Sunday, September 30, 2012


Well, its official. The doomed musical REBECCA, a hit oversees, is postponing its Broadway run indefinitely. After tons of investor drama which seems straight out of SMASH, the money just isn't in place and they are postponing the show.

While it has been in relative-limbo for about a year, I think they made the right choice. Instead of stringing the actors and crew along, the just postponed it, hoping it can still happen in the future.

I was excited for this show and am sad to see it won't happen, but at least it will rest in peace. And if I had money to bet, I'd bet we'll see another attempt sometime soon.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Here is a first listen for the new cast recording of NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, starring Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Broderick.

The recording will be released on September 25th through digital retailers and October 30th through phyiscal retailers.

The first listen is courtesy of WNYC


Readers of this blog know my obsession with Laura Osnes. That doesn't stop with her onstage roles. I just received her debut solo CD, DREAM A LITTLE DREAM - Live at the Cafe Carlyle, in the mail. And it definitely doesn't disappoint.

The CD features a mix of Broadway and pop standards, as well as some stories and anecdotes from Osnes. Listening to the album in one sitting feels like you are in the Cafe Carlyle listening to her concert live in person.

Vocally, Osnes is top notch, with highlights like "Till There Was You" from THE MUSIC MAN and "Anything You Can Do" featuring her BONNIE & CLYDE co-star Jeremy Jordan. After hearing this album, if there are revivals of MUSIC MAN, ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, or SOUND OF MUSIC coming up in the future, Osnes is surely going to be on the top of casting directors' lists.

One other highlight is the bonus track, "In My Own Little Corner," a song from CINDERELLA, in which Osnes will star on Broadway this spring.

Whether you were able to see her live or not, this release from Broadway Records is proving that Osnes will not be leaving our hearts or homes any time soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

REVIEW: Encores! PIPE DREAM Cast Recording with Laura Osnes and Will CHase

Encores! has truly been at it with cast recordings this season. The newest, the first full recording of Rodgers and Hammerstein's PIPE DREAM, is also Encores! first live recording. The album features the talents of Laura Osnes, Will Chase, Leslie Uggams, and Tom Wopat.

I was blown away by this recording. First. It's live. It sounds better than some studio recordings I have heard. Secondly, the talent is top notch. Laura Osnes and Will Chase can do no wrong in my book.

The score is classic Rodgers and Hammerstein, and as a show I had never heard anything from before, I think this album is a great second coming of a great show. Anyone who loves classic musical theatre will love this score.

All of the vocalists are perfection. Specifically Osnes though. Every time she sings it is gorgeous and her songs shine. "Everybody's Got a Home But Me" is going to be a classic because of her. Uggams is also great on her songs, and doesn't let the young stars steal the spotlight. "Sweet Thursday" is obviously a showstopper because of the finess she performs it with.

This is a must-have for any theatre lover. Or a lover of good music.

REVIEW: NEXT THING YOU KNOW Original Cast Recording

Salzman and Cunningham's NEXT THING YOU KNOW cast recording definitely could be the next thing you will know about. The show, which I had never heard about before, had an Off-Broadway run that resulted in this great recording.

The recording features Patti Murin (Lysistrata Jones), Lauren Blackman, Jay Armstrong Johnson (35mm), and Colin Hanlon.

Vocally, I thought the album had its highs and lows, with the girls sometimes sounding a little too breath-y for my taste. The boys generally are stronger in my opinion, with J.A.J. truly standing out. That being said, I think the music and story speaks for itself.

I found myself loving the story of these 20-somethings experiencing the lives they don't want in the slightest. Songs like "The Way To Get a Girl" and "Hungover" truly standing out not just because they are well sung and acted, but also because musically they are fun and well written.

I am curious to see how this show lives following this release and I definitely think it deserves a listen!


Sony Masterworks just released the brand new recording of Jule Styne's GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES. The all star cast includes Megan Hilty (Smash) in the role made famous by Marilyn Monroe, Rachel York (Anything Goes National Tour), Aaron Lazar, and more!

Overall, this recording is a great preservation of a gorgeous score, but nothing ground breaking. The orchestra is heavily featured, and is featured performing well.

While the first question one asks is: "How is Hilty?" After her high profile turn in SMASH, all eyes were on her and her performance. My verdict: meh. She sounds fantastic as one would expect, but her performance is nothing spectacular.

The standout for me is Rachel York, who I was unfamiliar with. She sounds brilliant every time she sings. She makes me want to go see the Anything Goes national tour, just for her.

If you love musical theatre, there is no reason you wouldn't enjoy this album. If you are looking for the best recording you've ever heard, I'd look elsewhere.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CASTING UPDATE! An Off-Broadway Endeavor

In the past 24 hours, there have been some major casting announcements in the professional theatre world. That being said, many of them were for Off-Broadway productions.

- Brian D'Arcy James (Shrek), Kate Baldwin (Arena Stage's The Music Man), Bobby Steggert (Ragtime), John Dosset (Newsies), and more will star in the Public Theater's upcoming production of Michael John LaChuisa's new musical GIANT, opening November 13th

- Karen Olivo (West Side Story, In the Heights) and Will Swenson (Priscilla, Hair) will star in MTC's new production, MURDER BALLAD

- Lavon Fisher-Wilson will replace Capathia Jenkins as Medda Larkin in NEWSIES

Saturday, September 8, 2012

REBECCA: The Doomed New Musical?

REBECCA, the upcoming Broadway musical, has pushed back its rehearsal start date two weeks following the death of one of its main investors. The investor, who was going to put in $4.5 million dollars, passed away in late August, leaving the funds in jeopardy.

The other producers are optimistic that the money will come through from the estate, and rehearsals will be able to start on September 24th, two weeks later than originally scheduled.

There is no word on what this means for the dates of the first preview and opening night, scheduled for October 30th and November 18th, respectively. I'd assume they will be pushed back as well though.

This musical, starring Jill Paice and Ryan Silverman, seems doomed. After an original spring 2012 opening scheduled, the show has had many setbacks. While the production team is optomistic the show will open, I am not holding my breath. I would put money on a major delay or it being shelved indefinitely. But I hope I am wrong and only time will tell.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

CASTING UPDATE! Butz, Butz, and More Butz

I am trying this new column called CASTING UPDATE, where I will summarize the recent casting news from around the Rialto and beyond. So the major casting news today is:

- Norbert Leo Butz will star in the Chicago, pre-Broadway world premiere of the new musical BIG FISH, based on the film of the same name. The musical will feature music by Andrew Lippa. It will run at the Oriental Theater from April 2nd-May 5th, 2013

- Judy Greer (The Descendants), Josh Hamilton (The Coast of Utopia), and Jayne Houdyshell (Follies) will join Katie Holmes and Norbert Leo Butz in Theresa Rebeck's new play DEAD ACCOUNTS

- Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva may join the cast of SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK

- Beth Leavel, Mark Jacoby, Valerie Wright, Adam Heller, and Michael Mandell will reprise their roles in ELF from last year this winter on Broadway.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

August Poll Results

According to you, the readers of this blog, the cast recording/CD you are most looking forward to is...the 35mm original cast recording!!! Having heard it, I understand this choice!

Here are the full results of the poll:

Check out the new poll on the homepage later today!

NICE WORK If You Can Record It

Shout! Factory has announced that it will release the original Broadway cast recording of NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, starring Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Broderick on September 25th through digital retailers and October 30th physically.

What is curious to me is why this recording is being released so late. The album, recorded in May, is being released almost 5 months later, a good six months after opening and any major buzz about the show was around. I am not sure how well a cast recording will sell that is for a show that could, for all we know, close in the near future. Regardless, I am still intruiged to hear a great Gershwin score and some great performances and vocals.

The track listing for the album is as follows:
1. Overture
2. “Sweet and Lowdown”
3. “Nice Work If You Can Get It”
4. “Nice Work If You Can Get It” (Reprise)
5. “Demon Rum”
6. “Someone to Watch Over Me”
7. Ritzy Bathroom – Instrumental
8. “Delishious”
9. “I’ve Got to Be There”
10. Ritzy Bedroom – Instrumental
11. “Treat Me Rough”
12. “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”
13. “Do It Again”
14. “’S Wonderful”
15. “Fascinating Rhythm”
16. “Lady Be Good”
17. “But Not for Me”
18. “By Strauss” / “Sweet and Lowdown” (Reprise)
19. “Do, Do, Do”
20. “Hangin’ Around With You”
21. “Looking for a Boy”
22. “Blah, Blah, Blah”
23. “Will You Remember Me?”
24. “I’ve Got to Be There” (Reprise)
25. “I’ve Got a Crush on You”
26. “Someone to Watch Over Me” (Reprise)
27. “They All Laughed”
28. Crate Dance