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Hail Harbinger!

When my father ran the Masterworks division of Columbia Records, the company released
specialized projects under the “Legacy” label. They were boxed sets, elaborately and impeccably
produced, and packaged with style and class including extensive notes.

​If anyone is keeping the spirit of that series alive, it is Bill Rudman and Ken Bloom—and TMTP’s
Harbinger Records. Good on them to find a way to keep important recordings available for
those of us who love all aspects of musical theater and the Great American Songbook.

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The Most Beloved Stage-to-Screen Musicals

We’re all missing the live theatrical experience right now. Fortunately, Hollywood has adapted many of our favorite Broadway musicals for the silver screen! While some interpretations are more successful than others, here are TMTP’s Staff picks for their favorite classic stage-to-screen selections. Just click on the photo or title to stream on AmazonPrime while “sheltering in place.”

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TMTP Staff Picks Documentaries to Watch at Home

Since The Musical Theater Project’s mission is to educate as well a entertain, we thought we’d share our favorite Broadway-themed documentaries to catch up on while you’re spending time at home. Most of these are available for streaming, some even for free. Check out the trailers for all of them right here and add these to your Watch List!

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So Happy to Make His Acquaintance

No doubt there have been hundreds of us—men and women who found the confidence to make a career in musical theater thanks to Stephen Sondheim’s generosity of spirit and dedication to teaching.

I bet I’m typical. I wrote to him in 1969, when I was an 18-year-old living in a small town in Ohio. Topic: Anyone Can Whistle. I sent him a blank reel-to-reel tape, asking him (what chutzpah!) to respond to my questions. Lo and behold, he brought in Arthur Laurents so they could do it together, with Sondheim commenting that since I was writing “a master’s thesis” (!), he felt I deserved the “most pretentious possible reply.” (High praise indeed from Sondheim.)

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As you know, Greater Cleveland lost an irreplaceable community leader and philanthropist on September 20 with the death, at 88, of Lainie Hadden.

When we think of her, we think first of how Lainie, the Junior League and a visionary named Ray Shepardson saved the Playhouse Square theaters from the wrecking ball in the early 1970s. Over the years, she deflected all praise for her work, but those of us who had watched closely knew she spearheaded the effort. By now, of course, the Playhouse Square district has developed beyond her most fantastic dreams.

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Spooktacular Singing Villains

Whether you love to hate them or hate to love them, musical theater is filled with delicious villains. From the comic (Miss Hannigan in Annie) to the misunderstood (Jud Fry in Oklahoma!) and the downright evil (Judge Turbin in Sweeney Todd), Halloween is the perfect time of year to celebrate them all! 

​Check out TMTP’s staff picks for favorite “bad guy” and let us know who makes YOU shiver in your seat.

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