Tag Archives: hello dolly

Broadway at the Hoboken Public Library, Part 2: Waitress, The Great Comet, and Hello, Dolly!

11 Feb

It’s been awhile since I wrote about my adventures on the Great White Way! (Click here, here, and here for my past posts about Broadway.) I haven’t been to the theater as much as I would like lately (life has been busy, and the Hamilton tickets I bought last year cost beaucoup bucks and wiped out my theater budget) but these are the shows I have seen recently.



“Sugar, butter, flour” are the simple opening lines of this show as well as the basis of many pie recipes. This musical is based on the movie of the same name, written by Adrienne Shelly, about a waitress named Jenna with a talent for baking pies who finds herself pregnant by her deadbeat husband and longs to escape. The musical stays pretty true to the movie, but definitely stands on its own.

The show was created by a team of women, including Sara Bareilles, who wrote the music and lyrics for this show. She released an album (CD and Freegal) performing some of the show’s tunes herself. My favorite tracks from the Original Broadway Cast Recording (on CD and Hoopla) include “Bad Idea,” “I Didn’t Plan It,” and “You Matter to Me.” Ogie has to be the most memorable romantic hero on all of Broadway, who declares his love via a song called “I Love You Like a Table.”

The scent of fresh baked pie wafts through the theater, which will make you hungry. (Don’t worry, the concessions stands sell warm slices of pie for an intermission snack!) What will stick with you long after the show is over is the strong bond between the three female leads, Jenna, Becky, and Dawn. You may also remember a romantic scene that includes some epic Revolutionary War era cosplay.

The Great Comet


The complete title of this show is Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812. Certainly a mouthful to say, and a lot to type. I had no idea what this show was about going in, except that Josh Groban stars as Pierre, and I was pleasantly surprised by The Great Comet.

This is the sort of show that winks at the audience–the fourth wall is gone. The action takes place all around the theater, with the actors making use of the all the space and engaging with the audience. It was fun to anticipate where the actors will appear next, perhaps near you. If you’re lucky, the actors, along their travels, will give you a little box that contains a pierogi for a mid-show nosh. I didn’t get one, but that lady sitting next to me did.

You can hear the soundtrack on Hoopla, and borrow the CD. “Letters”, a song about email’s predecessor, includes the knowing lyric “In nineteenth century Russia, we write letters / we put down on paper what is happening in our minds.” Another standout track is “Charming.” I also recommend any track featuring Brittain Ashford, who plays Sonya. Her voice is delicate but full of emotion, particularly on “Sonya Alone.”

Hello, Dolly!


Ok, I haven’t seen this show yet. It isn’t due to officially open on Broadway until Thursday April 20, 2017. But I am planning to see this revival, which will feature Bette Midler as Dolly Gallagher Levi and David Hyde Pierce as Horace Vandergelder. I can’t wait to see this show and these talented actors in the iconic roles.

To me, Hello, Dolly! Is one of the most classic Broadway musicals. Barbra Streisand starred in the 1969 film adaptation, but Carol Channing who originated the role on Broadway in 1964 is the best known Dolly. I love so many songs from this show. “Dancing” makes you feel as though you’re spinning with the actors. “Before the Parade Passes By” is wistful. “Elegance” is fun and upbeat. Of course, “Hello, Dolly!” is a showstopper. But my favorite has always been “It Only Takes a Moment,” which is sung in a courthouse of all places. What can I say, I’m a romantic.

Hoopla has several versions of the Hello, Dolly! soundtrack to stream. Borrow the Original Broadway Cast Recording on CD to hear “So Long Dearie”, which features one of the sickest burns to come from Broadway, when Channing as Dolly sneers to Horace Vandergelder, “snuggle up to your cash register”. Shall we adapt that one to the twenty first century, changing “cash register” to “iPhone”? Thoughts?

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

14 Love Songs for Valentine’s Day

14 Feb

Today is Valentine’s Day!


If you’re celebrating, I have some music selections for you in the following list. All are available to borrow from the library or through interlibrary loan.

Alternatively, if you’re not feeling lovey-dovey, click here for the anti-love songs list from last week.

1. The Everly Brothers, “All I Have to Do Is Dream”.

Any song that encourages day-dreaming is good with me.

2. The Velvet Underground, “I’m Sticking with You

A quirky yet sweet duet between Lou Reed and Maureen Tucker.

3. “It Only Takes a Moment” from Hello, Dolly!

This classic from Hello, Dolly! found a new audience after Wall-E.

4. Paul McCartney, “Silly Love Songs

Valentine’s Day is the most appropriate time to listen to silly love songs.

5. Johnny Cash, “Rose of My Heart

Borrow Walk the Line to see more about Johnny and June’s epic, enduring relationship.

6. A-Ha, “Take On Me

Boy digs Girl so much that he busts out the comics to be with her. Awww.

7. Mazzy Star, “Fade Into You

Hope Sandoval’s ethereal vocals make this song special.

8. Aaliyah, “One In a Million

Who doesn’t want to be told that they’re “one in a million”?

9. Best Coast, “When I’m With You

An easy, breezy love song, and the video is set in sunny Southern California.

10. Neko Case, “This Tornado Loves You

A song about an unrequited love that is as strong and destructive as a tornado.

11. Meiko, “Stuck On You

This song was featured in a cat food commercial, and it’s too cute to keep off the list.

12. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, “Home

The banter between Alex Ebert and Jade Castrinos is so much fun to listen to.

13. Bastille, “Flaws

The singer says his and his love’s flaws make “a wonderful mess”–the best kind.

14. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, “Let Them Knock

If you’re looking for a song to play for a romantic evening, your search ends here.

Bonus Track

Rihanna, “Umbrella

I believe that Valentine’s Day celebrates all types of love. With that in mind, this is a song for everyone you care about.

What are your favorite love songs?

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

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