Musical Theatre

Your call

Guest post by David Alpert

One of the best things musical theatre performers can do in their continual quest to expand their knowledge is to discover and listen to cast recordings from the history of Broadway and Off-Broadway.  Finding those gems of musicals that you may not be familiar with can be an incredible exercise in training your ear to understand different styles of music and singing, and also lead to new rep choices for your book.

Just as I would expect my doctor to have studied the history of medicines, landmark discoveries, and important scientific findings (as well as studying current trends), I expect performers to know the history, landmarks, and trends of our business.

Is there a revival you love?  Have you gone back and listened to the original recording?  What’s different?  What’s changed? 

Is there a musical from the 1960’s you’ve never heard of, but you connect to a certain song?  Does it wrap around your voice nicely?  Perhaps it can go in your book?  Are there covers of the song to open your mind to new interpretations?

Use this time to listen.  Find the sheet music.  How do the lyrics apply to you, in this moment?

You can also do what I do: listen to the music with no further agenda–just enjoy the showtunes.  Your call.

By Denise Caston-Clark

Hi! I'm Denise Caston-Clark, a professional dancer, choreographer and dance educator. I am a former Radio City Rockette and currently direct Tap Dance Detroit and the annual Motor City Tap Fest.

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