In the run-up to the presentation of Broadway’s highest honors, the Tony Awards, listen to the original cast albums of this year’s nominees for Best Musical Revival. Links to music from the three contenders — “Falsettos,” “Hello, Dolly!,” and “Miss Saigon” — can be found below.
James Lapine and William Finn’s “Falsettos” originated Off-Broadway as two separate one-acts: 1981’s “March of the Falsettos” (itself a sequel to Finn’s “In Trousers”); and 1990’s “Falsettoland.”
Each followed the travails of Marvin, a divorced man who has a gay lover, and who seeks to re-shape a family with his ex-wife and son while wading thorny complications of sexual identity, romance, psychiatry and bar mitzvahs.
The two one-acts were joined as “Falsettos” in 1992, when its debut on Broadway garnered Tonys for Best Book of a Musical and Best Score.
This revival, which closed in January, recorded a cast album, and also produced a videotaped recording that will air on PBS’ “Live From Lincoln Center” later this year.
In “Marvin at the Psychiatrist: A Three-Part Mini-Opera,” the psychiatrist Mendel (Brandon Uranowitz) questions Marvin (Christian Borle) on his attraction to his boyfriend Whizzer, his ex-wife, and his son (Anthony Rosenthal).
In “A Tight Little Family” Marvin sings how, despite divorce and running off with a man, he wants it all:
But I want a tight-knit family
I want a group that harmonizes
I want my wife and kid and friend
Time will mend
… which segues to “Love Is Blind,” as his wife Trina (Stephanie J. Block) opens her heart to the psychiatrist Mendel.
To watch a trailer for “Falsettos” on “Live From Lincoln Center,” click on the video player below.
You can stream the Broadway cast album of “Falsettos” by clicking on the embed below (Free Spotify registration required to hear the tracks in full):
Originally produced in 1964, “Hello, Dolly!” (adapted from a Thornton Wilder comedy, “The Matchmaker”) features Dolly Levi, a widow whose matchmaking efforts to find a marriage partner for eligible “half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder lead to, naturally, herself as a prospect.
The original production won 10 Tonys, including for composer-lyricist Jerry Herman and its star, Carol Channing.
This revival — the first on Broadway since the original show’s run — stars Tony nominee Bette Midler. She is joined Tony nominees David Hyde-Pierce (as Vandergelder), Gavin Creel and Kate Baldwin.
The biggest numbers in the show are for the most part showpieces for its lead, of which Midler makes good use: “Before the Parade Passes By,” and “Hello, Dolly!” Find her an empty lap, fellas!
You can stream the Broadway cast album of “Hello, Dolly!” by clicking on the embed below (Free Spotify registration required to hear the tracks in full):
This musical from the team behind “Les Miserables,” Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil (who were joined by lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr.), transposed the story of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” to Vietnam in the days preceding the Fall of Saigon.
It first opened on Broadway in 1991, won three Tonys for its cast, and ran for nearly 10 years.
The latest New York production, back in the Broadway Theatre (where it debuted 26 years ago), includes four of the leads from the recent London revival: Tony nominee Eva Noblezada, Jon Jon Briones, Alistair Brammer and Rachelle Ann Go. They are also featured in the 2014 London cast recording, billed as the “definitive live recording.”
In “Last Night of the World” Kim (Noblezada), a young bargirl at a Saigon brothel, and Chris (Brammer), an American GI, sing their undying love, shortly before American forces evacuate and the North Vietnamese take control.
In “I’d Give My Life for You,” Kim sings to her little boy, Tam — the son of Chris — and promises him a new life in America.
To watch a video featurette about “Miss Saigon”‘s 25th anniversary, including interviews with the London revival cast, click on the video player below.
You can stream the London cast recording of “Miss Saigon” by clicking on the embed below (Free Spotify registration required to hear the tracks in full):
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