BOO! Robert Hammond hosts the spooktacular fifth edition of The Haunting Music of Broadway. In celebration of Halloween, he featured chilling songs from Broadway musicals and the movies, including The Phantom of the Opera, The Omen, and Sweeney Todd. Click below to listen to the full program. Follow Robert on Twitter @stagenotes.
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From the creators of South Park, and winner of nine Tony Awards, including best musical, The Book of Mormon is taking the nation by storm. The second Broadway tour stars David Larsen in the role of Elder Kevin Price. He Joined host Robert Hammond on Stage Notes to discuss his enormous role and why The Book of Mormon is a sweeping success. Special thanks to Broadway star Tom Deckman for arranging this interview with David.
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As the show opens we are introduced to the LDS Church Missionary Training Centre where Elder Price and his classmates of missionaries-to-be demonstrate their daily attempts to convert the public to Mormonism through door to door campaigns with the song “Hello.” Elder Price is looking forward to his two year mission, and prays he will be posted to Orlando, the world of Disney Land. Instead, he and Elder Arnold Cunningham, a nerdy overweight missionary played by Cody Jamison Strand, are posted to Uganda. At Salt Lake City Airport, spunky Elder Price talks about how he hopes to change the world and make a difference to the people of Uganda, aided somewhat by the incompetent Elder Cunningham.
David Larsen in the role of Elder Kevin Price
South Park creators-writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Tony-winning Avenue Q songwriter Robert Lopez collaborated on the script and score to the musical, which earned Tony Awards for Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical.
Co-directed by Parker and Casey Nicholaw, The Book of Mormon opened to critical acclaim March 24, 2011, at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. Both earned Tony Awards for their work and repeat their duties for the tour.
Broadway: Hands on a Hardbody (Chris Alvaro), American Idiot (Tunny), Billy Elliot (Tony u/s), Good Vibrations (Bobby). TV: Boston Public (3 episode guest star). Regional: Leading roles at Hollywood Bowl, Marriott Lincolnshire, St. Louis Rep, KC Starlight, Bay Street Theatre, and Goodspeed. Contributor for Just Desserts NYC. Oregon native with a BFA in Drama from Carnegie Mellon University. Follow David on Twitter @dlarsen22.
Spread the word!! Stage Notes is officially bi-coastal beginning Sunday (9/7) at 6 PM (PST) on KWXY 107.3, The Sound of the Desert in Palm Springs, California. I’m thrilled Stage Notes will be a part of KWXY’s fantastic programming. Live stream at KWXY.com.
Some of Broadway’s best show tunes are not just heard on the stage.There are some that really stand out, permeating pop culture, touching a nerve, and inspiring even the shyest to belt the lyrics. Crooners from the Rat Pack, Rosemary Clooney, and Tony Bennett would warble their own versions of top tunes from current shows and all of America would listen to them on the airwaves. Join host Robert Hammond for this week’s Stage Notes. He’ll feature some of Broadway’s best “pop” songs.
In the 1960s Broadway took a backseat to rock groups as teenagers dominated record sales. The Beatles recorded a memorable version of “Till There Was You” from The Music Man and Louis Armstrong’s Dixieland spin on “Hello, Dolly” was a hit, but the theater was no longer a major player in the record industry. Today the trend is changing with songs from Les Meserables, The Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked seeping into the mainstream through TV shows like Glee and American Idol.
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With Les Misérables recent gigantic leap from stage to the silver screen, Stage Notes host Robert Hammond showcased songs from some of the best Hollywood adaptations from the Great White Way, including Gentlemen prefer Blondes, Dreamgirls, West Side Story, and The Phantom of the Opera.
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The Broadway star who turned Stephen Sondheim’s song of survival “I’m Still Here” into a personal anthem of triumph over booze, diabetes, unfaithful lovers, indifferent producers, demanding directors, fawning fans, and long stretches of unemployment before achieving the status of Living Legend in her later decades, died last week. She passed away in Birmingham, MI, the Detroit suburb to which she decamped a year ago after living the fabulous life for years at Madison Avenue’s Hotel Carlyle. She was 89. Broadway dimmed its lights for one minute on Friday at 7:45 PM in tribute. Host Robert Hammond as he paid tribute to Elaine Stritch during Stage Notes July 26, 2014. Full program below.
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The Broadway star who turned Stephen Sondheim’s song of survival “I’m Still Here” into a personal anthem of triumph over booze, diabetes, unfaithful lovers, indifferent producers, demanding directors, fawning fans, and long stretches of unemployment before achieving the status of Living Legend in her later decades, died last Thursday. She passed away in Birmingham, MI, the Detroit suburb to which she decamped a year ago after living the fabulous life for years at Madison Avenue’s Hotel Carlyle. She was 89. Broadway dimmed its lights for one minute on Friday at 7:45 PM in tribute. Join Host Robert Hammond as he pays tribute to Elaine Stritch
“Elaine Stritch’s big personality was matched by her big talent,” Broadway League Executive Director Charlotte St. Martin said.
New York City named Stritch one of its Living Landmarks in 2003.
Just 17 when she moved to New York to study acting, Stritch made her Broadway debut in 1946.She was nominated for five Tony Awards and eight primetime Emmys over her long career. She did not win a Tony until her autobiographical one-woman show — “Elaine Stritch at Liberty” — won the 2002 special theatrical event Tony.
Her 2002 performance also won an Emmy after it was made into an HBO show. Stritch was awarded two other acting Emmys, including one for a guest star role on “Law & Order” and one for playing Alec Baldwin’s mother on “30 Rock.”
Stritch was born in Detroit in 1925 but moved to New York City to study acting when she was 17.
Her Broadway debut came in “Loco,” a comedy that ran for just a month in October 1946. Her first musical role on Broadway came a year later in “Angel in the Wings.”
“The Ladies Who Lunch,” from Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” became her signature song when she sang it on Broadway in 1971. The performance earned her a Tony actress nomination.
Her other Tony nominations came from “Bus Stop” in 1956 and “Sail Away” in 1962.
Follow Stage Notes on Twitter @stagenotes. Now, on with the show…
A good friend of mine was in a lead role in a blockbuster musical on Broadway. After the Saturday evening performance, it was customary for the cast and crew to chill out at what they called “their place.” Since I was a frequent attendee, I became an honoree part of the group. On one such night, I asked my friend “is —- gay.” He responded: “Robert, on Broadway you don’t ask if a person is gay, you ask if they’re straight.”
For certain, I knew about the stereotypes and flamboyancy that often surrounds theatre people, but I had not developed such a hard core syllogism: If you’re in theatre you must be gay. I don’t believe that. However, I do believe that the theatre is a safe haven for many LGBT people, especially gay men.
I was thrilled that Dr. Allan O’Grady Cuseo joined me on this important edition of Stage Notes. Broadcast date June 21, 2014. Take time to read his impressive bio:
Dr. Allan O’Grady Cuseo earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1988. He also holds a Masters in Library Science from SUNY/Geneseo and a BS in Education from SUNY/GENESEO. He holds a Master of Theology from St. Bernard’s College of Theology and Ministry plus a certificate in Scriptural Studies from Education for Ministry from Sewanee. He holds a certificate in Irish Theatre from the University College, Galway Ireland.
Dr. Cuseo was Building Leader for Library Services at Greece Arcadia High School and was instrumental in establishing the Project Pride, a student teaching, program there. He was on the adjunct faculty of Nazareth College of Rochester for over 25 years and 10 years for the School of Library Science at UB/SUNY’s School of Information and Library Science. He was on the adjunct faculty of the now closed Graduate School of Information and Library Science, SUNY/GENESEO. Allan resigned as Director of Library Services for Bishop Kearney High School in June 2009. He is currently General Manager of the Rochester Association of Performing Arts/Main Street (RAPA).
As a member of the American Library Association he has served as chairperson for the Outstanding Books for College Bound (Fine Arts) Revision Committee and has been a member of the Outstanding Books for College Bound (Fiction) Committee and the School Library Journal/Young Adult Services Division Committee to choose the Young Adult Author of the Year Award. He was awarded a position on the Best Books for Young Adults, one of 15 librarians nationwide so honored. He was the Chair of the Religion Committee for the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Committee of the Young Adult Services Association of the American Library Association. He also was Chair of Books That Don’t Make you Blush for the same committee. He recently resigned as a major book reviewer for Catholic Library World magazine.
For his volunteer work with the City of Rochester PAC-TAC program he has been awarded merit honors for his service as Security chairperson for the Corn Hill Neighbors Association (CHNA). He served on the Board of Directors of CHNA and on the Corn Hill Arts Festival Executive Board. He has been the Chairperson of Security for the famous Corn Hill Arts Festival for 26 years.
He was President of Blackfriars Theatre of Rochester, New York, having served as President of the Board of Directors for over 40 years. For 7 years he was President of the Rochester City Ballet, the city’s only professional ballet company. He has served on the Planning Committee for the Right-On Summer School for the Church of St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene, Chairperson of the Evangelism Committee, Co-chairperson of the Ambassadors ministry, and a member of the Christian Education Committee. He was on the church’s vestry and serves as a delegate for the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester. He was a member of the planning committee for the Lay School of Theology (Colgate Rochester Divinity School/Wellspring.
Dr. Cuseo has lectured and offered over 200 workshops nationwide for the New York Library Association and the American Library Association. Allan O’Grady Cuseo, PhD has a Doctorate in Literary Analysis from Columbia University. Formerly a librarian for the Greece Central School District, Dr. Cuseo retired June 2009 as Director of Library Services for Bishop Kearney High School.
He began his theatre career as a young teen with the Rochester Community Players and Catholic Theatre of Rochester (later renamed Blackfriars Theatre). He was the co-founder of the Rochester Repertory Company and starred in over 200 children and adult productions. The company specialized in children’s shows and performances for shut-ins in the community.
He is currently Managing Director of the Greater Rochester Repertories Companies (GRRC) and has directed Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap twice for them for which the Theatre Association of New York (TANYS) awarded him an Outstanding Director designation. For GRRC’s production of Love Letters he received an award from TANYS for Excellence in Acting.
Professionally in New York City he was a member of the Jewish Theatre for Children and also performed in Macy’s Christmas shows. He did summer stock at the famous Theatre-by-the-Sea in Matunuk, Rhode Island. He has worked on tour, both on-stage and technically, with Debbie Reynolds, Imogene Coca, Judy Garland, Kim Hunter, Patrice Munsel, Patty Duke, John Astin, Godfrey Cambridge, Hans Conried, Lou Jacobi, and Jane Connell.
It has been estimated that he has been in over 400 theatre productions. In a review in Rochester’s Democrat and Chronicle it was said of Allan that “he has the most perfect comedy timing of anyone in Rochester Theatre.” Another review stated, “he walks on stage and the audience immediately loves him. He is pure magic on stage.”
Allan is a vowed religious brother of the Mercy of God Community, known as Br. Allan. In 2011 he was ordained by Open Ministry.