All tagged Barnum

"Hey, Look Me Over" - Ranking the 10 Best Musicals of Cy Coleman

I have written with great awe about how amazed I am by the eclecticism of Cy Coleman as a Broadway composer. He always finds an original sound for each musical he writes, capturing the perfect tone for the material. Since I am an enormous fan of Coleman and his body of Broadway work, I decided to rank the ten best of his musicals, from my least favorite to my favorite, commenting on some of my favorite songs along the way. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

From Little Me to City of Angels: The Eclectic Brilliance of Composer Cy Coleman

Broadway composers tend to settle into a style that is distinctly their own. We know a Stephen Sondheim score when we hear it. Andrew Lloyd Webber, the same. In fact, many people cling to the familiarity of a Broadway composer’s style, knowing that attending their latest show will hopefully yield something new and familiar at the same time. We can almost count on this result, and why not? Each composer is unique and cultivates their own sound with each new show that they write. There was, however, one musical theatre composer who reinvented his voice several times over throughout his career, so it is much harder to pinpoint what his style exactly is. Working with a variety of musical styles, and a wide-range of writing partners, each score he touched sounded like he reimagined his talents to best capture the musical world at hand.  This is the eclectic brilliance of composer Cy Coleman.

Broadway's Best "I Am" Songs

What is an "I Am" song, you might ask? Many people also know it as the "I Want" song, a song that comes early in the first act of a musical and that establishes our catalyst's point of view and sometimes their goal. The term "I Want" is not one I feel truly encapsulates what this song is and how it's placement in the musical affects the story to come. I Am", which used to be how these songs were identified by scholars, can include "I Want", but not vice versa. What you "want" is a subcategory of who you "are". Not every song that introduces a catalyst tells us what they want, but it most-definitely tells us who they are. So I choose the older term of "I Am" because I find it all-encompassing. I'm not trying to be difficult here, I simply prefer "I Am" because it better explains what the song achieves, especially to those just learning about musical theatre structure. But all semantics aside, some of the most-memorable and most impactful musical theatre songs are the "I Am" song and today's blog is a celebration of some of the best. 
 

Musical Theatre Moments: 40 Favorite YouTube Clips from Broadway Shows

I know how my readership loves to watch videos from Broadway shows. For years, I have been wending my way through YouTube, watching great clips from Tony Awards, talk shows, and the occasional bootleg that has presented itself. Today, I feel like sharing my forty FAVORITE clips from hit shows (I’ve already done the flops). Hopefully, you will enjoy this countdown to my favorite and enjoy all the “hard work” I have put- in assembling it for you. Let the streaming begin!