2013-2014 Theatre Season

So it just kinda dawned on me that the 2013/2014 season of theatre is now over in Seattle. I had the chance to see some really awesome shows, and some not so awesome shows. In all, I am so fortunate and grateful for everything I was able to see. 

  • Secondhand Lions (5th Avenue Theatre - Tryout/Regional)
  • The Wizard of Oz (Paramount Theatre - National Tour)
  • Anything Goes (5th Avenue Theatre - National Tour)
  • Carrie (Balagan Theatre - Regional) 
  • Oliver (5th Avenue Theatre - Regional
  • Evita x2 (Paramount Theatre - National Tour) 
  • Spamalot (5th Avenue Theatre - Regional)
  • Addams Family (Mount Baker Theatre - Non-Equity National Tour)
  • A Room With A View (5th Avenue Theatre - Tryout/Regional)
  • Little Shop of Horrors ( 5th Avenue Theatre & ACT - A Contemporary Theatre in their annual collaboration)
  • Porgy & Bess (5th Avenue Theatre - National Tour)
  • We Will Rock You (5th Avenue Theatre - National Tour)
  • The Book of Mormon (Paramount Theatre - National Tour)
  • Pippin (Music Box Theatre - Broadway) 

By far of course my favorite show I saw last season was the National Tour of Evita. Other than Evita, hands down Pippin and Little Shop of Horrors take the cake. My least favorite last season were probably Oliver and Spamalot. And as I’ve said multiple times I’m so lucky to live in a city that is enriched with great theatre. I also can’t express enough that basically every theatre here in Seattle treats students/under 25 people like no other. I proud to say for each show I saw (expect Pippin) I paid no more then $25. Most I only paid $20. I even sat front row for some shows. Four more years of this thank God. 

Tomorrow night the 2014-2015 starts at the 5th Avenue Theatre with A Chorus Line opening. I couldn’t be more excited to get this season to started. Here’s to all the shows I’m going to be seeing! 

Aladdin Original Broadway Cast Recording

A lot has changed from it’s Seattle previews that I saw. 

Listening to all the songs on the cast album I can say it isn’t bad, but nor is it anywhere near amazing. It’s Aladdin and that’s all. 

The cast vocally is pretty strong. I actually really enjoy Adam Jacobs as Aladdin. I liked him in Seattle and I really like him on the cast recording. He has a great voice and Belt. Full, grounded, with a great spin. No new age weak Belt. Courtney Reed however I’m not loving on the cast recording. She sings Jasmine as if she were a pop-princess. While many probably really love that “style” I do not. This is Broadway. I’m sure though that style recognizes better with little girls and tourists. Makes sense. I preferred her better in Seattle and live. Oh well. James Monroe Iglehart as Genie is good. Over the top, big, slightly obnoxious, and energized. He sings the score really well and has fun with it. He sounds exactly the same as he did in Seattle. And he also has a great Belt. It’s refreshing to hear a nice big Belt.

As for the changes I’ve noticed a lot of the orchestrations, song arrangements, and placements have changed. 

I’m mad to see Jonathan Freeman’s song “Why Me” was again cut from the show. I thought it worked really well in Seattle. Now he only sings one song which is “Prince Ali (Reprise)”. “Make Me A Princess” was cut too and replaced with “These Palace Walls” for Jasmine. I really do not like the song. It’s annoying. But we have to remember it’s Aladdin on Broadway. 

The orchestrations are pretty decent. The show has now a “jazzy” swing dance feel to it. It switches between big-band swing to Broadway middle eastern Agrabah. Comparing it to it’s Seattle run it was more Broadway middle eastern feel to it… I thought that worked better. Also a couple songs changed in placement. Nothing major. I’d have to see the show to see if they work better now where they are placed. 

It’s nice to have a new Original Broadway Cast Recording to the collection. In all though it’s nothing amazing. It’s Aladdin on Broadway. A little strange. Just a money generator and a tourist attraction. However, for the Seattle actors in the show I’m happy for them and they actually sound good. 

Make sure to buy the Cast Album when it gets digitally released on May 27, 2014. Or buy the CD when it gets released on June 17, 2014 through Walt Disney Records. 

This is by far the best recording of Miss Saigon to date. It was recorded live between 2011 and 2012 during a limited 6 month run in Netherlands. 

Please listen to the best recording of Miss Saigon, and possibly the best opening numbers to a musical. 

A few things: Being recorded live it captures the energy of the show so well. Just in the few first cords in the Overture, you can hear the energy in the orchestra. Speaking of orchestra. Oh my god. Do you hear them? Amazing. It’s so big, full, and brassy. If they don’t grab your attention or if you don’t think this Overture isn’t possibly the best openings for a show you’re crazy. Also the energy in the cast is top-notch. Just in the few parts of the Overture you really get an idea of what is going on, even though it’s in a different language. You can feel it. And as I’ve said it before foreign countries produce some great musical theatre and orchestra. Here is just more proof. Enjoy! 


Joy Hermalyn as Fruma Sarah in the 2004 Revival Cast Recording of Fiddler on the Roof

Talk about technique. Joy Hermalyn has it. Listen to her natural “old style Belt/legit Belt” happening in this. It is beautiful. I’m obsessed. Her voice and Belt is so thick and meaty. Sadly, it is something we don’t get to hear too often these days. She also flips stunningly and gets this wonderful lyric tone to her. For the technique side of her voice listen to how well "NIGHT" is Belted, I would say. It has a slight mix to it, but I’d call it a “true” Belt. It’s stunning. You can imagine the smile and all the teeth showing she’s using to get the placement and sound of it. And the spin on it. WOW. It sounds like no effort is being used at all. Brava. I’m obsessed all over with her and her voice. Sadly I can’t find more recordings of her in anything. But really, what a beautiful Belt she has. Why can’t more people have this sound and tone to them these days?

I’m The Greatest Star - Barbara Streisand’s Final Broadway Performance - December 26, 1965 -Soundboard

I think it’s time to finally share this gem. Ladies and gentleman this is the original Fanny and how the song is sung. With Glee’s version released there will soon be love and obsession I’m guessing. Just remember Barbra was long before Glee, the movie, and others. Enjoy this oldie yet brilliant recording and performance. 

Beautiful Cast Recording

Ok, so it’s really, really, great and I love it. However it was mastered and mixed really strange. The sound is overall really flat. It almost sounds compressed and narrow. And almost too clean sounding. Also the ensemble sounds very thin, narrowed, and artificial in the back. Most cast recordings have an “open” sound to them (not as much as older ones) but this one doesn’t sadly. I’m guessing it was mastered and mixed for a popularity of awful iPhone earbuds or cheap sound-docks. Not for large stereos or high quality earphones. Or mixed for more of a “rock/pop” sound due to the fact it is that type of show. May I say though I’m very happy there is basically no auto-tune on this cast album. While most of the vocals don’t sound “raw” they definitely don’t sound fake. Praise. The whole cast sounds fantastic though. High energy and up-beat music. I’m so happy this show and cast got captured forever. Thank you Sh-K-Boom. I can not say enough about Ghostlight (Sh-K-Boom Records) on their cast albums. They are recording a large majority of shows and producing fantastic work. I’ve bought their cast albums for years and never are disappointed. Their prices are great and it’s free shipping in the US! Go and buy the Beautiful Cast Recording and other cast recording to support them! 

Alice Ripley in the 2001 Revival Cast Recording of The Rocky Horror Show. 

Alice was in her prime here and she sounds absolutely amazing. Her belt is so strong and her mix towards the end of “Touch A Touch A Touch Me” is unbelievable. So great. What happened?

If you don’t have this Cast Recording go get it. You won’t regret it. Everyone on it is amazing.  

I have pulled the 2001 Revival Cast Recording of Rocky Horror out after not listening to it for about 5 years. My God. What a fantastic cast recording and what a strong cast. Alice Ripley was in her prime and had such a wonderful belt and mix. Raúl Esparza’s belt is nothing you’ve ever heard before. And I absolutely love Daphne Rubin-Vega in this show. Absolutely fantastic show and cast recording. 

You can learn a lot from this video

  • How to give a fantastic performance 
  • Character 
  • Focus 
  • Technique 
  • Everything 

Hedi is amazing. This performance is absolutely fantastic. Her voice and Belt are amazing and effortlessly shown. A wonderful actress of the stage. I can’t get enough. I am literally in aw and speechless. Stunning. 

I’m Your Man

Heidi Blickenstaff

John Meets Doe Cast Recording Release at 54 Below 

Has anyone been able to find a digital download of Big Fish Original Broadway Cast Recording? It was supposed to be digitally-relased today (February 7, 2014) but I can’t seem it find it anywhere. Anyone know where I can buy it? 

Praise. I finally got a copy. 

A Christmas Story The Musical! Tony Voters Promotional Copy 

It took awhile and I’ve been waiting awhile, but I finally got it. I’m so excited and happy. 

If anyone has The Promotional copy distributed to Tony voters of A Christmas Story with live soundboard tracks of You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out (O’Connor), When You’re a Wimp (Rabe), and What a Mother Does (Dilly) let me know. According to CastAlbums 6 people have it.  

Russian Broadway Shut Down - Government Deems All Theatre Homosexual Propaganda

So good. 

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