As the woman who sang Irving Berlin’s lynching-themed ballad “Suppertime” on an album titled Happy Songs, Audra McDonald has always had a whimsical relationship with the concept of happiness. This lush and somewhat melancholy arrangement of the-only-song-from-Do-Re-Mi-that-anyone-has-heard-of is a welcome addition to the cannon of Audra’s bittersweet/joyous songs.
One of the things I love most about Audra McDonald’s new album (my copy of which arrived today before it hits stores on the 21st) is a return on her part to promoting emerging music theater writers. In this case, Adam Gwon. She also includes numbers by Adam Guettel and Michael John LaChiusa, whose work she featured on her first albums when they were “emerging” as well.
This is one of those songs that, if I listen to it once I have to listen to it 25 times. It’s joyous and there is SO MUCH personality to Audra’s performance. Incidentally, this is one of those songs Sondheim wishes he had written.
I asked Jo, Me2ism’s official consultant of Portugese (among other things), for a translation of the lyric. His response is below:
I just wanna say that singing in Portuguese is not her forte.
Instead of singing “volta” she’s singing “vorta”, sometimes it evens sounds like “porta”, which is door.
Then instead of singing waltz (valsa) she sings “varsa”, but worse is that she sings “porca”, which means sow, instead of “polka”.
Basically she’s saying that she danced too much around Bambalelê.
“Go Back Home” as heard on Go Back Home(released date: 21 May 13)
music John Kander lyric Fred Ebb
performance Audra McDonald
BREAKING NEWS. Audra McDonald has set a release date for her new album, and it’s the day before my 30th Birthday. (She clearly knows about my Birthday, as it was the date the Porgy cast recording dropped.) I already pre-ordered it. AND YOU CAN TO. With a pre-order you’ll get the CD, a digital download, a “signed print” AND the ability to download this titular track!
The track list (which includes a number of songs she’s been singing in concerts for years and I’m glad to see finally put on record) is as follows (taken from playbill.com):
performance Davis Gaines, George Hearn, Audra McDonald, Heidi Grant Murphy (with a touch of cockney-flavoured Patti dialogue at the end)
I went to church today because it’s Easter and I’m living with my minister father. The take home lesson for me was that one of the women who found the empty jesustomb with Mary “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” Magdalene was named Johanna. Once I heard that, I naturally spent the rest of the service thinking about Sweeney (and specifically this quartet, which is my favorite song in the show). This particular recording is especially fun because Audra is BATSHIT CRAZY as The Beggar Woman.
Here are Jessie Mueller and Audra McDonald attacking a small (about 30 seconds each) but delicious segment of what eventually becomes “June is Busting Out All Over”. I mean, they say things like “get away you roustabout riff-raff”, so obviously it’s awesome. Also awesome: Young Audra Ann belting. And Jessie Mueller doing anything. Basically, this is a minute of happiness.
Click on the song title to see corresponding sheet music!