Tag Archives: Musicals

It Was Always, Always You

My maternal grandparents had a favorite song, their song, Irving Berlin’s sentimental Always. With “always” capping every line and recurring as a chorus echo, the verbal chime quickly packed a saccharine wallop if it wasn’t you celebrating your 50th or … Continue reading

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Love is the Reason, with grammatical advice, from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

I once saw a British TV spot for Hamlet Cigars which featured an oddball posing in a photo booth, but so endearingly. For years on, when asked to smile, I affected his toothy grimace, thinking my rendition channeled but transcended … Continue reading

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Li’l Abner on the debt ceiling panic

When the satiric cartoon Li’l Abner was made a musical on Broadway, robber baron General Bullmoose sang Bring back the good old days, lamenting the regulation of capitalism, pondering: “How can you break the market?           … Continue reading

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For people who hate opera

The trouble with introductory collections like “Opera for People Who Hate Opera” is of course that it’s still OPERA. I’m inclined to believe the gateway acquired-taste for American pop music ears is –why not– American Musical Theater. But before I … Continue reading

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Composer Jason Robert Brown wants to protect his unintellectual rights

As a musician and fan of stage musicals, I must proffer this disclaimer about American theater composer Jason Robert Brown: he’s terrible. Brown is a poster child for the music industry’s common mediocrity, of commerce’s habitual triumph over art. Now … Continue reading

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Singing a song of angry men

Do you hear the people sing, singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again. When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums, There is a … Continue reading

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We have fed you all for a thousand years

  Here’s an old labor anthem, addressed to the idle rich who claim the fruit of other men’s labor. To whom belongs the wealth generated by work? We have fed you all for a thousand years We have fed you … Continue reading

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Counterpoint duets in American musicals

A now Christmas classic has breathed new life into Frank Loesser’s “Baby it’s cold outside / I really must go.” After burning out the household listening to all available recordings, I yearned for other counterpoint duets. Neither Broadway, nor the … Continue reading

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