Hamilton and Hip-Hop

~posted by Karen D.

Alexander Hamilton by Ron ChernowI did not do well in my high school history class.  As a matter of fact I received a failing mark.

Since then, however, I’ve had a lot of fun reading my own selection of books about history.  Some of these books have grabbed and kept my interest throughout the reading by giving me a sense of what life was like when certain events were going on, a view into the thoughts of those in the middle of the “historical events”.

Lately my interest has been piqued by Lin-Manuel Miranda.  He came across a book about Alexander Hamilton and became so inspired by what he read that he created an entire Broadway musical from it – featuring hip-hop! Continue reading “Hamilton and Hip-Hop”

Last Minute Gift Ideas: Best Musicals

Need help finding a last-minute gift for Broadway-loving friends? Here are a few suggestions of recent original cast recordings that should brighten their holidays! Three of these shows were nominated for the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical and the fourth one is in the running for a nomination for 2009.

In The Heights”, by 28 year-old Lin-Manuel Miranda, won the Tony Award for Best Musical earlier this year. Set in the melting pot of the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, In The Heights brings a multitude of musical styles together, including Continue reading “Last Minute Gift Ideas: Best Musicals”

Ghost Singer as Author

Book cover of As I read a recent Seattle Times review of the traveling production, My Fair Lady, the name Marni Nixon “jumped out” at me. The former Seattlite was playing the non-singing role of Higgins’ mother. What a surprise, she’s still active, I thought. A long time admirer of hers, I wondered what would it be like to dub the singing for famous actresses and never be acknowledged? I then turned to Google and learned that she had been in Seattle in 2006 for signings and a concert related to her book, I Could Have Sung All Night. How did I miss that!

As co-author with Stephen Cole, she has written an engaging account of her childhood, her working relationships with composers and conductors like Bernstein and Stravinsky, her three marriages, and especially her dubbing, Continue reading “Ghost Singer as Author”