Broadway

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.

As in everything, Broadway has its share of winners and losers, and this week (11/12  7:00 p.m.) we’ll be looking at some box office champs that ran more than 3,000 performances.  We’ll end with the current leader, “Phantom of the Opera” which has over 12,000 performances on Broadway.  Along the way, we’ll sample “A Chorus Line,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Grease,” “Rent,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Miss Saigon,” and “Wicked” along with five more.    Celebrate the best Broadway has to offer this week, and every week, on The Dress Circle.  Don’t forget to look for the webcasts of shows you may mi

"The Band's Visit" is a new musical taken from an Israeli film about a visiting Egyptian police band stranded in the Israeli desert. Howard Shapiro reviews the musical this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am.

The new play "Junk" traces the trajectory of a schemer who overwhelms companies with junk bonds and hostile takeovers. Hear theater critic Howard Shapiro's review of the play this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

The Dress Circle is ushering in November (11/5  7:00 p.m.) with our monthly feature as we look at some of the shows that opened this month.  This time, we’ll be sampling a dozen shows that includes “Into the Woods,” “Seussical,” “The Lion King,” “Billy Elliott,” “Grand Hotel,” and “Young Frankenstein” by performers such as Christopher Fitgerald, Roger Bart, Sutton Foster, Joanna Gleason, Robert Westenberg, Heather Headley, and David Shiner.  We’ll also hear selections from “Mary Poppins,” “Jersey Boys,” “Kiss Me Kate,” and “Teddy and Alice” as well.  Don’t forget to follow The Dress Circle

For the 19th year, Broadway casts have produced a set of CDs for the holiday season called “Carols for a Cure.” Hear more about their charity project and the CDs this week on “In a Broadway Minute” Friday morning at 8 and Saturday morning at 10. 

We’re taking a look at duets on this week’s Dress Circle (10/29  7:00 p.m.), and they’re not just for lovers.  From shows like “Barnum,” “Napoleon,” “Calamity Jane,” “Strike Up the Band,” “Carousel,” and “Out of This World,” you’ll hear Glenn Close, Jim Dale, Susan Watson, Doris Day, Howard Keel, Jo Sullivan, Robert Weede, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and others share the ups and downs of all sorts of relationships.  Join us for music of times that are happy, wistful, combative, sad, philosophical, and silly.  Oh, there will be songs about love too.  Join us this and every Sunday,

Four new musical productions make their way to Broadway before the end of the year. Find out more about them this week on In a Broadway Minute with theater critic Howard Shapiro Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 1 am.

The musical theatre world lost a true legend on August 8th of this year, and we decided to wait until closer to Barbara Cook’s birthday to celebrate her life and incredible career that spanned over six decades on this week’s DRESS CIRCLE (10/22  7:00 p.m.).  Cook, born in Atlanta, Georgia, decided to try a stage career in New York in 1948 at the age of 21, and her talents were recognized almost immediately.  She appeared/starred in eighteen productions beginning with “Flahooley” in 1951 and including “She Loves Me,” “The Music Man,” “Carousel,” “Plain and Fancy,” “Candide,” “Show Boat,” and

With the way things are going in the world, one could easily wish for the old days when things were thought to be better even when they really weren’t.  We thought we’d take a look at how Broadway musicals remembered the “Good Old Days” with songs from a variety of musicals like the wistful memory of “Try to Remember” from “The Fantasticks” and “Lilacs Bring Back Memories” from “Nunsense.”  From “Damn Yankees” we’ll hear a happy memory of a troubled times in “Those Were the Good Old Days” and a flood of warm memories in “The Happy Time.”  There will also be a sampling of songs about relatio

"Time and the Conways" is a 1937 play being revived on Broadway with Elizabeth McGovern, best known as Lady Grantham in TV's "Downton Abbey." You can hear theater critic Howard Shapiro's review of the play this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am.

Twice as many dramas and comedies open on Broadway during the first half of this season than musicals, and you can hear about some of them this week on In a Broadway Minute. Join theater critic Howard Shapiro Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am for this rundown.

The first Dress Circle program of October (10/1   7:00 p.m.) will be the traditional monthly feature that looks at some of the shows that opened this month.  This time we’ll be including some recent works like “Big Fish” and “The Last Ship” as well as looking back at favorites like “Cabin in the Sky,” “Mack and Mabel,” and “The Boy from Oz” with performances by Julie Andrews, Hugh Jackman, Norbert Leo Butz, Bernadette Peters, and more.  The varied menu will also include “High Button Shoes,” “Victor/Victoria,” “Wicked,” and “Porgy and Bess.”   Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and that y

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