join theater critic Howard Shapiro this week for his review of John Lithgow: Stories by Heart Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

Just for fun, this week’s Dress Circle (1/28  7:00 p.m.) will be celebrating “Backward’s Day” a few days early.  Every January 31st, Backwards Day gives people the chance to reverse their ways, to go back to a simpler way of life, just to have a wonderful time eating dinner for breakfast, wearing their clothes backwards, talking backwards, or even just saying goodbye when they meet someone. 

The revival of an Afro-Caribbean inspired musical called "Once on This Island," a piece of storytelling that combines spirituality and values, has opened on Broadway at Circle in the Square Theatre. Hear theater critic Howard Shapiro's review this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

Mark Rylance stars in "Farinelli and the King," a production about the famed 18th-century castrato countertenor and his relationship with Spain's King Philip the Fifth. Hear theater critic Howard Shapiro's review of this play by Claire van Kampen on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am (1/12 and 1/13).

The works of Stephen Sondheim will be featured on this week’s Dress Circle (1/14 7:00 p.m.) but nothing from cast recordings.  Instead, we’ll be featuring a variety of ladies who have recorded Sondheim’s music over the years.  The list includes Judy Collins who has the honor of singing “Send in the Clowns,” the only Sondheim song that made it into the popular charts where it spent eight weeks and made it to number 6 in 1975.  

"The Children" is a new Broadway play by Lucy Kirkwood about two retired nuclear scientists upended by a disaster at the reactor they helped to build. Join Theater Critic Howard Shapiro for his review of this play Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

Welcome to January and a new year that’s hopefully happy and healthy for you and yours.  This week’s Dress Circle (1/7  7:00 p.m.) is staying with tradition as we’ll take a look at some of the shows that have opened on Broadway during the chill of January.  Those shows include “The Happy Time,” “Sweet Charity,” “Darling of the Day,” “Celebration,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936” among others.  It’s a great mix of old and new, just like every New Year, and it’s here for you at The Classical Network.  Join us each week at 7:00 p.m.

Matthew Murphy


It seems that there are always suggestions for ways to approach the New Year, and on this week’s Dress Circle (12/31  7:00 p.m.), we thought we’d add a few more but from the musicals.  Some of those “words of wisdom” come from shows like “Do I Hear a Waltz?”, “Snoopy,” “The Tap Dance Kid,” “Mame,” “Mr.

Joan Marcus

The cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants is now a full-blown musical on Broadway at the Palace Theatre. Hear theater critic Howard Shapiro's review this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

Take a break from the festivities this week and spend an hour on Christmas Eve (7:00 p.m.) with The Dress Circle for some favorite holiday moments from the musicals such as “The Gift of the Magi” by Peter Ekstrom, “A Year with Frog and Toad” by the Reale brothers, and “Scrooge” by Leslie Bricusse, as well as a few film songs from “The Santa Clause,” “The Snowman,” and “The Muppet Christmas Carol” and some nostalgia with songs such as “Christmas in Killarney” sung by Bing Crosby and Kenny Gardner singing “The Merry Christmas Waltz.”   

Uma Thurman is making her Broadway debut in a new play called The Parisian Woman, about Washington politics behind the scenes. Theater critic Howard Shapiro reviews the play this week on "In a Broadway Minute," Friday morning at 8 and Saturday morning at 10.

An anthem in a musical usually comes when a character is at a crossroads, and we’ll be taking a look at a variety of anthems on this week’s Dress Circle (12/10  7:00 p.m.).   At some point in most musicals, one or more characters have to take stock of their situation and overcome some obstacle in order to find a happy ending, and that moment of personal crisis has given birth to some of the greatest songs in musicals.  Join as we sample anthems from “Ragtime,” “Steel Pier,” “Chess,” “La Cage Aux Folles,” “The Color Purple,” “Company,” and more.  It’ll be an hour of memorable numbers and per

Matthew Murphy

The actor, writer and comedian John Leguizamo is performing his new one-man show Latin History for Morons on Broadway. Join theater critic Howard Shapiro for his review this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

For many, holiday preparations are already at a fever pitch, that’s why we’re taking a break this week (12/3  7:00p.m.) from holiday fare to take a look at some of the show that opened on Broadway in December.  We’ll turn to some Christmas themed shows at the end of the month, but we hope that you’ll join us for a respite without a sprig of holly in sight!  Some of the shows from which you’ll hear songs are Oscar Hammerstein’s adaptation of Bizet in “Carmen Jones,” the Gershwin’s “Lady Be Good!”, Richard Rodgers’ and Lorenz Hart’s “Pal Joey,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” by Jule Styne and Leo

The new Christmas show on Broadway is a musical revue called "Home for the Holidays" at the August Wilson Theatre. Hear Theater Critic Howard Shapiro's review this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am.

What do people look forward to most at Thanksgiving time?  We say it’s the leftovers, so we’ll look to some more Broadway turkeys because there are just so many of them.  This time, the cut-off is a dozen or fewer performances, and we’ve been able to find songs from a dozen of those shows.  Join us for some excellent songs from shows you didn’t even know you missed such as “Honkey Tonk Nights,” “Jerome Kern Goes to Hollywood,” “Christine,” “Dance a Little Closer,” “The Red Shoes,” “Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?”, and “Welcome to the Club” to name a few.  We hope you had a

The play M. Butterfly, about a French diplomat who falls in love with a Chinese mistress, is in revival on Broadway. Join Howard Shapiro on In a Broadway Minute for a review Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am.

Just in time for Thanksgiving!  This week’s Dress Circle (11/19  7:00 p.m.) will feature some Broadway Turkeys!  We took a look at the champs last week, so it’s only fair that we take a look at some of the failures that outnumber them by at least 10 to 1.  There are many factors that contribute to a show’s failure.  The show may just be bad, the direction or casting misguided, or one aspect, either the book or score, just isn’t up to par, but sometimes, there are unseen factors as when a backer pulls out, reviews are mediocre even though the show is good, and many more.

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