Every May Mel Larch brings her listeners a special episode of Curtain Call devoted to the Tony Award Nominees for Best Musical. Since they were just announced last week, it’s time for the tradition to continue.

Wednesday afternoon on The AIR, you can hear samples of the nominees for this year’s Tony Award for Best Musical as Broadway is back to be saluted once again by Curtain Call.

You can tune in at the website, or you can just stay on this page, and  listen to the convenient embedded radio player mere inches away from this text.

At 3 PM Mel Larch presents a new hour of great musical theater on Curtain Call. It’s our annual Tony Awards preview, with songs each from the five nominated musicals,

And those musicals are:

SUFFS with book, music, and lyrics by Shaina Taub, who curiously enough did not get a Tony nomination for her performance in her own show. The show is based on suffragists and the American women’s suffrage movement, focusing primarily on the historical events leading up to the ratification of the nineteenth amendment to the United States constitution in 1920 that gave some women the right to vote. It approaches the story from the point of view of Black women, who had to struggle harder for their rights. Taub became only the second woman in Broadway history to “to write the book, music, lyrics, and star in her own musical”

Water for Elephants is a musical with music and lyrics by PigPen Theatre Co. and a book by Rick Elice. This show is based on the 2006 novel of the same name by Sara Gruen. In Water For Elephants, Jacob Jankowski, an old man living in an assisted living home, thinks back to his youth. In 1931, after his parents were killed in a car accident, he decides to travel cross-country on a train, where he meets the Benzini Brothers Circus.  He joins the circus, gets involved with the ringmaster’s wife, and musical hijinks ensue.

Illinoise is a dance revue musical with music and lyrics by Sufjan Stevens and an original story by Justin Peck and Jackie Sibblies Drury. The musical was inspired by Stevens’ 2005 album Illinois. The show is directed and choreographed by Peck. After summer festival and regional productions and an off-Broadway tryout, the show debuted on Broadway in April 2024 at the St. James Theatre.With no cast album for this show, we bring you songs from Steven’s original concept recording.

Adapted from S.E. Hinton’s seminal book and Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic film, THE OUTSIDERS features a book by Adam Rapp with Justin Levine, and music and lyrics by Jamestown Revival (Jonathan Clay & Zach Chance) and Justin Levine.  Set in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1967, Ponyboy Curtis, his best friend Johnny Cade and their Greaser family of “outsiders” battle with their affluent rivals, the Socs. This new Broadway musical navigates the complexities of self-discovery as the Greasers dream about who they want to become in a world that may never accept them.

We’ll close this week’s show with a couple of songs by Alicia Keys. that are featured in the last of our nominated musicals, Hell’s Kitchen. The first of these is the preview single from the show, “Kaliedoscope.” Hell’s Kitchen, which is based on Key’s life growing up in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan in the 1990s does not have a full cast album available yet,so you’ll also hear Alicia Keys singing “Teenage Love Affair,” which is one of the features songs.

Check out the playlist:

Curtain Call 144

“Keep Marching” sung by Shaina Taub,
“The March (We Demand Equality)” “Great American B__ ” “This Girl” from SUFFS
“Wild” and “Silver Stars” from Water For Elephants
“Come On! Feel the Illinoise! Part I- The World’s Columbian Exposition Part II-Carl Sandburg Visits Me In A Dream” “Chicago” “Prarie Fire That Wanders About” from Illinoise
“Soda’s Letter” “Stay Gold” “Great Expectations” from The Outsiders
“Kaleidoscope” “Teenage Love Affair” from Hell’s Kitchen (by Alicia Keys)

The 2024 Tony Awards will be broadcast on CBS and streamed on Pluto TV and Paramount + on Sunday, June, 16.

Curtain Call can be heard on The AIR Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM, Saturday at 8 PM and Monday at 9 AM. A six-hour marathon of classic episodes can be heard Sunday evenings starting at 6 PM, and an all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight.