All stories by Rob Lester on BroadwayStars

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Talkin' Broadway Sound Advice: "A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet," ChimyTina, and San Gabriel 7 - 9/29/22 by Rob Lester

The comet at hand is not the celestial object but a musical comedy with a title character named Regina Comet. Constellations and Under the Stars are the names of cool jazz releases. In any c…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 07:30PM
Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Talkin' Broadway - Book Review: "Miracle of The Music Man: The Classic American Story of Meredith Willson" by Mark Cabaniss - 9/26/22 by Rob Lester

Miracle of The Music Man: The Classic American Story of Meredith Willson, while full of affection and appreciation, is also full of familiar tales and tidbits if you've read some of the othe…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 04:01PM
Thursday, September 22, 2022

Talkin' Broadway Sound Advice: Eleri Ward's second Sondheim album, plus three more. by Rob Lester

When the feats of production are at their most dense and intense, there's a risk of upstaging the essence of the material's drama or delicacy–at least on the first or second hearing. And I…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 09:12AM
Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Book Review: "The Book of Broadway Musical Debates, Disputes, and Disagreements" by Peter Filichia - 9/8/22 by Rob Lester

Full of fascinating facts, fond memories, musings, and proffered preferences, Peter Filichia's newest book may be a haven for the theatre maven unable to put it down. While perusing The Book…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 09:36AM
Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Talkin' Broadway Sound Advice: "The Pleasure Garden," "It Happened in Key West," + 2 - 9/6/22 by Rob Lester

Let's check out two London cast recordings of newer musicals–The Pleasure Garden and It Happened in Key West–and then turn our focus to southern California to report on two singers based…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 09:48AM
Thursday, August 25, 2022

Talkin' Broadway - Book Review: "Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers" by By Mary Rodgers and Jesse Green - 8/25/22 by Rob Lester

In her candid memoirs, self-aware Mary Rodgers (1931-2014) states this about the princess protagonist of the show she worked on as composer in the late 1950s, Once Upon a Mattress: "Despite …

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 12:40PM
Friday, August 19, 2022

Talkin' Broadway Sound Advice: Molly Brown, 13, Anne of Green Gables, and More by Rob Lester

Here's some "colorful" music: tweaked scores of The Unsinkable Molly Brown and 13 (music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown), and the concept recording for Anne of Green Gables, plus vocals by…

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 11:58AM
Tuesday, July 19, 2022
Thursday, January 20, 2022

Talkin' Broadway Sound Advice: "Girl from the North Country" and "Caroline, or Change" new cast albums - 1/20/22 by Rob Lester

New cast albums from two Broadway shows of this season: "Girl from the North Country" and "Caroline, or Change."

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 10:55AM
Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Sound Advice: "Diana Ross & The Supremes Sing and Perform "Funny Girl": The Ultimate Edition" - 11/10/20 by Rob Lester

Don't expect Funny Girl's twin sister, but more of a distant cousin who's so cute and enthused that one don't want to rain on her parade.

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 10:02AM
Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Wizard of Oz— Extended and Recommended!! Come Over the Rainbow to this Production That Needs No Introduction by Rob Lester

I’m so glad I landed in Oz with the delightful Harlem Rep’s reputable version of a beloved tale. It’s easy to get to this terrific stage show: just follow the yellow brick road. Oh, yo…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 11:06AM
Sunday, August 6, 2017

Liberace and What’s-his-name: Two Musicals About Real-Life Artists, Visual and Performing, Performed Artfully at NYMF by Rob Lester

When art imitates life in the arts, there can be artistic differences. At the festival closing Sunday, August 6, two ambitious NYMF shows celebrate real-life artistic American men: one still…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 07:05AM

“Be Your True Self!” Say Loveable Shows in NYMF, Like Backbeard and Happily by Rob Lester

What better message for a musical than, “Find and be your true self, despite pressures to be a clone, and you’ll be a happier true you.” Backbeard and Happily don’t have lyrics sayin…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 07:05AM
Friday, August 4, 2017

Two Shows with Teen Angst, Talent, Terrific Songs. Generation Me; Peace, Love and Cupcakes by Rob Lester

Looking for musicals about teens and their troubles? See our Pick of the Week for info on Happily (August 3 & 4) at NYMF. And here are reviews at two that came by first: along first at the …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:08AM
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

NiteLife Person of the Week— Prince of Broadway? …but which one? by Rob Lester

Opening in NYC: Hal Prince saluted in The Prince of Broadway …..or do we mean Faith Prince who turns 60 this week (on Sunday)? Or The Student Prince, since that operetta’s composer, Sigm…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 10:06PM
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

NiteLife Person (and Plant!) of the Week: Composer Alan Menken (The Man) & Audrey II (The Man-Eating Plant) by Rob Lester

This Friday, see a 3-man Little Shop of Horrors. Its composer, Alan Menken, who turned 68 this week, has more than a birthday to celebrate: the 35th anniversary of that musical’s off- …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 11:59AM
Monday, July 24, 2017

Cabaret Pick of the Week–Ongoing Cabaret Shows Begin at Second Ave.’s Beach Cafe and Mark Nadler Leads the Cole Porter Pack of Performers by Rob Lester

Wow! At affordable prices, with top-notch stars, cabaret, class, and classic Cole come East for a feast: merry Mark Nadler launches a Cole Porter-centric series and his own custom brand of …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:35AM
Friday, July 21, 2017

Numbers Nerds & The Body Politic at NYMF by Rob Lester

Living as the gender one sees oneself as or with same -gendered teammates (girl power)…NYMF shows cover both. Numbers Nerds is a likeable, sweet quite entertaining musical and The Body Pol…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 09:55PM
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

2 NYMF Weekend Hits Likely to Come Back: Would You Believe Blanche DuBois and Matthew McConaughey by Rob Lester

Two NYMF shows I bet will be back for extensions are colorful, rich, and inspired by pre-existing characters. But they couldn’t be more different than each other. Miss Blanche Tells It A…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:22AM
Sunday, July 16, 2017

New Musical Festival (NYMF)– Report # 1: Adapting Classic Novels by Rob Lester

Adapting a lengthy novel as a musical has its challenges — especially if, like The Time Machine and The Picture of Dorian Gray, the work is sprawling, classic, beloved… And you’re unli…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 02:53PM
Friday, July 14, 2017

NiteLife Person of the Week— Cheyenne Jackson by Rob Lester

He IS where Broadway meets cabaret! Cheyenne Jackson, born this week in 1975, started his Broadway career as an understudy. He’d been doing theatre work just on the side back in Seattle, …

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:19AM
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NiteLife People of the Week–Jones & Schmidt Saluted by Carole Demas & Sarah Rice: 6/24, 6/27 by Rob Lester

Once (well, twice) upon a time or two, both Carole Demas and Sarah Rice played the sole female role in the original off-Broadway run of The Fantasticks. Now, many moons later, Carole (the or…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:07AM
Friday, June 2, 2017

Michael Feinstein at Jazz at Lincoln Center: Saluting Ella and Mel by Rob Lester

On June 8 &9 —hooray!—Michael Feinstein will honor Ella Fitzgerald as he did for Mel Tormé earlier (Review herein). Singers Nicole Henry, Jessie Mueller, and South African vocalist Vuy…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:38PM

Sally Darling Sings at Don’t Tell Mama in June and July by Rob Lester

One of the more interesting singers on the scene these days is the one with the lovely name of Sally Darling whose newest solo cabaret show Love, Lust & Longing I am longing to see. While M…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 06:37PM
Friday, May 26, 2017

Marquee Five and Ritzel’s Revelers and 54 Below Salute Broadway by Rob Lester

Guess who’s back in town and on Broadway? I don’t mean Dolly, it’s that group full of radiant harmony, Marquee Five, although you will hear something from Hello, Dolly! and other Broad…

SOURCE: NiteLifeExchange at 01:35PM
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

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