Night of the Living Show Tunes

On January 5 and 6, for two nights only, we will return to the amazing Sheldon Concert Hall for our triennial concert of show tunes, this time titled, A New Line Cabaret, Episode IV: Night of the Living Show Tunes. Catchy, huh?

This follows A New Line Cabaret in 2000, A New Line Cabaret, Episode II: Attack of the Show Tunes in 2003, and A New Line Cabaret, Episode III: When Musicals Attack in 2006. Why the smartass titles? Mostly just because they amuse me. But also because we want to make it clear that these concerts do not feature songs like "Edelweiss" or "What I Did for Love." These are not show tunes you'll hear on the stages of The Muny or Stages (well, maybe with a couple exceptions); these are show tunes that challenge, surprise, and on occasion, offend. (Probably not this time, though.)

The cast for the concert -- what I call the New Line All-Stars -- includes Mara Bollini, Nikki Glenn, Joel Hackbarth, Amy Kelly, Nicholas Kelly, Khnemu Menu-Ra, Katie Nestor, Talichia Noah, Jeffrey Pruett, John Rhine, Todd Schaefer, Deborah Sharn, Kimi Short, Margeau Steinau, Scott Tripp, and Jeffrey M. Wright. Many of these folks have performed with New Line for a long time (Deborah was in the very first New Line show in 1992), but some of them are almost brand new to us (Talichia and Margeau have each done only one show with us, and Nikki and Amy have each done only two shows with us). And then are those who we've been trying to get rid of for a while, but they just keep coming back, so what're ya gonna do...?

The song list (which still might change slightly) this time includes:


"Our Prayer” from Brian Wilson’s Smile
“Spanish Sailing Ship” from Songs for a New World
“I Don’t Remember You” from The Happy Time
“Sometimes a Day Goes By” from Woman of the Year
“Look Over There” from La Cage aux Folles
“A Trip to the Library” from She Loves Me
“Somewhere That’s Green” from Little Shop of Horrors
“Sara Lee” from And the World Goes ‘Round
“Madeleine” from Jacques Brel
“Ready to Settle” from High Fidelity
“I Love You” from Little Me
“The Stuff” from Reefer Madness
“And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls
“Don’t Know Where You Leave Off” from Sweet Smell of Success
“Getting Married Today” from Company


“Four Jews in a Room Bitching” from March of the Falsettos
“And They’re Off” from A New Brain
“Fathers and Sons” from Working
“The World Was Dancing” from Songs for a New World
“There’s a Fine, Fine Line” from Avenue Q
“Poor Child” from The Wild Party
“Baby, Dream Your Dream from Sweet Charity
“Unrequited Love” from Promenade
“I’m Going Home” from The Rocky Horror Show
“Vacation” / “No Holds Barred” from Pump Boys and Dinettes
“I Believe” from Spring Awakening
“Hear My Song” from Songs for a New World
“Hills of Tomorrow” from Merrily We Roll Along

Not a bad song list, huh? Having created our controversial revue last season, Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll, I'm better now at connecting songs in revues. I learned a long time ago about "routining" a revue, creating waves of up-tempo songs and ballads, company numbers and solos, etc., in other words, giving the show variety without randomness. But now I also look at thematic and emotional arcs, something most revues ignore. After an invocation ("Our Prayer") and a thematic statement of purpose ("Spanish Sailing Ship"), Act I is largely about fucked up romantic relationships, and Act II is about fucked up family relationships. But by the end, we find healing in music and in the optimism that musical theatre specializes in.

We started rehearsals last week. I can't wait to share this with an audience!

And here's a little insider info -- we're working with the Post-Dispatch to create a theatre scholarship for high school seniors planning to study theatre in college, using part of the income from the Sheldon concert. No done deal or details yet, but it looks promising...

Long Live the Musical!