June 2012 Script
Get Used to It - Opening Number (1993)
Yes, I guess they're right, we didn't need an opening number. This is JD Doyle and Queer Music Heritage and if you were with me last month you heard a three hour romp through gay musicals. Well, I had so much fun putting that show together that this is Part 2. Now that show, and this one, are not organized history lessons. I'll jump around and sample a whole bunch of music from shows you likely haven't heard in a while, or maybe even missed altogether. Like the one, well, opening the show. That was called "Opening Number," from a 1993 show by Tom Wilson Weinberg called "Get Used to It." And here's another number from the show, still very relevant today, called "Hymn."
Used to It - Hymn (1993)
You may have picked out the voices of Jack Black, as Jesus, and Neil Patrick Harris, in a celebrity cast, singing Mark Shaiman's very relevant production of "Prop 8: The Musical." If you haven't seen the video for that one, well, you obviously don't spent much time on the internet. And here's more religious themed show music. A composer I like a lot is Eric Lane Barnes and in 2003 there was a show of his produced in Houston called "The Stops." From it is "The Fundamental."
- The Fundamental (2003)
Steven Fales, and the song "Mormon Boy," from his show "Confessions of a Mormon Boy," and while that's not a musical, he did record a couple of songs related to the story. I got to see him do his show in Houston recently, and it's excellent.
I just mentioned Eric Lane Barnes. Well, he had another show, in 1995 called "Fairy Tales," and it's a delight. I'm sharing with you "Dear Dad" and "Stonewall Serenade."
Fairy Tales - Dear Dad / Stonewall Serenade (1995)
And, are you one of those people who, especially on Facebook, just cringe at all the bad grammar used in the posts. I am, though I force myself to not make corrections. Anyway, also from the show "Fairy Tales," here's a song for you, called "The Letter Song."
Tales - The Letter Song (1995)
Very nice. That show was performed a number of time in New York City and was called "Tom Bogdan's L'Amour Bleu." The subtitle was "A Gay Celebration of Love in Song." Tom Bogdan wrote and sang the first track, "Doo Rundy Song," and from the cast of the show Kenny Lockwood sang "He's So Fine."
And here's a pretty song from the 2001 show "Portraits: A Musical Revue," called "This World We're Living In."
A Musical Revue - This World We're Living In (2001)
That was a very gay set. It ended with Denise Nolin and was from a CD called "Gay Friendly," billed as by Billy Solly and Friends. Solly wrote one of our historic gay musicals, "Boy Meets Boy." Second in that set was the title track from the 2008 show "Mom, I'm Gay," and nestled in between was a movie song from 1996, Scott Thompson and "I'm Gay," from "Brain Candy."
And here's another "I Am Gay" song, this time sung in German, "Ich Bin Schwul," from the show "Ugly Ducklings."
Ducklings - Ich Bin Schwul (2008)
After the German "Ugly Ducklings" was "Legally Blonde, the Musical" and the song "There! Right There!" And then that was Jeff Scott introducing the title song from the musical he co-wrote, "Teenage Homo."
This is JD Doyle finishing up Part 1 of the show this month, and of course there's more on my website, queermusicheritage.com. Taking us out, from 1987, is the cast of "Ten Percent Revue" and the song "Before Stonewall."
Ten Percent Revue - Before Stonewall (1987)
Well, that was an energetic way to start Part 2 of my special on Gay Musicals. This is JD Doyle and that was the title track to the 2008 show "Gay Bride of Frankenstein." Let's keep the energy up with the show "Zanna Don't!" It's from 2003 and the premise was that the town of Heartsville is in a parallel universe where being gay is the norm, and the current issue is whether to allow straights into the military.
Don't! - Be a Man (2003)
tell this is the internet version of this show? That first song, from
"Zanna Don't," was sung by Jai Rodriguez. You may know him
from the TV show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy." He was
the cute one they didn't give much to do. But he can sing, and that
was him on the second track, doing a song from "Hair," called
"Sodomy." Now, I don't consider "Hair" a gay musical,
but that was from a benefit recording that was packed full of gay
& lesbian Broadway folks.
Finally, one that seemed to flow musically into the last track, called "Jack's Song." It was from the 1998 huge hit musical "Naked Boys Singing." A while back I interviewed Mark Winkler, for a show I did last January on jazz, but as he was one of the writers for "Naked Boys Singing," Of course I also asked him about the show.
Winkler - Comments (2012)
I thank Mark for those comments, and you heard him say the show has been done all over the world. From the Mexican cast well, they called it "Chicos Cantando Y Desnudos," here's the opening track, what we called "Gratuitous Nudity," which is almost my favorite kind.
Boys Singing (in Spanish) - Gratuitous Nudity (1998)
Boys Follies - Straight Guy (2008)
You're only "Queer at the Pier." That's from the 2005 show "Fleet Week," and that seemed logical to follow the song "A Gay Male Tar," from "Pinafore." And before it was another wiener song. This one was from the Broadway revue "Newsical the Musical."
I'm going to keep to the military theme, but this next show was done with a lot more class. A couple years ago I heard about a musical then playing off-Broadway, called "Yank the Musical, a WWII Love Story," and I could hear some clips I very much liked from the website, so I wrote to the producers and asked if they had any full songs available to play on the radio. Well, I was delighted that they sent me a demo of the entire soundtrack, so I get to share a little of it with you way before it will be available on CD. Of course I can't do justice to the show's story but I picked three tracks to give you a taste, of when our young gay hero went off to war and gets taken under the, er, wing of a photographer.
the Musical - A Few Weeks Back (2009)
that's not all the story, but a good introduction to "Yank the
Whoop-Dee-Do - Fairy Bar Intro / Tough To Be a Fairy (1995)
I'm starting Part 3 of the show off with something rare. The beloved "Tales of the City" premiered as a musical in June of 2011, with a book by Jeff Whitty, of "Avenue Q," and music by Jake Shears, of Scissor Sisters. No soundtrack has been released but that demo, sung by Shears, gives us one of the most touching moments of the story, "Dear Mama," sung by the Michael Mouse character. And this is JD Doyle with Queer Music Heritage, continuing my romp through gay musicals.
Last month I played a track from one of my favorite shows, "Bare: The Musical," and this time I'm playing the same song, but from the earlier Off-Broadway cast of the show, from 2004. Playing the character Peter is Michael Arden, who I adore. He solos on the second song, "Role of a Lifetime," and duets with John Hill, who plays Jason, on my favorite track, "You & I."
A Pop Opera - You & I / Role of a Lifetime (2004)
I just love, love that one. That was Gavin Creel, another Broadway actor/singer I like a lot. And that show was done in 2004 and was called "Easter Rising." Michael Arden, who I just mentioned, co-wrote the show.
This next set starts out with something historic, the first totally lesbian musical. It's from the UK from 1979 and was a production of the Gay Sweatshop Women's Company, called "I Like Me Like This." It dealt mostly with some serious subjects, like rape and molestation, but I pulled out the lightest song of the bunch, "Cowboys and Lesbians."
Like Me Like This - Cowboys and Lesbians (1979)
That was very nice, "Love Is a Woman." It's from a demo recording of the show "A Letter to Harvey Milk," from last year. And after "Cowboys and Lesbians" you heard a couple short songs. From the 1978 show "The First Nudie Musical" there was what appears to be a throwaway song, called "Lesbian, Butch, Dyke," and much more serious and well done was the show from 2008 called "1918: A House Divided." I picked the song "Drag Ball at Webster Hall." Written by Barbara Kahn and Allison Tartalia, that musical drew a number of political parallels between New York City during World War I and the present day, but the LGBT relationships are central to the plot.
You know, sometimes I can't believe the stuff I have in my own collection. Daniel Curzon is one of our noted playwrights, winning many awards and known especially for his 1971 novel, "Something You Do In the Dark." That book is considered by many as the first gay protest novel. Well, he has written some musicals as well, and a while back he sent me a demo tape of one of them. The show was from 1979 and called "Comeback." The plot thrust is a male cabaret artist trying to make a comeback as a female after having a sex change. Curzon wrote the lyrics and Dan Turner composed the music. The entire demo tape is sung by Turner, who died in 1990. I think it's worth noting that as far as I know this is easily the earliest recording of a musical with a transgender theme. From it here is Dan Turner singing the opening and closing tracks, "Remember Me," and "Please Love Me."
- Dan Turner - Remember Me / Please Love Me (1979)
meaning to play those two songs together, but let's go back to the
start of that set. Dan Turner sang two songs from the musical he co-wrote
with Daniel Curzon called "Comeback." And then came "The
Sissy Show," written by Katherine Harvey and Christine Howey,
and released in 2003. This one is a hard CD to track down as it was
pretty much homemade and their website did not stay around long. A
cast of four sang the 25 songs, and from them I played "Come
On In," and "Me & My Centerfold." Next, starting
in 1967 Charles Ludlam founded in New York City the Ridiculous Theatre
Company and it spawned many way, way off-Broadway shows, and it's
fortunate that on their 25th anniversary in 1992 they released a CD
of some of their musical treasures. So, from the show "The Hunchback
of Notre Dame" I could not resist the song "Thank God He
Made Me a Drag Queen." And then, another point of view, from
the 1999 movie "Better Than Chocolate" came the song "I'm
Not a Fucking Drag Queen."
The "New Faces of 1956" show was released on vinyl, and Jones starred on two of the songs, but not all of the numbers would fit on the disc. I recently got an album called "Forgotten Broadway," but when I researched it I found that it was really the left-over songs from "New Faces of 1956." It was described as sort of a gray market recording, with a plain album cover with just a sticker giving the tracks. There were two more tracks by TC Jones, and on "She's Got Everything," he does his famous impersonation of a tipsy Tallulah Bankhead, in the guise of a character named Hope Diamond.
of 1956 - TC Jones - She's Got Everything (1956)
And again, that set started with TC Jones, doing "She Got Everything," from "New Faces of 1956." Then I went to Harvey Fierstein, and he sang "Love for Sale" from "Torch Song Trilogy." Finally, another track from what I consider the very first gay musical, the song "Women With Women, Men With Men." And the show, created by Al Carmines, was called "The Faggot." By the way, as far as plot goes that was a real cats and dogs show. It ran for 203 performances and attracted a lot of attention. Carmines appeared in the show as Oscar Wilde and there were portrayals of Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, and Catherine the Great, and songs by a hustler, two leather men and a fag-hag gay bar owner.
And here's more history. When I played you a track from "The Faggot," I mentioned that Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas were characters in that show. Well, here's their song, starting off a quick Gertrude & Alice set. They sang a song called "Ordinary Lives," and they will be followed by an unorthodox treat. Well, I think it is.
- Ordinary Lives (1973)
Okay, that middle track didn't come from a musical, but the singer does have credentials. That was Robert Patrick, one of our pioneering gay playwrights. These days he keeps active by posting Youtube videos of his short songs, that one called "Gertrude Stein's Song," about Alice. In one of Robert Patrick's earliest successes, called "The Haunted Host," Harvey Fierstein had his first role not cast as a drag queen. That was in 1974 and twenty years later Harvey gave a tribute to Robert by adding a long reading of one of Robert's works, called "Pouf Positive" to his recording "This Is Not Going To Be Pretty," which also included "I Am What I Am," which I used to close that set.
This is JD Doyle, closing Part 3 of my romp through musicals with something much more up to date, in the form of the 2010 show "Oklahomo: The Adventures of Dave and Gary." Of course there's a track called "Oklahomo."
Oklahomo: The Adventures of Dave and Gary - Oklahomo (2010)