Sunday, April 30, 2017

A Bronx Tale & Kid Victory

And now two musicals that tell dark stories with jaunty scores. The mobster loving teen of A Bronx Tale gets to sing. The teen protagonist of Kid Victory never does despite some critics' hopes that he'd find his voice by the finale.

A Bronx Tale. Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Glenn Slater. Book by Chazz Palminteri. 2016 Broadway.

Kid Victory. Music by John Kander. Lyrics and Book by Greg Pierce. 2016 Off-Broadway.

300th post?!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Amelie & Anastasia

Several films have been adapted to the stage this season. The following both feature spunky heroines with tragic childhoods who find love and self worth in Paris.

Amelie. Music by Daniel Messé. Lyrics by Daniel Messé and Nathan Tysen. Book by Craig Lucas. 2015 Berkeley. 2017 Broadway. Based on the 2001 film.

Anastasia. Music by Stephen Flaherty. Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. Book by. Terrence McNally. 2016 Hartford. 2017 Broadway. Based on the 1997 film.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bandstand & Come From Away

The Tony nominations will be announced soon and it's time to catch up on the new musicals of 2017.

Bandstand. Music by Richard Oberacker. Book and Lyrics by Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor. 2015 Paper Mill Playhouse. 2017 Broadway.

Come From Away. Music, Lyrics and Book by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. 2015 La Jolla & Seattle. 2017 Broadway.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Most Happy Fella

“You ain’t young no more, and you ain’t good-lookin’, and you ain’t smart.”

Thus says Marie to her brother, the unconventional protagonist of The Most Happy Fella. He has proposed to a young woman by letter and sent a photo of his handsome foreman in his stead. This Cyrano set-up could have carried a musical comedy but writer Frank Loesser was more ambitious. He resolves things quickly to focus on Tony’s rocky marriage to his wary new bride.

Loesser is best remembered for the brassy scores of Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed. The Most Happy Fella is something different. The brass is mixed with complex arias, quartets and chorales. The title role was originated by operatic baritone Robert Weede though Loesser denied the work was an opera. When asked he said “It’s a musical with a lot of music.”