Listen to ‘The Book of Mormon’ Album, Laugh Hysterically

Today is a gorgeous Spring day, with the sun shining, the flowers growing, and a light breeze almost blowing away all reminders of a long cold winter. And, as it turns out, the day has another present for us in addition to the weather; NPR is featuring the original Broadway Cast Recording of the hilarious ‘The Book of Mormon‘ the Broadway musical that is the slam hit of the season. You probably won’t be able to snag a ticket until the spring of 2012 is blowing away it’s own cold winter, but now you can have a listen to the brilliant soundtrack. The link is here, and just a warning – when you listen you will likely be laughing out loud, so unless your office is extremely loud or you can pass off stifled giggles as a fading cold, you might want to wait until you get home!

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Congratulations, Tony Nominees!!

We here at the studio are a lucky bunch – our students are a group of incredibly talented, kind, wonderful people, and we are thrilled to be able to work with every one of them. We are especially thrilled when the rest of the world realizes what we already know, and recognizes their brilliance!

Yesterday the Tony Award Nominees were announced, and in a crazy competitive year, studio students Josh Gad and Nikki M. James were both nominated for their genius performances in ‘The Book of Mormon’, and great friend of the studio Stephen Oremus was nominated for his orchestrations of the same show. So congratulations, you guys, and all our fingers are crossed for you!!

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Those Good and Crazy People, Our Friends

Here at the studio, there are few things we love more than Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, and Stephen Sondheim. Which is why when we first heard that the New York Philharmonic was doing a staged concert version of the Sondheim masterpiece ‘Company’, starring Neil Patrick Harris as Bobby and a cast so star-studded it’s practically a new Milky Way (Patti LuPone! Jon Cryer! Anika Noni Rose! Martha Plimpton!), we thought we might burst from excitement. And now, friends, it’s finally here – the first concert will be tonight, with additional performances on Friday and Saturday. And we’ll be there – not only that, but Liz will be there officially, as she has been working with both NPH and Stephen Colbert to polish up those pipes for the big event!

We can’t offer a teaser of tonight’s concert, but we thought we would give you a little gift of another kind – Stephen Colbert singing the viral hit ‘Friday’ on Jimmy Fallon’s show. It’s not Sondheim, but consider it a palate cleanser before tonight!

http://www.hulu.com/embed/zg3t9oWyfsj8-ZSvacfPlA

Neil Patrick Harris and a ridiculously talented group of stars, via nytimes.com

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Congratulations, ‘The Book of Mormon!’

If you follow theater, you might know about a little musical which opened up last week. It’s about Mormons, it’s written by the South Park guys (Matt Stone and Trey Parker) – perhaps you’ve heard of it?

We’re just joshing, of course. It’s hard to have missed the news about ‘The Book of Mormon’, which opened to the most rapturous reviews that Broadway has seen in a while. And, having seen the show last week before the opening night, we here at the studio have to agree that it deserves the hype; not only is it smart and hilariously funny, it also has a huge heart. Of course, we always have a soft spot for our super-talented clients Josh Gad, Justin Bohon, and Nikki M. James, but each just shines in the show, and we’re so proud and happy for them. So congrats, cast and crew of ‘The Book of Mormon’! We’ll come back again and see the show many times again, as soon as tickets aren’t as rare as godly golden plates hidden in Upstate New York.

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Our Thoughts Are With You, Japan

Much has been said already about the tsunami that hit Japan, and the terrible damage it has done. We just want to say, from us at the studio, our hearts are with the people of Japan as they endeavor to find their loved ones and rebuild their communities. And since it is heartbreaking to see all the images of what that the tsunami has wrought, we thought we would put up this image of the beauty of Japan that was, still is, and will continue long past this tragedy.

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Happy First Preview, ‘Book of Mormon’!

We here at the studio have been South Park fans for years. There’s nothing quite like the mix of hilarity, smarts, social commentary, and full-fledged inappropriateness that you get watching the show, or the movies that the brilliant co-creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, have also done. And now, we can see their particular brand of awesome on a Broadway stage, with ‘Book of Mormon’, written by them and Robert Lopez, who was responsible for another of our favorites, ‘Avenue Q’. As if that wasn’t enough to send us down to the theater, it stars some of our studio clients (and faves) Josh Gad, Nikki James, and Justin Bohon. The show begins previews tonight, and we can’t wait to see it, but until we do, this great interview with Trey Parker and Matt Stone will have to do!

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Congratulations, Hannah Whitney!

Last summer Liz lent her knowledge and talents as an advisor/mentor/judge/Tim Gunn for NYMF’s ‘Next Broadway Sensation’. The winner won a concert at Joe’s Pub, so this past Saturday night Hannah Whitney blew the roof off of the pub. We’ll post footage of the concert itself as soon as it gets on youtube, but here’s a song that she performed both in the concert and the competition. Listen to it once, and you’ll be hooked on her incredible soulful voice – although it isn’t the technical term, that girl can SANG!

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Beautiful ‘Dangerous Beauty’

We here at the studios have a secret addiction – the 1998 movie ‘Dangerous Beauty’, about a poet/courtesan in Renaissance Venice. Have you seen it? If the answer is no, then do yourself a favor and get a copy, and then curl up and enjoy yourself the next rainy afternoon that comes along. The dresses! The romance! The city! It’s eyeball-pleasing ladyporn.

Luckily, somebody out there heard the secret desire that we never knew we had, to see this most excellent movie turned into a musical. So, starting in February the Pasadena Playhouse will stage the musical version, with book by Jeannine Dominy, lyrics by Amanda McBroom, and music by Michele Brourman. And starring as the smart and luscious Veronica Franco, the titular Dangerous Beauty, is the crazy talented Jenny Powers, who is also so beautiful it’s really unfair to mere mortals (the equally crazy talented and studly James Snyder is the male lead, so, really, hubba hubba all around!). Some photos have been posted on the show’s facebook page, and judging from this, the visuals will be as mind-bogglingly gorgeous as in the movie. We can’t wait!

Set design by Tom Buderwitz

Jenny Powers. Gorgeous!!

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Post-Holidays Self-Sufficiency

It’s January 13th, 2011, and the streets are full of discarded Christmas trees, while the gyms are full of people who are full of Christmas cookies and other treats. What does this all mean? Well, it means that the holidays are officially over. And while you may have wonderful memories of glowy candlelit family dinners or carol singing, you may not have gotten what you really wanted. And since if you’re reading this, whether you know it or not, what you wanted was the Liz Caplan Studios Vocal Pro Iphone App, or one of the many other options. Right? I mean, really. You may have noticed while caroling this year that your voice left something to be desired, or maybe you opened a Renee Fleming CD and sighed that you don’t sound like her (well, to be honest, we probably can’t totally help with THAT one – but we can make you sound like a better version of you!). Maybe your New Year’s resolution was to be the Karaoke king of your friend group, or to sing out proud in your church choir. Maybe you just wish they didn’t have to turn up the mike so high when you speak in public, or don’t want to keep losing your voice. Luckily for you, you can give yourself the gift in 2011 of the iphone apps – there’s one for almost every kind of singing, whether opera or country, and a big combo Vocal Pro, all for less than a sandwich in New York City. So Happy 2011, and treat yourself to your own best voice for the new year!

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Bring Down The Curtain

 

One of the most melancholy things about the post-holiday season is the numerous shows that inevitably close. This has been a particularly brutal year, with 15 productions closing in early January (go see a show!! They’re still open this week!!). The New York Times has a lovely piece this morning about actors who opened and are still in some of the closing shows, including some of our favorites, the excellent Adam Chanler-Berat of ‘Next to Normal’, the dreamy Ben Walker of ‘Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson’ and the amazing Olga Merediz of ‘In The Heights’ (almost unrecognizably young out of her makeup!!) The article is here, the shows remain in our hearts.

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