News from Harbinger: BARNUM

By Ken Bloom

As you may have heard, there’s a big new film musical coming out at Christmas about circus showman extraordinaire P.T. Barnum. Hugh Jackman stars. But nearly 40 years ago, the great Broadway composer Cy Coleman beat Hollywood to the punch with Barnum, his stage musical staring Jim Dale and co-written with Michael Stewart.

And that’s where a brand-new album from Harbinger comes in.

Coleman and Stewart’s show was ambitious—Barnum’s biography was told in the form of a three-ring circus—so to raise money, the songwriters set out across New York playing their score and telling the story in backers’ auditions held in lots of Upper East Side apartments.

Thanks to my friend Andy Propst, author of the Cy Coleman biography, You Fascinate Me So, I gained access to an extremely rare tape of one of those backers auditions—and for fans of musical theater, it’s irresistible stuff. Coleman and Stewart are in top form with a marvelous collection of songs. The potential investors love the team—and in this exciting CD, you can hear exactly what they heard in one of those lavishly appointed living rooms.

If you’re like me, the question you’ll ask yourself is, “Would I have invested in the show?” If your answer is Yes, you would have made a nice profit: 1980’s Barnum ran on Broadway for 854 performances and was subsequently produced in London (starring a young Michael Crawford), Australia and around the world.

RELEASE DATE: September 8th
Click HERE to purchase.

Harbinger Records, a division of TMTP, has more than 60 recordings in its catalogue celebrating musical theater, cabaret and the Great American Songbook. Musical theater historian Ken Bloom, who co-founded Harbinger with Bill Rudman, regularly updates readers on new releases and calls attention to other notable albums in the catalogue. All of them are available at Amazon.com.

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WE’VE GOTTA CROW

KLM Cover PhotoKIDS LOVE MUSICALS! IS CELEBRATING 10 YEARS OF ENGAGING HEARTS AND MINDS IN NORTHEAST OHIO

Want to dance at a ball? Fly through the air? Follow the yellow brick road? Since 2007 more than 40,000 students have done just that, and learned valuable Language Arts lessons along the way. Using the stories and the characters of classic American musicals, TMTP has created three adaptations of the program that use musical theater as a dynamic teaching tool — for students of all ages, stages and abilities.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

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2017 GRAMMY AWARD WINNER

Shuffle AlongON SALE NOW…
The only archival recording
of the groundbreaking musical
Shuffle Along 
 just won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Album Notes. TMTP/Harbinger Records is officially a winner!

1921’s all-black musical comedy, Shuffle Along, was the most successful Broadway show of its time. The score contained the future standards “I’m Just Wild About Harry” and “Love Will Find a Way.” It marked the emergence of a new black musical theater,  and desegregated theatres in New York and across the country.

The new Broadway musical inspired by Shuffle Along opened to rave reviews with Tony Award-winning stars such as Audra McDonald and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Alongside the new production, Harbinger Records offers the only available archival recording of the groundbreaking musical. Learn more here!
To order your copy today, click here.

To read Talkin’ Broadway‘s review of the album, click here.

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Up next on FOOTLIGHT PARADE…

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September 2nd: “A Tribute to Richard Kiley”                                                                 A tribute to the original “Man of La Mancha,” a key figure in our musical theater.

September 9th: “1969 on Stage and Screen”
The best of the year, including the extraordinary “1776” on Broadway and the underrated “Hello, Dolly!” from Hollywood.

September 16th: “Hang in There!”
An hour of songs that run the gamut about hope, from “Look to the Silver Lining” to “Let the Sunshine In.”

September 23rd: “A Tribute to Ethel Merman”                                                       Every five years or so this hour is a must, and we’ll take her from “Girl Crazy” in 1930 to “Hello, Dolly!” 40 years later.

September 30th: “1959 on Stage”                                                                                          The best of the year, including “Gypsy,” “The Sound of Music” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Fiorello!”

Catch Footlight Parade in Cleveland on WCLV 104.9 every Saturday at 6pm.
You can also stream our Footlight Parade archives!

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