Everyone has a favourite showtune. Sometimes we don’t even know a favourite song was originally a showtune! Len Power’s weekly program, The Broadway Musicals Yearbook is full of surprises like that.
Each week, he’ll play songs from Broadway musicals that opened in a particular year – the hit shows and the flops. There’ll be the songs you know and love and great songs you’ve never heard before. You’ll also be surprised to hear superb songs from shows that lasted only a few performances and would have disappeared if they had not been recorded.
You’ll hear behind the scenes anecdotes of treachery, bad luck, poor management and total incompetency. Did you know that in previews of House Of Flowers, every time Diahann Carroll had a success with a new song, jealous star, Pearl Bailey, demanded the song for herself? And what about the lyric writer of Hair, Gerome Ragni, asking for the release of 500 butterflies into the audience at the start of every performance of the disastrous Via Galactica?
Each program focusses on a different year chosen at random – this week it could be 2005, next week it could be 1928 or maybe 1964. You won’t know until you tune in. As Broadway music is a reflection of musical styles current at the time, you’ll always hear a rich, varied and entertaining program. It won’t be a history lesson or a collection of dusty old museum recordings – songs from the early shows will often be sung by modern artists with their own unique interpretations.
The show is written and presented by Len Power, a local theatre identity as well as Artsound’s theatre critic and a member of the Canberra Critics Circle.
‘The Broadway Musicals Yearbook’ plays weekly from Sunday 5th July at 5pm.
You can also catch a weekly repeat of the program from Tuesday 7th July at 11am.