Musical Theatre Nerd Alert–Ep. 5

“Randall!”  Though the Nerd Alert series is littered with inside jokes, one that didn’t make it is the now iconic way our class pronounces the name “Randall.”  One day, our dearest Randall offered a snide remark at some situation, and Liv retorted with a look and a delivery of his name that was one half chastising, one half exasperated, and one pinch Danish.

When it comes to names in musical theatre, the layman might not recognize the name Harold Arlen, and yet his songs are among the most recognizable of the 20th Century.  Most notably, he wrote “Over the Rainbow” and other numbers for The Wizard of Oz.  His massive contributions to the Great American Songbook include “I’ve Got the World on a String,” “Get Happy,” and “Stormy Weather.”  Undoubtedly, most Americans know his songs even if they don’t know his name.

The ladies of #sdsumtmfa16 did a great job starting off the series, but now it’s the guys’ turn.  After Randall, Kikau will be sharing all the ways that Loesser is greater.  I’ll be wrapping up the series with the incomparable Jule Styne.  Then, season two?  We’ll see.

PREVIOUSLY:  Episode 4–Julia on Rodgers and Hart

UP NEXT:  Episode 6–Kikau on Frank Loesser

Musical Theatre Nerd Alert–Ep. 4

Hey, nerds!

Before there was Rodgers and Hammerstein, there was a different “R&H”:  Rodgers and Hart.  Today, we meet “Dick and Larry”, as well as yet another fabulous member of the MFA class, Julia Cuppy.  Aside from being a terrific carpool buddy and fellow former high school teacher, you also might be interested to know that she is the Executive Producer of Libretto Media, who produced our web series.  Musical Theatre Nerd Alert is the first project for this fledgling company, and it really wouldn’t have taken off had it not been for Julia.

Back to our duo du jour, Rodgers and Hart had a difficult partnership at times, but it was one that produced some remarkable songs.  Dick’s completely hummable melodies combined with Larry’s clever lyrics made them an impressive team.  Enjoy episode three!

PREVIOUSLY:  Episode 3–Courtney on Oscar Hammerstein II

UP NEXT:  Episode 5–Randall on Harold Arlen

Musical Theatre Nerd Alert–Ep. 3

Hey, nerds!

Here is a bit of insight into the world of Musical Theatre History class for the MFAs:  after spending weeks researching a composer or lyricist, crafting a beautiful PowerPoint, and lecturing on his or her life and work, we commonly develop a crush on our subject.  It totally happened with me and George Gershwin and even more so with Jeanine Tesori.  But no one became more infatuated than Courtney did with Oscar Hammerstein II.

Hammerstein served as an important bridge between the older style of operetta–think Kern, Herbert, and the like–and the newer style that would typify the Golden Age–think Loesser, Styne, and the like.  His lyrics have paired with some of America’s best-loved melodies.  Considering his mentorship of Stephen Sondheim, he is one of the most influential creators of the 20th century.

Now is a great time to tell you that if you’d like to subscribe to these videos directly, check out the SDSU Musical Theatre YouTube page.  You can find past episodes there too.  If you’re into social media, find and “like” our SDSU Facebook page.  There are a lot of exciting things happening–including a soon-to-be season announcement–and this is the best place to learn all about it.  There’s also some sweet content on Instagram @sdsumtmfa and on Twitter @MTMFASanDiego.  Later, nerds!

PREVIOUSLY:  Episode 2–Liv on Irving Berlin

UP NEXT:  Episode 4–Julia on Rodgers and Hart

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