HERE'S WHAT'S NEW ON THE SITE:

CLICK/TAP THE TABS ABOVE TO ACCESS OUR ARCHIVE OF SHOW AND MEDIA REVIEWS, AS WELL AS FEATURES LIKE BROADWAY WHO'S WHO AND ONE THAT GOT AWAY. COLLECTORS WILL BE INTERESTED IN OUR LIGHTS OF BROADWAY CARDS AND PLAYBILLS FOR SALE!

BROADWAY RETURNS: Aladdin - Resumes 9.28.21 To Kill a Mockingbird - Resumes 10.5.21 Tina - Resumes 10.8.21 Girl From the North Country - Resumes 10.13.21 Ain't Too Proud - Resumes 10.16.21 Jagged Little Pill - Resumes 10.21.21 The Phantom of the Opera - Resumes 10.22.21 The Book of Mormon - Resumes 11.5.21 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Resumes 11.12.21 Dear Evan Hansen - Resumes 12.11.21 Beetlejuice - Resumes 4.8.22

NEW ON BROADWAY: Lackawanna Blues - Opens 9.28.21 SIX - Opens 10.7.21 Freestyle Love Supreme - Opens 10.7.21 Chicken & Biscuits - Opens 10.10.21 Is This a Room - Previews 9.24.21 Opens 10.11.21 The Lehman Trilogy - Previews 9.25.21 Opens 10.12.21 Dana H. - Previews 10.1.21 Opens 10.17.21 Thoughts of a Colored Man - Previews 10.1.21 Caroline, or Change -Previews 10.8.21 Opens 10.27.21 Trouble in Mind - Previews 10.8.21 Opens 10.27.21 Diana - Previews 11.1.21 Opens 11.17.21 Trouble in Mind - Previews 10.29.21 Opens 11.18.21 Clyde's - Previews 11.3.21 Opens 11.22.21 Mrs. Doubtfire - Previews 10.21.21 Opens 12.5.21 Flying Over Sunset - Previews 11.11.21 Opens 12.13.21 Company - Previews 11.15.21 Opens 12.9.21 Skeleton Crew - Previews 12.21.21 Opens 1.12.22 MJ: The Musical - Previews 12.6.21 Opens 2.1.22 The Music Man - Previews 12.20.21 Opens 2.10.22 Paradise Square - Previews 2.22.22 Opens 3.20.22 Take Me Out - Previews 3.9.22 Opens 4.4.22 Birthday Candles - Previews 3.18.22 Opens 4.10.22 The Minutes - TBA Plaza Suite - Previews 2.25.22 Opens 3.28.22 American Buffalo - TBA 1776 - TBA Sing Street - TBA Our Town - TBA

COMING UP THIS WEEK: Broadway Play Show Art Tournament: The Eliminations Part 1! - Performers We Can't Wait to See More Of - Broadway in a Box: Guys and Dolls (1992) - One That Got Away: Neil Simon's Rumors - Broadway Games!

Contact us: jkstheatrescene@yahoo.com (Email); @jkstheatrescene (Twitter); jkstheatrescene (Instagram)

Friday, September 24, 2021

Broadway Games: Which Tony Award Nominee?

With the 74th annual Tony Awards coming up this weekend, here's a game all about the 3 jukeboxers vying for the Best Musical trophy! All you need to do is figure out which show each song title below is from. Good luck!


Broadway Games:
Which Tony Award Nominee?

a. Jagged Little Pill          b. Moulin Rouge!          c. Tina

1. "Private Dancer"
2. "Ironic"
3. "What's Love Got to Do with It?"
4. "Chandelier"
5. "Your Song"
6. "Smiling"
7. "Come What May"
8. "Firework"
9. "We Don't Need Another Hero"
10. "Uninvited"
11. "You Learn"
12. "River Creep - Mountain High"
13. "Crazy - Rolling in the Deep"
14. "All I Really Want"
15. "I Don't Wanna Fight No More"
16. "Predator"
17. "El Tango de Roxanne"
18. "Thank You"
19. "Nature Boy"
20. "Disco Inferno"

#2628

Answers to Last Week's 
Broadway Games:
Musicals as Airport Codes

What show are you seeing? (Not all of them are true acronyms!)

1. MFL My Fair Lady       2. WIZ The Wiz

3. JLP Jagged Little Pill 4. KSW Kiss of the Spider Woman

5. TMM The Music Man      6. MLR MouLin Rouge
       Thoroughly Modern Millie
7. SMU The Sound of MUsic 8. FST FalSeTtos

9. POV Pacific OVertures  10. ALV Aspects of LoVe

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Broadway in a Box CD Review: Fiddler on the Roof (OBCR - 1964)

 Broadway in a Box CD Review:
Fiddler on the Roof (OBCR - 1964)

At Christmas a few years ago, Jeff gave me a copy of Broadway in a Box: The Essential Broadway Musicals Collection. He has now given me the opportunity to use his blog to share my impressions of each of the 25 cast recordings contained in the set, in alphabetical order.


This week’s entry is about the 1964 Original Broadway Cast Recording of Fiddler on the Roof.


My history with this show is limited to having seen the most recent Broadway revival, so this counts as one of my least familiar shows in the entire set. I really enjoyed listening to this recording, and it did a great job reminding me what an achievement this show really is.

   

The most impressive parts of the score to me are the handful of longer songs that really amount to mini-dramas, complex numbers that define characters and themes or propel the plot forward. These include the introductory number, “Tradition,” which introduces the main theme of the show as well as its main characters. “If I Were A Rich Man” is a meandering soliloquy that rivals “Soliloquy” from Carousel with its deep exploration of a character and his values. Similarly, "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" does a good job differentiating the daughters right at the outset. “The Dream” really is like a musical within a musical, with many moving parts and funny moments. All of these songs are long without seeming the least bit long-winded, because they have enough to say to justify their length and complexity. 

Other highlights include the “Do You Love Me?,” both touching and mordantly humorous, and sung with impeccable comic timing by Zero Mostel as Tevye and Maria Karnilova as his wife Golde. “Sunrise, Sunset” - the soundtrack to a million weddings - doesn’t fail to connect despite its extreme familiarity. And Julia Migenes, as Tevye’s daughter Hodel, is truly haunting in her delivery of the late-second-act ballad “Far From the Home I Love.”


The only songs that don’t quite do it for me are those sung by Tevye’s sons-in-law: “Miracle of Miracles” and “Now I Have Everything.” Although sung (excellently) by different characters - Motel (Austin Pendleton) and Perchik (Bert Convy) respectively - they really cover the same territory, and it’s the same territory covered by thousands of other musical theater songs. They’re not bad songs on their own, but in a score like this they seem to get in the way rather than move things forward.



The quality of the recording is uniformly excellent. Mostel, of course, gives a definitive performance that shines through even in audio form. If I have one qualm, it’s the choice to have Karnilova sometimes sing in an off-key screech, a comic touch that I find more distracting than helpful in defining her character. But the two leads are generally wonderful together, a tad less intense and more playful than the corresponding pair in the recent revival.


Finally, I’ll note what an amazing job the creators of Fiddler on the Roof did in writing an entertaining, moving show that focuses with laser precision on some weighty themes that will probably never become irrelevant. People will probably always have to address the tension between freedom and progress, on the one hand, weighed against traditions that hold a community together but also stifle the individual. And, unfortunately, there will probably also be oppressed minorities who are given no choice but to leave the humble homes that they love.


Next up is the 1992 Broadway revival recording of Guys and Dolls.


Thanks, Mike! I'm glad you enjoyed one of my favorite scores. -- Jeff

Monday, September 20, 2021

Broadway Musical Revival Logos Bracket Tournament - The Championship!

THIS IS IT! After weeks of eliminations, and epic face-offs (not to mention several upsets) your votes THIS WEEK will crown THE BEST BROADWAY MUSICAL REVIVAL LOGO! 

Scroll down to see the match-up, then vote! (Be sure to look at the rules!) Thanks for playing along!

              WHAT IS THE BEST BROADWAY MUSICAL REVIVAL LOGO OF THEM ALL?    
#2626

Broadway Musical Revival Logo Madness!
The Championship!

HOW IT WILL WORK:
  • Each week, we'll open the voting for a different segment of the bracket, and you will select your favorite from each pairing.
  • Your selection should be based on the logo/window card ONLY. We are NOT looking for your favorite show! It is possible to like a logo from an unsuccessful show!
  • We will provide pictures of the full window card (in most cases) or logo above each week's ballot, then you scroll down and make your selections. You MUST click/tap the "Click Me to Count Your VOTES" button at the bottom of the survey.
  • REMINDER: Due to the large number of images used, the poll will take a few extra seconds to fully load.
THIS ROUND WILL CLOSE ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24TH AT 5 PM!

Here we go again! May the best logo win! BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE FULL LOGOS BEFORE YOU VOTE! THE ACTUAL BALLOT IS BELOW THE FULL-SIZE LOGOS/WINDOW CARDS!

GAME 1:     


Friday, September 17, 2021

Broadway Games: Musicals as Airport Codes


If you've ever traveled by air and reserved tickets online and/or checked a bag, you are no doubt familiar with those 3 letter airport codes. Some seem obvious, like BOS is for Boston. Others, not so much, like ORD for Chicago's O'Hare Airport, which actually stands for ORchard fielD. Imagine if tickets for Broadway musicals only had 3 letter codes! Would you know what you are seeing?



Broadway Games:
Musicals as Airport Codes

What show are you seeing? (Not all of them are true acronyms!)

1. MFL                    2. WIZ

3. JLP                    4. KSW

5. TMM                    6. MLR

7. SMU                    8. FST

9. POV                    10. ALV

#2625


Answers to last week's
Broadway Games:
Broadway Jobs Report

1. Rosie from Mamma Mia!   g. cookbook author

2. J. Pierrepont Finch from How to Succeed...  h. mail room clerk

3. Jerry Lukowski from The Full Monty  b. steel worker  

4. Zach from A Chorus Line  f. director/choreographer 

5. Hildy from On the Town  j. cab driver

6. Thenardier from Les Miserables  e. innkeeper

7. Florence from Chess  a. back up player

8. Amalia Balash from She Loves Me  d. sales clerk

9. Pamela from Head Over Heels   i. beautiful princess

10. Benjamin Barker from Sweeney Todd  c. barber 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Broadway in a Box CD Review: Company (OBCR - 1970)

 Broadway in a Box CD Review:
Company (OBCR - 1970)

At Christmas a few years ago, Jeff gave me a copy of Broadway in a Box: The Essential Broadway Musicals Collection. He has now given me the opportunity to use his blog to share my impressions of each of the 25 cast recordings contained in the set, in alphabetical order.


This week’s entry is about the 1970 Original Broadway Cast Recording of Company.


I’ve been listening to this CD, and other recordings of this show, for about thirty years, so it can be a challenge to hear it with fresh ears. What follows are a few impressions I had re-listening to it this morning.



This original recording has several big advantages over some others I’ve heard. First, it features the full, unadulterated, often twangy, early-1970s orchestrations. Second, the ensemble is uniformly excellent, and fulfills its intended function perfectly: this group is loving and nurturing, but also, on occasion, vaguely menacing with their many demands and aggressive advice for Bobby. This recording also includes a rollicking, even rocking, version of the amazing “Tick Tock” dance sequence; this juicy passage has often been cut in subsequent versions.


The CD in this box set includes the superbly remastered version of the Broadway recording. This is old news, I know, but most of my experience has been with a much muddier early-generation CD, and the difference is significant. I especially appreciated being able to hear the details of the conversational back-and-forth in the second half of the title song, and the vivid orchestrations in “Another Hundred People.”



Among the mostly one-and-done musical solos from the ensemble members, I really enjoyed Pamela Myers’ energetic take on “Another Hundred People.” Beth Howland also set a very high bar for subsequent performers with her break-neck rendering of “Getting Married Today.” Both of these performances have perhaps been equaled but not topped in the intervening five decades.


Elaine Stritch, of course, gives a legendary performance on this CD. I really appreciate the role of Joanne for its ability to accommodate a number of different approaches - I equally enjoyed Barbara Walsh’s more subdued and sardonic performance in the last Broadway revival. But there’s something really special about Stritch’s much earthier, booze-soaked interpretation. Having just watched the famous documentary on the making of this cast album, which depicts Stritch’s struggle to deliver a version of “The Ladies Who Lunch” worthy of preservation for posterity, I really appreciate her triumph on this disc.


I grew up (or at least got through college) listening to Dean Jones singing the part of Bobby, and he will always be more or less definitive to me; these are surely the versions I hear in my head when I think of these songs. That being said, Jones’ singing is pretty much uniformly loud and features an aggressive vibrato that makes it hard for him to deliver a lot of nuance, a noticeable drawback in songs like “Someone is Waiting” and “Being Alive.” He may have set the standard, but standards are meant to be judged against, and I have to say that I’ve seen others - John Barrowman, Raúl Esparza, even Neil Patrick Harris - give equally well-sung but more emotionally satisfying performances.


As if to drive home the point, this CD includes, as a bonus, Larry Kert’s version of “Being Alive.” Kert succeeded Jones on Broadway, and his performance is taken from the London Cast Recording. He really brings out the essence of the slow epiphany Bobby experiences in this song; note particularly how he builds from a half-whispered “somebody hold me too close,” and the particular zest he adds when he sings “crowd me with love.” It’s my understanding that the full London cast recording is identical to the Broadway version except for Kert’s dubbed vocals, so maybe I’ll have to try to get my hands on it one of these days.


Next up is the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Fiddler on the Roof.


Thanks, as always, Mike. Can't wait to see the new revival! Jeff

Monday, September 13, 2021

Broadway Musical Revival Logos Bracket Tournament - The Final 4!

We are SO close! I think this week's round, The Final 4, will be very tight. I'm not sure which I would vote for, since all of them are such excellent examples of beautiful show art. But vote you will, and by Friday, we'll know which two will face off in next week's championship!

Scroll down to see the match-ups, then vote! (Be sure to look at the rules!) Thanks for playing along!

              WHAT IS THE BEST BROADWAY MUSICAL REVIVAL LOGO OF THEM ALL?   

#2623

Broadway Musical Revival Logo Madness!
The Final 4

HOW IT WILL WORK:
  • Each week, we'll open the voting for a different segment of the bracket, and you will select your favorite from each pairing.
  • Your selection should be based on the logo/window card ONLY. We are NOT looking for your favorite show! It is possible to like a logo from an unsuccessful show!
  • We will provide pictures of the full window card (in most cases) or logo above each week's ballot, then you scroll down and make your selections. You MUST click/tap the "Click Me to Count Your VOTES" button at the bottom of the survey.
  • REMINDER: Due to the large number of images used, the poll will take a few extra seconds to fully load.
THIS ROUND WILL CLOSE ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH AT 5 PM!

Here we go again! May the best logo win! BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE FULL LOGOS BEFORE YOU VOTE! THE ACTUAL BALLOT IS BELOW THE FULL-SIZE LOGOS/WINDOW CARDS!

GAME 1:                                                                     GAME 2:
                      

Friday, September 10, 2021

Broadway Games: Broadway Jobs Report

Broadway Games:
Broadway Jobs Report


Match the character with their occupation.

a. back up player        b. steel worker        

c. barber        d. sales clerk        e. innkeeper

f. director/choreographer        g. cookbook author

h. mail room clerk        i. beautiful princess        j. cab driver

1. Rosie from Mamma Mia!

2. J. Pierrepont Finch from How to Succeed...

3. Jerry Lukowski from The Full Monty

4. Zach from A Chorus Line

5. Hildy from On the Town

6. Thenardier from Les Miserables

7. Florence from Chess

8. Amalia Balash from She Loves Me

9. Pamela from Head Over Heels

10. Benjamin Barker from Sweeney Todd

#2622

Answers to Last Week's Broadway Game:
Broadway Games: ABBA Returns!

Below are 20 songs by Benny and Bjorn of ABBA. Which 10 are NOT from Mamma Mia? Those 10 answers are in orange.

NOTE: If you tried the game early last Friday, the directions were "Below are 20 songs by Benny and Bjorn of ABBA. Which 10 are NOT from one of their musicals?," but there were only 7 correct answers. I forgot to change the directions. Sorry for the error. Those 7 answers are in orange AND underlined.


Summer Night City        Knowing Me, Knowing You        Under Attack

Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie         Money, Money, Money        Ring Ring

Voulez Vous        Someone Else's Story        I Know Him So Well

Does Your Mother Know        The Day Before You Came

Two For the Price of One            One Night in Bangkok        Super Trouper

Our Last Summer         Lay All Your Love on Me        Angel Eyes

Fernando        Kisses of Fire        Thank You For the Music

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