For the next entry in The 2019 PopCult Gift Guide I’m turning the reigns over to Mrs. PopCulteer, the host of Curtain Call on The AIR, Mel Larch.
Each week Mel brings listeners the best of musical theater on her show, and Wednesday at 3 PM on Curtain Call The AIR will bring you three hours of cast albums that feature three hot shows currently running on Broadway. It’s oe of our most popular shows, and Mel has some gift ideas for fans of musical theater.
You can hear Curtain Call at The AIR’s website, or on this singularly sensational embedded player…
Now I turn the PopCult reins over to Mel…
Do you have a musical theatre fan on your holiday gift list? Tickets for Broadway or touring productions can be difficult or expensive to acquire, but an Original Cast Recording can be a great way for them to experience a new show or a new interpretation of a classic. This year, our Curtain Call gift picks include cast recordings of the shows that won the Tony for Best Musical and Best Revival of a musical, along with another new musical based on a beloved Tim Burton film.
Hadestown: Original Broadway Cast
No one musical dominated the Broadway landscape in 2019 like Hamilton did in 2016, but Hadestown came pretty close. The show began its journey to Broadway over a decade ago with Anaïs Mitchell’s concept album, featuring guest vocals from Ani DiFranco, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Ben Knox Miller (The Low Anthem). In the years that followed, Hadestown had fully staged productions at Manhattan’s New York Theatre Workshop, Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre, and the National Theatre in London.
Hadestown opened in April 2019 to critical acclaim and went on to win 8 Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Musical. This intertwining of two mythic tales–that of young lovers Orpheus and Eurydice and King Hades and his wife, Persephone–combined with a score influenced by indie folk, pop, and blues takes you on a hell-raising journey to the Underworld and back.
Hadestown: The Original Broadway Cast recording was produced by Grammy winner David Lai (the 2009 West Side Story cast recording) alongside Todd Sickafoose and the show’s composer Anais Mitchell and represents the Broadway show in its entirity. It features performances by Reeve Carney (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Tony nominees Eva Noblezada (Miss Saigon), Patrick Page (Spring Awakening) and Amber Gray (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812), and Andre De Shields (The Wiz) in his Tony winning performance as Hermes. This deluxe 2-CD set comes with a 64 page booklet that includes the full libretto and breathtaking production photos.
If going to the mall this time of year makes you feel like you’re on the Road To Hell, you can click the title above to find it at Amazon.
Oklahoma! 2019 Broadway Cast Recording
When Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! opened on Broadway in 1943, it reinvented the American musical as we knew it. Now, over 75 years later, director Daniel Fish’s production, which is currently running at New York’s Circle in the Square Theater, reimagines the show for the 21st century. Stripped down to reveal the darker psychological truths at the heart of the show, this Oklahoma! tells the story of a community circling its wagons against an outsider and the violence of the frontier that shaped America. By turns funny, sexy, dark and even terrifying, Fish’s upending of the sweet romance of farm girl Laurey and cowboy Curly allows this classic show–and our country–to be seen in a whole new light.
Long story short, this production–which won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Revival of a musical–ain’t your Grandma’s Oklahoma!
This cast recording is produced by Dean Sharenow and Daniel Kluger. Kluger also created the new, stripped down orchestrations of this classic score and you will hear them on this recording, along with performances by Rebecca Naomi Jones, Damon Daunno, Patrick Vaill, Mary Testa, James Davis, and Ali Stroker with her Tony winning performance as Ado Annie. This CD only runs 59 minutes, but does include 2 songs not usually recorded in Oklahoma! cast recordings. If the musical theatre fan on your gift list would enjoy something a little daring, click on the title above to find this recording of Oklahoma! at Amazon.
And if you really want to give them an early holiday present, you can give them tickets to the Charleston Light Opera Guild’s current production of Oklahoma! on November 15, 16, & 22 at 7:30 PM and November 24 at 2:00 PM. All performances are at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center Little Theatre and this production is done as a “traditional” staging of the show. Tickets are available online HERE:
Beetlejuice Original Broadway Cast Recording
It’s showtime! The ghost-with-the-most comes to the stage in this edgy and irreverent musical comedy based on Tim Burton’s dearly beloved film. BEETLEJUICE tells the story of Lydia Deetz, a strange and unusual teenager obsessed with the whole “being dead thing.”
Lucky for Lydia, her new house is haunted by a recently deceased couple and Beetlejuice, a delightful demon with a real zest for life, played by two-time Tony Award nominee Alex Brightman (School of Rock). When Lydia calls on Beetlejuice to scare away anyone with a pulse, this double-crossing demon shows his true stripes, unleashing a (Nether)world of pandemonium, and the biggest sandworm Broadway has ever seen.
Produced by Matt Stine, the show’s director, Alex Timbers, Eddie Perfect (who received a Tony nomination for his score for Beetlejuice) and Kurt Deutsch, this recording features 18 songs on one disc. The show’s score also includes Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) and Jump In The Line which were musical highlights of the original Burton film.
You don’t have to say Beetlejuice three times to get this cast recording. Just click on the title above.
All three of these shows are currently running on Broadway and these cast recordings would make great gifts for the musical theatre lover on your holiday shopping list. You ca hear highlights of all three of these shows from 3 PM to 6 PM Wednesday on The AIR.
Curtain Call can be heard every Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 8 AM and 8 PM, Friday at 10 AM and Saturday at 6 PM. An all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight, and an additional marathon can be heard Sunday evenings from 6 PM to midnight..
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