A Broadway Holiday on Stage Notes

broadway_hol_0It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and Stage Notes is celebrating the season with some of your favorite Broadway-themed holiday songs!  Among many others, songs from  Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Idina Menzel’s new holiday CD, and Christmas at Downton Abbey are featured. Full program below.  Be sure to   Follow Robert on Twitter @stagenotes.

LISTEN Originally aired week of 12/15

The Haunting Music of Broadway – Full Program

halloween_eyes

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.

LISTEN Aired – 10/25/14

Hello! It’s Time for a Spooky Mormon Hell Dream with David Larsen

bom_logoFrom 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.

Follow Robert on Twitter @stagenotes.

LISTEN to full program. Aired week of 9/21/14

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.

David Larsen

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.

That’s a Show Tune?

POP aSpread 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.

Follow Robert on Twitter @stagenotes

Broadway Hits the Silver Screen

1982-broadway-to-hollywood-thumbnailWith 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.

LISTEN Aired 8/9/14

Still Here – A Tribute to Elaine Stritch

elaine-stritch-laughingThe 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.

LISTEN Aired 7/26/14

Still Here – A Tribute to Elaine Stritch

Elaine Stritch

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

“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.