When I Grow Up: Broadway's Next Generation
Live at 54 Below
Performer: Various Artists
Distributed By: Broadway Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In July 2013, Broadway Records announced the release of a new album featuring Broadway's youngest upcoming stars. Recorded Live at 54 Below, the album is aptly called When I Grow Up: Broadway's Next Generation and was made available digitally on July 26th and on CD on July 30th.
The album features young artists who have appeared in shows like A Christmas Story, Mary Poppins, Bonnie & Clyde, The Lion King, Evita and more. But instead of performing songs from those Broadway musicals, the performers sing songs of a more adult flavor from such musicals as Avenue Q, Into the Woods, The Wiz, Chicago, The Last Five Years, Next to Normal, Little Shop of Horrors, Book of Mormon and more.
I wanted to like this album, I really did, but it was disconcerting to listen to young kids croon songs like the sad Mr. Cellophane, Agony, Getting Married Today, Waiting for Life, You Can't Win, I Believe and more. These are adult songs and just don't seem right when performed by children who you know have never experienced some of the content. That isn't to say that these kids don't sing their hearts out on every track and there are some very talented young voices to be heard on this album.
There is no doubt that you are hearing the voices of Broadway's future on When I Grow Up: Broadway's Next Generation, I just wish that the powers that be had found more suitable songs for the performers to sing. Part of listening to songs during a Broadway musical is believing that the singer knows of what he/she sings. That's an important part that is missing from this album - despite all the talent expressed, these are still kids performing very grown up songs. Not my cup of tea.