All stories by Rob Lester on BroadwayStars

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Splendid Musical at Tada!: New York, New Year runs thru May 21 by Rob Lester

What better message to deliver to kids than that happiness and friendship will come if you’ll “Just be who you really are”? A musical — endearingly entertaining — now playing, wit…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 03:13AM
Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Lyrics & Lyricists’ Latest Concert’s Stars Sang the “UNsung”; Lerner & Loewe Next Up! by Rob Lester

The agenda on May 6, 7 and 8? Saluting some lyricists who rarely get their due. With insightful, delightful lyricist Sheldon Harnick hosting and narrating and singing a few times, Broadway…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 11:05AM
Sunday, May 7, 2017

The NiteLife Person of the Week: The great Songwriter Irving Berlin, born this week in 1888 by Rob Lester

Here’s a True or False Quiz on the iconic songwriter whose work is still heard today, though he was born 12 years before the 19th century ended. Here are 10 interesting facts (or lies) ab…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 07:33AM
Saturday, April 29, 2017

Face On: Ten, Face Off; Three: LuPone and Ebersole Square Off in War Paint by Rob Lester

Early on, when that iconic red door that has marked the gateway to Elizabeth Arden’s swank Fifth Avenue salon since 1910, rolls onto the stage, it’s clear we’re in good hands. This goo…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 02:51PM

Elektra Cardiogram: Phillipa Soo is Back as Irrepressible French Imp Amélie by Rob Lester

Think back to 2001. If you went to the art-house cinema at all that fall, chances are it was to catch Jean-Pierre Jeune’s wide-eyed ingénue Amélie. With its many super-tight shots of new…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 02:50PM
Thursday, April 20, 2017

Marilyn Maye Dazzles and Inspires, but That’s Not News — Appearing through April 23 by Rob Lester

In an uncertain world, one thing you can always count on is being uplifted and your cup of cheer will runneth over when entertainer extraordinaire Marilyn Maye is holding court in the spotli…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 05:35AM
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Music Reviews: Pretty Singing and Pretty Filthy by Rob Lester

Chenoweth & McGovern's pretty inging plus Pretty Filthy, a cast recording.

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 10:01AM
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Friday, August 26, 2016

Sound Advice: A wistful and winning "Waitress" by Rob Lester

While not a typical or titanic type of musical theatre—it tends to musically glide more than soar with its more subtle persuasive attractions—the cast album is quite pleasing.

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 09:58AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Machine Gun America: a cautionary (but fun) musical by Rob Lester

With the alarmingly large number of recent headline stories about gun violence and the ongoing debates about gun control, a sly and smart musical on the topic makes its points —and wins po…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 02:12PM
Friday, June 24, 2016

Sound Advice" and "Brooklyn Crush" cast recordings by Rob Lester

Here are two contemporary musicals whose scores on disc are among Broadway Records' cluster of recent releases. Neither would be mistaken for a Rodgers & Hammerstein-style musical or a whole…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 02:10PM
Thursday, June 9, 2016

Rob Lester Previews Intriguing New Cabaret Show with Andrea Axelrod and Barry Levitt by Rob Lester

Love—or a reasonable facsimile. Or maybe just another shade of the red hot. Hearing their colorful ideas and hearing them perform in a private rehearsal increased my anticipation for ric…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 08:04AM
Friday, March 25, 2016

Sound Advice "Amazing Grace" by Rob Lester

This time, it's Amazing Grace, named for the stirring hymn and charting the journey of the man who wrote it. The second line of that song—"How sweet the sound!"—also describes the voices…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 09:49AM
Monday, March 21, 2016

Sound Advice Reviews: "Fiddler on the Roof" new Broadway cast, Tony Yazbeck, Natalie Douglas, Norm Drubner by Rob Lester

... some whose memories go back a bit more than 50 Broadway seasons may be amazed that it's been that long since Fiddler on the Roof first came along, but it's back and there's another reviv…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 09:43AM
Friday, January 29, 2016

SOUND ADVICE: "The Top Ten Cast Albums of 2015" by Rob Lester

. Each grabbed me right away, having surpassed my expectations based on prior familiarity with the artists and/or songs. They have lasting power, continuing to impress when I hear them again.

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 10:33AM
Monday, January 25, 2016

Sound Advice "The Top Ten Cast Albums of 2015" by Rob Lester

... here are the ones (submitted for review) that radiate with initial impact and staying power.

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 11:10AM
Friday, January 8, 2016

Sound Advice "The Wiz Live" and "Finding Neverland" Twice by Rob Lester

The Wiz and Finding Neverland: Inspired by Baum, Barrie & Believing.

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 08:53AM
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Monday, December 21, 2015


Two new releases concentrate on [the early] period—with gusto. Several titles appear on both albums, but with quite different stylings.

SOURCE: at 12:43PM
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sound Advice: "Lady, Be Good," Annaleigh Ashford and Barbara Fasano by Rob Lester

A new recorded version of a score by George and Ira Gershwin is always good news ... [Annaleigh Ashford] bubbles over with excitement, a party gal eager to have you join her party ... [Barba…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 08:49AM
Friday, October 23, 2015

Sound Advice: "A Chorus Line" 40th Anniversary Remastered OBC recording + bonus tracks by Rob Lester

This CD release marks the 40th anniversary of the original LP of the original cast, produced by Goddard Lieberson, a kind of "encore" task for the Columbia Records giant figure.

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 10:30AM
Friday, September 4, 2015

Sound Advice: "Doctor Zhivago" and Nicholas Rodriguez by Rob Lester

The case of the musical Doctor Zhivago is hardly the first time that a Broadway show shuttered quickly, despite a storied road of being a celebrated novel, movie, and having a globe-trotting…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 09:18AM
Friday, August 28, 2015

Hysterical, Atypical, Non-Biblical Popesical Is a Smash!! by Rob Lester

Wanna make a bet? The Fringe Festival’s deliciously ridiculous musical about the selection of a new Pope, Popesical, like the actual Pope’s upcoming visit, will attract big crowds. But i…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:44PM

Two Musicals About Female Scientists in Love by Rob Lester

I just caught two new musicals about red-headed female scientists and their partners. One is in town for a brief stay in its world premiere in the Fringe Festival. One was never seen before …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:44PM

A Show By and For Kids That Works!! by Rob Lester

It’s rare to find a kids’ show that’s this good. Here are 2 that are new, written by Jamey Hood. She scores with both, tho’ it’s her first time. And, in fact, non-distractingly, s…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:43PM
Friday, July 31, 2015

Sound Advice: "Fly by Night" and "Night People" by Rob Lester

A 2014 Off-Broadway musical called Fly by Night has key moments with its people seeking solace in the stars of the nighttime sky and being plunged into darkness because of a power failure. N…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 09:52AM
Saturday, July 18, 2015

Summer Valley Fair (NYMF) by Rob Lester

Summer means the annual summer musical theatre festival, and this summer, Summer Valley Fair is one of the highlights and a uniquely creative style and approach make it compelling. It’s p…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 11:40PM

The Calico Buffalo at NYMF by Rob Lester

Fellow outsiders, come inside PTC Performance Space and hug a buffalo who’s feeling low. For those of us who like musicals, the annual NYMF series of new ones for three weeks in July feels…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 11:40PM

Theatre for “Real Men” (NYMF) by Rob Lester

In the swirling whirlwind of musical offerings busy invading Manhattan through July 27 comes that increasingly endangered species: the old-fashioned revue. A mix of songs and skits and bits …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 11:40PM
Friday, July 17, 2015

Sound Advice "The Visit" and "Gigi" New Cast Albums by Rob Lester

Their roads to the Broadway season were long, but their runs were short. Here are two recently closed musicals whose action takes place in Europe, with scores written by major league songwri…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 09:35AM
Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sound Advice: "Misia" and Mazzie by Rob Lester

Musical theatre's Marin Mazzie does double duty in this spring's CD releases: serving in the title role of a long-gestating/morphing musical's premiere recording with Misia featuring melodie…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 09:27AM

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