Theater News

Last-Minute Mixes

TheaterMania helps you create four fabulous holiday CDs.

December 25 looms, and most people have their holiday shopping done. But there’s always that last-minute gift you discover you need — whether its for the host of a Christmas Eve or Christmas Day party that you’ve suddenly decided to attend or something to give to a relative who’s sent you a present out of the blue. And since the idea of dropping into an actual store at this point fills even the heartiest shopaholic with a little dread, let the power of digital music allow you to look like you’ve put a lot of time into a gift with just a couple of mouse clicks. And to make it even easier on you, TheaterMania has put together a quartet of playlists from recordings released in 2011 that have been curated (down to the play order) to make the process as easy, and hopefully ear-pleasing, as possible!

2011 Holiday Music

These 17 songs are some of the finest that have been released for this holiday season. You’ll find that old and new are mixed together so that original tunes like “Dear Santa” and “I’ve Got a Thing for Jack” (from Chris Standring & Kathrin Shorr’s disc comprised of completely new holiday songs) are nestled in among revisitations to “Blue Christmas” and “Let It Snow,” from the cast of FOX’s Glee and David Ian’s retro-sounding takes on “Home for the Holidays” and “The Christmas Song.”

Broadway’s represented in several ways. Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young delivers a “Santa Medley” from the disc that features members of the companies of Jersey Boys from around the world; and Max Von Essen (soon to be return to Broadway in Evita) sings “Just in Time for Christmas.” In addition, Tony Award nominee Christiane Noll gives a genuinely moving rendition of Scott Alan’s “A Mother’s Wish (For Christmas Day).”

There are also two piano solos from songwriter Matt Conner, Shauna Burns offers up a haunting take on the “Carol of the Bells,” and, from the original cast recording of Winter Wonderettes, there’s a marvelous, long-forgotten gem — “Suzy Santa,” which should put a smile on even the Grinchiest folks’ faces this season.

1. “Let It Snow” – Glee Cast – Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 2 (Columbia Records)
2. “Suzy Snowflake” – Darcie Roberts – Winter Wonderettes (LML Music)
3. “Dear Santa” – Chris Standring & Kathrin Shorr – Send Me Some Snow (Ultimate Vibe Recordings)
4. “Christmas in the Air” – Carole King – A Holiday Carole (Hear Music)
5. “Santa Medley” – John Lloyd Young – Seasons Greetings: A Jersey Boys Christmas (Rhino Records)
6. “A Mothers Wish (For Christmas Day)” – Christiane Noll, Scott Alan – A Mothers Wish (For Christmas Day) – Single (
7. “Icicle” – Matt Conner – Snow (
8. “Home For The Holidays” – David Ian – Vintage Christmas (Prescott Records)
9. “Just in Time for Christmas” – Max von Essen – Just in Time for Christmas – Single (
10. “The Holly And The Ivy” – Matt Conner – Snow (
11. “I’ve Got A Thing For Jack” – Chris Standring & Kathrin Shorr – Send Me Some Snow (Ultimate Vibe Recordings)
12. “Blue Christmas” – Glee Cast – Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 2 (Columbia Records)
13. “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)” – Acacia – Vintage Christmas (Prescott Records)
14. “The Man With The Bag” – Darcie Roberts – Winter Wonderettes (LML Music)
15. “Medley: Jingle Bell Rock, Let It Snow, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” – Il Volo – Special Christmas Edition (Rentor / Geffen records)
16. “Carol Of The Bells” – Shauna Burns – A Winter Gathering (Red Rock Music)
17. “Do You Hear What I Hear” – Rick Faugno – Seasons Greetings: A Jersey Boys Christmas (Rhino Records)

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Next Page: TheaterMania Last-Minute Mix – Original Songs


Original Songs

This list highlights work of both emerging and established composers that has been released in the past year. Among two of the most notable names doing double duty are Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth, who serves as co-writer of the amusing “What Would Dolly Do?”, and Tony Award nominee (and Glee star) Matthew Morrison, who co-wrote the touching “It’s Over.”

Other tracks feature new songs by such writers as Jonathan Reid Gealt, Lance Horne, Michael Kooman and Christopher Diamond, Michael Patrick Walker, Michael Bruce, Gareth Peter Dicks, and Dougal Irvine. Interpreting these artists’ and others’ work are such stage notables as Kate Baldwin, Andrea Burns, Will Chase, Matt Doyle, Cheyenne Jackson, and Jim Stanek.

The disc also includes a few selections that draw from outside of the world of New York or London theater. “It’s Like a Dance,” for instance, comes from the concept recording of Nine Lives, which has its genesis among the jazz artists of New Orleans, and “Hard Goodbye,” comes from the highly theatrical song cycle Rosler’s Recording Booth.

1. “Silence And The Rain” – Cassie McIvor, Daniel Boys – Acoustic Overtures: The Songs Of Dougal Irvine (SimG Records)
2. “Strange Bird” – Cheyenne Jackson – Lance Horne: First Things Last (Yellow Sound Label)
3. “It’s Over” – Matthew Morrison – Matthew Morrison (Mercury Records)
4. “Even Then” – Paul Spicer – Michael Bruce: Unwritten Songs (Speckulation)
5. “There With You” – Natalie Weiss, Jason Robert Brown – Natalie Weiss – EP (
6. “Simple Words” – Gemma Sutton – The Music Box (Escape Records)
7. “It’s Like a Dance” – Walter “Wolfman” – Washington, George Porter Jr., Washboard Chaz, Luke Winslow King – Nine Lives (A Musical Adaptation) (Mystery Street Records/Threadhead Records)
8. “Finding Me” – Jim Stanek – Out Of Context: The Songs Of Michael Patrick Walker (Yellow Sound Label)
9. “Walking Without You” – Kyle Dean Massey – Out Of Our Heads: The Music of Kooman & Dimond (Kooman & Dimond)
10. “If We Never” – Lance Fletke, Elise Amato – Placebo – A New Musical (Original Concept Cast Recording) (
11. “If Morning Can’t Wait” – Matt Doyle – Daylight (
12. “Hard Goodbye” – John Margolis – Rosler’s Recording Booth (Fingers Crossed Records)
13. “Morning Song” – Andrea Burns – Show Some Beauty (Yellow Sound Label)
14. “What Would Dolly Do” – Kristin Chenoweth – Some Lessons Learned (Sony Masterworks)
15. “The Discovery Of Popcorn” – Blue Bottle Collection – Summer Of The Soda Fountain Girls (Yellow Sound Label)
16. “Love Is Love Is Love” – Julie Gold – Love Is Love Is Love (
17. “Lessons Learned” – Will Chase, Kate Baldwin – Thirteen Stories Down – The Songs of Jonathan Reid Gealt (Sh-K-Boom Records)

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Next Page: TheaterMania Last-Minute Mix – Female Vocalists


Female Vocalists

For the people in your life who enjoy a good song being belted out by a diva, these 17 tracks — including selections by such legendary vocalists as Barbara Cook, Linda Eder, Sandi Patty, Diane Schuur, and Barbra Streisand — should prove to be a highly successful gift.

Among the treasures are two songs cut from Broadway shows, delivered by the performers who originated them: Tony Award winner Sutton Foster offers up “More to the Story,” which was intended for Shrek The Musical, and Lea Salonga delivers “Too Much Love for One Heart,” written for Miss Saigon. There’s also “Get Out and Stay Out” — from 9 to 5 The Musical — written and performed by its composer, Dolly Parton, while the wonderful Lisa Howard resurrects a tune from William Finn’s Romance in Hard Times.

Our CD also includes such classic tunes as Stephen Sondheim’s “What More Do I Need?” and “Lucy and Jessie” (performed by Kelli O’Hara and Bebe Neuwirth, respectively); and Charles Strouse and Lee Adams’ “You’ve Got Possibilities,” winningly delivered by the star who originated it on Broadway: Linda Lavin.

1. “Not Gonna Fall This Time” – Linda Eder – Now (Sony Masterworks)
2. “More to the Story” – Sutton Foster – An Evening with Sutton Foster – Live at the Café Carlyle (Ghostlight Records)
3. “Ill Wind” – Norah Jones w/ Charlie Haden Quartet West – Sophisticated Ladies (Emarcy)
4. “Hold My Baby Back” – Lisa Howard – <>Songs of Innocence & Experience – The Songs of William Finn (Ghostlight Records)
5. “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” – Karrin Allyson – Round Midnight (Concord Records)
6. “What More Do I Need?” – Kelli O’Hara – Always(Ghostlight)
7. “Get Out and Stay Out” – Dolly Parton – Better Day (Dolly Records)
8. “Today I Started Loving You Again” – Diane Schuur – The Gathering (Vanguard Records)
9. “When Did I Fall in Love?” – Kate Baldwin – She Loves Him (PS Classics)
10. “Too Much For One Heart” – Lea Salonga – The Journey So Far (LML Music)
11. “Nice ‘n’ Easy” – Barbra Streisand –What Matters Most Barbra Streisand Sings The Lyrics Of Alan & Marilyn Bergman (Columbia Records)
12. “Borrowed Angels” – Kristin Chenoweth – Some Lessons Learned (Sony Masterworks)
13. “L’Hymme A L’Amour” – Dee Dee Bridgewater – Midnight Sun (Emarcy)
14. “The Man I Love” – Sandi Patty – Broadway Stories (WEA Corp)
15. “Lucy and Jessie” – Bebe Neuwirth –Porcelain (The Leopard Works Records)
16. “You’ve Got Possibilities” – Linda Lavin – Possibilities (Ghostlight Records)
17. “Wait ‘Til You’re Sixty-Five” – Barbara Cook – You Make Me Feel So Young (Entertainment One)

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Next Page: TheaterMania Last-Minute Mix – Male Vocalists


Male Vocalists

This playlist brings a host of leading men together for standards from the Great American Songbook, along with a few surprises.

Among the new interpretations of classic tunes, including Michael Feinstein’s gender-reversed delivery of “As Long as He Needs Me” from Oliver! and James Torme’s jaunty rendition of Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale”, as well as Duncan Sheik’s acoustic rendition of Tears for Fears’ “Shout” and Jim Van Slyke’s gently jazzy delivery of Neil Sedaka’s “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.”

The Golden Age of musical theater comes alive on this playlist with a trio of songs from Guys and Dolls on two tracks featuring Dean Regan and Harry Connick, Jr., while Jon Robyns and David Burnham offer songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel and Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady.

Alfie Boe’s ever-so-delicate take on “Pure Imagination” from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Eric Kunze’s “Fathers and Sons” from Working and Josh Young’s deft rendition of “Heaven on Their Minds,” from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar are among the other, and most surprising, tracks on this delightful collection.

1. “Pure Imagination” – Alfie Boe – Bring Him Home (Decca)
2. “Fathers And Sons” – Eric Kunze – My Collection (CDBaby)
3. “This Can’t Be Love” – Eric Comstock, Randy Napoleon – Bitter / Sweet (Harbinger)
4. “As Long As She Needs Me” – Michael Feinstein – We Dreamed These Days (Duckhole Records)
5. “Love For Sale” – James Tormé – Love For Sale (Entertainment One Music)
6. “You Fascinate Me So” – Tom Wopat, David Finck – Consider It Swung (LML Music)
7. “But Not For Me” – Mark Winkler – Sweet Spot (Café Pacific Records)
8. “So Many People” – Tom Michael – Let Me Be Your Home (LML Music)
9. “Shout” – Duncan Sheik – Covers 80’s (Red General Catalog)
10. “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” – Jim Van Slyke – The Sedaka Sessions (LML Music)
11. “Luck Be A Lady” – Dean Regan – Give My Regards To Broadway (CDBY)
12. “My Time Of Day” /” I’ve Never Been In Love Before” – Harry Connick, Jr. In Concert On Broadway (Columbia Records)
13. “On The Street Where You Live” – Jon Robyns – Open Book (Curtain Records)
14. “If I Loved You” – David Burnham – One Day (LML Music)
15. “Speak Low” – Tony Bennett, Norah Jones – Duets II (Columbia Records)
16. “If Ever I Would Leave You” – James Barbour – Bring Me Giants (Global Vision Records)
17. “Heaven on Their Minds” – Josh Young – Still Dreaming of Paradise (ASD Music Co.)

Click here to buy or gift this TheaterMania mix.
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