1. Why is Broadway music a passion for you?
GL: I have always loved theater. I took acting classes as a kid and performed in my township’s summer theater program. However, I’m not the best singer and dancer so in high school I got involved in stage crew doing mainly makeup and costumes. The Sunday Sounds of Music was a way for me to marry my love of radio and theater while at Rowan and continues to be my creative outlet today.
2. What is your favorite musical?
GL: No question, Rent. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen it, but I’m pretty sure it’s 8 or 9. I even got to meet Anthony Rapp, who originated the role of Mark Cohen, when he performed at Rowan.
3. Who influenced you to begin listening to Broadway?
GL: I’ve been listening to it for as long as I can remember in one way or another. The Wizard of Oz is m favorite movie of all time so that’s a good primer. I also remember watching the movie version of Annie every day from about ages 3 to 6. The first show I saw on Broadway was Grease. Rent came out when I was 16. It’s a coming of age musical when I was coming of age. Nothing like emotion-filled show tunes for a dramatic teenager.
4. What is your favorite listener story?
GL: It’s probably the people I talk to every week when they make requests. I can probably guess what my regular listeners will request before they do it. There’s a girl who has been calling in requests since she was 8. She just graduated high school. That’s a pretty cool feeling to know that people like that care enough to listen week after week for the 10+ years I’ve been doing the show.
5. What is one soundtrack/album you would recommend to a Broadway newcomer?
GL: I think it really depends on your musical tastes in general. If you like classical music, listen to Rogers and Hammerstein , Cole Porter or George Gershwin musicals like Carousel, Anything Goes, or Porgy and Bess. If Jazz is more your thing then try out Kander and Ebb musicals like Chicago and Cabaret. Rock enthusiasts will like Billy Joel’s Movin’ Out, The Who’s Tommy or Queen’s We Will Rock You. And if you just want to laugh, listen to Avenue Q or The Book of Mormon. I love that movie musicals are making a comeback because it makes the music more main stream and introduces a whole new generation to the theater!
You can catch Gina Sunday Sounds of Music each and every Sunday morning from 7-10 on Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM or online at wgls.rowan.edu.