Just Talking Musicals is a YouTube channel featuring stories about the history of Broadway and West End shows and the people who made them. Presented by professional singer and writer, our long-time customer and friend, Lesley Anne Knight. Each season also features two song performances and a special interview with an industry professional.
For Season One the team met up with Tom Klenerman who was one of the first young actors to play Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 2013. Season Two promises engaging viewing with interviews, pictures and storytelling, and songs by Gershwin, Rogers & Hart, and Jerome Kern.
Here’s Lesley to introduce it to you:
The first four episodes of Season 2 follow the story of how George Gershwin became inspired to write the first American folk opera, Porgy & Bess, after he picked up a book to read himself to sleep after a long day’s rehearsal one evening in 1926… and instead read himself wide awake.
Our special Season 2 interview with professional musician, Annette Brown whose orchestral career boasts performances in 76 countries, including the main stages at Glastonbury, Wembley and Knebworth; playing for members of the Royal family; and touring Australia with Seal.
A look at Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s musical, Pal Joey, which opened on Broadway on Christmas Day, 1940 to particularly mixed reviews (including one particular notorious review from The New York Times which has gone down in first night review history).
Each episode focuses in on the story behind two songs from the 1940s, performed by Lesley Anne Knight. First up is ‘Remind Me’ with lyrics by Dorothy Fields and music by Jerome Kern, followed in Episode 14 by ‘Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered’ the legendary hit from Rodgers & Hart’s musical, Pal Joey, made into a film starring Rita Hayworth and Frank Sinatra in 1957.
Praise for Just Talking Musicals
‘I had the pleasure of checking out your premier episode, and I’m certain our audience of 5.5 million monthly theatre lovers would enjoy it as much as I did!’
Miles Silverman, Broadway World
About the team
Lesley Anne Knight
Lesley Anne studied voice at Trinity College of Music and is a professional singer, vocal coach, writer and composer. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain and has researched, written and presented on both radio and television, specialising as an expert in Musical Theatre. Work includes: Broadway Bonanza (10-part series; Sky/Vintage TV, 2013); The Magic of the Musicals (8-part series; Global City Radio, 2011); What’s on at the Musicals (weekly; The Big H Radio Show, 2015). Lesley Anne is a vocal coach at Oxford Brookes University and the London College of Music (specialising in Musical Theatre) and is also a PhD student with a research interest in gender equality on Broadway at the turn of the twentieth century.
Kate E. Ridout
Kate is a published non-fiction author and is currently finishing her second novel. A doctoral graduate of the University of Oxford, Kate has worked for over five years as a research scientist, publishing Biological manuscripts in prominent journals. Outside of academia, Kate is in several bands, performing as a vocalist in the UK and in Switzerland. Kate has also been involved in the devising of the modern play Blue Butterfly, which made its premiere performance in Geneva, Switzerland and has written the libretto for a new musical, Nonsense!, showcased in London in conjunction with the London College of Music in 2016.