Welcome to another Wildcard Wednesday! I apologize for the timing of this entry, as I dislike making a major announcement in the same week as our national election, but this was the moment it had to happen. No sugar coating: the time has come to announce that this blog will cease producing weekly Musical Theatre Monday entries as of January 2017. This decision was inevitable, and I’m sure some of you anticipated this day would eventually arrive when I announced our first cutbacks in November of last year. At the time, I decided to continue on with Musical Theatre Mondays because I had a long list of shows I still wanted to feature. But after several months of highlighting these scores and composers, I too often felt that we were getting unwanted mediocrity interspersed between the regular brilliance. The only way to fix this fault, of which I take much responsibility, was to narrow down the musicals that I felt absolutely had to be discussed before this blog unavoidably wrapped. When I made my list this past March, a funny thing happened: its conclusion coincided with the end of 2016 — a date that also made sense given my unsure schedule in the upcoming year — thus forming the natural place to bring this day’s regular operations to a close. So for concerns regarding both scheduling and quality, Musical Theatre Monday will not be a weekly fixture here in 2017.
I know this news may disappoint some readers, but there are two silver linings to this cloud. The first: each of the shows coming over the next six weeks, following our last Porter entry on Monday, has been personally deemed as “must-cover” material, meaning that these posts are special to me and therefore quite worth your time. We’ve got works by Coward, Berlin, and Weill (among others) ahead – and I’m excited because I think you will be too. The second silver lining is that Musical Theatre is never going to disappear from this blog! In fact, starting in January, there will be new musical-themed posts on the third Monday of every month. They’ll no longer be so focused on particular works or commentary, but rather on shareable rarities (make sure you stay subscribed) unconfined to the era heretofore covered. Also, six of the 12 posts in the new year will be examining the film scores of Jerome Kern — one of the most popular composers we’ve highlighted thus far. So I’m energized by this new direction, as musical theatre will always be one of my primary loves, and gearing upcoming Mondays toward monthly artifacts gives me the opportunity to continue sharing my joy, but with a looser structure, less stress, and more of an emphasis on what you value most: the goods!
We’ll close with a complete audio recording of the RARE unreleased 1958 TV production of Roberta (1933), one of our past Musical Theatre Monday essentials! This production stars Bob Hope, Howard Keel, Janis Paige, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Lilli Valenti, and Sara Dillon. Enjoy!
Don’t miss our next two Musical Theatre Wildcard Wednesdays! More treats ahead…
Come back next Wednesday for another Wildcard post! And tune in Monday for more Porter!