Talkin' BroadwayPast Columns


While VJ is off on his vacation, here I am again to call your attention to all the great stuff that's out there on the web. I'm hard at work on a major upgrade and reorganization of Theatricopia, and during the revision, I haven't really done many updates to pages other than the ones for shows and performers. The new links have been going into the new version only, which should be ready very soon. You, however, the readers of Talkin' Broadway, will get an exclusive look at some of the best stuff, the sites that I think will be the most useful, the coolest and the best in general.

On my last links column, I included a short summary of ways to find and order the cast albums you want. In that tradition, before we dive into the list I've prepared for you all, let me say a few words about finding the holders of performance rights for shows.

Probably more questions about who holds the rights to this or that show are sent to me than any other topic, believe it or not. If only there were a general site that listed the rights holders for the most-performed musicals, at least, but there isn't (hint, hint)! Until someone saves us from this terrible lack, my top suggestion is not a website at all, but rather Peter Filichia's book Let's Put on a Musical. It's widely available, and covers, among other things, the rights holders for a large number of shows, though not all of them, and not the most recent stuff.

There are, fortunately, a number of the usual licensing suspects who have websites, so you can do a great deal of your searching for this information right online. The top companies for U.S. productions are MTI, Samuel French, Tams-Witmark and The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. Not much is available for overseas, but the London office of Samuel French also has a very useful website, while MTI has a page with links to its foreign sub-agents. Any suggestions for finding any other appropriate performance rights agencies outside of the United States would be most welcome.

While French only provides a simple listing of shows, MTI and Rodgers & Hammerstein both have elaborate mini-sites for each of their shows. Such information as cast and orchestral requirements, character descriptions, plot synopses and available recordings can be found (in varying measures) for virtually every show in their catalogs. The show pages are great to read through even if you're not putting on a show yourself! Take a look at MTI's page for Guys and Dolls, for instance.

On the other end of the spectrum, check out the Public Domain Information Project, which provides all sorts of lists and guidelines for music that can be performed for free, anytime. Some of it is old theatre music, and some of it is very, very familiar, for those looking to put together a revue on the cheap.

Okay, I promised you some great new websites, so here are a few of the new sources and resources that you'll definitely want to check out:

Berkshire Record Outlet
An amazing find! This company specializes in cut-outs worldwide, so if you've given up elsewhere, try here. The online search form is a little clunky to use, but I find that if you just put the term "cast" into the "Phrase 1" box, and click on Search, you'll do a good job of pulling up what they have available. Make sure you have the label and catalog number of the items you want when you place your order...and you will order!

Cast Recordings FAQ
Also undergoing a behind-the-scenes revision, this webpage should provide some very interesting reading for cast album fans. Author Mike Benedetto very kindly provides mailing addresses for all the major labels, including the person in charge of that company's cast album section, so you can send them a note and let them know we love them.

Musicals in Japan
A lot of us probably have a Japanese cast album or two, but how much do you know about the musicals scene in that country? This is a great resource for lists of shows and casts in Japan, plus links to all the major production companies. This only lacks a cast album section to make it a killer site.

Finally, wanna know what's up on the TKTS board today? Stroll over to newyork.sidewalk. Just scroll down a bit to get to the link for TKTS along the left side of the page.

Until next time, see you on the web!


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