The Christmas Songs: Holiday Albums from Broadway to Brighten the Season
By Playbill Staff
December 24, 2013
Tis the season and Playbill.com is sharing some essential albums to help our readers get in the holiday spirit.
From Julie Andrews to Kristin Chenoweth, from the cast albums of A Christmas Carol and Elf, to classics from Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand, here are some holiday albums to enjoy this season:
"The Judy Garland Christmas Album"
Culled from Garland's televised Christmas special, the album features the entertainer performing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" and "Over the Rainbow," in addition to a duet of "The Christmas Song" with Mel Tormé, as well as performances from friends and family including Liza Minnelli ("Steam Heat"), "Consider Yourself:" (Joe Luft/Lorna Luft), "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" (Lorna Luft) and more.
Liz Callaway: "Merry and Bright"
The newly-released EP from Tony Award nominee Callaway features such songs as "Joy to the World," "Grown-Up Christmas List," "Silent Night, "Mary Did You Know?," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."
To listen to samples from the holiday recording, visit LizTunes.com.
"Christmas With Julie Andrews"
Classic songs on the 14-track album include "O Little Town Of Bethlehem," "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Silent Night" and "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear."
Linda Eder: "Christmas Stays the Same."
The 2010 holiday album from Eder includes several Frank Wildhorn originals, including the title track (a beautiful new holiday tune that sounds like a classic from yesteryear), "The Bells of St. Paul," as well as "Here Comes Santa Claus/Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "The Christmas Song" and "Ave Maria."
"Broadway Cares: Home for the Holidays"
Liza Minnelli, Christine Ebersole, Audra McDonald, Billy Porter, Patrick Wilson and more perform songs ranging from "Santa Baby," to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Sleigh Ride," "White Christmas," "Feliz Navidad" and more on this 16-track album.
"Seasons Greetings: A Jersey Boys Christmas" Released in 2011, the 17-track album features cast members from Jersey Boys, including John Lloyd Young, Jarrod Spector, Tituss Burgess, Rick Faugno and more, who perform "Jingle Bell Rock," "Winter Wonderland," "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "Auld Lang Syne."
Elaine Paige: "Christmas"
The Olivier Award-winning London stage star sings "Coventry Carol," "A Winter's Tale," "Peace on Earth/The Little Drummer Boy," "Light of the Stable" "Father Christmas Eyes" and more on the ten-track album.
Sarah Brightman: "A Winter Symphony"
The Phantom of the Opera star sings "Silent Night," "Child in a Manger," "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," "Colder Than Winter" and "I Believe In Father Christmas" on the 12-track album.
The studio cast album of A Christmas Story, The Musical Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's Tony Award-nominated score is captured on the cast album of the 2012 Broadway production of the holiday musical based on the beloved holiday film. Songs include "Counting Down to Christmas," "Red Ryder Carbine Action BB Gun," "Ralphie to the Rescue," "A Major Award," "A Kid at Christmas," "Somewhere Hovering Over Indiana" and the title song.
The 1995 cast album of the Alan Menken-Lynn Ahrens stage musical of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol features Walter Charles, Emily Skinner, Nick Corley, Joy Hermalyn, Jeff Keller, Robert Westenberg and more. Songs include "God Bless Us, Everyone," "A Place Called Home," "The Lights Of Long Ago," "Abundance And Charity" and "Christmas Together."
A soundtrack of the 2004 television adaptation, with Kelsey Grammar, Jane Krakowski, Jason Alexander, Ruthie Henshall and Jesse L. Martin is also available.
Barbra Streisand: "A Christmas Album"
The multi-award winner's 1967 holiday album includes "My Favorite Things," "Jingle Bells?," "I Wonder As I Wander," "White Christmas," and "The Christmas Song."
"Carols for a Cure"
Each year members of the Broadway community gather to raise their voices for the holidays and a good cause: to raise funds for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. Now in its 15th edition, the 2013 2-CD set mixes holiday classics with new original material. Cast members from Kinky Boots, Annie, Pippin and Motown The Musical, are among the performers featured this year.
The cast album of Irving Berlin's White Christmas
The 2006 Broadway cast album features Anastasia Barzee, Brian d'Arcy James, Jeffry Denman, Karen Morrow and Meredith Patterson, who sing such classics as "Happy Holidays," "Snow," "Count Your Blessings," "Love, You didn't Do Right By Me/How Deep Is The Ocean?," "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" and the title song.
Kristin Chenoweth: "A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas"
The Tony Award-winning star sings "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Do You Hear What I Hear?," "Silver Bells," "Sleigh Ride / Marshmallow World," and more on the 11-track album.
Sam Harris: "On This Night"
The Broadway star and recording artist sings "All I Need Is Christmas," "The First Noel," "Angels We Have Heard On High," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and more on the 2006 holiday album.
Ann Hampton Callway: "This Christmas"
The 2008 holiday album from the gifted, Tony Award-nominated vocalist includes "Baby, It's Cold Outside," "Manhattan In December," "Carol Of The Bells," "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "Jingle Bells."
Michael Crawford: "A Christmas Album"
The Tony and Olivier Award-winning Phantom of the Opera star offers "O Holy Night," "The Very Best Time Of The Year/It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year," "Candlelight Carol" and more on this 1999 holiday recording.
Natalie Toro: "Just in Time for Christmas"
Released Nov. 12, the new album from the Tale of Two Cities and Les Misérables actress includes "Once Upon A Christmas Song," "Ave Maria/O' Holy Night," "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and the title song.
Nancy LaMott: "Just in Time for Christmas"
The 1994 holiday album from the late New York cabaret artist features the original Ahrens and Flaherty song "All Those Christmas Clichés," as well as "A Song For Christmas," "I Saw Three Ships," "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" and a revamped Christmas version of "Stay With Me" from City of Angels.
The cast album of Elf
The 2010 Broadway musical Elf has a score by Chad Beguelin and Matthew Sklar. Sebastian Arcelus, Mark Jacoby, Beth Leavel and Amy Spanger are featured on the recording that captures such songs as "Sparklejollytwinklejingley," "A Christmas Song," "Nobody Cares About Santa," "Never Fall In Love (With An Elf)" and more.
The cast album of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical —
The new cast album of Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical — featuring original cast member Patrick Page as the grumpy hermit whose heart is "two sizes too small" — was released Oct. 29 by Sony Masterworks Broadway. The stage production, based on the original book written by Dr. Seuss, features favorites such as "Fah Who Foraze," "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch," "Welcome, Christmas," "Santa For a Day" and more.