Friday, June 4, 2010

Leenya Rideout..

Alright, my lovelies-

If you don't know who Leenya Rideout is by now....
you should.

She's a buh-rilliant singer, actress, musician-
seen on Broadway in Cyrano, Cabaret, Company (i think she has it in her contract to only do shows that begin with the letter "C".....helllooooooooo Carnival!).
she is a bona-fide member of the 'hillbilly mafia' and she is MAKING HER OWN CD TOO!!!!

THIS is one of the main reasons I started the blog...
to inspire other artists to make their own recordings....
and for someone as awesomely talented and Leenya to put a CD out there?

Well....we all win with that one.
No doubt.

She is a marvelous talent-
and worth supporting in every way.

She has a blog called WHAT WOULD LEENYA DO and I encourage you all to subscribe. She writes in a recent post about how OLD FRIENDS and the 'do it yourself' process that she's embarking on.

check it out-
and follow her journey!
I know i will!


Thank you Andy Propst and the SONDHEIM REVIEW!

The awesome Andy Propst put in a lovely shout-out to OLD FRIENDS in the summer Sondheim Review-
which is no easy feat since....
there is no actual Sondheim on the album.

(yeah...imagine that awkward moment where I put a copy in the mail to Mr Sondheim and thought....'Hmmmmmmmmm....was that really the best of ideas?" Actually, it was- he was incredibly kind.)

While nothing would please me more than to do an album of all Sondheim...
I am admittedly intimidated that so many have had that very same idea for many decades before me.

thanks to Mr Propst, a kind review is in the SONDHEIM SINGS section of the 'summer' edition.

"And bear in mind-- Old Friends from Donna Lynne Champlin, a grand interpreter of Sondheim's music on Broadway (she played Pirelli in John Doyle's revival of Sweeney Todd) and in her solo sow Finishing The Hat. There are no Sondheim songs on this disc, but there is an array of work from other contemporary songwriters including Jim Bauer, Jason Robert Brown, Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens and Michael John LaChiusa. Old Friends was made on a shoe string budget but sounds like a million bucks."




Daryl Glenn from the Cabaret Exchange wrote a lovely review of OLD FRIENDS...

"Kentucky (!) native Stephen Foster Collins wrote “Hard Times Come Again No More” (the opening track here) but I say, if it’s Donna Lynne Champlin bringing (or rather singing) the hard times, bring it on! This gal has an absolutely exquisite voice. I realize this comes as no surprise to anyone who knows her musical theatre work, particuarly in Sweeney Todd, By Jeeves , James Joyceʼs ʻThe Deadʼ (all on Broadway) or Bloomer Girl (City Centerʼs Encoreʼ series), but this album is truly a revelation. Ms. Champlin can howl the blues, or at least songs of a blue heart with the very best of ʻem!

"Perhaps most impressive of all, is the fact that she recorded this entire album on an extremely modest budget in the privacy of her own home. Sometimes, in privacy of her own home. Sometimes, in the privacy of her own bathroom! Take that you big media conglomerates! It was a risk recording an album of practically all ballads, and I wouldnʼt recommend it to everyone. But Ms. Champlin carries it off with feathers flying high! What makes the difference, besides that goose-pimple inducing sound of hers, is the fact she has very serious acting chops as well. And she acts the stuffing out of each and every selection here, so we get just as involved in the story as she does.

The stories here are by a wide variety of songwriters in a wide variety of styles, and all are outstanding, even the contemporary theatre songs! My readers will, no doubt, recall that I take issue with many of the songs from the current musical theatre scene, however, Ms. Champlinʼs choices here (“Eiffel Tower” by Jim Bauer, “Still Hurting” by Jason Robert Browne from The Last Five Years, “County Fair” by Scott Warrender and Jim Luigs from Das Barbecu and “When Eleanor Smiles” by Michael John LaChiusa fromFirst Lady Suite, are all impeccable. A couple songs from recent animated films (“Once Upon A December” from Anastasia by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story II by Randy Newman) shine as well with tender treatments.

Demonstrating a vast grasp of innumerable styles, Ms. Champlin also treats us to a pair of folk/country compositions (“Whereʼve You Been” bycompositions (“Whereʼve You Been” by Don Henry and Jonathan Verner and the Kate McGarrigle classic, “I Cried For Us”). As an adopted child myself, the heartbreaking “From Godʼs Arms to My Arms to Yours” (Michael McLean), is particuarly touching with a mother explaining her choice to have and yet give her son to another. My only tiny criticism would be that I think itʼs time we call a temporary moratoriumon Charlie Chaplinʼs “Smile.” Pretty as it may be, all things suffer from overexposure! Perhaps most impressive of all, besides recording the whole thing herself, is the fact that Ms. Champlin also arranged, sings all vocals and plays piano, accordian, flute, tin whistle, synthed guitar, bass, strings, chimes and percussion! Sheesh! What do you even call such a person? A musical genius seems fitting. "

Sadie, Sadie...

Hello my dearests....
Long time no nuthin'.

Sorry for that.

I've been a bit busy...
did a gig at the Actors Theatre of Louisiville...
got married...
went on a honeymoon...
bought a house....
ya know.

same old same old.

Whhhhhhhaaaaaaattttttttt did she say?

i did!
i got hitched!


and that's my new husband Andrew Arrow!!!
(who was also my awesome vocal producer on OLD FRIENDS and a brilliant singer-actor in his own right-


there's some catching up to do with OLD FRIENDS, some more lovely reviews have come out which I'll post separately since I got married and everything I want to make sure that the enormity of that really shines on its own.

btw, did i mention that i got married?

i did.

oh well...
here's another PICTURE!!!!

ok ok.
i'm sorry.

back to work.

hoping you're all well and happy!!!!

donna lynne