Picture courtesy of Quality Hill Playhouse.
What makes a song a standard? Quality Hill Playhouse will explore that question in their 17/18 season. Producing Artistic Director J. Kent Barnhart has created five original cabaret revues exploring the Great American Songbook and how the “American standard” has evolved through the years.
“There is no formal definition of the American Songbook nor a litmus test for inclusion in its hallowed ranks,” comments Barnhart. “Rather, it is a living cultural institution that arguably continues to evolve to this day. The Playhouse season focuses on contributions to the Songbook by specific composers and lyricists as well as the cultural phenomena of Broadway and radio’s Billboard Top 40.”
Quality Hill Playhouse’s 2017/2018 Season (from the press release):
SINGING THE AMERICAN SONGBOOK: WHAT MAKES A SONG A STANDARD.
I’VE GOT A CRUSH ON YOU: FROM STAGE TO THE SONGBOOK
September 29—October 29, 2017
Great standards like “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “I’ve Got a Crush on You” were born on Broadway. The shows may be forgotten, but the songs live on. From the Gershwins and Irving Berlin to “Send in the Clowns,” we’ll look at the songs that began on Broadway and made it into the American Songbook.
CHRISTMAS IN SONG
November 24—December 24, 2017
This Kansas City holiday tradition will delight audiences for another season. Featuring beloved songs and carols in styles varying from gospel to classical to pop, there is something for the whole family in this musical celebration.
THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC: HAROLD ARLEN BRINGS IN THE BLUES
January 19—February 18, 2018
From “Stormy Weather” and “Come Rain or Come Shine” to “Blues in the Night” and “Black Magic,” Harold Arlen brought the blues from his early days at the Cotton Club to Hollywood –and left the Songbook with a string of standards.
IT’S DELOVELY: THE WIT OF COLE PORTER AND NOËL COWARD
March 2 – 31, 2018
The internal rhymes and worldly wit of these two songwriters forever raised the bar for lyricists who followed. From Cole’s early Broadway days to Noël’s legendary Vegas performances, we’ll break out the champagne and toast these two unsurpassed bon vivants.
BILLBOARD BLOCKBUSTERS: COUNTING DOWN THE TOP 40 HITS
April 20—May 20, 2018
In the days before earbuds and personal playlists, every week we would wait to find out if our favorite songs made the top 40. Few things were more successful than radio in bringing the Songbook into people’s homes and lives. What songs will make our top 40 list?
SINATRA’S SONGWRITER: THE GENIUS OF SAMMY CAHN
June 8—July 8, 2018
Behind the amazing voice of Sinatra was the lyrical genius of Sammy Cahn. Sammy wrote for Sinatra – and Sinatra sang for Sammy, recording 87 of his songs, including “Come Fly With Me,” “Three Coins in the Fountain,” “High Hopes” and more.
Season subscriptions are currently on sale. Single tickets for the 17/18 season go on sale August 1st. For more information visit qualityhillplayhouse.com.