musicals


“Man’s best friend” is the subject for this week’s Dress Circle (6/9 7:00 p.m.) as we look at how the musicals portray people’s canine companions.  Funny or poignant, we’ll have songs from “Top Banana,” “Radio Gals,” “Lucky Stiff,” “Snoopy,” and “As Thousands Cheer.”  We’ll even hear from Noel Coward and his revue “Words and Music.”  The program may be going to the dogs this week, but the music will still be fabulous!

Photo by Matthew Murphy

June is bustin’ out all over on this week’s Dress Circle (6/2 7:00 p.m.), and we’re welcoming it with open arms with songs from some of the shows that opened this month.  There aren’t as many openings in June because it’s “Tony month,” but we’ve got some wonderful shows to sample none-the-less, and they include “I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road,” “Wish You Were Here,” “Godspell,” “Chicago,” and the 1993 revival of “She Loves Me.”  We’ll even sample a cut from “Oh! Calcutta!”  

Photo by Matthew Murpjy)


Photo by Matthew Murphy


Nothing really changes, and to prove that on this week’s Dress Circle (5/12 7:00 p.m.) we’re presenting a program we’ve titled, “Me!  Me!  Me! Ego Songs from the Musicals.”  

Welcome to May!  We don’t have flowers for you, but on this week’s Dress Circle (5/5 7:00 p.m.) we do have some of the May openings for you.  From the earliest shows, 1921’s “Shuffle Along” and a song by Eubie Blake and Nobel Sissle and 1928’s “Blackbirds of 1928” which featured songs by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, we’ll look at the long-running Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones favorite, “The Fantasticks,” the delightful masterpiece by Frank Loesser, “The Most Happy Fella,” the backstage love letter to Broadway by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, “Me and Juliet,” as well as two back-to-back hits by the team of Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, “The Pajama Game” and “Damn Yankees.”  

It’s time for a bit of “calendar art” on this week’s Dress Circle (4/28 7:00 p.m.) as we look at songs about those pesky April showers.  With songs from musicals like “The Fantasticks,” “Bklyn,” “Bloomer Girl,” “Parade,” “Little Women,” and “St. Louis Woman,” the “Weather Report” says that “Soon It’s Gonna Rain,” and even with our “Small Umbrella in the Rain,” we’ll be “Right as the Rain” “Come Rain or Come Shine.”  We’ll listen to the “Rhythm of the Falling Rain” as “It’s Raining on Prom Night,” but you can always say, “Gimme a Rain Check” as you “Look to the Rainbow.”  

Photo by Little Fang

A new interpretation of the classic musical "Oklahoma!" is anything but your grandma's 1943 show. Theater Critic Howard Shapiro reviews the revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday (4/26) at 8 am and Saturday (4/27) at 10 am.

Photo by Matthew Murphy


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.  

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


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.  

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.  

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 composing team of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones enjoyed a collaboration that lasted over 60 years but are still probably best known for only one of their shows, "The Fantasticks."  We thought we'd remedy that on this week’s Dress Circle and take a look at some of their work which may not be that familiar from shows such as the Julius Monk revue “Demi-Dozen.”  

Photo by Matthew Murphy


The Dress Circle didn’t make it back to school this year, but we’re going remedy that in a way on this week’s program (10/21 7:00 p.m.) as we do what most students do the first few weeks of school, “Let’s Revue.”  We’ve never done a show in our 35 plus years that looks solely at revues, and we thought it was about time.  We’ll begin with one of the granddaddies of all revues, the “Ziegfeld Follies of 1919” with John Steele singing Irving Berlin’s “A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody,” a song that became synonymous with the “Follies.”  

Joan Marcus


We lost Neil Simon on August 26th and we wanted to celebrate the life of this brillian playwright who brought joy to theatre audiences around the world for over five decades on this week’s Dress Circle (9/30  7:00).  Simon is probably best known for his plays and comedies like The Brighton Beach Trilogy and “The Odd Couple,” but he’s also a perfect subject for The Dress Circle since he penned several books for musicals.  

Photo by Joan Marcus


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