Anastasia Cast Recording: A Review

Though it may have received a lukewarm reception from critics, the original cast recording of the Broadway musical Anastasia gives no indication that this show has any failings. In fact, the lush and lively cast album from Broadway Records is a delight from start to finish. The Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty score percolates with energy and sumptuous voices. The songs that have been kept from the 1997 film are as wonderful as they ever were, but even more importantly, the new ones written for this Broadway mounting sparkle and reveal new depths to the characters, the story, and the mood of the piece.

Magical Musical Menken Moments in Disney Films

Anyone who loves Disney films has been enchanted by the music of Alan Menken. His melodies are both infectious and magical, capturing the musical tone of each character they bring to life. Arguably, all his songs are terrific, so making a top ten list is futile and someone’s favorite will always be left out. However, the ten that I have chosen to celebrate are, in my estimation, the perfect marriage of Menken melody with magical Disney moments. I hope you will enjoy my compilation, the “Magical Musical Menken Moments in Disney Films”.

The Grandest of Hotels: Pondering a Revival of Grand Hotel

With the announcement by Encores! that Grand Hotel will be a part of their 2018 season, it has the wheels of my brain turning about a possible Broadway revival of this magnificent, but challenging, piece of musical theatre. It has been almost three decades since Grand Hotel premiered on Broadway. That production was, in itself a reimagining of a failed attempt to musicalize Vicki Baum’s 1928 novel (and subsequent 1932 film) called At the Grand (1958). That version of the show featured a score by Robert Wright and George Forrest, with a book by Luther David. Many of those songs and parts of the book made it into the 1989 Broadway production of Grand Hotel which would garner many Tony Awards and run for 1,017 performances.

IT - The Horror (and Film) We Are Eagerly Anticipating 

Leave it to Stephen King to take such sacred things as clowns, red balloons, and birds and turn them against us as harbingers of blood-curdling horror. That's what he certainly did with his 1985 masterpiece IT, the story of seven kids who rally against a disturbing evil that visits their Maine town every thirty years or so, leaving behind a body count with each tarriance. King revels in the adolescent mind and the horrors that lurk there courtesy of the active imagination and innocence. Is it any surprise that King finds the personification of evil residing behind the white makeup of a circus performer whose job is to make kids smile? Pennywise the Clown manipulates our innocence by being OF our innocence. Who hasn't been enticed by a shiny red balloon but never stopped to see the face behind the person who is handing it to us? So much metaphor and symbolism are wrapped up in this, the visages we create for our own evil ends.