Category Archives: Srsly Good Music

We love good music. We want you to love it, too.

Newsies!: The Musical on Broadway

EIGHT TONYS, HELL YEAH!

Extra extra! (I know “extra” jokes are so played out by this point, but they’re also funny.) Newsies is one of the best things going on Broadway right now. Of course you don’t need me to tell you this, since it just got nominated for eight Tonys, including Best Musical. I reviewed the cast recording a few months ago, and promised to do a proper show review once I’d seen it. Well I’ve seen it now, and let me tell you: the music is only half of what makes this show so amazing. I don’t trust myself to write in paragraphs without turning this review into a giant run-on sentence of gushing, so let’s do it bullet point style!

(Fun sidenote: the book was written by Harvey Fierstein. Did you know Jeff Goldblum’s boss from Independence Day was a brilliant writer? Neither did I.)

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Newsies: Original Broadway Cast Recording (Act Two)

Everyone got your pop and chips? Finished the crinkly stuff before the lights go down? Okay, good. For those coming in late, we just covered Act One, which ended with Jack breaking down in an agony of guilt and grief over leading the newsies into a fight he doesn’t think they can win. Wow, how uplifting right? Don’t worry, things are looking up.

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Newsies: Original Broadway Cast Recording (Act One)

The Newsies Broadway Cast Recording is available on iTunes.

In 1992, Disney released what they hoped would be the first in a new line of live-action musicals they could add to their repetoire. Their hopes were quickly dashed when Newsies bombed like hell in theatres, and hopes for an expanded brand name were quietly shelved. But much like the vaunted newsboys of the title, word spread as the movie landed on VHS and later DVD, and for twenty years, fans agitated for the story to be taken to the stage. Two years ago, Alan Menken (who wrote the original music) and Harvey Fierstein teamed up to rewrite the book and songs, and after a brief but wildly successful run at Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey, Newsies is finally taking its place on Broadway.

I was one of those agitating fans back in the day—still am, although these days I’m more invested in it getting buried in an avalanche of Tonys—so seeing the show reach Broadway is essentially a dream come true for me. Not only that, but I come from a long and proud line of unionizers (my great-grandfather somewhat infamously turned down an OBE because he knew the government was trying to make nice with his union) so the musical’s themes of standing up for your rights and working together ring especially loud and clear for me. I saw the show at Paper Mill and thought I’d never get the chance to repeat the experience, so this really is my dream come true. So let’s see what Menken and Fierstein have in store, shall we?

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Book of Mormon: The Musical, on Broadway

m4s0n501

The coolest cast on Broadway, the lamest book on my shelf.

Hello! My name is Sister FeatherStone, and I would like to share with you the most amazing play. That is…actually a musical. A musical that is now in the top five musicals of all time for me. Read that again. Book of Mormon: The Musical is one of the five finest musicals of all time. It’s up there with Les Miz. With Gypsy. Starlight Express. (Aha ha.)

In case you need a refresher, last year I posted a two-part review of the soundtrack, not thinking I would get the chance to see the show on Broadway or see it with the original cast. Well, I’ve now done both and am a better person for it.  My thoughts on the music is mostly the same as it was last year, with a few positive changes in perspective now that I’ve seen the production.  The “steak knives” line works in context. So I take back my earlier “meh” and raise it to a “ha.” Continue reading

The Book of Mormon: The Musical! Soundtrack – Act 2

BoM:The Musical OBCR is now available on iTunes and at Amazon.com.

“Hello! I would like to share this book about Jewish Naval Indians with you!”

Lights flashing, time to get back in our seats. (Did you miss Act 1?)  There’s a song in this act that absolutely and completely changed how I feel about my old religion.  Long-time readers know that I’m no longer Mormon and have written extensively about why.  My family is still devout, I have good friends that are still devout, but I held a lot of what the church stands for in contempt.  Well, I still do as far as the leadership is concerned (and some of their hate speech couched as the “loving word of God” – see: Prop 8 for starters) but bless the member’s hearts who just want to be good people.

First, let’s break down some of the crazy and some of the awesome. Continue reading

The Book of Mormon: The Musical! The Soundtrack-Act 1

BoM:The Musical is now available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

“Hello! I would like to share this book about Jewish Naval Indians with you!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You lucky sons of bitches that get to see this performed on stage. I hope you know how lucky you are, because those of us outside of NYC that so desperately want to see the greatest musical ever written would quite possibly gut their beloved dogs taun taun-style if that’s what it takes to get a ticket. We have to be satisfied with just the soundtrack. Fortunately, this is such a well-written musical that we can see the high kicking Mormon missionaries in our imagination, and can pretend that we’re right there.

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