All stories by Michael Portantiere on BroadwayStars

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Talkin' Broadway - Interview with Douglas Sills: "The Frogs"- 11/2/23 by Michael Portantiere

Douglas Sills will always be remembered and beloved by theatre lovers for his bravura performance as the star of the first incarnation of the Frank Wildhorn-Nan Knighton musical The Scarlet …

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 11:03AM
Sunday, October 29, 2023

Evening Primrose by Michael Portantiere

Television Cast, 1966 (Kritzerland) Stephen Sondheim provided a brief but compelling score for this TV musical with a teleplay by James Goldman, based on a short story by John Collier. It te…

SOURCE: at 12:12PM
Friday, October 27, 2023


Jonathan Tunick receives his Sardi's portrait. Photos by Michael Portantiere.

SOURCE: TalkinBroadway at 11:51AM
Monday, October 23, 2023

Back to the Future by Michael Portantiere

Original London Cast, 2022 (Masterworks Broadway) No stars; not recommended. These days, when you hear that a beloved movie is getting turned into a musical,  it sounds less like an announ…

SOURCE: at 12:02PM
Saturday, October 21, 2023

13 by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 2008 (Ghostlight) Musical theater writers from Strouse and Adams to Pasek and Paul have tried to write musicals capturing the spirit of what it means to be a teenager…

SOURCE: at 06:23PM
Sunday, October 8, 2023

Harmony by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 2023 (Sh-K-Boom) It took Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman’s musical Harmony 26 years to get to Broadway, over four times as long a period as the Comedian Harmonists …

SOURCE: at 03:16PM
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Big City Rhythm by Michael Portantiere

Original Off-Broadway Cast, 1996 (Original Cast Records) The heyday of the intimate revue may have been decades ago, but some good ones have surfaced more recently. Consider Barry Kleinbort�…

SOURCE: at 12:00PM

Bed & Sofa by Michael Portantiere

Original Off-Broadway Cast, 1976 (Varese Sarabande) A stylized, three-character “silent movie opera” by composer Polly Pen and playwright Lawrence Klavan, Bed & Sofa premiered just o…

SOURCE: at 11:35AM

The Beautiful Game by Michael Portantiere

Original London Cast, 2000 (Telstar) Those who would type Andrew Lloyd Webber as a purveyor of lightweight poperettas may not know what to make of this tragic love story set against a backgr…

SOURCE: at 11:12AM

Ballad for Bimshire by Michael Portantiere

Original Off-Broadway Cast, 1963 (London/no CD) This Off-Broadway oddity probably got produced because of the reputation of its composer, Irving Burgie — also known as Lord Burgess. Having…

SOURCE: at 10:55AM

Bubbling Brown Sugar by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 1976 (Amherst) No stars, not recommended. This is arguably the least necessary Broadway album ever. Yes, the show was a hit (766 performances), and it served as the …

SOURCE: at 10:43AM
Saturday, September 23, 2023

The Madwoman of Central Park West by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 1990 (DRG) This show was a good time, but the cast recording — only 37 minutes in length — is of little help in bringing back the experience for those who saw it,…

SOURCE: at 12:18PM

Make a Wish by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 1951 (RCA/Sepia) A spiffy overture, a swell opening chorus (“The Tour Must Go On”), then out comes our heroine with an even better character-establishing number, …

SOURCE: at 11:44AM
Thursday, September 21, 2023

Avenue X by Michael Portantiere

World Premiere Recording, 1997 (RCA) Avenue X shows how some folks in the racially divided America of the early 1960s tried to achieve peace and harmony through rock and roll. The theme is s…

SOURCE: at 04:20PM

At the Drop of a Hat by Michael Portantiere

Original Cast (London and Broadway), 1959 (Angel) Producer Alexander Cohen had the good sense to bring a host of newcomers to Broadway from England, among them Michael Flanders and Donald Sw…

SOURCE: at 03:33PM
Thursday, September 7, 2023

At Home Abroad by Michael Portantiere

Studio Recordings by the Original Broadway Cast, 1935 (Smithsonian/no CD) Always welcome on Broadway during the Depression was a star-packed musical revue. At Home Abroad, billed as “A Mus…

SOURCE: at 03:31PM
Friday, August 25, 2023

The Athenian Touch by Michael Portantiere

Original Off-Broadway Cast, 1964 (Broadway East/AEI) 0 stars, not recommended. One day, sometime in the 1980s, several boxes of the long-out-of-print LP of The Athenian Touch turned up in a …

SOURCE: at 10:48AM

Arms and the Girl by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 1948 (Decca) The Theatre Guild was riding the success of the still-running Oklahoma! when Armina Marshall Langner suggested that The Pursuit of Happiness, a play she …

SOURCE: at 10:07AM
Thursday, August 24, 2023

How to Steal an Election by Michael Portantiere

Original Off-Broadway Cast, 1968 (RCA/no CD) A young black man (Clifton Davis) and a young white woman (Carole Demas), both veterans of the disastrous 1968 Democratic National Convention in …

SOURCE: at 03:37PM

archy and mehitabel by Michael Portantiere

Concept Album, 1954 (Columbia/Masterworks Broadway) Based on the 1920s newspaper columns of Don Marquis, archy and mehitabel stars a cockroach. Ostensibly, the columns were the work of said …

SOURCE: at 01:53PM
Saturday, August 12, 2023

Almost Famous by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 2022 (Masterworks Broadway) Meet the semi-jukebox musical: Almost Famous, based on the film about a 1970s rock band and the teen journalist William (Casey Likes) who …

SOURCE: at 02:22PM

Bring It On by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 2012 (Backlot Music) If you love Lin-Manuel Miranda’s score for In the Heights, you’ll find lots of pleasures in Bring It On. This musical adaptation of a 2000 fi…

SOURCE: at 01:39PM

COLETTE / COLETTE COLLAGE by Michael Portantiere

Original Off-Broadway Cast, 1970 (MIO International/no CD) This version of Colette is a charming play with music. The play itself was written by Elinor Jones, then married to lyricist Tom Jo…

SOURCE: at 12:58PM
Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Anya / The Anastasia Affaire / Anastasia: The Musical by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 1965 (United Artists/Kritzerland) What Robert Wright and George Forrest had previously done successfully with Grieg and Borodin, they did with Rachmaninoff in creatin…

SOURCE: at 10:26AM
Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Ambassador by Michael Portantiere

Original London Cast, 1971 (RCA/Stage Door) The original London cast album of this Henry James adaptation is also the de facto original Broadway cast album, since the West End’s two leads,…

SOURCE: at 11:43AM
Sunday, July 23, 2023

Aladdin (Cole Porter) by Michael Portantiere

Original Television Cast, 1958 (Columbia/Sony) The later-in-life work of most great musical theater writers isn’t up to the quality of their more youthful forays; but with the exception of…

SOURCE: at 09:34AM
Saturday, July 22, 2023

Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 1971 (A&R, 2LPs; no CD) Onstage, this piece by Melvin van Peebles was intensely theatrical; I was actually frightened when cast member Minnie Gentry looked straig…

SOURCE: at 07:06PM

After the Fair by Michael Portantiere

Original Off-Broadway Cast, 1999 (Varèse Sarabande) It’s the very model of a modern chamber musical: a four-character, four-musician adaptation of a Thomas Hardy short story, here brought…

SOURCE: at 06:49PM
Tuesday, July 4, 2023

New York, New York by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 2023 (Wine & Peaches LLC) New York, New York is destined to go down in musical theater history books for its creative team, which includes the legendary composer …

SOURCE: at 02:33PM
Monday, June 19, 2023

KPOP by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 2023 (Masterworks Broadway)  In 2021, the South Korean music industry earned around $773 million in revenue, a figure that has been increasing since K-pop as a genre…

SOURCE: at 10:29AM
Thursday, June 15, 2023

Some Like It Hot by Michael Portantiere

Original Broadway Cast, 2023 (Concord Theatricals) Broadway musicals based on movies are nothing new, but Billy Wilder’s masterpiece Some Like it Hot may hold the distinction of being the …

SOURCE: at 03:06PM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater