All tagged Mary Testa

"Colored Lights" - The Rink - The Deeper Connection

Kander and Ebb are best known for their brassy showtunes, set distinctly to ignite some Fosse-esque, bump and grind dance number, complete with a racy lyric or two. "Wilkommen," "Cabaret," "All that Jazz," "The Cell Block Tango," "When You're Good to Momma," "Nowadays," "Where You Are," and "Gimme Love" are perfect examples of what I am talking about. What we forget is that there is also a quieter, more organic side to the duo's music that established a deeper connection with character development and emotional understanding. I am speaking of the Kander and Ebb who wrote "The Happy Time," "Life Is," "Chief Cook and Bottle Washer," "Say Yes," "It Couldn't Please Me More" and "All the Children in a Row." I think we have a tendency to forget that Kander and Ebb were capable of something far richer than the bawdy and the brash.

"To Keep My Love Alive" - Getting to the "Hart" of the Matter

There are many great lyricists to celebrate throughout the history of Broadway: Sondheim for his complexity and deep understanding of character development, Porter for his sparkling wit and his wizardry with internal rhyme, E.Y. Harburg with his subtly subversive whimsy, Ira Gershwin for his sophistication, and of course Dorothy Fields for her bold, realistic characterizations. Still, I have always been partial to Lorenz Hart who could marry all of the above with an ease and smoothness that elevate the song to greatness without drawing attention to itself. In other words, it is natural. A Hart lyric glides, flows and illuminates.

"The Gentleman Is a Dope" - Great Songs From Troubled Musicals

Everyone knows Rodgers and Hammerstein for their contributions that altered the direction of the American musical theatre: integrating score, character development, and plot in a way that all were interconnected and took what musical storytelling could accomplish to new heights. It started with Oklahoma! in 1943, and carried through the next decade-and-a-half with CarouselSouth PacificThe King and IFlower Drum Song, and The Sound of Music.