The Year of Living Cinematically

Same as every other year: each film was watched in its entirety. All films that I’d never seen before have been marked with an asterisk.

*Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) 1/1
*Shirley Valentine (1989) 1/3
*Maurice (1987) 1/5
*Lady Bird (2017) 1/9
*Call Me By Your Name (2017) 1/9
*Paddington (2014) 1/11
Love with the Proper Stranger (1963) 1/22
*The Great Dictator (1940) 1/30
Ben-Hur (1959) 1/31
Hello, Dolly! (1969) 1/31
Laura (1944) 2/1
West Side Story (1961) 2/2
*Night Train to Munich (1940) 2/3
The Harvey Girls (1946) 2/4
An Affair to Remember (1957) 2/5
Wall-E (2008) 2/5
A Song Is Born (1948) 2/6
*Lucky Night (1939) 2/7
*The Matchmaker (1958) 2/8
The Birds (1963) 2/8
You Can’t Take It With You (1938) 2/9
*Easy Living (1937) 2/10
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 2/10
*Without Love (1945) 2/12
On Golden Pond (1981) 2/12
Desk Set (1957) 2/14
*Bigger Than Life (1956) 2/15
Vertigo (1958) 2/15
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 2/16
Harold and Maude (1971) 2/16
An American in Paris (1951) 2/17
Babette’s Feast (1987) 2/18
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) 2/18
*Design for Scandal (1941) 2/19
Rebecca (1940) 2/19
The World of Henry Orient (1964) 2/20
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) 2/20
The Departed (2006) 2/21
The Breakfast Club (1985) 2/21
*Theodora Goes Wild (1936) 2/22
The Children’s Hour (1961) 2/22
Kismet (1955) 2/23
Carmen Jones (1954) 2/23
Shadow of a Doubt (1943) 2/24
Rear Window (1954) 2/24
*Min and Bill (1930) 2/25
*The Americanization of Emily (1964) 2/26
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) 2/26
*Emma (1932) 2/27
*The Way We Were (1973) 2/27
*The Great Waltz (1938) 2/28
Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962) 2/28
Foreign Correspondent (1940) 3/1
*A Date with Judy (1948) 3/2
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 3/11
Tom Jones (1963) 3/13
The Lion in Winter (1968) 3/17
*The Age of Innocence (1993) 3/18
*Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) 3/19
Election (1999) 3/20
*Girls Trip (2017) 4/5
Bells Are Ringing (1960) 5/9
*The Divorcee (1930) 5/17
State Fair (1945) 5/19
*The Opera House (2017) 6/1
*Finding Dory (2016) 6/23
Lady Bird (2017) 7/14
The Awful Truth (1937) 8/1
*Valley of the Dolls (1967) 8/15
*A Star Is Born (1976) 8/16
Blazing Saddles (1974) 8/16
The Tree of Life (2011) 9/12
*Wait for Your Laugh (2017) 9/28
*Tea with the Dames (2017) 9/28
*River’s Edge (1984) 10/12
A Raisin in the Sun (1961) 10/21
*Shampoo (1975) 10/22
*Halloween (2018) 10/22
My Man Godfrey (1936) 10/29
Halloween (1978) 10/31
The Princess Bride (1987) 11/15
*The Rose (1979) 11/17
*The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) 11/29
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) 12/3
*Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) 12/4
From Here to Eternity (1953) 12/7
*Merrily We Live (1938) 12/11
*The Christmas Chronicles (2018) 12/12
Christmas Vacation (1989) 12/18
Scrooged (1988) 12/18
Elf (2003) 12/20
The Bishop’s Wife (1947) 12/23
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) 12/23
*Paddington 2 (2017) 12/25
*Evita (1996) 12/26
Mary Poppins (1964) 12/27
Mary Poppins Returns (2018) 12/28

My Year In Show Music

A few years ago, I made a conscious decision to keep a log of the musical theatre-related albums I listened to *in their entirety* throughout the calendar year. With a couple of exceptions, almost every recording is linked to its own page on castalbums.org (a site I highly recommend for serious collectors of theatre music). An asterisk indicates a recording I listened to for the first time.

1/1 – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/2 – Out of this World [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/2 – Shuffle Along [Tony Voter Sampler]
1/4 – Evita [Original London Cast Recording]
1/4 – Half a Sixpence [The New 2016 London Cast Recording]
1/5 – Melissa Errico: Legrand Affair
1/5 – Christine Ebersole Sings Noel Coward*
1/6 – Bye Bye Birdie [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/6 – Cry for Us All [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/10 – Bush Is Bad [Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording]
1/13 – My Fair Lady [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
1/16 – August: Osage County [LA Theatreworks Recording]*
1/18 – Ragtime [Toronto Cast Recording]
1/18 – Ragtime [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/18 – Ragtime [Original 2009 Broadway Cast]
1/19 – Donnybrook! [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/21 – Songs from Sunset Boulevard and Evita [Studio Cast Recording]*
1/21 – Barbra Streisand: The Music…The Mem’ries…The Magic! Live in Concert*
1/22 – Annie [Original London Cast Recording]*
1/23 – St. Louis Woman [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/25 – The Phantom of the Opera [Original London Cast Recording]
1/30 – Hello, Dolly! [Original Israeli Cast Recording – LP Edition]*
1/30 – The Drowsy Chaperone [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
2/4 – Zenda [Original Cast Recording – LP Edition]
2/4 – Barbra Streisand: Simply Streisand [LP Edition]
2/4 – The Sound of Music [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – 2-LP Edition]
2/6 – Man of La Mancha [Original Mexican Cast Recording – LP Edition]*
2/13 – Follies [The New Broadway Cast Recording]
2/15 – Call Me Mister [Original Broadway Cast Recording]* 
2/16 – Anything Goes [1950 Studio Cast Recording]*
2/18 – Mack & Mabel [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
2/19 – On the Twentieth Century [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
2/20 – On the Twentieth Century [New Broadway Cast Recording]
2/21 – Once on This Island [New Broadway Cast Recording]*
2/22 – Anything Goes: Rebecca Luker Sings Cole Porter
2/23 – Chess [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
3/9 – Wicked [Original Stuttgart Cast Recording]*
3/11 – Les Miserables [10th Anniversary Concert Cast Recording]
3/12 – The Bridges of Madison County [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
3/23 – The Most Happy Fella [Complete Studio Cast Recording]
4/4 – Tom Foolery [Original London Cast Recording]*
4/5 – Jesus Christ Superstar [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
4/7 – Sweeney Todd [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
4/8 – Girl from the North Country [Original London Cast Recording]*
4/8 – Jesus Christ Superstar Live! [Television Soundtrack Recording]*
4/13 – Call Me Madam [Encores! Cast Recording]
4/24 – The Visit [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
4/24 – My Fair Lady [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
4/24 – My Fair Lady [Original London Cast Recording]
4/24 – My Fair Lady [20th Anniversary Broadway Cast Recording]
4/25 – My Fair Lady [London Revival Cast Recording]
4/25 – My Fair Lady [Complete Studio Cast Recording]
4/25 – Oklahoma! [1952 Studio Cast Recording]
4/25 – Subways Are for Sleeping [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
4/26 – Call Me Madam [Original Broadway Cast with Dinah Shore]
4/27 – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie [Original London Cast Recording]*
4/27 – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie [Original London Cast Recording]
4/28 – On the Twentieth Century [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
4/29 – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown [Original London Cast Recording]
4/29 – Into the Woods [Original London Cast Recording]
4/30 – Mary Poppins [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
5/1 – Tenderloin [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/2 – Sunday in the Park with George [2017 Broadway Cast Recording]
5/5 – Evita [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/6 – Bea Arthur on Broadway: Just Between Friends
5/8 – The Sound of Music [1976 Mexican Cast Recording]*
5/8 – Once Upon a Mattress [Original London Cast Recording]*
5/11 – Audra McDonald: Sing Happy*
5/11 – Frozen [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
5/14 – Sugar [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/14 – Redhead [Original Mexican Cast Recording]*
5/15 – Bells Are Ringing [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/16 – Damn Yankees [Broadway Revival Cast Recording]
5/18 – A Family Affair [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/18 – Mean Girls [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
5/21 – Up in Central Park [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/21 – Arms and the Girl [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/24 – Audra McDonald: Sing Happy
5/25 – By the Beautiful Sea [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/28 – The Boys from Syracuse [Studio Cast Recording]
5/29 – My Fair Lady [2018 Broadway Cast Recording]*
5/30 – Something for the Boys [Original Broadway Radio Broadcast]*
5/31 – I Married an Angel [Studio Cast Recording]*
6/2 – Illya Darling [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/3 – Take Me Along [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/4 – Allegro [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/5 – The King and I [The 2015 Broadway Cast Recording]
6/6 – The King and I [The New Broadway Cast Recording]
6/7 – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/8 – My Fair Lady [2018 Broadway Cast Recording]
6/8 – Carousel [2018 Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/8 – My Fair Lady [2018 Broadway Cast Recording]
6/8 – Barbra: The Concert*
6/9 – Judy Holliday: Trouble Is a Man*
6/13 – The Cradle Will Rock [1960 NYCO Radio Broadcast]*
6/14 – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown [Original London Cast Recording]
6/14 – The Band’s Visit [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/15 – The Band’s Visit [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/15 – The Band’s Visit [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/15 – Betty Buckley: Hope*
6/17 – The Band’s Visit [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/17 – Cabaret [2006 London Revival Cast Recording]*
6/22 – Pacific 1860 [Original London Cast Recording]*
6/24 – Barbra Streisand: The Barbra Streisand Album
6/26 – Prince of Broadway [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/29 – Nine [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
7/6 – Matilda [Original Stratford Cast Recording]
7/6 – James and the Giant Peach [World Premiere Cast Recording]*
7/8 – Matilda [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
7/15 – Oklahoma! [Original Broadway Cast Recording – 75th Anniversary Edition]
7/19 – The Rink [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
7/28 – She Loves Me [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
7/30 – Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
8/3 – Shirley Jones & Jack Cassidy: With Love from Hollywood*
8/7 – Company [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/10 – The Band’s Visit [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/12 – The Music Man [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/12 – Oklahoma! [Original Broadway Cast Recording – 75th Anniversary LP Edition]
8/12 – South Pacific [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – LP Edition]
8/13 – The King and I [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/13 – South Pacific [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/13 – Maggie Flynn [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/13 – Robert and Elizabeth [Original London Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/13 – The Most Happy Fella [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/14 – Jessica Vosk: Wild and Free*
8/14 – Man of La Mancha [Original London Cast Recording – LP Edition]*
8/14 – Cyrano [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/14 – My Fair Lady [Original Broadway Cast Recording – EP Edition]
8/14 – Carousel [Music Theater of Lincoln Center Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/14 – Little Me [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/14 – Li’l Abner [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/16 – Purlie [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/17 – Bells Are Ringing [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/18 – Candide [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/18 – The Pajama Game [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition] 8/18 – Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall*
8/18 – Carnival [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/18 – Camelot [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/19 – The Boy Friend [Original London Cast Recording]*
8/21 – It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/21 – High Spirits [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/21 – On a Clear Day You Can See Forever [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/22 – The Apple Tree [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition] 
8/22 – Hello, Dolly! [The New Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/24 – 110 in the Shade [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/24 – Hello, Dolly! [30th Anniversary Cast Recording]
8/24 – Hello, Dolly! [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/24 – Mame [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/25 – Wonderful Town [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/25 – West Side Story [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
8/28 – Jerry Orbach: Off-Broadway*
9/5 – Camelot [Original London Cast Recording]
9/6 – Funny Girl [Original Broadway Cast Recording- LP Edition] 
9/7 – Renee Fleming: Broadway*
9/7 – Wonderful Town [2018 London Concert Cast Recording]*
9/8 – Your Arms Too Short to Box With God [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
9/9 – Jane Eyre [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
9/9 – Destry Rides Again [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
9/9 – Into the Woods [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
9/9 – Kean [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
9/10 – Juno [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
9/10 – The Sound of Music [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
9/10 – A Little Night Music [Original London Cast Recording – LP Edition]
9/10 – Pipe Dream [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
9/10 – Damn Yankees [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
9/14 – Passion [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
9/14 – Out of this World [Encores! Cast Recording]
9/15 – Ragtime [Original Toronto Cast Recording]
9/15 – Ragtime [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
9/17 – I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky [1996 Studio Cast Recording]*
9/18 – Kiss Me, Kate [The New Broadway Cast Recording]
9/18 – Marin Mazzie & Jason Danieley: Opposite You
9/18 – Company [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
9/19 – Sweet Bye and Bye [Studio Cast Recording]*
9/19 – Carrie [World Premiere Cast Recording]
9/20 – Bullets Over Broadway [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
9/20 – Marin Mazzie: Make Your Own Kind of Music [Live at 54 Below]
9/21 – Anne of Green Gables [Canadian Studio Cast Recording]*
9/21 – Pretty Woman [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
9/22 – Mr. Wonderful [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
9/24 – Porgy and Bess [Houston Grand Opera Cast Recording – LP Edition] 
9/27 – The Bridges of Madison County [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
9/27 – A Little Night Music [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
9/28 – A Little Night Music [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
9/30 – Darling of the Day [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition] 10/1 – Anya [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
10/1 – The King and I [1977 Broadway Revival Cast Recording – LP Edition]
10/1 – Happy Hunting [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
10/1 – High Button Shoes [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
10/2 – Porgy and Bess [1952 Berlin Radio Broadcast]
10/4 – Ben Bagley’s Leonard Bernstein Revisited*
10/7 – My Fair Lady [2018 Broadway Cast Recording]
10/7 – One Touch of Venus [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
10/8 – La Bohème [2002 Broadway Cast Recording]
10/9 – Porgy and Bess [1935 Studio Cast Recording]* 
10/10 – Ben Bagley’s Alan Jay Lerner Revisited*
10/13 – Head Over Heels [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
10/15 – Porgy and Bess [1950 Studio Cast Recording]*
10/15 – The Band’s Visit [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
10/15 – Ballroom [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
10/20 – How Now, Dow Jones [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
10/21 – South Pacific [Royal National Theatre Cast Recording] 
10/21 – Porgy and Bess [1951 Studio Cast Recording]
10/22 – Shirley Jones & Jack Cassidy: Speaking of Love*  
10/25 – My Fair Lady [Complete Studio Cast Recording]
10/29 – They’re Playing Our Song [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
11/2 – Barbra Streisand: Walls* 
11/8 – Sweeney Todd [The 2012 London Cast Recording]
11/9 – She Loves Me [The New Broadway Cast Recording]
11/9 – Christine Andreas: Piaf: No Regrets*
11/28 – Caroline, or Change [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
12/7 – Brigadoon [Encores! Cast Recording]*
12/8 – The Secret Garden [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
12/14 – Something for the Boys [2018 Studio Cast Recording]*
12/14 – The Sound of Music [Original Australian Cast Recording]
12/21 – My Fair Lady [2018 Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
12/24 – She Loves Me [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
12/28 – Mary Poppins Returns [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]*
12/31 – Mary Poppins [Original London Cast Recording]

The Year of Living Cinematically

Same as every other year: all films were watched in their entirety and all films that I’d never seen before have been marked with an asterisk.

The Bishop’s Wife (1947) 1/1
*Sing Street (2016) 1/3
His Girl Friday (1940) 1/13
*La La Land (2016) 1/19
The Third Man (1949) 2/3
*Moonlight (2016) 3/2
*Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened (2016) 3/21
Fiddler on the Roof (1971) 3/28
*A Conspiracy of Faith (2016) 4/22
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) 4/30
*Clueless (1995) 5/1
*Tomorrow Is Forever (1946) 5/3
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) 5/29
Sister Act (1992) 5/29
Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993) 5/30
*If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast (2017) 6/6
*Lincoln (2012) 6/29
Woman of the Year (1942) 7/6
Kiss Me, Kate (1953) 7/14
*The Lodger (1927) 7/15
*A Month in the Country (1987) 7/16
Nanny McPhee (2005) 7/18
Mame (1974) 7/29
The Sound of Music (1965) 8/14
La La Land (2016) 9/17
*My Left Foot (1989) 9/19
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) 10/2
*The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017) 10/18
Pygmalion (1938) 10/22
The Addams Family (1991) 10/29
Addams Family Values (1993) 10/31
Halloween (1978) 11/1
*Too Funny to Fail (2017) 11/13
*Hopscotch (1980) 11/15
*Remittance (2015) 11/19
*Gaga: Five Foot Two (2017) 11/22
The Philadelphia Story (1940) 12/16
Christmas Vacation (1989) 12/19
Scrooged (1988) 12/20
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) 12/22
The Bishop’s Wife (1947) 12/23
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 12/30
*Fences (2016) 12/31

My Year in Show Music

A couple years ago I realized that shuffle made it easier for me to have my own portable radio but made me less likely to listen to complete albums. Around this time, I made a conscious decision to keep a log of the musical theatre-related albums I listened to in their entirety throughout the calendar year. Each recording is linked to its own page on castalbums.org (a site I highly recommend for serious collectors of theatre music). An asterisk indicates a recording I listened to for the first time.

1/1 – Sweet Charity [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/3 – Irene [1976 London Cast Recording]*
1/4 – Damn Yankees [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/5 – Singin’ in the Rain [2012 London Cast Recording]*
1/6 – 110 in the Shade [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/9 – The Scottsboro Boys [Original London Cast Recording]
1/12 – Candide [The New Broadway Cast Recording]
1/14 – Aladdin [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
1/15 – Henry, Sweet Henry [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/16 – In Trousers [Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording]*
1/16 – Anything Goes [1962 Off-Broadway Cast Recording]*
1/17 – The Unsinkable Molly Brown [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/18 – The Boys from Syracuse [Original London Cast Recording]*
1/19 – Candide [Scottish Opera Cast Recording]*
1/20 – Doonesbury [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
1/21 – Fade Out, Fade In [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/22 – Working [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
1/22 – Inner City [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/22 – Runaways [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
1/23 – Flower Drum Song [The New Broadway Cast Recording]
1/24 – The Robber Bridegroom [2016 Cast Recording]
1/25 – Bright Star [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/26 – The Golden Apple [First Full-Length Cast Recording]
1/27 – Saturday Night [Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording]
1/28 – Sophisticated Ladies [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
1/31 – Mamma Mia [Original London Cast Recording]
2/3 – Newsies [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
2/3 – Dear Evan Hansen [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
2/5 – There’s No Business Like Show Business [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack with Dolores Gray]*
2/5 – Stop the World – I Want to Get Off! [Original London Cast Recording]*
2/6 – Passion Flower Hotel [Original London Cast Recording]
2/7 – Oklahoma! [1980 London Cast Recording]*
2/10 – Freaky Friday [Studio Cast Recording]*
2/13 – Big River [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
2/17 – The Bridges of Madison County [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
2/19 – Nymph Errant [London Concert Cast Recording]*
2/20 – Crazy for You [Original London Cast Recording]
2/20 – The Count of Luxembourg [1969 Studio Cast Recording]
2/21 – On the Brighter Side [Original London Cast Recording]*
3/2 – Come From Away [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
3/3 – Come From Away [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
3/4 – The Desert Song [1959 London Studio Cast Recording; Mario Lanza]*
3/11 – Come From Away [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
3/19 – Dreamgirls [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
3/31 – Miss Saigon [Complete Symphonic International Cast Recording]*
4/1 – The Bridges of Madison County [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
4/8 – Betty Buckley: Story Songs*
4/14 – Richard Kiley: Rodgers and Hammerstein Songbook*
4/14 – 42nd Street [Original Australian Cast Recording]*
4/15 – Barnum [Original Australian Cast Recording]*
4/21 – Hello, Dolly! [The New Broadway Cast Recording]*
4/30 – Hello, Dolly! [The New Broadway Cast Recording]
5/4 – Gypsy [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/4 – The Golden Apple [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/5 – Annie [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/5 – If/Then [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/5 – The Book of Mormon [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/5 – Dreamgirls [Original London Cast Recording]*
5/10 – Three Wishes for Jamie [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/11 – Ragtime [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/15 – Hello, Dolly! [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/15 – Hello, Dolly! [Original London Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/15 – Hello, Dolly! [1967 Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/15 – A Little Night Music [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/16 – Two by Two [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/16 – Once [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/16 – Tovarich [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/17 – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
5/17 – The Pajama Game [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/18 – South Pacific [Music Theatre of Lincoln Center Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/19 – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/20 – Amélie [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
5/21 – Oliver! [1994 London Revival Cast Recording]*
5/23 – Barbara Cook: It’s Better With a Band
5/24 – Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/24 – Mame [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/25 – The Pirates of Penzance [1981 Broadway Cast Recording]
5/26 – War Paint [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
5/30 – The Consul [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/31 – Birds of Paradise [Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/1 – Leslie Uggams: A Time to Love*
6/1 – In Transit [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/2 – Holiday Inn [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/3 – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/4 – Caroline, or Change [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/5 – A Doll’s Life [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/6 – Mr. President [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/12 – Anastasia [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/26 – Brigadoon [1991 Studio Cast Recording]
6/27 – Bright Star [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
7/11 – Bandstand [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
7/14 – Mixed Doubles/Below the Belt [Original Cast Recordings]*
7/24 – Annie Get Your Gun [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
7/30 – Mame [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
7/30 – Mame [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
7/31 – Chicago [Broadway Revival Cast Recording]
7/31 – The Sound of Music [Original London Cast Recording]
8/4 – Cabaret [Complete Studio Cast Recording]*
8/7 – The Baker’s Wife [Original London Cast Recording]
8/10 – Flahooley [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/10 – Plain and Fancy [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/11 – Candide [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/11 – The Music Man [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/13 – Barbara Cook: Songs of Perfect Propriety*
8/13 – Barbara Cook: From the Heart
8/14 – The Gay Life [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/14 – Show Boat [1962 Studio Cast Recording]
8/14 – She Loves Me [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/23 – Something More! [Original Broadway Cast]
9/5 – Hansel and Gretel/The Yeomen of the Guard [Television Cast Recordings]*
9/5 – The King and I [1964 Studio Cast Recording]
9/5 – Show Boat [Music Theater of Lincoln Center Cast Recording]
9/5 – The Grass Harp [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
9/6 – Barbara Cook at Carnegie Hall
9/6 – Barbara Cook: As of Today
9/6 – Barbara Cook: It’s Better with a Band
9/7 – Follies [1985 Concert Cast Recording]
9/11 – The Secret Garden [1986 Studio Cast Recording]
9/22 – Sunday in the Park with George [2017 Broadway Cast Recording]*
9/24 – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown [Original London Cast Recording]
10/2 – Kismet [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
10/2 – Camelot [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
10/11 – Barbra Streisand: The Broadway Album*
10/19 – Patti LuPone: Don’t Monkey with Broadway*
10/23 – The Light in the Piazza [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
10/24 – Guys and Dolls [1976 Broadway Revival Cast Recording]
10/26 – Mack and Mabel [1988 London Concert Cast Recording]*
10/30 – The Happy Time [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
10/31 – The Act [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
10/31 – Hedwig and the Angry Inch [Original Cast Recording]*
11/1 – Nine [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
11/2 – Top Banana [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
11/3 – God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater [Premiere Cast Recording]*
11/8 – Mack and Mabel [1995 London Revival Cast Recording]*
11/15 – Brigadoon [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
11/17 – My Fair Lady [1965 Music for Pleasure Studio Cast Recording]*
11/23 – Darling of the Day [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
11/27 – Robert and Elizabeth [Original London Cast Recording]
12/5 – William Tabbert: Younger than Springtime and Other Rarities*
12/7 – Hello, Dolly! [The New Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
12/8 – Once on this Island [Original London Cast Recording]*
12/15 – 42nd Street [2017 London Cast Recording]*
12/24 – She Loves Me [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
12/27 – Show Boat [Original London Cast Recording]*

The Year of Living Cinematically

Same as every other year: all films were watched in their entirety and all films that I’d never seen before have been marked with an asterisk.

The Naked Gun 2 1/2 (1991) 1/9
The Monster Squad (1987) 1/23
*The Exorcist (1973) 3/5
My Fair Lady (1964) 4/13
Sense and Sensibility (1995) 4/15
*Bound for Glory (1976) 4/16
The Money Pit (1986) 4/16
Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971) 4/18
Hawaii (1966) 4/18
*Stormy Weather (1943) 4/21
Grey Gardens (1975)
*State Fair (1933)
101 Dalmatians (1961) 5/1
Separate Tables (1958) 5/3
The Graduate (1967) 5/14
*Spotlight (2015) 5/16
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) 5/18
10 (1979) 7/1
Howards End (1992) 8/26
The King and I (1956) 8/31
*Bay of Angels (1963) 9/1
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) 9/1
State Fair (1945) 9/2
*Olly Olly Oxen Free (1978) 9/3
South Pacific (1958) 9/3
Carousel (1956) 9/3
*Three Smart Girls (1936) 9/11
*A Delicate Balance (1973) 9/16
Halloween (1978) 10/31
Howards End (1992) 12/7
Christmas Vacation (1989) 12/22
Scrooged (1988) 12/23
A Christmas Story (1983) 12/22
Elf (2003) 12/24
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 12/28

My Year in Show Music

Last year, I made the conscious decision to keep a log of the albums (cast recordings, movie musical soundtracks, solo albums, live concert recordings, etc) that I listened to in their entirety. I decided to do it again in 2016. Each recording is linked to its own page on castalbums.org (a site I highly recommend for serious collectors of theatre music). An asterisk indicates a recording I listened to for the first time).

1/2 – Bye Bye Birdie [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/2 – The Apple Tree [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/5 – Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 [Original Cast Recording]
1/7 – Ragtime [1996 Toronto Cast Recording]
1/8 – Marin Mazzie: Make Your Own Kind of Music [Live at 54 Below]
1/10 – Kean [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/19 – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown [Original London Cast Recording]*
1/20 – Hello, Dolly! [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/25 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame [2015 Studio Cast Recording]*
1/27 – Doctor Zhivago [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
1/28 – Plain and Fancy [Original London Cast Recording]*
1/29 – The Light in the Piazza [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
2/4 – Grease Live! [Television Cast Recording]*
2/4 – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown [Original London Cast Recording]
2/9 – The Golden Apple [First Full-Length Recording]
2/11 – The King and I [The 2015 Broadway Cast Recording]
2/14 – Robert and Elizabeth [Original London Cast Recording]
2/15 – Cats [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
2/18 – Cole: A Musical Tribute to Cole Porter [Studio Cast Recording]*
2/22 – Tony Yazbeck: The Floor Above Me*
2/23 – The Secret Garden [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
2/23 – The Secret Garden [Original Australian Cast Highlights]
2/23 – The Secret Garden [Original London Cast Recording]
2/27 – First Daughter Suite [Original Cast Recording]*
2/29 – Giant [Original Cast Recording]
3/14 – Regina [1958 NYCO Cast Recording]
3/15 – My Fair Lady [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
3/18 – Fiddler on the Roof [2016 Broadway Cast Recording]*
3/19 – Hamilton [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
3/20 – 110 in the Shade [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
3/23 – She Loves Me [Original London Cast Recording]
3/25 – Gigi [New Broadway Cast Recording]
3/26 – One Man, Two Guvnors [Original London Cast Recording]
3/28 – Mrs. Henderson Presents [Original London Cast Recording]*
3/30 – Kinky Boots [Original London Cast Recording]*
4/1 – The Bridges of Madison County [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
4/5 – The Light in the Piazza [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
4/11 – Eubie! [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
4/12 – Spamalot [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
4/12 – Mary Poppins [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
4/13 – It Shoulda Been You [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
4/24 – Carnival [Original London Cast Recording]
4/25 – When Everything Was Possible: A Concert with Comments*
4/27 – Carousel [1962 Studio Cast Recording]
4/28 – Gypsy [The 2015 London Cast Recording]
4/29 – Alfred Drake and Roberta Peters Sing the Popular Music of Leonard Bernstein
4/29 – Bright Star [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
5/3 – The Most Happy Fella [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/6 – Something Rotten [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
5/10 – Hamilton [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/11 – Paint Your Wagon [Encores! Cast Recording]*
5/12 – West Side Story [Original Broadway Cast Recording – LP Edition]
5/16 – Do I Hear a Waltz? [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/20 – The Saint of Bleecker Street [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/24 – Mame [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/25 – The Robber Bridegroom [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
5/26 – On Your Feet! [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
5/26 – She Loves Me [2016 Broadway Cast Recording]*
5/27 – Paint Your Wagon [Encores! Cast Recording]
6/1 – Waitress [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/1 – Call Me Madam [Original London Cast Recording]*
6/2 – Paint Your Wagon [Original London Cast Recording]
6/3 – Tuck Everlasting [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/3 – Songs from The Lion [Original Cast Recording]*
6/3 – Sara Bareilles: Songs from Waitress*
6/3 – She Loves Me [2016 Broadway Cast Recording]
6/3 – The Color Purple [New Broadway Cast Recording]*
6/4 – The Color Purple [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
6/4 – The Color Purple [New Broadway Cast Recording]
6/9 – On the Twentieth Century [New Broadway Cast Recording]
6/17 – Emily Skinner & Alice Ripley: Unattached [Live at Feinstein’s 54 Below]*
6/29 – The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
7/7 – Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown [Original London Cast Recording]
8/5 – Funny Girl [2016 London Cast Recording]*
8/15 – Patrice Munsel: Unpredictable*
8/21 – Darling of the Day [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/24 – Bright Star [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/25 – Wonderful Town [1958 Television Cast Recording]
8/26 – Barbra Streisand: Encore Movie Partners Sing Broadway*
8/28 – Rothschild & Sons [Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording]*
8/28 – The Rothschilds [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
8/29 – Seven Brides for Seven Brothers [2015 Studio Cast Recording]
9/1 – South Pacific [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
9/1 – Meet Marvelous Marilyn Maye
9/1 – Fiddler on the Roof [New London Cast Recording]*
9/2 – Show Boat [1988 Studio Cast Recording]
9/4 – The Wild Party [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
9/4 – The Wild Party [Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording]
9/7 – Liza Minnelli Live at the Olympia in Paris*
9/7 – The King and I [1997 London Studio Cast Recording]*
9/9 – The Robber Bridegroom [2016 Cast Recording]*
9/9 – The Robber Bridegroom [2016 Cast Recording]
9/9 – The Robber Bridegroom [2016 Cast Recording]
9/10 – Little Mary Sunshine [Original London Cast Recording]
9/13 – Sunset Boulevard [American Premiere Recording]
9/17 – Far From Heaven [Original Cast Recording]*
9/20 – The Robber Bridegroom [2016 Cast Recording]
9/21 – Disaster! [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
9/27 – State Fair [Original 1962 Motion Picture Soundtrack]
10/18 – The Apple Tree [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
10/26 – Simply Heavenly [Original Broadway Cast Recording]*
10/27 – Sunday in the Park with George [2006 London Cast Recording]
10/28 – Bye Bye Birdie [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
10/28 – Bye Bye Birdie [Original London Cast Recording]
11/2 – The Color Purple [New Broadway Cast Recording]
11/4 – Kristin Chenoweth: The Art of Elegance*
11/11 – Hamilton [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
11/23 – Half a Sixpence [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
11/25 – Ragtime [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
11/27 – Half a Sixpence [The New 2016 London Cast Recording]*
12/2 – Carmen Cusack: If You Knew My Story [Live at 54 Below]*
12/2 – The Hamilton Mixtape*
12/2 – Hairspray: Live! [Original Television Soundtrack]*
12/16 – Falsettos [2016 Broadway Cast Recording]*
12/24 – She Loves Me [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
12/26 – Song of Norway [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]*
12/28 – Irene [1973 Broadway Cast Recording]
12/31 – Bright Star [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

At Large Elsewhere: The Podcast Edition

I’ve done a lot of interesting things as a result of writing this blog. I’ve been interviewed by major newspapers and I’ve been seen on videos for Stage Rush and Patty and Emily, but until this past week I had never been on a podcast. My friend Kevin David Thomas his collaborator Robert W. Schneider invited me to be a guest on their essential podcast Behind the Curtain to celebrate the theatre luminaries we lost in 2016.

You can listen here at their website:

Or on iTunes, where you can also subscribe and rate.

 

She Loves Me – Menier Chocolate Factory

“My kingdom for a revival of She Loves Me!” is a thing I once tweeted. I fell in love with the original Broadway cast recording in high school, but it would be years before I would get to see it onstage. That chance arrived in 2013, when Ted Sterling presented a 50th anniversary concert at Caramoor. Cut to 2016. Exactly four years to the day after sending out this desperate missive, I was at the fourth preview of an enchanting revival at the Menier Chocolate Factory (and the second major production I’d seen this year).

She Loves Me is the ultimate charm show: a perfect confection of musical comedy writing that is romantic without being sentimental, witty without being self-aware, and heartwarming without being cloying. Based on the Miklós László play Parfumerie (source material for the films The Shop Around the Corner and You’ve Got Mail), it’s about two coworkers are carrying on a profound correspondence by letter, not knowing that they work together — and loathe each other. Bock and Harnick’s score is one of the greatest in musical theatre. The songs are so character specific and integral to the plot that they don’t work as well without the context of Joe Masteroff’s expert libretto. The show is also blessed with one of the strongest second acts of a musical ever, with what I call The 11:00 Stretch from “Vanilla Ice Cream” to “Twelve Days to Christmas.”

She Loves Me has never become a household title, though it remains a cult favorite. Its original production was eclipsed by flashy blockbusters like Hello, Dolly! and Funny Girl, running only nine months in spite of good notices and direction by Harold Prince. Every subsequent high-profile production has either been a financial failure or a limited engagement at a non-profit theatre.

My hat is off to director Matthew White, who pitches his production at a perfect pace. First and foremost, he trusts the material (even if saddled with the mostly-inferior 1993 revisions). He emphasizes the humanity of these characters, with profoundly funny and moving results. Secondly, his focus never strays far from the economic and political uncertainty of 1930s Europe. Finally, he uses the space with such economy and invention that it becomes impossible to resist the show’s intoxicating charms.

Mark Umbers and Scarlett Strallen play the feuding co-workers and would-be lovers. These two don’t just bicker, they hurl insults at each other like grenades. Their chemistry is sublime; combusting with euphoria in the one-two punch of “Vanilla Ice Cream” and “She Loves Me” in the second act. Umbers is immensely likable as the bookish and shy clerk, bringing out colors in the text that I’d never noticed before. Strallen, blessed with a lovely soprano, gives what feels like a close approximation of what Julie Andrews might have done with the part.

Katherine Kingsley is quite simply the best Ilona I’ve ever seen, combining expert comic timing with pathos. Kingsley’s real-life husband Dominic Tighe plays her Kodaly, the likable cad. They have a playfulness that most paired in the roles don’t have, and Tighe’s “Grand Knowing You” is an absolute riot. Alistair Brookshaw puts a new spin on weary, reliable Sipos, whose neuroses over job security wreak havoc on Georg’s life. Cory English plays the haughty head waiter with a mix of droll comedy and surprising warmth. Callum Howells is an endearing Arpad (and has the most charming Welsh accent) and Les Dennis (Mr. Maraczek) is particularly moving in his “Days Gone By” reprise. A favorite among the game ensemble: Aimee Hodnett. Ms. Hodnett’s nosy shop customer lived for the workplace drama at Maraczek’s, and I lived for the grace notes she was adding on the periphery.

Jason Carr’s new orchestrations sound better than the synth-heavy charts used in 1993. MTI should consider licensing his treatment for school, amateur and chamber productions. Catherine Jayes leads the band and conducts the show with sensitivity and depth. Paul Farnsworth’s jewel box of a set effectively uses four small turntables for transitions in and out of the shop. Farnsworth’s costumes are even better: his attention to period and character is beyond reproach.

She Loves Me runs at the Menier Chocolate Factory through March 4. No word yet on whether or not there will be a West End transfer. To the powers that be, I can only say: Don’t let it end, dear friends.

A New Old World Revisited

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Late in the second act of The Light in the Piazza, Margaret Johnson tells Signor Naccarelli “There is no survey of the facts like time.” He doesn’t understand what she means, but in the years since the show’s premiere I’ve come to appreciate what she was saying. Piazza opened on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater on Monday, April 18 2005. I was in the house that night and fell hard and fast for a complex, character-driven musical for grownups. I’ve never had quite so visceral a reaction to any other show before or since.

The musical garnered favorable notices, and went on to win a whopping six Tony Awards (out of 11 nominations), extending its limited engagement four times, and airing as part of Live from Lincoln Center on PBS. Time has proven kind to the show. There have been many regional productions, the cast album is popular among musical theatre fans, and songs from the score are being sung to death in classes and auditions everywhere.

I first took notice of The Light in the Piazza in early 2003, when I saw a news article announcing that Victoria Clark had been cast for the world premiere at Seattle’s Intiman Theatre. Unlike most 19 year olds, I was familiar with the 1962 film adaptation of Elizabeth Spencer’s novella (because of its star Olivia de Havilland). The story involves Margaret Johnson, a wealthy southern matron and her beautiful daughter Clara, who are vacationing in 1950s Florence, Italy. Clara was injured in a childhood accident involving a Shetland pony, leaving her mentally and emotionally stunted. When love blooms between Clara and the handsome Fabrizio, Margaret steps in to try and stop them.

My friend Noah Himmelstein attended one of the early Broadway previews and called me afterward to tell me I had to see it. He told me I should sign up for the LCT student rush program and insisted I avoid any samples of music or preview clips before seeing it. I was staggered when I was able to score a $20 to the show’s opening night (my first).

My professors excused me from all my classes that day, and I decided to spend my afternoon roaming about midtown, before heading to the Beaumont Theatre (another first for me). I people-watched in the lobby as John Lithgow, Helen Hunt and Maggie Gyllenhaal walked by until it was time to settle in to my rear loge seat.

As for Adam Guettel’s score, it was love at first measure. The moment I heard that first harp gliss, I knew deep inside that I was going to love what I was about to hear. My most vivid memories of opening night are the rousing ovation Victoria Clark received for “Dividing Day,” observing the pair next to me clutching each other and weeping as Kelli O’Hara sang the title song, and how the applause would not subside until Adam Guettel, Craig Lucas and Bartlett Sher took a bow. My immediate reaction was to call Noah on my way out of the lobby, telling him it was the greatest musical I’d ever seen. He read me Eric Grode’s rave review from Broadway.com over the phone. When we hung up, I dreamily roamed about the plaza at Lincoln Center (almost bumping into Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer).

To say that the musical consumed my life would be an understatement. It was all I could talk about for the remainder of its run. I talked about the show at length with anyone who would listen (I’m still occasionally apologizing to my closest friends). I even bought the cast album the day before its official release at Colony Records, and it didn’t leave my CD player for five months.

Then came the repeat attending. I was living in New Paltz, NY at the time, going to college and working at the campus library. Sundays were my day off so I would take an early Trailways bus into Manhattan, pick up at a ticket at TKTS and spend my afternoon being transported to 1953 Florence. I was at the final performances of Mark Harelik and Kelli O’Hara, the Live from Lincoln Center telecast and the highly emotional closing performance. In all, I saw the original Broadway production of The Light in the Piazza twelve times. I only wish I had gone more.

Before it was officially announced, I found out that there would be a 10th anniversary reunion concert when one of the cast members posted his regrets that he couldn’t be there. It took some sleuthing, but I was able to figure out that it was indeed happening in April at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre. (It’s actually the 11th anniversary, but that’s a minor point). The moment tickets went on sale, I tried to get LincTix but was told “We’re sorry there are no tickets available.” I tried again and got the same message. So I panicked and bought a full-price front row center seat in the loge. No regrets.

Appearing in the concert were original cast members (in alphabetical order) Michael Berresse, Sarah Uriarte Berry, David Bonanno, Victoria Clark, Patti Cohenour, Beau Gravitte, Mark Harelik, Jennifer Hughes, Felicity LaFortune, Matthew Morrison, Kelli O’Hara, Adam Overett, Joseph Siravo, and Diane Sutherland.

On the day of the concert I could hardly contain my excitement. I was doing something I never thought I’d get to do again: to hear this score sung by this cast in the same venue. As people gathered in the lobby I was flooded with so memories: people watching the first nighters by the understudy board, or trying the show’s signature cocktail on my 8th trip (it wasn’t great). I remember browsing through the cast albums at Tower Records or books at Barnes and Noble (both long gone), or just happily roaming the LC campus. Everywhere I looked the night of the concert, I saw friends, including some I had seen the show, the most poignant of all being Noah.

The orchestra, led once again by Ted Sperling, was onstage, centered between upstage pillars of the massive set for The King and I. It was a delightful surprise to hear the complete overture, which was abridged during the show’s preview period (but recorded in its entirety for the cast album).

The actors had chairs and music stands lined up towards the lip of the main stage area and performed the show mostly off-book in the thrust space. The cast was, if anything, better than they were ten years ago; deeper, richer. There was a magical combination of nostalgia and muscle memory. They hit similar marks from the original staging with just a few props. Certain line readings brought familiar laughs. They even went so far as to recreate the breathtaking hat trick that incites the love story.

Victoria Clark, who won a Tony for the original production, is still a tremendous force as Margaret, the guarded, patrician mother. Her beautiful dramatic soprano is the perfect complement for the charming, complex woman she created years ago, and dare I say it, she looks even better now than she did then. The show has inexplicably never played London, and I think it’s time that both Piazza and Ms. Clark made their West End debuts.

Kelli O’Hara was something of a revelation to me, which is a bit surprising considering I saw her in the original production seven times (and I thought her spectacular then). She was freer and funnier; more at ease with making Clara’s pain and confusion more layered and more deeply felt. Her soprano is in peak form and her upper register is flourishing. The evening showed just how much Ms. O’Hara has grown as an artist and a leading lady in the past decade. Her rendition of the title song was a bona fide showstopper, as though everything she had ever done in her entire career had built to that one flawless moment.

Sarah Uriarte Berry sounds better than ever, and was on fire as jaded Franca, giving the best performance I’ve seen her give of her first act solo “The Joy You Feel” (for the record, her high F in “Aiutami” was jaw-dropping). I’d love to see Ms. Berry take on The Bridges of Madison County as soon as possible. It was also great to see stalwart Patti Cohenour back on Broadway, even if only for one night. Her soprano is still strong and supple, and it was quite moving to see her wiping away copious tears during “Love to Me.”

Speaking of tears, emotions ran high throughout the night. At any given moment, you could catch a performer welling up whether it was Kelli onstage, Kelli watching Vicki, Vicki onstage, Vicki watching Kelli, etc. The audience and cast were practically ugly-crying as one by the end of “Fable.”

When the lights came up, the person next to me, a total stranger, handed me a tissue without saying a word. It was a profound experience for me; one of the most personal of my life. I was overwhelmed by memories of a very happy, joyous time in my life and was glad to be able to share it with so many friends, old and new.