Entertainment :: Music

Bullets Over Broadway - Original Broadway Cast Recording

by Steven Bergman
Contributor
Wednesday Jun 11, 2014
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Woody Allen’s 1994 film, "Bullets Over Broadway" reeked of musical adaptation when it hit the theaters, and now Allen has finally completed the transition, with the help of über-director-choreographer Susan Stroman, and "Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical" is now dancing and singing eight shows a week at the St. James Theatre on the Great White Way. Masterworks Broadway has released the soundtrack to this uptempo homage to gangster comedies set in the 1920’s, providing a toe-tapping, heartfelt tribute to the pre-Depression music of yesteryear.

Zach Braff ("Scrubs), Marin Mazzie ("Ragtime") Brooke Ashmanskas ("Songs For a New World"), Betsy Wolfe ("Mystery of Edwin Drood"), Karen Ziemba ("Contact"), and Tony-nominee Nick Cordero ("Rock of Ages") tell the age-old story of an aspiring writer, David Shayne (Braff), who will only see his play on stage if he writes a juicy part for a gangster’s talent-free girlfriend, Olive (Heléne Yorke). Love, flings, and affairs abound as Shayne’s show goes into rehearsals, but only due to the constructive edits created by henchman Cheech (Cordero), assigned by gangster Nick Valenti to keep an eye on Olive.

The score is constructed from fresh imaginings of lesser-known oldies from the 20’s, with only "Let’s Misbehave" (Cole Porter), and "Yes, We Have No Bananas" potentially familiar to the layman. Otherwise, music producers Doug Besterman and Frank Filipetti have created arrangements that easily stand on their own, giving "Bullets Over Broadway" the feeling of an entertaining new entity.

Under the watchful eye of Stroman, there are several opportunities for the crackerjack orchestra, under the direction of Andy Einhorn, to shine on this recording. "Tain’t a Fit Night Out for Man or Beast," "Tiger Rag," "Here Comes the Hot Tamale Man," and "...Bananas" all have hot instrumental sections. The characters of "Guys and Dolls," the dancing of "Newsies," and the soaring voices of Mazzie, Wolfe, Cordero and the cast make this soundtrack a wonderful listen, as well as a strong marketing tool for the still-playing Broadway production.

"Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical (OBCR)"
Woody Allen, Zach Braff, Marin Mazzie, Nick Cordero
CD and digital formats
Masterworks Broadway

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.

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