Favorite Songs Involving Muppets

These aren’t really in any particular order. It was tough enough to limit the list to ten, let alone rank them.

10. The opening from the best Dickens adaptation of all time.


9. Kermit and Rolph discuss the fact that there’s something “irresistible-ish” about women.


8. A Muppet wedding. Or at least the stage version of one. Did they really get married here? I was always confused by that.


7. A Sesame Street classic.


6. The impossibly catchy intro to Fraggle Rock.

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Things that are Awesome: Pigpen Theatre Co.

For years people have been telling us about the amazing Pigpen Theatre Company.  Founded at Carnegie Mellon in 2008 (sadly after we had already graduated–it would have been really cool to see them at the very beginning), they’re the only group in history to have won best play honors in the NYC Fringe in consecutive years, having done so in 2010 and 2011.

Don’t you just hate really talented people who are also really young?  These dudes rock, and they’re probably not old enough to remember Fraggles.  Jerks.

The guys (Arya Shahi, Ben Ferguson, Don Weschler, Ryan Melia, Curtis Gillen, Alex Falberg, and Matt Nuernberger) just released their debut album, Bramen, and it’s truly awesome.  They’re terrific songwriters and musicians, and they have a really interesting sound, reminiscent of Mumford & Sons or The Avett Brothers, in all the best ways.

The album is available on iTunes.

You can also check them on on Spotify, but if you really want to support them, buy the album.  Or, better yet, buy the album and then check them out on Spotify.

Trust us, you’ll be hearing more from these guys really soon.  Can’t wait to see one of their shows.

Check out some of their videos after the jump.

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Lyrics: The Temp & the Receptionist

While preparing for our concert at The Zipper Theatre Factory in 2008, our director, Ed Iskandar, suggested that we would be well served to write a duet for two of our favorite performers, Anderson Davis and Patina Miller, both of whom we had gone to school with.

At the time, I was temping in an office.  The great thing about temping in an office is that it gives you a lot of time to look around your cubicle and think, “How many things here can I make innuendo out of?”

I suggested the hook “Cubicle Love”.  Michael added the “of”.  Much better.

Unfortunately, it’s one of those songs where you can’t use the hook as the title, because it gives away the joke, so we came up with “The Temp and the Receptionist”.

We’ve been lucky enough to have Anderson and Patina sing the song a number of times for us since then, including on our album.

Here is that original performance, at the Zipper (we’ve made a couple of lyrical changes since then):


Lyrics below.

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Awesome Songs by Awesome People – Part II

Here are some more songs we like by people we like.  Check them out.  (Read the first installment here)

Pasek & Paul – Pretty Funny – from Dogfight

http://www.pasekandpaul.com/

Julia Meinwald & Gordon Leary – Sex Tape – from Pregnancy Pact

http://www.juliameinwald.com/ 

http://www.omfgordon.com/

Joe Iconis – Last on Land – from Bloodsong of Love

http://mrjoeiconis.com/

Will Reynolds – If the World Looked Like You

http://www.willreynoldsonline.com/

Aron Accurso & Jill Abramovitz – anything from The Dogs of Pripyat

We can’t find an officially sanctioned video of anything from this show.  But trust us when we say that it’s absolutely incredible.

http://www.jillabramovitz.com/

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The 7 Deadly Sins of Musical Theatre Writing

There are approximately 8 billion things that can go wrong for a musical between the time a writer first touches pen to paper and the moment the actors take their final bow.

From a writing perspective, here are the seven that I find to be the most deadly.

On the surface, they may seem pretty obvious, but it’s amazing how easy it is to lose sight of such big-picture issues when you’re entrenched in the process.

  1. No Reason to Be: People spend a lot of time bringing a musical to the stage.  Hopefully, other people spend their hard earned money to see it once it gets there.  There had better be a really good reason for its existence.  Somebody had better be pretty passionate about the story being told.  That story should make us think, feel, or see the world in a different way.  Of course, sheer entertainment value ain’t so bad either…
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Lyrics: I Think that He Likes Me

I’m a sucker for romantic relationships that begin as very good friendships.  Hence my otherwise inexplicable love for Dawson’s Creek.  This song is about the very exciting moment at the very beginning of one such relationship.

This is one of our most commonly performed songs, probably because it works pretty well as an audition piece.  It’s relatively simple in terms of structure, presents a situation that a lot of people can relate to, and includes a very clear arc.

Kerry Butler sings the song on our album.  Here’s a clip.

Here are a couple of other versions, featuring Natalie Weiss and Allison Case.


Lyrics below.

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The Collected Works of Chris Mann on The Voice

As we’ve mentioned once or twice, Chris Mann is awesome.

If you have yet to be convinced, see the evidence below.

More after the jump.

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