THE LISTENING ROOM
Sponsored by East Wisconsin Savings Bank
If you’ve attended last year’s Christmas on The Avenue concert or Uncovered Too in June, you’ve seen and heard her perform with her father, Steve March-Tormé. And just like her father, she has plenty of opinions on music! To mark back-to-school week, we thought we’d check in with a school-aged member of The Avenue family, Miss Ruby March-Tormé, and find out what music has caught her attention.
“Aw, sweet!! I’ve got my own Listening Room! Being the youngest here, my music choices tend to be newer songs, though I do love a lot of older music too, thanks to my dad. It’s also stuff you don’t usually hear on the radio. Almost all of the stuff that I listen to is musical theater, simply because it’s one of my biggest passions. I love how the songs really tell a story and you can tell the actors are feeling what they’re singing. I think that’s one of the greatest things about the genre."
“We’ll start off with the most popular of my faves: Dear Evan Hansen, by Benji Pasek and Justin Paul. It’s a musical about a kid named Evan Hansen, who has a social anxiety disorder that makes it hard for him to connect with his peers. Evan learns that a boy in his class recently committed suicide, and through a misunderstanding, the boy’s family thinks that Evan was his only friend. Evan goes along with the lie, and the story continues. It sounds dark, but it’s surprisingly uplifting. If you’re going to listen to it, make sure you have tissues nearby because YOU WILL CRY. We went to see it on Broadway last summer and there wasn’t a single dry face in the audience. On top of that, the music is stunningly gorgeous and all the actors are incredibly talented. (It won SIX Tonys in 2017!) My personal favorite song is “You Will Be Found,” which ends the first act."
You Will Be Found https://youtu.be/mSfH2AuhXfw
“Another musical I’m in love with is Be More Chill by Joe Iconis. Never heard of it? I’m not surprised. It had a two-month Off-Off-Broadway run and a cast album in 2015, but two fans took to social media and spread it like the plague. Now it’s as popular as “Dear Evan Hansen!” The musical is about a boy named Jeremy, an awkward high schooler with a crush on a cute girl named Christine. Jeremy takes a pill called the SQUIP, a quantum supercomputer that implants itself into Jeremy’s brain and tells him how to be more chill (pun intended) and win over Christine. Wacky! It’s geared more towards teenagers and millennials than Dear Evan Hansen, but it’s definitely still worth checking out. The music is of course phenomenal, and totally worth your time. My favorite songs are “I Love Play Rehearsal” and “Michael in the Bathroom.”
Michael in the Bathroom https://youtu.be/Dj1P-5Ey4dU
“My current favorite is – surprise! – not a musical. It’s an album comprised of musical theater songs! Two-Player Game, by George Salazar and Joe Iconis (Name sound familiar? Joe wrote “Be More Chill!”) contains songs written by Joe, and sung by George (although, Joe sometimes sings, too...there might also be some kazoo action). George played Michael, Jeremy’s best friend, in Be More Chill, and his singing in this album is equally, if not more, incredible. My current favorites are “Broadway, Here I Come!” and “The Answer.” First time listening to them, I was so excited I can only express it through keysmashes: ASJDFJHBIJADIHWSJIFKJD!! Be sure to check them out!"
Broadway, Here I Come! https://youtu.be/UPXYg3SfDVk
“My fourth and final (for now...) recommendation is Little Windows, by Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones. I’m normally ix-nay on country music, but I can’t help but love this adorable album. The songs are frustratingly catchy, with great harmonies and clever lyrics. It’s easily the most lighthearted and blissfully simple of my selections. One of my favorite songs is “Make a Wish on Me.” If you prefer more modern pop tunes, this is the album for you."
Make a Wish on Me https://youtu.be/4ds-kuXrpqI