This blog is a part of The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers, found online at www.contemporarymusicaltheatre.com.
The Directory continues to flourish, with new writers and songs every month. We’re thrilled writers are finding us and wanting to get involved with our resource. We’re equally happy teachers, students and all sorts of musical theatre professionals are finding us online and seeing the value of what we do.
But let’s face it: it’s a lot of information to sift through, ja? The idea of having a database of over 380 songs at your fingertips sounds great, but for some, making their way through all the new repertoire can be very daunting.
That’s why, beyond having various search functions on our site, each month we’ve recommended “Featured Five” songs, based on a particular theme. Our blog gives you an opportunity to slowly become better acquainted with our writers and their work. That’s also why we created The Top 25 Songs, which live on the front page of our website.
Last summer we announced our inaugural Top 25 Songs at the NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Conference in Orlando. These songs were chosen by a committee of industry professionals because they showed outstanding craft and intelligent vocal writing. A final round of applause to the writers of the 2012 Top 25 Songs (Directory subscribers can login and click on the below links to go directly to the song records):All the Possibilities – Michael Wartofsky & Kathleen Cahill All There is to Say – Brad Alexander & Adam Matthias Basic Black – Craig Baldwin & Kathy Lombardi Blue Horizon – Michael Kooman & Christopher Dimond Dirt Road – Jeff Hardy & Tom Stuart Fly at Me – Allison Hubbard & Kim Oler Han Solo – Will Aronson & Bill Nelson He Knew How to Read Me – Ben Schaechter & Dan Kael He Needs Me – Robert Maggio & Kristin Maloney Hold My Hand – Jeff Blumenkrantz I Don’t Think of You (It’s All Good) – Daniel Maté I’m Just Glad – David Gaines & Charlie Sohne I’m Sitting Next to Estella – Sam Willmott It Just Wasn’t Meant to Happen – Barry Wyner Like Donnie – Robert Maggio & Kristin Maloney Mediocre Man – Rachel Peters My Sky – Adam Overett Please, Belize – Nadav Wiesel Real Adventure – Sam Willmott & Marcus Stevens Saturday Alone – Barry Wyner A Sorta Love Song – Scott Burkell & Paul Loesel They Fly – Clay Zambo Time on My Hands – Katya Stanislavskaya To Excess – Michael Kooman & Christopher Dimond Why Can’t I Kiss You? – Jeff Blumenkrantz
This summer, we are proud to announce our 2013 Top 25 Songs from the International Congress of Voice Teachers Conference in Brisbane. Australia, where we’re presenting The Directory project to more than 500 voice teachers.
Our guest judges selected our Top 25 Songs from a selection over forty songs, which ran the gamut of today’s musical theatre styles, from legit to pop/rock. We showed no biased based on personal taste. Our only qualifications were that 2012 Top 25 writers could not be considered again (to spread the wealth) and each song had to represent the very highest standard in musical theatre writing. The judges blindly reviewed each selection by recording only, so as not to show personal favor to particular writers. To the extent that judging someone’s creative output is fair, this acknowledgment seeks to be a buoyant celebration of our writers and their work.
Drum roll please…. the 2013 Top 25 Songs are:Afternoon on a Hill – Ben Bonnema All About Me – Michael Patrick Walker The Best Things in Life – Beth Falcone Drive – Andy Monroe Giant – Joe Miloscia & Kenneth Kacmar Gonna Spend the Whole Day Fishin’ – Patrick Cook & Frederick Freyer Highway Miles – Peter Mills Hittin’ the Road – Sara Wordsworth & Russ Kaplan I Can’t Walk On – Jenny Giering I Don’t Know My Heart – Lawrence Rush It’s Amazing the Things That Float – Peter Mills Lady of the Sea – Chris Miller & Nathan Tysen Never Knew – Timothy Huang One White Dress – John Bucchino Real New Yorkers – Danny Abosch Sigh No More, Ladies – Will Reynolds Simple Way – Micah Young Smile – Robert Del Gaudio & David Alan Thornton So I Chased the Setting Sun – Anna Dagmar Spring Cleaning – Chris Miller & Nathan Tysen Sweet Dreams – John Bucchino Thirstier for Miracles – Masi Asare Time Does Not Bring Relief – Carmel Dean Who I Am – Jonathan Monro Winter, Wait for Me – Will Reynolds
We thank our distinguished judges, who all performed at The Directory’s star-studded Inaugural launch concert at Second Stage this past January (watch the concert trailer here). We’re grateful for their time and careful consideration.
Nick Blaemire is a performer and songwriter living in New York City. He recently appeared in the Broadway Revival of GODSPELL, and the World Premiere of DOGFIGHT at 2ndStage Theatre, directed by Joe Mantello. Other Broadway credits include CRY-BABY and GLORY DAYS, for which he wrote the music and lyrics (Original Cast Recording available on Sh-K-Boom Records). Nick recently recurred on the ABC series “Zero Hour,” starring Anthony Edwards, and was seen opposite Brian Dennehy and Amanda Peet on CBS’ “The Good Wife.” Other film and TV credits include Whit Stillman’s “Damsels in Distress,” “Gods Behaving Badly,” “The Big C,” “Law and Order: CI” and “Guiding Light.” He also writes and sings with band the Hustle, whose debut self-titled EP is available on www.nickblaemireandthehustle.com.
Darius de Haas
Darius de Haas is a Chicago born singer with “deeps roots in jazz and soul” (New York Times) and award winning Broadway actor. Son of bass player Eddie de Haas and singer Geraldine Bey (formerly of the trio, “Andy and the Bey Sisters”), known for his soaring voice, he has proven successful as a performer ranging from the Broadway stage to contemporary theater to recordings to concert venues throughout the world. His stature as a solo artist was launched with his two highly acclaimed concert tributes (to Billy Strayhorn and Stevie Wonder) for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series. His singular abilities and range in popular music, jazz, and musical theater have established him as a performer in a variety of settings as well as a guest with several orchestras including the National Symphony, The Cincinnati Pops, The Philly Pops, The Los Angeles Master Chorale and Luckman Jazz Orchestra, The New York Festival of Song, The Moab Music Festival, and The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater’s 50th Gala Celebration. He has been a guest soloist at Carnegie Hall, London’s Royal Festival Hall , Disney Concert Hall, The Kennedy Center, Town Hall, Lincoln Center, Constitution Hall, and St. John the Divine. Other notable performances include the concerts “Too Hot To Handel” at Carnegie Hall (conducted by Marin Alsop with The Baltimore Symphony) and Duke Ellington’s Sacred Concert of Music at Disney Concert Hall. He has performed, recorded and/or toured with such diverse artists as Elvis Costello, Debbie Harry, Marvin Hamlisch, Oleta Adams, Michael Feinstein, and Vanessa Williams. He made his Broadway debut in Kiss of the Spiderwoman, followed by Lincoln Center’s revival of Carousel, the original cast of Rent, The Gershwins’ Fascinating Rhythm, Marie Christine, the 20th anniversary concert of Dreamgirls and Hair ( both for the Actor’s Fund). Notable Off-Broadway, regional, touring and premiere credits include his Obie winning leading performance in the Pulitzer nominated Running Man (MusicTheater Group), Cain in Children of Eden (Papermill Playhouse), Saturn Returns (Public Theater), Cry The Beloved Country (Goodman Theater), The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Playwrights Horizons), Once On This Island (1st National Tour), the John Adams opera I Was Looking At The Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, and Jesus Christ Superstar – Gospel at the Alliance Theater. TV appearances include Only Heaven, My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs, Life 360, In The Life, The View, Good Morning America, The Today Show, A&E’s Private Sessions. His film work includes Anastasia, Malcolm X, Martin and Orloff, and Chicago (soundtrack). Darius is featured on numerous recordings including his award-winning solo debut CD, Darius de Haas: Day Dream- Variations on Strayhorn. Other recordings include Children of Eden, Marie Christine, I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky , Fire At Keaton’s Bar and Grill, Myths and Hymns, Dreamgirls In Concert, Bright Eyed Joy, The Century Men: Anthems In Disguise, Only Heaven, Hair, The Bubbly Black Girl…, and Quiet Please, with pianist Steven Blier. Please visit www.dariusdehaas.com.
Elizabeth first caught the attention of New York audiences and Stephen-Sondheim-fans with her portrayal of the flight attendant, April, in the Tony-Award-winning revival of Company. Recently, she again pleased NY and Sondheim-fans with her portrayal of Gussie, in the New York City Center, Encores! production of Merrily We Roll Along. Other roles originated on Broadway include: Allison, in John Water’s Cry-Baby, and Dyanne in the rock’n’roll musical, Million Dollar Quartet. First National and Japanese Tour: Kira in Xanadu. Off-Broadway: The Nurse in Hello, Again (Transport Theatre Group—Drama League Nomination, best ensemble). TV: Made in Jersey, Fringe, The Chappelle Show, All My Children, The Today Show, Jimmy Fallon, the TONY awards, PBS Great Performances. Regional: Barrington Stage Co., Philadelphia Theatre Co., Pittsburgh CLO, Rep. of St. Louis, The O’Neill, La Jolla Playhouse, Pioneer Theatre Co., Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Ms. Stanley has also wowed audiences with her vocally versatile performances in New York City’s Town Hall Broadway by the Year concert series, as well as her own self-written cabaret show at 54 Below. A Midwestern native, Elizabeth is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. In addition to her Broadway cast albums, you can also hear her singing Cole Porter favorites on the PS Classics album, Noel and Cole. Twitter: @ECStans. http://www.elizabethstanley.net
As mentioned earlier, there were more than forty songs considered for this year-long honor, and many hundred beyond that we hold dear to our hearts. We heartily recommend getting to know our over 150 writers and their 380+ songs. It might take a while, but we promise it will be worth the journey.
Who knows where we’ll present the 2014 Top 25… Iceland? Helsinki? Stay tuned…!!
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Visit www.contemporarymusicaltheatre.com for more information on over 180 contemporary musical theatre writers and 550+ songs, all searchable by voice and song type.