Friday, January 14, 2011

Musical Friday - Remembering January's Fallen Broadway Shows

Broadway suffered very heavy losses this month. Twelve shows have closed since January 2 with at least two more scheduled by the end of the month. I can't remember the last time so many shows closed in a month, so we're going to honor a few.

First up, Promises, Promises

Promises, Promises is based on the film, The Apartment, and has music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David, and book by Neil Simon. You might recognize a few of the songs, especially if you're a Gleek. And how could you not like a show starring Jack MacFarland, Carl Bruner (Ghost) or Tarzan, depending on age, and Glinda/April Rhodes? 

Next, West Side Story

Written by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim (his Broadway debut), West Side Story is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet. One of the most interesting aspects of this revival is not only did Arthur Laurents direct it, but to help make it more authentic, the production team wove Spanish into the book and lyrics.

And finally, my personal favorite, because I just can't let this show go... In the Heights

This is the first soundtrack I had that made me cry before I saw the show. I've gotten a little teary during shows but that's while watching them. What's unique about In the Heights is just how much emotion comes across, both on the stage and in the soundtrack. Part of the reason for that is, instead of sticking the performers in the booths while recording, they were all put together where the orchestra normally plays, so the cast could play off each other, as you can see in the above.

So let's bid a fond farewell to In the Heights, Little Night Music, La Bete, Free Man of Color, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Fela, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Brief Encounter, West Side, Elf: The Musical, Pee-Wee, and Promises Promises. Thank you to the casts and crews of the shows. You will be missed. Until we meet again...