Category Archives: Music

“Giving Back The Love Inside” with the Cast of Ghost The Musical

With Stephen Grant Douglas and Katie Postotnik, the leads of Ghost The Musical

With Steven Grant Douglas and Katie Postotnik, the leads of the FIrst National Tour of Ghost The Musical

I have mixed feelings about the benefit cabaret “Giving Back The Love Inside”  by the cast of Ghost The Musical at The Laugh Factory on Monday night, but one song was an utter standout: Nicole Turner* singing “Random Black Girl.”

The song contains a pointed message about how rarely black women get cast as lead roles in musicals (“My agent gave me advice. / Those words I’ll never forget. / He said ‘Don’t think you’ll ever be cast / As Eponine or Cossette’”) and how frequently they are cast as, well, “a random black girl singin’ the soul.”

The lyrics are on-point; the music is memorable; Nicole Turner is fantastic. As the lyrics go, “you gotta be thinkin’ to yourself / ‘Goddamn, this sister can sing’” – and oh, seriously, she can sing. I thought she sounded the best of the night, and the song was – to me, at least – very obviously the best. It was intelligent and had a real point. Continue reading

CNBLUE: My New Favorite Band

My musical tastes typically tend toward the Barbra Streisand / Cher / Broadway show tunes types or toward the singer/songwriter types like Ani DiFranco and Dar Williams, who often perform with nothing more than an acoustic guitar. Thus, I haven’t had a lot of favorite bands. I listened to some Hot Hot Heat and Flogging Molly back in high school, but I’d suppose that my favorite band was arguably not actually a band at all – the K-pop group Shinhwa, of the singer/dancer boy band style . And now I’ve discovered CNBLUE, an actual rock band – electric guitars and drums and everything – and I adore them. Continue reading

Barbra Streisand and “Evergreen” (Time: Live In Concert)

I adore Barbra Streisand, if you didn’t know. There are no words for what a gorgeous voice she has. I am a big fan. I also have several of her concerts on DVD, of which Timeless: Live in Concert may be my favorite. “Evergreen” is one of my favorite songs from that concert, and I just found a video of the song that I thought I’d share here.  Continue reading

Caitlin Heaney and “O Holy Night”

My friend Caitlin recently posted a video of herself singing “O Holy Night” on her YouTube channel, CaitlinHeaneyMusic. Today is the day after Christmas, and “O Holy Night” is a gorgeous Christmas song, and of course, Caitlin sounds beautiful, so I thought I’d post the video here. Enjoy! Continue reading

Hairspray at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres

I saw Hairspray today at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, and it was so much fun. I love the music of Hairspray (I’ve had the soundtrack for ages, and I saw the musical in Philadelphia a few years ago), and the Chan’s production was great. The cast was really terrific — I don’t think there was a single weak point — and I loved the costuming. The effect the color schemes of costumes can have on the overall show fascinates me.  Continue reading

Glee’s “Let It Snow”

I’ve just discovered the newest Kurt/Blaine Christmas video — last year, it was “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” and this year is “Let It Snow.” While Darren Criss and Chris Colfer were, of course, fantastic in “Let It Snow,” I prefer “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Continue reading

Meeting Dar Williams (Live at the Ark)

Dar and me

Dar’s performance at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan was fantastic. Technically, it was billed as “An Evening with Dar Williams,” which meant that there wasn’t an opening act: it was all Dar. Wonderful. I went with two friends from Bryn Mawr. We stuck around afterwards to meet Dar, and it was super exciting. She was really sweet — she signed our CDs and tickets, took a photo with us, and chatted for a minute about Bryn Mawr.  Continue reading

Dar Williams: “The Christians and the Pagans”

“The Christians and the Pagans” has been one of my favorite Dar Williams songs for a long time — so much so, in fact, that I chose it as my senior solo with my a cappella group in college (it helped that my friend offered to arrange it for me, though). It is not, however, a song that Dar performs frequently, from what I’ve been able to tell from my four concerts (and multiple YouTube searches). Nevertheless, at her concert at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, MN, Dar sang “The Christians and the Pagans,” and it was wonderful. Continue reading

La Boheme and the American Chamber Opera Company

The American Chamber Opera Company‘s first performance of La Boheme is this weekend in Chicago — November 19th at Saint John Cantius Church (see below for the related Groupon). If you’re in the Chicago area, you should definitely think about going. And in case you’re not familiar with opera, don’t be nervous: the American Chamber Opera Company was founded with the goal of making opera accessible.

To quote the website, the American Chamber Opera Company’s mission is “to perform full-length opera and oratorio in English” and “to convey a true sense of the composer’s intent in each piece, while making relative connections with [their] audiences.” Additionally, “the company looks to find young artists with exceptional talent to perform the roles.” Continue reading

Dar Williams and “Midnight Radio”

When Dar performed at Bryn Mawr in 2010, she introduced “Midnight Radio” by saying that her friend, Stephen Trask, had told her to come see a play for which he’d written the music. It turned out to be Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The moral of the story? “Support your friends in theatre.”

Continue reading