Because so many of the 1997-98 musicals opened comparatively early in the season, rather than bunching in the last week as in recent seasons, musical theatre lovers can have a rare treat on Tony night: all the Best Musical nominees and most of the Best Revival and Best Score nominees already have released cast albums. Taking advantage of the situation, here is a suggested playlist of songs from the shows to get adrenaline pumping for the big night. In the case of The Capeman, the 1997 studio album "Songs From the Capeman will do fine; for Cabaret, use either the original 1966 cast album, or the recently-released augmented original cast album.
With "Satin Summer Nights" as the only rest, all the following songs are rousing exclamation points:
1) "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King
2) "Don't Tell Mama" from Cabaret
3) "Into the Fire" from The Scarlet Pimpernel
4) "The Lees of Old Virginia" from 1776.
5) "Satin Summer Nights" from The Capeman
6) "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" from The Sound of Music
7) "Who Will Love Me As I Am" from Side Show
8) "The Wheels of a Dream" from Ragtime
Remember to keep all the CDs at hand so you can play the new Tony winning Best Musical all the way through, "conducting" or acting it out, at the end of the Tony show.
-- By Robert Viagas