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Gordon Leary (bookwriter/lyricist)
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A guest post from a non-monkey giving non-awards. By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter/Lyricist) Everybody's favorite monkey asked me to fill in for him this week while he is busy driving his way across the country. And I'm happy to be back! Since it's a Tony-less Tony Awards week on Crazytown, I thought I'd take this opportunity to give my own awards for the 2011-2012 season. Just like the Oscars have the Golden Globes, the Tonys now have the Gordon Globes! I've been lucky enough to see more shows this season than I've ever seen before (I went 24 for 40.) I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2012 at Crazytown
A blog-alogue on the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race. By Tony Asaro (Gonorrhea Pearlman) & Gordon Leary (Ruth Canal) The time has come for you to watch the fourth season of RuPaul's Drag Race. Don't fuck it up. Ru is back and better than ever, upping the production values and re-upping the camp value. The first episode aired last Monday and they brought on the RuPocalypse. Sickening, no? The girls had their traditional first episode photo-shoot with Mike Ruiz (this time getting squirted by toxic chemicals from the Pit Crews' hoses) and then they had to gather as much... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2012 at Crazytown
You did it. You really did it. After so many false starts, so many scandals, so much make-up, and so many years making Ryan Seacrest rich you have finally become the princess you were destined to be. I remember the first time we saw you. We knew you only as "Paris Hilton's brunette friend who's replacing Nicole Richie while they fight" but in our hearts we knew you were meant for more. We've seen you grow up before our very eyes (sometimes a little more than we wanted) but, as your momager Kris always said, you turned lemons into lemonade.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2011 at Crazytown
By Gordon Leary (bookwriter/lyricist) Now, being a native Clevelander, I'm used to people making fun of my hometown. I mean, there's plenty to poke fun at - the devoted sports fans, the longtime politicians, the river fires... But there are friendly people, my favorite restaurant in the world, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. My little hometown of Chagrin Falls alone gave the world Calvin & Hobbes (cartoonist Bill Watterson grew up there, too.) So when I heard about a T.V. show called "Hot in Cleveland" with former sitcom "stars" - Valerie Bertinelli (One Day at a Time),... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2011 at Crazytown
By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) Now that I'm blogging on Mondays, I keep thinking of things that would help me to start my week off right. Sure, there's plenty to talk about in Musical Theater/re land, but if I'm just getting to work and need something more than coffee to help me get going then there are only two words for me: EN. VOGUE. So, to help you start the week off right, here is En Vogue's entire collection of music videos. Now just let Cindy, Terry, Dawn and Maxine sing for you. What else could you need? And just to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2011 at Crazytown
When I first became a Crazytowner seven months ago, I told RSO that I wanted to write about pop music and reality television. Since I seem to have failed in that mission so far (yeah yeah, I've discovered other things along the way) I thought I'd take this week's post to discuss my favorite of all pop-culture guilty pleasures - the sometimes hilawfulous but always addicting Real Housewives. As someone who has proudly seen every single episode of every single version (I even found a way to stomach those boring, boring women in Miami), I consider myself somewhat of an... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2011 at Crazytown
A look back at a week of legendary passings. By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) What a week, huh? First, on Wednesday, my favorite artist Lucian Freud passed away at 88. Until the latter part of my teens (and my first brush with the Dreamcoat, of all things) I thought I was destined to be a painter. No other artist captured my heart like Freud - yes yes he was the grandson of the famous doctor - and no other artist has influenced the way that I view the relationship between artist and subject. His style changed over the course of his... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2011 at Crazytown
By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) Now that I've been a Crazytown contributor for six whole months, I thought I'd do some research into other amazing blogs and see what I can bring back to C-town. I surveyed friends and the internetz for the best blogs on the web and I found some interesting, interesting things. There were amazing celebrity blogs, crazy crazy crazy people blogs, lots of Justin Bieber, blogs that make you feel smart, blogs that make you laugh, and blogs by my friends. But these are my three favorites... Kim Jong-Il Looking at Things Yep. That's all it is.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2011 at Crazytown
By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter/Lyricist/Fan) I had the pleasure of spending a year listening to the wonderful songs of Michael Kooman and Chris Dimond in the Dramatist Guild Fellows program. Once a month I'd get to hear sharp, clean and precise lyrics (which are the VERY best kind, in my opinion) set to rich and melodic music (that always seemed innately singable.) They tackle unorthodox subjects (suicide contests??) with the very best kind of classic musical theatre chops around. They've been all over YouTube for years... But now we all get to listen to them anytime we want! As you already... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2011 at Crazytown
How Barbara Cook led me to rediscover one of the great lost treasures in American popular music. By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) So, like everyone else, I was excited (though obviously expecting it) when it was announced that Follies will be returning to Broadway. I listened to the cast album. I reminisced about the amazingness of the Encores! production (OMGVickyClark.) I almost bought the 1985 concert version but then realized I needed to pay my rent so instead I just looked it up on YouTube to prove that Barbara Cook's rendition of "Losing My Mind" is OBVIOUSLY definitive. It is. See... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2011 at Crazytown
So much talent, so many shows to write for them... By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter/Lyricist) Do you remember the first time you heard Jennifer Holliday sing? Or Billy Porter? Or Shayna Steele? Well, after reading this, you'll be able to remember the first time you heard Mykal Kilgore sing. He's only been in New York for a few years and he's already made a splash. His first big gig was in the replacement cast of Hair, singing a glorious rendition of "What a Piece of Work Is Man." He sings with the amazing Broadway Boys. He spent many months entertaining the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2011 at Crazytown
Amazing! I much prefer my tempos to be lethargic and my emoting to be over.
Toggle Commented Jun 20, 2011 on SHOWCHOIR-THE-MUSICAL at Crazytown
The "best" showchoir renditions of my favorite musical theatre pieces... By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) Two weeks ago, you read about my favorite Tony Awards performances. Now, since I'm crazy, I've scoured YouTube in the weeks since to find the second best renditions of each of those songs. I've found some amazing ones, some awful ones and a whole lot of high school theater. But nothing - NOTHING, I tell you - will ever compare to the wonder of the showchoir performances. Showchoir, like jazz and musical theater, is a truly American art form. So it stands to reason that they'd... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2011 at Crazytown
Late-night rewriting always yields the sweetest mistakes. By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) I've spent the last week in lovely New Haven, CT with my collaborator (and former Crazytown-er) Julia Meinwald. We're workshopping our musical Pregnancy Pact in the Yale Institute for Music Theatre and having an amazingly productive time. After 8-hour rehearsals we return to our apartment and write write write. And then write some more. I've been hunkering down at 9pm and finally getting in the swing of things by 11ish and working, with the help of the Red Bull, like a madman until 4am. It's given me some great... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2011 at Crazytown
By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) T-minus one week, y'all! As producers have started making announcements about what their shows will be performing on the telecast, I've been looking back at the Tony performances that just make me want to hop in a cab to midtown and live on the energy of Broadway alone. If you know me or have read my posts, these won't be a surprise. But if you like ladies belting their faces off, you'll have to agree with my list... 5. THE LION KING In 1998, I wasn't the musical theatre lover I am today. Sure, I'd been... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2011 at Crazytown
By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) I know that Memorial Day is meant to commemorate men and women who died in military service. But after a year of losing so many huge names in theater, I thought I'd take a minute to commemorate some of the people who I felt a connection to. I didn't know any of them personally and had only met a few in passing, but two weeks ahead of the Tony Awards' "In Memoriam" montage, I thought I'd do my own. Theoni V. Aldredge In my secret heart, I wish I could be a costume designer. I studied... Continue reading
Posted May 29, 2011 at Crazytown
White Effies, black Fanny Brices, and moral conundrums. By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) "Color-blind" casting is a term that comes up frequently in my life. I've got mixed feelings about it. I did a bunch of community theater in high school and found myself in shows like "Once On This Island" and "The Wiz" (twice in one summer, even!) Now, if you don't know me personally, let me tell you that I am pastily white. I'm talking lily of the valley, here. But that didn't stop my teenage self from playing a very swampy god of water or a hilariously bleach... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2011 at Crazytown
What I learned from Broadway musicals this season. By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days before I considered myself a “musical theatre writer.” The good-old-days when I would go to Barnes & Noble and buy every cast album I could find to soak it all in. The times when I thought every musical was amazing. The era of innocence before I became a cynical prick who hated everything. Just kidding! I do still try to soak everything in. I’ve been lucky enough to see almost every new musical on Broadway this season. And... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2011 at Crazytown
Okay, not cowboys, Paula Cole. I meant TV theme songs. Where are they? By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) It had been a while since I sat down to watch a night of network television, but I did it last Thursday. Steve Carell left The Office, Parks and Recreations was uniformly hilarious, 30 Rock was 30 Rock (which means I loved it unconditionally.) It was an enjoyable evening. When it ended and the clock struck 11, I switched over to my favorite new station, Antenna TV. Now I don't have cable (yes I'm one of those) so when this new station popped... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2011 at Crazytown
By Gordon Leary (Grumpy Commuter) Nice try. Only if you're the child below do you get to do that in public. Or if you look like this. And even that wasn't enough to make me see the movie. Now let me listen to Alice Ripley in peace. Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2011 at Crazytown
A series extolling the virtues of my favorite musical theatre stars who deserve a star vehicle. By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter/Lyricist/Casting-Director-Wannabe) You all know who Sally Wilfert is. At least you will if I have my druthers! I first heard of Sally when I was a student at the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. My collaborators and I were casting our one-act musical Sled Ride (obviously a gay, teenage retelling of Ethan Frome) and Sally was recommended for it. The words my professor used to describe her were "perfect" and "..." (there were no words, apparently.) Because she's already a... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2011 at Crazytown
My take on the upcoming finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race. By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist-Drag Admirer) It’s that time of year again. I’m nervous and excited knowing that the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race will soon be revealed. But I sometimes start to cry (literally) when I realize that I’ll have to wait until next January for the next go-round. In case you haven’t been watching (and therefore are no friend of mine), Drag Race is a perfect recipe: 1 cup Project Runway, a can of Top Model, a heaping helping of RuPaul Charles to sweeten the pie. Now in its... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2011 at Crazytown
Now I have two singers to obsess about - Lindsay AND the person she stole from. Finding this out is like Christmas!
Toggle Commented Apr 19, 2011 on VOCAL THIEF at Crazytown
Two guiding principles for everybody's favorite website (besides Crazytown.) By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist) I’m in the midst of casting a show of mine and we got an extra long list from our casting director with about 45 choices for 5 different roles. As someone who wishes he could be a casting director in another life, I couldn’t have been more excited. I hunkered down, opened my laptop and started googling. A few people had websites (which are always helpful to have media and a resume all together...) but for those who didn’t, I relied heavily on YouTube. I probably spent... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2011 at Crazytown
Or “Is this woman sitting behind me really singing along?!?!” By Gordon Leary (Bookwriter-Lyricist-Angry Audience Member) Last week I got tickets to see a preview of the new musical Baby, It’s You. I was really excited - I love Beth Leavel and I love the Shirelles so I had a feeling that I would generally love the show. So I’m sitting there and Beth Leavel, superstar that she is, starts to sing “Mama Said.” I smiled just knowing I was about to hear her sing. Then I heard it. Someone else somewhere else was singing the song, too. Could it... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2011 at Crazytown