All tagged The Life

Remembering The Life

A musical that seems to have those who remember it divided, with some people having enjoyed it and others just absolutely disgusted by it, was the 1997 Broadway production of The Life. With music by Cy Coleman, lyrics by Ira Gasman, and a book by Coleman, Gasman, and David Newman, The Life took a look at the underworld of New York City’s Times Square circa the 1980s. The seedy and unsavory world may have been hard for some people to get excited about, considering the show was populated with pimps and hookers, hustlers and drug dealers. Others easily connected to the piece, understanding that these characters were the product of a harsh world, runaways and forgotten people and that this was their way of making ends meet and to escape living on the streets. 

"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.

Ten Great "Also Ran" Broadway Musicals with Superior Scores

We love to celebrate the classic Broadway scores! We revel in a joyously wonderful flop score! There is, however, one area of the Broadway musical that we seldom address: the musicals that were neither calamitous flops, but neither were they runaway hits. They were around for maybe a season and change (250-500 performances), maybe made some money or came close to breaking even (in a day where that was possible). I refer to these as the “also rans” of Broadway. Today’s blog is a celebration of the scores from these middling musicals that have much to recommend in the way of great music.