All tagged Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Giving Them What They Want: The Best of David Yazbek

With The Band’s Visit readying itself for its Broadway opening on November 9, I am reminded by how much I love a David Yazbek score. For me, Yazbek comes the closest to bringing the old-fashioned Broadway musical comedy sound into the contemporary musical. His work is tuneful, character-driven, brimming with emotion, and always laced with fun. Distinctly working in his own style, it is also clear that he is influenced by the likes of Cy Coleman, Jule Styne, and Frank Loesser. Today, I want to celebrate Yazbek’s work and revel in how it makes me feel. I am certain we will be adding some songs from The Band’s Visit to this list very soon, but for now, here are ten songs by Yazbek that we already love.

10 Musicals Where My Delight Was at Odds with Critics and Ticket Buyers

I don’t always agree with the critics, and I sometimes don’t agree with audiences. Where musicals are concerned, I am often surprised at what pieces are embraced and what pieces are rejected. Occasionally, I find a musical where, despite how the masses are feeling about it, I am at odds with their tastes. Here are ten musicals where my delight was at odds with critics and ticket buyers.

Why We Love Laura Benanti

Let me start out by saying that I reluctantly fell under the charms of Laura Benanti, never quite sure what her exact appeal was. At this point in my mistaken existence, I had seen her ONLY in the 2003 revival of Nine playing Claudia and found her to be quite capable, but I was not sure what all of the hoopla was about. As much as I prefer to be always right, I have to admit that I was extremely wrong where Ms. Benanti is concerned. Several years later, my good friend and sparring partner Robbie Rozelle took me to see Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and to use an overused phrase, “I saw the light.

Beckoning Yazbek

David Yazbek is a composer who really got my attention about 15 years ago, not just for his wonderfully melodic musicals and his sharp, often hilarious, lyrics, but for the fact he is not afraid to create musicals that have a touch of the great musical comedies of the 40s and 50s. That is not to say that his style and musicals are dated. His work is contemporary, but it brims with the musical comedy joy that seems to be void in much of Broadway's current market (It's okay to laugh and to enjoy a great melody, people).