My latest obsession is a musical that I just discovered this past weekend and I want to share it with all of you.
Last week I heard the opening number from My Favorite Year on On Broadway on SiriusXM and I was enchanted. I had to know more, so I added it to my Apple Music Library, and I’ll tell you, I keep re-listening to it. I am absolutely obsessed with it.
It tells the story of a 1950s-era sketch comedy/variety show that goes live once a week (think an early version of Saturday Night Live, but really it’s based on Your Show of Shows, which starred Sid Caesar – which was also the basis for another obsession of mine, The Dick Van Dyke Show). A young writer, played by Evan Pappas, has the opportunity to meet his movie star idol, swashbuckling hero Alan Swann (based on Errol Flynn, played by the great and gorgeous Tim Curry). Even though it only lasted a month on Broadway, it was nominated for three Tonys, for Ms. Kazan, Mr. Curry, and the great Andrea Martin, who won for best actress in a featured role in her Broadway debut.
It’s so charming – Evan Pappas said in an interview that if the show had opened in the spring, he was sure it would’ve been a success, but that the knives were out for it with a fall opening. There are several songs I’ve already earmarked for my students (and myself) to teach/learn:
- Larger than Life – young tenor/baritenor
- Funny – soprano/belter
- Rookie in the Ring – mezzo/belter
- If the world were like the movies – baritone (that’s going into my movie cabaret, if I get to do it again)
- Shut up and dance – duet for soprano/baritenor
- Professional Comedy Show Business – duet I’m going to put on a cabaret show somewhere
- My Favorite Year – tenor/baritenor (although I’m going to need to rewrite the last page as a solo in a higher key, because in the show it becomes an ensemble number)
You can check out some of the songs in this video (the clips are too short, IMO – they just get to the good part and then they segue to the next one):
The opening number (not included in this video) reminds me, structurally, of the Prologue to Ragtime – introducing all the characters and giving us an idea of what their relationship is right off the bat. In fact, Evan Pappas sounds like Little Boy in Ragtime, even though he’s a grown man – it’s his timbre, I guess.
I started watching the 1982 movie on which it’s based a month or so ago, but my husband came down and said, “What is this? I don’t want to watch this,” and I haven’t gotten back to it. (Note to self: Finish watching it.)
Have you heard this musical? I’d love to hear what you think of it in the comments. I really think this show deserves to be performed – at the very least, its songs do. You can find them on MusicNotes. Check them out!
If you missed What To Know/What I Wish I’d Known About College Auditions,
you may still get access to the video and the accompanying PDF I created.
Just send $25 to @MVSBaltimore via Venmo (along with your email address)
and I’ll send you the video link (good through 8/31) and the PDF!