All tagged Cy Coleman

"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 Musical Time Machine: Looking Back at Sweet Charity

With Sweet Charity returning to the New York Stage this fall in a production starring Tony-winner Sutton Foster, this week I will explore the history and makeup of this imperfect musical that somehow manages to delight theatre folk, particularly dancers. What is it about this dated, meandering musical that continues to intrigue directors, choreographers and performers enough to keep returning to it

Broadway Musical Time Machine: Looking Back at City of Angels

Musical theatre styles derive from many genres, including operetta, folk, and jazz. Remarkably, there are very few musicals that embrace the jazz and blues styles as the basis for their scores. Then came City of Angels, the jazziest, swingingest, bluesiest musical to ever hit Broadway, while also being an accurate pastiche of the Film Noir. City of Angels was assembled by some of Broadway's most unique talents. Music was composed by Cy Coleman who was well-known for scores such as Little MeSweet CharityOn the Twentieth Century, and Barnum. Coleman was one of the most eclectic of all composers, capable of writing in almost any musical style you could imagine. The book was by Larry Gelbart who, with Burt Shevlove, wrote the raucous libretto for the farcical musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Gelbart also served as a writer and producer for the prolific television comedy M*A*S*H. For lyrics, City of Angels would introduce audiences to the wit and wordplay of David Zippel who would go on to write the lyrics for the Disney film Hercules (with composer Alan Menken) and for the Broadway musical The Goodbye Girl (with composer Marvin Hamlisch).