When I found out that Jillian Butler was in Chicago, I immediately had to ask her one important question: “Have you seen Hamilton?”
Butler plays Cosette in the new touring production of Les Miserables that opens at the Peace Center in Greenville on October 31, 2017. I talked to her on the phone last week, when the show was still playing Chicago.
“I did see Hamilton!” she told me. “We got here on a Monday and we had a Tuesday free, so a bunch of us got to see it on Tuesday night the first week we were here. It was amazing.”
How lucky we are to be alive right now.
We chatted about Hamilton for a few moments, then moved on to the real subject of the call, her experience playing an iconic character in an epic musical. Butler’s joy of performing really came through in her voice as well as her words, and I truly enjoyed talking to her. She was a real delight and I can’t wait to see her – and the rest of the cast – perform.
You can read the full interview on BroadwayWorld.
I can’t remember how I came across Kristina Riggle on Twitter. Do any of us really remember how we stumbled across the people we follow?
We bonded over our children’s love of Star Wars and, in particular, the Wilhelm Scream. I’ve enjoyed her tweets as an insight into both her personal life and her writing life. Naturally, then, I’ve always rooted for her as an author.
So I was particularly delighted when she recently reported that an old novel of hers, Things We Didn’t Say, had seen a sales bump and was suddenly a USA Today Bestseller.
I enjoyed her most recent novel, Vivian in Red, which takes place in Broadway’s tin pan alley days. It tells the story of Milo Short, a producer who, nearing the end of his life, is haunted by a woman he hasn’t seen since the 1930’s. It’s up to Milo’s misfit granddaughter, Eleanor, to piece together the fragments of the mystery woman’s life and finally tell the real story behind Milo’s greatest song.
When the novel came out in paperback earlier this year, I published an interview with Kristina Riggle on BroadwayWorld.
I’m not immune to Wonder Woman mania. But as much as I enjoyed the movie, my summer of Wonder Woman centered around a brand new 3-CD release of music from the classic 1970’s TV show. I loved the release so much, I asked Film Score Monthly magazine if they’d be interested in an interview with the set’s producer (and my friend) Neil S. Bulk.
The piece was published in the June 2017 issue (subscription required to read the full article). Here are a couple of excerpts.
In the role of journalist, I know I should be strictly impartial, but I’ll admit right up front that I can’t stop listening to the music from the classic television series Wonder Woman. There’s just something about La-La Land Records’ recent 3-CD set that hits everything I love about soundtracks—catchy riffs, clever rhythms and a heavy dose of nostalgia.
I recently spoke to producer Neil S. Bulk about putting together the collection and discovered another good reason for me to love the set: There was one track that Bulk included with specifically me in mind!
Neil Shurley: How did you get involved with this project?
Neil S. Bulk: This was just a La-La Land assignment. I’d been watching the show. I hadn’t watched it in many years—I grew up with the reruns—but it sort of faded away for a while and I rediscovered it on MeTV. And so I was watching it, and as I was watching it, I was sort of paying attention to the music. I think I started watching on MeTV when it was on season three, and I thought—because you just sort of file things in the back of your mind—“Oh, this is Angela Morley. Oh, there’s a blaster beam. If this ever happens, I’d love to be part of it.” So when they asked me, I said, great, and then I sort of knew in what direction I wanted to go. Their initial want list, which I agreed with, was that it would be three CDs, a disc per season. And then we started searching Warner Bros. and discovering that we couldn’t find much from season one. We scoured the entire inventory and turned up nothing, just the pilot, which we couldn’t even find right away. I was going through the inventory and went, “Oh, wait a minute—what are these nine reels right here?” We called them in and it was the pilot score, so we did find that. And that’s how it all started.
NS: But you couldn’t ever find anything else from season one.
NSB: No, we couldn’t.
NS: Does it feel like there’s a lot missing, that there was a lot of good stuff you were hoping to get to while you were watching?
NSB: It’s been a while now, I’d have to look back at my notes for that. It would have been nice to have some of the World War II stuff on there, because it’s an important part, but we do have the pilot, which was critical.
Continue reading “Wonder Woman ’75 – A Musical Treasure”
My interview with author Delia Cabe is now up on BroadwayWorld. She talks about some of the inspirations, favorite stories, and other tidbits behind her book Storied Bars of New York.