Happy holidays everybody! To celebrate, we’re chatting about one of Broadway’s newest Christmas stories, “A Christmas Story” - the adaptation of the cult American classic. The lads talk all about the differences between US and UK Christmas movies, the glory of Pasek and Paul and work out what our Red Rider Carbine Action BB Guns of yore were.
Take a peek at Broadway’s premiere prosthetic kickline in “A Major Award.”
Johnny Rabe is a boy wonder! Read this sage-like interview about his first producing credit here.
Is Luke Spring Fred Astaire reincarnate? Very potentially! Check out him and Caroline O’Connor in the Tony Awards performance!
Next proceed to fall into a Caroline O’Connor shaped YouTube hole starting from here.
What was your Red Rider Carbine Action BB Gun? Let us know over on Reddit or Twitter what the best present you've ever received was!
Not just a quiz question, a quiz…
As it is the season of giving we’re holding our first prize giveaway! We’ve got 20 overtures, some easy, some hard, for you to guess. DM us on Twitter, email us or fill out our contact form with your answers. The person with the most correct wins! Deadline for answers is midnight CST on the 31st. Good luck and happy holidays!
Jimi and Tommy talk about Rodgers and Hammerstein’s record-breaking debut, ‘Oklahoma!’ The gang discuss where the show fits in a contemporary setting, the importance of narrative choreography and the birth of the two most important names in musical theatre history!
If musical theatre history is your thing, then look no further than Broadway: The American Musical beautifully narrated by Julie Andrews!
Also if you are interested in race representation in musical The Great White Way by Warren Hoffman is a good starting point.
Check out the glorious Agnes DeMille, one of the true founders of narrative choreography.
Oklahoma was the first musical to contain a dream ballet - have a look at the 1955 movie’s attempt at it!
What are you opinions and experiences with narrative choreography and dance on Broadway? Let us know on Reddit!
Stephen Sondheim owes a lot of his career to Mr Oscar Hammerstein II. Have a look at this great interview where he talks a little bit about his influence.
As it’s the holidays we’ve got an exciting giveaway in next week’s podcast so be sure to tune in and find out the details!
A LEGGY QUIZ QUESTION
Which musical contains Broadway’s premiere prosthetic kickline?
Grab your library books and keep an eye on that newt! This week we're chatting up the nuvo-West End show “Matilda: The Musical.” We discuss stellar child actors, British and US dialectical differences, the fabulous Bertie Carvel and the marvels of childhood.
Matilda: The Musical (Original London Cast Recording)
Have a look at this interview with the marvelous Tim Minchinwhere he talks about how he got involved with the RSC and Matilda.
The set design for this show is JUST fab. Here's an interview with set and costume designer Rob Howell and lighting designer Hugh Vanstone about their letters-and-blocks inspired design.
2013 was the year of the children choruses at the Tony Awards. Don't believe us? Check out NPH's exhausting opening number.
Have a look at the stunning Bertie Carvel in the recording studio. Fabulous both in and out of costume.
Join Lesli Margherita in her backstage vlog “Looks Not Books”from Broadway.com.
Tim Minchin sings songs. They're funny. Really funny.
He's also working on a new musical – an adaptation of the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. It'll be a while before you can listen to the whole thing, but you can check out one of the songs right now!
Set sail with us as we explore Jason Robert Brown's early song cycle, “Songs for a New World.” We talk the contentious differences between Revues, Musicals and Song Cycles, kvetch about the “Contemporary Musical Theatre Song” and ruminate on misplaced production concepts.
Jason Robert Brown not only played piano during the original production of Songs for a New World he also regularly performs his own stuff! Check him out singing “King of the World!”
Feel like Tommy? Didn't know “Surabaya Santa” was a reference to a Kurt Weill song? Well, live in the dark no longer!
You'd never believe it, but this is the London production Jimi references.
What's the certain sign of a “contemporary musical theatre” show? A song about coffee, that's what.
We didn't talk about it, but listen to this “Jason Robert Brown Song.”
Jimi and Tommy have returned from their adventure into the heart of 19th Century Russia and are ready to tell you all about it. Check out our exclusive interview with musical director Or Matias and music supervisor Sonny Paladino, hear our opinions on all of the cast and we give our final verdict on Broadway’s hottest ticket this season!
We just want to give one last big thank you to everyone involved in Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 for being so accommodating and treating to Broadway fans to the night of their lives!
Josh Groban blew us away as Pierre. Have a listen to Dust and Ashes, the new showstopper which doesn’t appear on the Original Cast Recording.
If you still haven’t caved to Jimi’s constant ramblings about Dave Malloy’s Ghost Quartet, featuring Brittain Ashford and Gelsey Bell of Comet - get a copy here! And then go buy Brittain Ashford’s EP.
If you don’t want to take our word for it please read the New York Times’ glowing review!
And, of course, a BIG thank you to all of our Indigogo supporters:
Amanda Sublette, Andrew van Baarsen, Benjamin-Jack Charles, Bethan Whitear, Bradley Johnson, Brendan Clifford, Brendan Vitek, Brett Meade, Caitriona Johnston, Carlos Adan Ortega, Caroline Elms, celiadugua, chelek, Danielle Hevey, Darrick Jackson, Daryl Rosenbaum, Garion Holland, Hayley Isenhour, Jesse McAnally, Joanne Warrener, Joel Leggett, Julien Matthews, Kiera Jade Smitheram, kudrofel, lauren9739, Logan dokes, Lyris Miu, Mack Herman, Payton Jordan, rosemary , Sara Graves, Sarah Berhanu, Shana Ziolko, Sharon Horwatt, Shelby Cleveland and Tatum Shiff
Here it is boys! Here it is WORLD! Here's our Gypsy podcast! We talk about the genius of this almost sixty year old musical, Arthur Laurents changing his mind (shocker!) and spend WAY too much time talking about each of the formidable actresses who have played Mama Rose. Oh, and we're in New York right now, too. Did we mention that?
Check out Gypsy Rose Lee's memoir – where this whole show began.
Or, for something less risqué, maybe check out Arthur Laurents's Mainly on Directing.
You've GOT to check out Jo Melziner's book of set design renderings. Tommy's in NYC right now so can't scan in the Gypsy rendering, but if somebody reminds him in like a week, he can put it here…
Live, from Sardi's, it's Ethel Merman! (Complete with microphone.)
Ugh. Isn't she fabulous. Check out the humble (ambiguously British) Angela Lansbury as Mama Rose at the Tony Awards.
Wanna see a weird production of Into the Woods? What if we told you Imelda was in it? Yah. There you go.
This is just a sampling of the fabulous Imelda Staunton in Gypsy, but you should ABSOLUTELY watch it.
Not a quiz question, just a question-question…
What would you like us to do in New York?
Pack your bags, come on down to Berlin and don't forget to tip your bellhop. This week, Jimi and Tommy are checking in to the wonderfully dark Grand Hotel. We discuss the 1932 Greta Garbo film, Tommy Tune's leg-bending choreography, Forbidden Broadway parodies, Michael Jeter's moustache, and a fabulous upcoming adaptation of Sweeney Todd.
Can you guess who's who? It's a halloween tradition!
It's one of the classics of black & white American Cinema. Check out this trailer for the 1932 Greta Garbo film, Grand Hotel.
Tommy Tune's choreography is stunning. Here's a tiny taste of it.
An adorable and wholesome human being, we are lucky to have experienced Michael Jeter. Have a look at his Tony acceptance speech here (and try not to cry along with him).
Forbidden Broadway is fabulous and if you've never listed to it you're wrong. Here's the fabulous Christine Pedi singing Cabaret as Elaine Stritch. What more do you need?
Can't get enough of the fabulous Michael Jeter? Check out this episode of "No Small Parts" entirely dedicated to him.
And last, but certainly not least, feast your eyes on the unbeatable showstopper: Take a Glass Together.
A CLEAN QUIZ QUESTION
During its preview, an unexpected technical malfunction forced Patti LuPone to double as 'Cleaning Lady'. Which musical?
Grab your half-masks, put on your cape, and come on down to the opera house! This week we're (somewhat begrudgingly) chatting about A-L-dubb's smash hit The Phantom of the Opera. Buckle up – we're talking misplaced musical styles, plagiarized melodies, and creepy romances (both on and off stage.)
Health and safety regulations being what they are, the chandelier crash can be painfully slow in some productions. Check out this compilation video!
What style and grace! Have a look at Sarah Brightman extolling the virtues of her phantom – ex-hubby Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Andrew Lloyd Webber is notorious for ripping off other people's melodies. Here's a small sampling.
A CINEMATIC Quiz Question
The film that this musical is based upon is the only best picture Oscar winner not to be nominated for any other Academy Awards.
Ease on down to this week’s podcast where we’re hitching a ride on a balloon all the way to Oz; we’re chatting all things ‘The Wiz’! Jimi and Tommy discuss the significance of the show in musical theatre history, go head to head on the movie and give thanks to Shanice Williams for giving us life!
We’ve talked about it before, but there’s always time to relive the camp television moment that is the exit of the Dorothys on BBC’s ‘Over the Rainbow’ - now with bonus voice cracking from EmFlem!
The 80s brought out some of the most twistedly dark and amazing kid’s films. Could ‘Return to Oz’ be the crowning glory?
Phylicia Rashad is much more than just Mrs. Cosby! Did you know she was the first black woman to win the Tony Award for Best Actress? Here’s her beautiful acceptance speech.
We obviously don’t endorse bootlegs, but if you really wanted to you can watch the entire 1984 revival online with Stephanie Mills doing her stuff! But you didn’t hear it from us…
It’s a travesty that Michael Jackson never got to do anymore musical theatre before he died. The commitment he put into developing The Scarecrow was exemplary. Check out him and Miss Ross easing on down that massive sound stage.
So we’re split on our opinions on ‘The Wiz’ movie, but what do you think? Let us know over on Reddit!
Shameless plug alert! Check out part one of Jimi’s YouTube series on live musical theatre recordings and the future of musical theatre!
Take a look at some of the exciting changes NBC are making to their annual televised broadcast after the successes of ‘The Wiz Live!’ and ‘Grease: Live.’
Check out the incomparable Shanice Williams breaking everyone’s hearts in the finale of ‘The Wiz Live!’ - and bask in the glory of that perfect cyclorama usage.
Then as if you think it couldn’t get any better, have a look at eleven year old (yes, eleven!) Jazmine Sullivan riff the house down with her rendition of ‘Home’ in her high school production - and learn how to do it with Natalie Weiss!
On Thursday the 20th October it’s Rocky Horror night on FOX! Crack out your fishnets and squirt guns and get ready to (potentially) have the night of your life! Here’s the most comprehensive (and R-rated) guide to the audience participation we could find, but for all you virgins out there (it’s a technical term) we’ve got you covered! But hey, it’s a whole new show so maybe it’s time to make a new set of memories!
A LIFE-THREATENING QUIZ QUESTION
During which musical are you more likely to die in Stuttgart than you are in Los Angeles?
Benvenuto and welcome to the land of “naked marble boys” with this week's musical fairy-tale “The Light in the Piazza.” We marvel over beautiful lighting design, talk the differences between opera and musical theatre, and contemplate the discussion of mental health in theatre.
Watch the wonderful Heidi Blickenstaff on Side by Side by Susan Blackwell confess vacuuming and dusting to songs from Piazza.
Two fabulous musical theatre composers in one touching interview: take a look at Adam Guettel interviewing his mentor and friend, Stephen Sondheim.
On the topic of opera companies doing musical theatre, take a look at the fabulous English National Opera's production of Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson.
Also, want to learn Italian in 10 minutes? (Complete with the requisite hand gestures?) Check out this guy!
A REALLY DIFFICULT quiz question…
Jimi and Tommy tweeted these things about next week's show:
“DOLLY PARTON BIOPIC?!”
“Aww. Shit. I'm in Moscow.”
“If Queen Latifah started mamboing at me, I'd be terrified too.”
Place your bets, it’s time to shoot craps with the spectacular musical comedy, Guys and Dolls! We boggle over the mystical parallel universe that the musical’s set in, Nathan Detroit - the most popular role in the acting world and tease the possible new movie production!
It wasn’t the Tony’s best year in 2009. Tituss Burgess’ performance of Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat was just one of the many tech fails on the night (check out 4:48)
Nathan Lane loved Mr. Detroit so much he named himself after him! Check out him and the glorious Faith Prince!
Check out Marlon Brando’s moves! Is this what you need to do to graduate to becoming Don Corleone?
Here’s a taste of the recent Chichester Festival Theatre production of Guys and Dolls featuring stunning British musical actress Sophie Thompson!
If you’re old enough, and haven’t already, check out the HILARIOUS podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno.
The critics are tied, but what do you think? Did any of you see Rebel Wilson play Adelaide?
If you’re interested, check out the 1976 Revival recording with updated score and orchestrations to have a Motown vibe
Interested in race representation on Broadway as much as us? Read this book!
A CLEAN AND POLISHED QUIZ QUESTION
The title song of this musical is Heidi Blickenstaff’s go-to cleaning song, what could it be?
Are you ready to seize the day and carry that banner? Well now is the time! Newsboy wannabes Jimi and Tommy talk all about Menken, Feldman and Fierstein’s high-flying smash Newsies! Expect discussion about the historical context of the show, as well as highlighting the stronghold of The Mouse and some severe adoration of Andrew Keenan-Bolger.
Before you do anything, bask in the brilliance of past Broadway Prom “Queens” and Newsies Ryan Steele, Garett Hawe and Tommy Bracco and fall into the Newsies YouTube Hole. For the record, at least 30,000 of these views are from Jimi.
And while you’re in the camp mindset, check out Jimi’s favourite film - ‘To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.’
What do you think? Is Christian Bale acting glaikit on purpose? Watch and decide!
Tinfoil hats at the ready! Have a look at Tommy’s Disney conspiracy theory and find out a bit more about the Disney machine!
We hope you’ve got the popcorn out, cause we’ve got even more footage for you! One of the alltime greatest Tony Awards performances in our opinion.
Check out the heroine that is Aida Overton Walker who was the inspiration for changing the ethnicity of Hedda Larkin in the stage version. It would’ve been nice to have seen a bit of this historical context in the show! What do you think?
Why do you think Newsies hasn’t made it’s way across to the West End yet? Let us know over on Reddit!
These newsboys are multi-talented! Have a look at Crutchie’s own digital series, ‘Submissions Only’ for a some broadway-shaped tomfoolery!
Look what else he can do - have a lot of fun in the summertime!
A BLUNDER OF A QUIZ QUESTION
When a recent revival of this musical performed at the Tony Awards, the performer’s microphone failed almost immediately during the telecast. You can overhear a tech guy say “Am I going with it? I’m goin’, I’m goin’, I’m goin’!” Before he runs onstage with a handheld microphone. What musical was this?
Strip off your clothes and let the sunshine in, it’s time to talk all about the revolutionary classic Hair! Jimi and Tommy debate whether or not this one of the most important musicals of all time, Jimi comes out as a latent hippie and the guys discuss the concept of tribe musicals.
Take a listen to the Original Cast Recording for some insightful interviews from the creators of Hair.
Have you ever been involved in a show which you would consider tribal? Let us know all about it over on our subreddit!
Check out this Broadway.com interview with some of the team from the Diane Paulus revival in Central Park.
An Award-Winning Quiz Question…
This musical holds the record for producing the biggest number of Broadway Prom ‘Queens’ for any single show - what is it?
Welcome to our podcast on Maple Avenue! This week, we're talking about the fabulously important (and recently closed) musical Fun Home. We chat about the importance of representation, non-linearity, vagaries in the LGBTQ alphabet soup of terminology, and Jimi gets caught up on a particular V-word.
If you haven't read the graphic novel that the musical Fun Home is based on, we highly recommend it!
Alison Bechdel's early comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For is archived online. Check it out!
After seeing her life on stage, Alison Bechdel responded in the best way possible: with another autobiographical comic strip.
Sydney Lucas. Ring of Keys. Tony Performance. 'Nuff said.
No matter how you describe it, Ellen's coming out on television was revolutionary in the 90s. Here's a retrospective.
Want to hear more about the political drama surrounding the graphic novel in South Carolina? Here's a quick NPR story about it.
It never made it to television (SHAME) but, thanks to the power of the internet, you can experience the entire Jeanine Tesori & Lisa Kron Tony acceptance speech.
A Scandalous Quiz Question…
What musical revival caused an audience member to strip completely naked because she loved it that much?
Good morning! Unpack your raincoats and dust off your tap shoes as it’s time to celebrate the greatest movie musical of all time - Singin’ in the Rain! We chat all about directorial tyranny, metatheatrical dubbing and Hollywood’s biggest drag queen of all time - Gene Kelly!
She battled through the tyranny of Gene Kelly’s directorial reign and gave birth to the exquisite Carrie Fisher. Check out this amazing interview from Debbie Reynold’s daughter!
Check out Hollywood’s most beautiful Drag Queen of all time - Gene Kelly, beat for the gods!
This movie contains some of the greatest tap dancing routines ever! Check out ‘Fit as a Fiddle’ at the movie’s opening for a little taste. Oh, and movie producers - bring tap back!
Which Beautiful Girl are you? Jimi is naturally number 2 as his cloak is ALWAYS trimmed with monkey fur to lend a dash of drama, Tommy is number 4; always dripping with fringe.
Shout to our dearly departed Queen of Dubbing - Marni Nixon! Check out this great interview on NPR.
Have a listen to Cole Porter’s ‘Be a Clown’ from The Pirate. Sound familiar?
Check out an amazing documentary series on homosexuality in musical theatre by “some guy”. What do you think, is Cosmo Brown a coded gay character?
Have a look at the incredible design from Théâtre du Châtelet’s production coming to Broadway…at some point!
A political quiz question…
The source material for this musical was quite controversial and talks of censorship made it into the American political discourse. In one censorship hearing, a politician criticized the censorship attempt saying: “Are we going to start attacking ABC for Scandal? I mean where does this stop?”
*Cough!* *Hack!* *Eeech!* Hairball got you down? We've got the perfect solution: Andrew Lloyd Webber's mega-hit musical Cats. It's team Jimi (aka Cats Trash) vs team Tommy (aka the rest of the world). Are we talking about high concept art? Or the lowest common denominator. The gloves are off in this cat-astrophe of an episode.
Do you share Jimi's crush on Tony Vincent as Simon in Jesus Christ Superstar? You will soon…
Reminisce with this Independent article published the morning after Cats's record-breaking 6,138th performance.
"We're rats. We're RATS! We're furry and forlorn!"
"Who out there is a fan of Stephen Ward?" Did you miss that Lloyd Webber flop? We've got you covered.
Wanna see an old-man theatre cat get scared out of his wits by the creepiest cat you've ever seen? Of COURSE you do…
Brace yourself. Here's a picture of the new "hip" Rum Tum Tugger…
Tune in to Broadway.com's backstage coverage of the Cats revival with the oh-so-handsome Tyler Hanes.
Want too much information about Cats (but nothing about it's critical reception)? Check out the Wikipedia page. Really – check it – it's a work of art.
Get your Elaine Page fix over at her BBC Radio 2 page. Do you think she's "The First Lady of Musical Theatre?"
Get a load of Ruthie Henshall (and Bernadette Peters and Julia McKenzie) doing "You Gotta Get a Gimmick."
A mistranslated quiz question…
What musical's title song's first lyric goes like this, when poorly translated: "Condone violence in the cloud from any location monitoring."
This time around we’re going in heavy with Stephen Sondheim’s harrowing hit ‘Assassins’. We try and tease apart the intricacies of the American Dream, discuss how musical theatre can be used as a form of therapy in times of crisis and discuss what it means to be a ‘docu-musical’.
Big thank you once more to Dave Malloy and Team Comet for giving us a shout out! If you’re new to the podcast feel free to check out some of our older episodes. Jimi’s top choice is ‘A Cabaret Cocktail’ and Tommy’s is ‘Dinner With Dolly’ but take your pick, pour yourself a drink and enjoy!
This episode was recorded prior to the killings in Baton Rouge, St. Paul and Dallas and are therefore not discussed among the other tragic events in Orlando.
If you didn’t join us, you can check out Tommy’s "high-budget" live stream here where so many of you asked us to talk about Assassins!
Check out some pictures of the amazing all-star cast in rehearsal for the recent Menier Chocolate Factory production of Assassins here and bow down to the glory of Aaron Tveit in a beard.
There aren’t many musicals whose characters are still alive today, but Assassins is surprisingly one of them. Here are some fascinating/chilling interviews with Sara Jane Moore and Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme.
Have a look at the chilling photo of Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassination after his arrest in 1963.
If you’re interested, you can have a look at the publicity photos from Jimi’s production of Assassins in 2012!
Also if you’re an amateur director looking to flex their creative muscles look no further than this show! If you want to ask Jimi any questions about it just drop us an email via our contact box.
We’ve got no quiz question this time, just a request - go out there, spread some love and listen to some musical theatre!
Oh, and here's a gif of a cat. For no reason. Just to bring some joy into your life…
Come with us to 19th century Russia where we attend the stunning musicopera, “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” based on a chapter of Tolstoy’s epic ‘War and Peace’. Seeing as it’s regarded as one of the longest novels, we thought we’d make this one of the longest podcasts - so here’s part 2! We chat about the joys and importance of feminism on Broadway, Jimi unleashes his musical theatre homosexual agenda and Tommy has his best line-reading of the word "YEAH" ever!
Keep following along with us on Genius for more tidbits from the maestro, Dave Malloy.
Have a listen to the breathtaking Brittain Ashford perform Sonya Alone at the recent Sh-K-Boom anniversary concert.
Get a glimpse of the spectacle of Comet and see how much audiences freak for this show!
Want to hear more magic from Dave Malloy? A journey into the hypnotised mind of Sergei Rachmaninoff perhaps? Maybe an electro-grunge exploration of the story of Beowulf and Grendel? Check out his website for heaps of free music!
A rule-breaking TRIVIA QUESTION
Despite its original production premiering Off Broadway, when this show was remounted 14 years later, the Tony administration committee deemed it only eligible to be nominated as a revival of a musical. What was the show?