Musical

Spring is the time for all things new, and we’re going to be sampling some recent acquisitions on this week’s Dress Circle (4/21 7:00 p.m.).  These “new to us” recordings include studio cast recordings of two George and Ira Gershwin musicals from 1925 “Tip-Toes” and “Tell Me More.”  We’ll also be sampling songs from two television musicals, “Ruggles of Red Gap” by Jule Styne and Leo Robin and “Feathertop” by Mary Rodgers and Martin Charnin featuring performances by Michael Redgrave, Peter Lawford, and Jane Powell.  

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.  

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.

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. 

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.” 

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.  

Teaching has its side effects, and one of those is the need for “calendar art”!  The Dress Circle program this week (11/18 7:00 p.m.) is an off-shoot of that need as we present a Thanksgiving program – of sorts.  In the past, we’ve looked at family, food, and “thanks” as themes, but this time, we wanted to share with you some of the theatergoing events for which we’ve been thankful over the years.  

Our years teaching English have gotten the better of us on this week’s Dress Circle (11/11 7:00 p.m.), and we’ve turned to the world of literature for our theme as we look at Emily Bronte’s 1847 romantic tragedy “Wuthering Heights” through stage and screen adaptations.  Join us for selections from Alfred Newman’s score for the film as well as an aria from Bernard Hermann’s opera.  

… And suddenly, it’s November!  As usual, this week’s Dress Circle (11/4 7:00 p.m.) will celebrate the new month by looking at some of the shows that opened on Broadway in November, and we have quite a hefty list from which to choose.  Some of the shows we’ve chosen, which span over 114 years, include the forgotten Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a novella by John Steinbeck entitled “Pipe Dream,” the big Tony Award winner from last year by David Yazbeck, “The Band’s Visit,” and the Elton John / Tim Rice massive stage hit, “The Lion King.”  

Audra McDonald will be featured again on this week’s Dress Circle (10/28 7:00 p.m.) as we take a second look at her career “So Far.”  This time, we’ll be including selections from her performance as Bess in the 2012 revival of “Porgy and Bess.”  We’ll also be sampling songs from several of her solo CDs by the likes of Rodgers and Hart, McHugh and Fields, Kern and Wodehouse, Arlen and Gershwin, and Bernstein and Sondheim to name a few.  It’s a celebration of one of Broadway’s most delightful leading ladies, so join us for a happy hour in the Dress Circle.

We never like to do this type of a program, but we felt compelled to remember another wonderful performer whom we lost far too early on this week’s Dress Circle (10/14 7:00 p.m.) as we look back at the career of Marin Mazzie who passed away after a three-year battle with ovarian cancer on September 13 at the age of 57.  For us, we’ll always remember her iconic performance as Mother in “Ragtime” where she stopped the show with her incredibly moving performance of “Back to Before.”   We were also thrilled to see her spirited performance as Lilli Vanessi / Katharine in the 1999 revival of “Kiss Me Kate.”  These two shows alone are testament to her versatility and power.  

Celebrate October on this week’s Dress Circle (10/7 7:00 P.M.) as we showcase our regular  survey of shows that opened on Broadway this month.  The program will feature music from Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s forgotten gem “Allegro” as part of a varied menu that includes music from Sting’s musical memory “The Last Ship.”  

We’re happy to be celebrating the career of a very special performer on this week’s Dress Circle (9/23 7:00 p.m.) as we present a program in our “So Far” series dedicated to the work of Audra McDonald.  Join us for selections from some of her stage appearances in musicals like “Carousel,” “Ragtime,” “Marie Christine,” “110 in the Shade,” and “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.”  Her work in television musicals includes “The Sound of Music” and “Annie,” and we’ll also look at some of the studio cast recordings and concert work in “Wonderful Town,” “Allegro,” and “Dreamgirls.”  

There have been many musical dynasties over the years, and we’ll be looking at one of them on this week’s Dress Circle (9/16 7:00 p.m.) when we look at the dynasty that began with Richard Rodgers, continued with his daughter Mary Rodgers, and is currently represented by Mary’s son, Adam Guettel.  From Richard, we’ll hear a medley of many of his familiar songs arranged by Peter Nero.  To represent Mary’s work, we’ll look at her musicals “Once Upon a Mattress” and “The Mad Show” along with a song she contributed to “Working.”  

We’ll be looking at July and August together for our show openings on this week’s Dress Circle (7/29 7:00 p.m.) since Broadway openings slow during the summer months with the exception of this year where there will be no fewer than four new musicals opening.  However, since they haven’t opened yet, we don’t have any music from them and won’t be mentioning them.  The “summer shows” we will be mentioning include the 1997 revival of “1776,” the riotous revue “Two on the Aisle,” one of Langston Hughes’ Broadway musicals “Simply Heavenly,” and the high-energy “Hairspray.”  

We looked at music of George Gershwin last week on The Dress Circle, and this week (7/15 7:00 p.m.) we’ll concentrate on lyrics by his brother Ira but with composers other than George.  Those composers supplying the music for Ira include Kurt Weill, who got Ira to begin writing again after George’s death, Harold Arlen, Harry Warren, and Burton Lane.  

With all of the negative news flying about, most of us need a “happy place” to which we can escape to hide from the madness.  This week’s Dress Circle (4/22  7:00 p.m.) will offer up some happy places that are found in a variety of musicals.   Join us as we head to “Never Never Land” with Peter Pan, “My Own Little Corner” with Cinderella, and “Loveland” from “Follies.”   

If you’re a fan of musicals written expressly for television, we’ll have four more for you on this week’s Dress Circle (4/8 7:00 p.m.).  Our first seems be on its way to a Broadway production, but it had its start on the cult-favorite television series “Smash.”  The musical is titled “Bombshell” by Marc Shaiman and Scott M. Riesett.  

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.

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.”  

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. 

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.

For many of us, television and television specials have played a large part of our various holiday traditions as we grew-up, and we’ll look at a few of those in the fifth part of our series exploring original musicals for television.  We’ve included songs from five original television scores including Angela Lansbury in Jerry Herman’s “Mrs.

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.

To many people, the name Johnny Burke is unknown, and we’ll be trying to remedy that on this week’s Dress Circle (9/24 7:00 p.m.) when we air a Johnny Burke Songbook.  We guarantee you’ll know many of the songs penned by this gifted lyricist who also wrote music when the occasion arose, and we’ll sample some of those songs from his Broadway musical “Donnybrook!” based on “The Quiet Man,” as well as some of his film work for the “Road” films of Hope and Crosby, “Rio,” “Morocco,” and “Utopia.”  Please join us every Sunday evening or as a webcast on The Classical Network’s website.  You can al

This week’s Dress Circle (9/17  7 p.m.) is taking a second look at some of our “new to us” recent acquisitions before they enter our permanent catalogue to be used in upcoming programs.  We’re including a few cast recordings including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” the failed 2015 revival of “Gigi” which starred Vanessa Hudgens, and the current London cast of “Dreamgirls” starring Amber Riley.  Composer Charles Strouse will perform a few of his own works from the CD "Charles Strouse Sings," and we'll also showcase Kristin Chenoweth in performance from her televised special "Coming Home."

It’s all about some “recent acquisitions” on this week’s Dress Circle (9/10 – 7:00 p.m.).  One of us has had extra time on his hands, so the time for shopping in on-line bargain bins for CDs has increased.  The result is that we’ve had an influx of “new to us” CDs that we’d like to share before they get worked into our catalogue for future Dress Circle programming.  This week is the first of two programs and will include selections from The Burt Bacharach Album: Broadway Sings the Best of Burt Bacharach, Young Love: The Best of Tab Hunter, the current Broadway hit “Waitress,” a wonderful mu

Chazz Palminteri’s "A Bronx Tale" has become a beloved story over the years, and now it's a Broadway musical. Join theater critic Howard Shapiro this week, when he reviews the new musical version of "A Bronx Tale" on In a Broadway Minute Friday morning at 8 and Saturday morning at 10.

A ”songbook” of the Broadway works by Frank Wildhorn will air this Sunday (8/13 - 7:oo p.m.) on The Dress Circle.  Broadway audiences first heard the music of Wildhorn in 1997 when he added three songs, with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, to the stage version of “Victor/Victoria” after the death of Henry Mancini.  Within two years, his first complete show and biggest hit “Jekyll & Hyde,” with book and lyrics by Bricusse, would be the talk of Broadway and go on to run for 1543 performances.

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