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!
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