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Remembering the Musicals of Neil Simon

This weekend we received some incredibly sad new in the theatre community: the death of one of America’s most prolific and beloved playwrights, Neil Simon. Simon mixed humor with humanity, honesty with insanity, and always connected with the individual in each of us. Many of his plays remain well-regarded in theatre circles the world over. Titles such as Barefoot in the ParkThe Odd CoupleChapter TwoThe Star-Spangled GirlPlaza SuiteThe Gingerbread LadyThe Prisoner of Second AvenueThe Sunshine BoysBrighton Beach MemoirsBiloxi BluesBroadway Bound, and Rumorscontinue to be as poignant and funny as they were when they were first written. Simon won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1991 play Lost in Yonkers.

Though often celebrated first as a playwright, Simon was also an adept collaborator when writing books for Broadway musicals. Over the years, he was responsible for the librettos behind a handful of musicals, meeting varying degrees of success for his efforts. Here is a stroll down memory lane, taking a look at the musicals for which Simon provided the book. 

Binge-Watching Christmas Songs from the Stage and Screen

It’s that time of the year again. For some, it has already started. For others, it will be ushered in with Thanksgiving. It is time to play Christmas music: merrily, joyously, incessantly. Growing up in my home, we had a rule that Christmas carols could not be played until after Santa Claus arrived at the end of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Nowadays, it seems we are pelted with them like soggy snowballs from the minute Tiny Tim climbs on the school bus in September. But who am I to be such a Scrooge when we are so close to Thanksgiving, even the curmudgeonly Theatre Guy’s heart grows a few sizes and he embraces the yuletide when it comes around. With that in mind (and heart), I thought I’d put together a collage of Christmas Caroling clips of songs from movies, television and stage musicals for all of us to celebrate the countdown to December 25th.  It’s guaranteed to put you in the mood for the season.  

Food Glorious Food - A Broadway Musical Meal

I must be hungry today, as all I can seem to think about are showtunes that make references to food. It started out with "Food, Glorious Food" from Oliver! and escalated into a full-on party in my head of songs that celebrate eating. This got me thinking: could I assemble an entire meal using references to songs from musicals. Won't you join me for dinner and see what I came up with? 
 

Ten Best Christmas Movie, TV and Stage Musical Moments

On this Christmas Eve of 2015, I would like to thank my readers for just a little over a year of supporting and reading my blog. Many of you love musicals as much as I do, and it is nice to have a place where I can write about what I love and interact with people who understand.

As a Merry Christmas, I have assembled my top-ten favorite musical moments from film, television and theatre to help put you in the spirit. No commentary, just the joy of Christmas shared with you. May your days be merry and bright!