Thursday, October 17, 2019

Ranking Disney on Broadway: Celebrating and Analyzing 25 Years on the Great White Way by Mark Robinson

It is hard to believe that it has been 25 years since Disney produced its first musical on Broadway, changing the trajectory of family musicals (and Times Square) forever. Today, I take a …

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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Remembering Two By Two by Mark Robinson

When the groundbreaking composing team of Rodgers and Hammerstein came to an end with Hammerstein’s death in 1960, Rodgers spent the balance of his career trying to find a lyricist with …

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Friday, September 27, 2019

Remembering High Button Shoes by Mark Robinson

Jule Styne was a one of the great composers for the Broadway musical stage, having penned the melodies for such classic scores as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Bells Are Ringing, Gypsy, and…

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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Remembering Cabin in the Sky by Mark Robinson

Musicals about the black experience were not unheard of in the early years of the Golden Age of Broadway, despite a society that didn’t exactly embrace black culture. Shows like Porgy &…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Remembering Tenderloin by Mark Robinson

The Broadway composing team of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick were behind some of Broadway’s most beloved musical scores, having crafted the character-driven showtunes for musicals such …

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Remembering I Married an Angel by Mark Robinson

The composing team of Rodgers and Hart had more than their share of hits throughout their prolific career as composer and lyricist (respectively) writing for the musical theatre. One of th…

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Remembering Kismet by Mark Robinson

The composing team of Robert Wright and George Forrest were attracted to taking the music of other composers and adapting it into scores for musicals. They did this this with the musical o…

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Remembering Starlight Express by Mark Robinson

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber often gravitates toward writing musicals that are both family friendly and that will ignite the curiosity of the kid in us all. Joseph and the Amazing Technic…

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Remembering Call Me Madam by Mark Robinson

An old school musical comedy that was not only a perfect star vehicle for an over-the-top leading lady, but also a fine example of a lost art of comedy filled with melody, romance, and pur…

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Saturday, September 7, 2019

Remembering Milk and Honey by Mark Robinson

Most musical theatre fans think of Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles when they hear the name Jerry Herman. For this beloved composer-lyricist of the Great White Way, these wer…

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Remembering Destry Rides Again by Mark Robinson

The musical western isn’t exactly a commonplace subgenre of the Broadway musical. Only a handful of westerns have been crafted for the musical stage, with varying results. The best known…

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Monday, September 2, 2019

A Broadway Playlist for Labor Day by Mark Robinson

It’s that time of year again, that three-day weekend celebration commemorating the That unofficial end of summer and officially celebrates hardworking labor in America. That’s right, i…

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Saturday, August 31, 2019

Remembering A Day In Hollywood/A Night In the Ukraine by Mark Robinson

A musical that we rarely see anything written about, but one that has always fascinated me as a concept is A Day In Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine. Each act of this clever, lighthearted…

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Remembering Pacific Overtures by Mark Robinson

Composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, particularly when he was paired with director Harold Prince, moved and shaped musical through bold experiments that challenged audiences while unearthi…

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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Remembering Seesaw by Mark Robinson

A musical that was plagued with troubles during its gestation, that seemed to solve most of them before officially opening on Broadway, only to fold after approximately five months, was th…

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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Remembering Minnie’s Boys by Mark Robinson

Some musicals you just know are going to bomb from the moment they are announced. It’s just clear that it is half-baked idea that is going to struggle. Something just doesn’t feel righ…

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Pop Covers Of Broadway Showtunes by Mark Robinson

Broadway showtunes rarely get the exposure that music from the world of pop music enjoys. However, everyone once and a while someone with mass exposure records a song from a Broadway music…

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Sunday, August 18, 2019

Remembering I Love My Wife by Mark Robinson

Some musical are period pieces, written with the intention of telling a story in another and place. Other musicals are written as contemporary stories, starting out relevant and feeling ed…

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Remembering Barnum by Mark Robinson

Long before there was a film called The Greatest Showman, Broadway had its own musical version of the life of P.T. Barnum. This show, simply called  Barnum, featured a score with music by…

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Remembering Paint Your Wagon by Mark Robinson

Lerner and Loewe certainly wrote some gorgeous music together for Broadway and Hollywood musicals. From Brigadoon to My Fair Lady, from Gigi to  Camelot, the duo crafted lush, elegant m…

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Monday, August 12, 2019

Remembering Big by Mark Robinson

Movies have long been the inspiration for Broadway musicals. It is easy to say that this is a recent trend, but that simply is not so. Just as there have been many musicals that have taken…

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Saturday, August 10, 2019

Remembering Steel Pier by Mark Robinson

The composing team of Kander and Ebb were often attracted to properties that allowed them to tell a show-within-a-show story, often using the show or entertainment style within to provide …

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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Married to Showtunes: A Playlist that Requires a Prenup by Mark Robinson

Summer is such a popular time for weddings, everyone betting the bank on happiness and receiving gifts for trying. I’m not a fan of weddings and I often find myself drifting into distrac…

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Remembering The Life by Mark Robinson

A musical that seems to have those who remember it divided, with some people having enjoyed it and others just absolutely disgusted by it, was the 1997 Broadway production of The Life. Wi…

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Sunday, August 4, 2019

Remembering Grind by Mark Robinson

An eagerly anticipated musical of the 1984-1985 Broadway season was Grind, set to be Harold Prince’s big project of the time, but ultimately part of a sequence of lulls in what was an o…

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Friday, August 2, 2019

Murder on Broadway! Broadway’s Murder and Mystery Musicals by Mark Robinson

I don’t know why, but I have murder and mystery on the mind lately and it got me thinking about Broadway musicals that have these two intriguing elements central to their makeup. Though …

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Remembering Hazel Flagg by Mark Robinson

Helen Gallagher is an actress who came very close to being one of Broadway musicals’ biggest stars, on a par with Mary Martin, Ethel Merman, or Gwen Verdon. Always one of the standout su…

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Sunday, July 28, 2019

Remembering King of Hearts by Mark Robinson

When I was in college in the 1990s, my favorite course was The History of the American Musical Theatre. The stories, the evolution of the form, the music, the musicals themselves all playe…

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Remembering The Happy Time by Mark Robinson

The composing team of Kander and Ebb are typically first remembered as the creators of the edgy, flashy, razzle-dazzle music of such shows as Cabaret  and Chicago. It would be wrong, how…

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Sunday, July 21, 2019

More or Loesser: 15 Great Songs by Frank Loesser by Mark Robinson

When I sat down to write a “Top 15” list of Frank Loesser songs, the composer-lyricist behind such Broadway musical hits as Guys & Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, and How to Succeed…

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Friday, June 7, 2019

Predicting the 2019 Tony Winners by Mark Robinson

As I typically do, I have made my pre-Tony Award predictions, my educated guesses as to who will win in each category. This is not particularly my forte, but I am going to do my best here.…

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All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue