No Song is Safe From Us

No Song Is Safe From Us - The NYFOS Blog
 |  Joseph Kaiser

The one and only time I’ve ever enjoyed (let alone paid attention to) NYC taxi cab t.v. was I saw a clip of this song last December. “On the outside, always looking in, will I ever be more than I’ve always been?” As artists, we’ve all felt these feelings, to one degree or another. If I could go back in time, and perform a role in musical theater, Evan Hansen would be my choice.

 |  Amy Asch

In this April 1926 recording (made in London for English Columbia), George Gershwin plays and Fred Astaire sings and taps. To paraphrase the Passover Haggadah: if George Gershwin plays and Astaire sings and taps, dayenu. It would have been enough. But this recording contains a few bonus delights, as Gershwin interpolates licks from Rhapsody in Blue (written the same year as the song) and the men call out to each other. Pure happiness.

 |  Amy Asch

I first encountered Candide in a college production that my high school’s Thespian Club attended. It was exciting and irreverent and the “Make Our Garden Grow” finale had me walking on air. I talked about the show so much that my mom bought me the double LP (1974 version with the red cover), which I played over and over in my bedroom. Thanks, Mom!

 |  Miles Mykkanen

I can’t curate a week of Song of the Day posts without featuring my favorite composer, Stephen Sondheim, the musical theatre’s most prolific living writer. I suspect most of you know Sondheim and George Furth’s 1970 musical Company, but in case this song slipped off the playlist the last time you were at a Midtown sing-along piano bar I’ll provide a little context.

 |  Mary Birnbaum

This is one of my favorite conventions in theater—the character who has one (showstopping) song. This song from Jason Robert Brown’s incredible score is sung by Whitney Bashor, who plays the ex of the leading man. She only appears for this moment, but lends so much depth and realism to his backstory. Bashor has a really gorgeous voice and I look forward to hearing more from her soon!

 |  Mary Birnbaum

This super creative setting of a teenage girl’s extracurricular activities by the UBER talented Kristen Childs has come to mind because her new musical, Bella: An American Tall Tale has just opened at Playwrights Horizons and I’m dying to see it. The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, which was a total delight in the early 2000’s, had several of my all time favorite performers in it— Adriane Lenox, Darius DeHaas, Jerry Dixon, LaChanze. There are a lot of selections that bear listening to, but “The Skate” is one of my favorites.

 |  Chelsea Shephard

For Day Two, I have chosen for you, beloved NYFOS supporters, “Maybe” from Annie. This song taught those of us raised on classic musicals as I was (thanks, Mom!) one of our first lessons in empathy. I never really sang this song, but lord I loved it!

 |  Jonathan Estabrooks

As the week comes to an end, I couldn’t help but include fellow baritone of Canadian heritage and a true vocal powerhouse of stage and screen, Robert Goulet. Here he is singing the well known song from Camelot on the Ed Sullivan show, for a segment celebrating the fifth anniversary of My Fair Lady. For the broadcast, instead of featuring songs from that show, they chose instead to perform four highlights from Camelot including “If Ever I Would Leave You”.

 |  Steven Blier

As I deal with the current dystopia I encounter every morning on NPR, I keep thinking about the song “Slap That Bass” by the Gershwin brothers. “Dictators would be better off if they zoom-zoomed now and then,” they write. I couldn’t agree more. “Zoom zoom, zoom zoom, the world is in a mess”—but for a few minutes George and Ira make the world safe again.