Classical 91.5

Stage Notes with Robert Hammond

Saturdays at 12:00-1:00 p.m. on WXXI-FM 91.5, WXXY 90.3, WXXI-FM/HD 91.5-1 and online at wxxi.org

Stage Notes is hosted by Rochester's own Robert Hammond who brings his vast knowledge and passion for theatre and music to this one-hour radio series. In addition to playing music from Broadway's best, Hammond shares news about the local theatre community, as well as about nationally recognized directors, choreographers and stars, and presents interviews and behind- the-scenes conversation.  Click on the episode link below to LISTEN to this past week's show.

Stage Notes playlists are available here.

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For more than a century, Broadway musicals have captured the hearts of theater lovers, but beyond the razzle-dazzle and spectacle, it’s the emotional numbers at the heart of shows that make them special to us.

Plenty of musicals explore love, whether it’s messy, unrequited, passionate or toxic.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, host Robert Hammond has assembled some romantic Broadway numbers that celebrate the beauty of love from musicals across the ages.

The international, off-Broadway, hit musical revue, Naked Boys Singing!, a Tim Evanicki production, is now in Rochester at Downstairs Cabaret Theatre Windsor location through February 14.

Join Host Robert Hammond and a couple of the boys for this week’s fully clothed edition of Stage Notes.  In addition to playing a few songs from the show, Robert will ask the boys some probing questions.

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Although the song, Welcome to the Sixties,  from the Broadway musical Hairspray, that opened on the Great White Way in 2002, it takes place in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland. Hairspray is a social commentary on the injustices of parts of American society in the 1960s.

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Director Bob Fosse categorized many songs from musicals as either “I want” or “I am” songs. According to him, in “I want” songs the main character announces what’s most important to him or her. The musical’s major project is usually then to follow this character on his or her journey towards the fulfillment (or non-fulfillment) of that goal. Broadway veteran Kyle Dean Massey, in the title role of Pippin (new Broadway company), will discuss "Corner of the Sky," the big "I want" song from Pippin.

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Join host Robert Hammond for a special New Year's Eve edition of Stage Notes, including part two if his interview with Amy Grant, who is coming to Rochester January 7 to perform with your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She'll be singing songs from, as she told Robert, "The eighties, nineties, and this century." You can be sure "Baby, Baby" and "Every Heartbeat" (video below) will be part of the program, and maybe even a couple of holiday songs from her new Christmas CD, Tennessee Christmas.

Russ Harrington

Six-time Grammy Award winner and Christmas music diva, Amy Grant joins host Robert Hammond for a Christmas Eve edition of Stage Notes.  She’s on the program to talk about her new holiday CD, Tennessee Christmas, and her upcoming concert with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on January 7.  As always, she'll talk candidly about her career, family & friends, trials, and music.

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What’s your favorite holiday song? Let host Robert Hammond know—he just might play it on this week’s festive edition of Stage Notes. Contact him via Twitter, Facebook, or by email, stagenotes@wxxi.org.

Broadway leading man and former Glee Star, Matthew Morrison, joins host Robert Hammond for the hour to talk about his CD Where it all Began (released in 2013), Glee, and his fascinating Broadway career. The program, that originally aired in 2013, is filled with classic songs from the Great White Way sung by Morrison, and  a few new songs from Finding Neverland, the latest Broadway production he starred in as J. M. Barrie in 2015.

Rochester’s most glamorous holiday tradition staring the Big Wigs, Mrs. Kasha Davis (AKA Ed Popil) and Aggy Dune (AKA Tom Smalley), start their thirteenth season at Blackfriars Theatre December 2 & 3 and Golden Ponds December 9 &10. But, before the concerts, Mrs. Kasha Davis, who was on season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, joins host Robert Hammond in studio to talk about the family friendly show.

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It's the most wonderful time of the year, and Stage Notes is celebrating the season with some of your favorite Broadway-themed holiday songs! From Irving Berlin’s White Christmas to Mame, be sure to join host Robert Hammond for some holiday fun.

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