Dear Satellite Broadway Radio

Yeah. I was that kid.

Dear Satellite Broadway Radio,

Hi, it’s me, Joy.  I was one of the theatre geeks in school who dreamed that one day you would exist – a whole radio station dedicated to only playing songs like ‘Surrey With the Fringe On Top’ and ‘Hard-Knock Life’.  Before you were born, I used to sit in my bedroom with two boomboxes… one with a blank tape (you know, the kind you had to press “play” and “record” for at the same time) and the other blasting The Phantom of the Opera, Oliver, South Pacific and West Side Story as I made a mix for each Broadway mood.

I waited for you for so long and now you are real!  Now, I can hear full cast recordings of shows no one remembers like Sugar and Wish You Were Here (Which my Grandpa, George Lenz was in, by the way)! Now, I can listen to music from new shows and decide whether or not I think the show is worth seeing based on one song.  Where else can I hear interviews with my favorite Broadway stars? Nowhere. When you play Sally Dexter’s ‘As Long As He Needs Me’ from the 1994 London production, I sing along in my car and get all teary-eyed.  When you play Jennifer Holliday’s ‘And I Am Telling You (I’m Not Going)’, I always make whoever’s in my car shut up to listen and I get chills EVERY time.  Give me anything by Ruthie Henshall, Betty Buckley or Kelli O’Hara you’ll always have my full attention. And how about ‘River In the Rain’ from Big River or The Full Monty tearjerker ‘You Walk With Me’?  Those are like little musical treats for my soul!  And YOU give them to me every day!

My grandparents re-enacting the famous poster from his show "Wish You Were Here"

Now, I know you’re still young and I’ve noticed that you think ‘Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats’ is cool, but I’m sure you’ll grow out of that phase when you realize that it is actually the most annoying song on the planet.

Nonetheless, you still manage to turn out some pretty stellar material.  On The Aisle on Tuesdays and Saturdays is so awesome!  Today you played me an old interview with Rogers & Hammerstein and, later, Cole Porter was singing the original version of ‘Anything Goes’ – very strange lyrics at first.  And then you have Seth Rudetsky who, even though he talks most of the time he’s interviewing someone, plays great songs and has the best juicy Broadway gossip!  My favorite is a story he told about Ethel Merman visiting opening night of Lauren Bacall’s first musical, Woman of the Year.

In case you don’t remember, Lauren walks onstage and sings (in her female-Rex-Harrison, non-singing voice) “I’m the woman of the year”, and Ethel says (screams) from her orchestra seat, “Jesus Christ!”  Oh, how I laughed and laughed.  I’ve retold that story a lot, by the way, and I’d never know it without you.  You’re everything I’d ever hoped for and more.

Don’t ever leave me.

Most Sincerely (and a little-bit stalkery),

Bethany Joy Galeotti

  • Jennifer Odom

    LOver this Joy!! Ur so awesome and I didnt feel stupid because I knew a couple of those songs! Such a pretty girl you were too! Maria’s gonna be just as beautiful as you are!

  • Ali Gatewood

    I LOVE Broadway radio and Seth! I met him in NYC once :]

  • Zara Lusty

    I really loved reading this entry. It was really nice to read about something that I don’t really know anything about. I’m now going to go and research and listen to the different musicals and songs you have mentioned.

    Thank you for sharing :)

  • Beth Wilde

    Broadway Radio has been my go-to for music since I discovered it at the tender age of sixteen. (Also, Ruthie Henshall, Betty Buckley and Kelli O’Hara are total musical theatre goddesses) I could have written this blog post myself (and it probably wouldn’t have been as articulate) because everything you wrote, I feel. Including that “Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats” drives me up the wall and Seth doesn’t let his interviewees talk enough, but he’s wonderful enough that it’s okay. :)

  • Keryn Josephine

    Well, I am relieved that I am not the only person that rocks out to showtunes and loves me some Dueling Divas and Broadway Names With Julie James. My car has been in the shop for TWO WEEKS and my rental doesn’t get XM and I am lost without the Amaaahzing Seth Rudetsky in my life.I’ve been listening to Slacker’s broadway station online, but it’s not the same!!!

    Oh and yes, Jellicle Cats makes my skin crawl too!

  • Paula Love

    I knew it would only be a matter of time before two of my favorite things (Hello Giggles, and Bethany Joy) converged into a wonderful explosion of awesomeness.

  • Meredith Hammond

    I am so happy I’m not alone in the world! I’m a huge theatre geek too! I would only like to add that some of us still love Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats. Yes, it is cheesy, but Cats was the very first musical I ever saw, therefore I love it.

  • Cherra T. Mitchell

    I too am a huge theatre geek and the Broadway station is probably the only reason I continued my satellite radio subscription. It really doesn’t get any better.

  • Kristin Eley

    I love this.

  • Karen Mayer

    Awesome post joy! Somhappy to see that you’ve joined the Hello Giggles team!

  • Rebekka Cantrell Bess

    Yay! Very happy to see you posting over here! Also, now I need to seriously consider XM. :)

  • Leelee Ngwenya

    i am still a musical theatre geek! :)

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