Musical Theatre Soundtrack
Ken Howard : “On the Boulevard” Original Cast Concept Album
(Independent / 1 March 2023)
With On the Boulevard, Ken Howard has come up with a new LGBT-themed musical that honours the classics, albeit with a distinctly modern tone. It's romantic and sweeping in scope.
He comes by his musical theatre roots honestly via his great-aunt, Esther Howard, who lit up Broadway stages in the 1920s. He's also the great-grandson of music director J. William Howard II (“My Marilyn,” “Blossom Time,” “The Student Prince”).
Howard came up with the original concept, adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”, along with the music and lyrics. Libretto is by Ken Howard and Malcolm Heenman. He's assembled a team of collaborators and performers that bring the concept to life.
Dishes to Diamonds is a standout, a track with roots in vaudeville era jazz, and a great sense of theatricality in its rags to riches ethos. Naturally, there's a rousing ballad - My Own Song. There is pathos, uplifting messages, and flashes of humour - like the song Everybody Hates Leg Day. Musically, he's influenced by the sounds of classic Broadway shows, a la Wicked or Pippin. It's melodic, and leaves the vocals out front to showcase the story.
“On the Boulevard” (formerly titled, “PygMALEon”) has been a labor of love since its inception in about 2015, when the proliferation of Hollywood superhero movies, combined with the pervasive notion that gay men in West Hollywood are too-often judged for their social status by way of the esthetics of their physique, reminded me of George Bernard Shaw’s social commentary and critique about social classes and the status of women in Edwardian London being judged by the manner of their speech in “Pygmalion” in 1914,” Howard says in a statement.
A graduate of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television, and the University of Southern California, Ken is a California Licensed Clinical Social Worker and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist.
The “On The Boulevard” Concept Album was recorded at Temple Base Studios, Hollywood and Mix Recording Studios, Mid-Wilshire/LA, from July, 2015 to September, 2022. It awaits production of its first commercial theatrical staging.
Tracklist: 1. On The Boulevard (Michael D’Elia); 2. What Makes A Superhero? (Ryland Shelton); 3. Dishes To Diamonds (DeLandis McClam); 4. My Own Song (Michael D’Elia); 5. My Own Song (Reprise) (Company); 6. Everybody Hates Leg Day (Company); 7. Just Right (Joesy DePalo); 8.When I Becomes We (Michael D’Elia, Giancarlo Garritano); 9. I’ve Got You (Ryland Shelton, Michael D’Elia); 10. Step by Step (DeLandis McClam); 11.Gringo Work Day (Gina Torrecilla); 12.A Time We Learned What Love Was (Ryland Shelton); 13.Once More With Feeling (Carol Barbee); 14.Butterfly (Michael D’Elia); 15. All That Glitters (Company); 16. My Own Song – Fanfare (Michael Van Bodegom-Smith); 17. Just One Glimpse (Giancarlo Garritano); 18. A Night That Never Ends (Michael D’Elia, Company); 19. What Made A Superhero? (Carol Barbee, Ryland Shelton); 20. Just Right (Reprise) (Michael D’Elia); 21. Just One Glimpse (Reprise) (Giancarlo Garritano); 22. Youth Is Wasted On The Young (Ryland Shelton); 23. Now (Michael D’Elia); 24. Yours For The Taking (Company); 25. My Own Song/Butterfly (Reprise) (Michael D’Elia); 26. Just As I Am (Michael D’Elia, Ryland Shelton); 27. I Don’t Love You (Ryland Shelton); 28. A Night That Never Ends (Reprise) (Michael D’Elia, Company); 29. On The Boulevard (Reprise) (Company)
Michael D’Elia (“Eli Dillingham”); Ryland Shelton (“Robert Riggins”); Carol Barbee (“Christine Pickard”); Giancarlo Garritano (“Teddy Montoya”); Gina Torrecilla (“Concha”); Delandis (“Elphaba”); Ken Howard (music, lyrics, libretto, producer)