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The Boy Next Door

by Various Artists

Songs of gay love and longing, produced by ASCAP Award-winner Chip Deffaa, with an all-star New York cast....
Genre: Easy Listening: Love Songs
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Boy Wanted
Ellis Gage
3:07 $0.99
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2. The Boy Next Door
David Warren
3:12 $0.99
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3. Nothing More
Ellis Gage
3:28 $0.99
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4. They Say It's Wonderful
Seth Sikes & Clark Kinkade
3:11 $0.99
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5. The Boy Friend
Ellis Gage, Mark William, John Brady & Dylan Adams
1:34 $0.99
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6. Gimme Gimme
Ellis Gage
2:36 $0.99
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7. Where the Boys Are
Tyler Duboys
2:24 $0.99
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8. Pu-Leeze Mr. Hemingway
Ellery Bakaitis & Chip Deffaa
1:34 $0.99
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9. I'm Crazy for My Baby in a Uniform
Ellis Gage & Rayna Hirt
2:14 $0.99
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10. My Boyfriend Back Home
Alec Deland
3:21 $0.99
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11. Just Because
John Brady & Mark William
4:12 $0.99
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12. An Old-Fashioned Wedding
Mark William & John Brady
2:33 $0.99
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13. City of Men
Clark Kinkade, Ellis Gage & Peter Charney
3:07 $0.99
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14. Manhattan
John Tartaglia
3:49 $0.99
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15. There's a Boy in Havana
Luca Fric & Clark Kinkade
2:20 $0.99
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16. Pretty Baby
Tyqaun White
1:46 $0.99
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17. Nobody's Chasing Me
Nobody's Chasing Me
2:31 $0.99
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18. Who Needs Ya?
Alec Deland & Tyler Duboys
8:18 $0.99
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19. I Wonder Where My Sweet Sweet Daddy's Gone
Dylan Adams
3:08 $0.99
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20. Oh! How I Laugh When I Think How I Cried over You
Charlie Franklin
2:35 $0.99
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21. Beach Boy
Alec Deland
2:20 $0.99
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22. Crater Lake Blues
Erich Schuett & Ellis Gage
5:47 $0.99
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23. What'll I Do?
Tyler Duboys & Peter Charney
3:20 $0.99
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24. Goodnight My Someone
Ellis Gage
2:18 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes

Chip Deffaa's THE BOY NEXT DOOR

Songs of gay love and longing... with an all-star New York cast

MUSICAL NUMBERS
(Richard Danley is the musical director and pianist on all of the tracks except for the following: Sterling Price-McKinney is the music director/pianist on tracks #2, #8, #14, and #17; and Brett Kristofferson is the music director/pianist on track #13.)

1. BOY WANTED (words by Ira Gershwin, music by George Gershwin) ... Ellis Gage

2. THE BOY NEXT DOOR (words and music by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane) ... David Warren

3. NOTHING MORE (words by Charlie Sohne and music by Tim Rosser) ... Ellis Gage

4. THEY SAY IT'S WONDERFUL (words and music by Irving Berlin) ... Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade

5. THE BOY FRIEND (words and music by Sandy Wilson) ... Ellis Gage, Mark William, John Brady, Dylan Adams

6. GIMME GIMME (words by Dick Scanlan, music by Jeanine Tesori) ... Ellis Gage

7. WHERE THE BOYS ARE (words by Howard Greenfield, music by Neil Sedaka) ... Tyler DuBoys

8. PU-LEEZE, MR. HEMINGWAY (words by Walter Kent and Milton Drake, music by Abner Silver) ... Ellery Bakitis, Chip Deffaa

9. I'M CRAZY FOR MY BABY IN A UNIFORM (words and music by Chip Deffaa) .... Ellis Gage (with tap-dancing by Rayna Hirt)

10. MY BOYFRIEND BACK HOME (words and music by Cole Porter) Alec Deland

11. JUST BECAUSE (words and music by Chip Deffaa) (interpolating I Wish I had a Girl, words by Gus Kahn, music by Grace LeBoy) ... John Brady and Mark William

12. AN OLD FASHIONED WEDDING (words and music by Irving Berlin) ... Mark William and John Brady

13. CITY OF MEN (words and music by Brett Kristofferson) ... Clark Kinkade, Ellis Gage, Peter Charney

14. MANHATTAN (words by Lorenz Hart, music by Richard Rodgers) ... John Tartaglia

15. THERE'S A BOY IN HAVANA (words and music by Irving Berlin, Ted Snyder, and E. Ray Goetz) ... Luka Fric, Clark Kinkade

16. PRETTY BABY (words by Gus Kahn, music by Tony Jackson and Egbert Van Alstyne) ... Tyqaun White

17. NOBODY'S CHASING ME (words and music by Cole Porter) ... Stephen Bogardus

18. WHO NEEDS YA? (words and music by Chip Deffaa) ... Alec Deland and Tyler DuBoys

19. I WONDER WHERE MY SWEET SWEET DADDY'S GONE (words by T. A. Hammed, music by Ray H. Stark) ... Dylan Adams

20. OH! HOW I LAUGH WHEN I THINK HOW I CRIED OVER YOU (words by Roy Turk and George Jessel, music by Willy White) ... Charlie Franklin

21. BEACH BOY (words and music by Ann Ronnell) ... Alec Deland

22. CRATER LAKE BLUES (words and music by Chip Deffaa) ... Ellis Gage and Erich Schuett

23. WHAT'LL I DO? (words and music by Irving Berlin) Tyler DuBoys, Peter Charney

24. GOODNIGHT MY SOMEONE (words and music by Meredith Willson) ... Ellis Gage

This album is dedicated by the producer, with appreciation and respect, to that ever-inspirin’ dancin’ man, Tyler Daene DuBoys....

-----------------------------------

A FEW NOTES FROM THE PRODUCER...

Gay love has always been part of the human experience. Many societies have tried to suppress it. But it’s part of our basic mammalian heritage. And it will always be with us.

Some adults will tell you that they “always” knew that they were gay. Maybe so. But quite often, the realization can come as a surprise for a person growing up.

An adolescent may only gradually become aware that the person who most makes his heart soar is a member of his own sex. Figuring out who you are, and what to do with all of those heady feelings can take time.... Realizing that you have feelings that go beyond those of simple friendship, as you experience your first crushes. And gradually coming to learn, and accept, which actions best express such feelings.

This album is a celebration of gay love, with a particular emphasis on young gay love. I’ve gathered numbers–both old and new–to form a kind of song cycle, with different singers touching on different aspects of the experience. And with one singer, Ellis Gage--who’s getting a bit of extra exposure on this album--helping to tie everything together.

Some of the songs in this collection–like, say, “Nothing More,” “Just Because,” “City of Men,” or “Who Needs Ya?”–were specifically written as songs expressing the feelings of guys who are attracted to guys. Some other numbers--like Cole Porter’s “Nobody’s Chasing Me”--might have a certain camp touch that gay listeners quickly recognize; we sense that the songwriter is a fellow member of the tribe; it’s just there, between the lines.

Other songs in this collection, by contrast, are simply love songs that work just as well whether sung by a guy who’s falling for a gal or by a guy who’s falling for a guy. We can all understand those yearnings. Love is love.

I’ve gathered a mix of gifted performers, both gay and straight, to put across this collection of songs dealing with love, loss, and longing. I think the world of the 18 singers on this album. We’ve got some wonderful artists from Broadway–performers whose work on stage I’ve greatly enjoyed--including Stephen Bogardus, John Tartaglia, Jon Peterson, Charlie Franklin....

Many of the gifted musical-theater performers on this album have appeared over the years, in one venue or another, in shows that I’ve written and directed myself: Seth Sikes, Clark Kinkade, Peter Charney, Tyler DuBoys, David Warren, Ellery Bakaitis, Luka Fric, Rayna Hirt, John Brady, Mark William....

Some of the performers on this album have years of professional experience. Others may be a bit younger, perhaps just beginning to really make names for themselves, like the up-and-coming Alec Deland, Dylan Adams, Tyqaun White, Erich Schuett, Ellis Gage....

But, oh! I very much like all of these singers. They perform with warmth and heart and flair, and understanding. I’m proud to know ‘em all. I’m grateful that they work with me. And glad they’re proudly singing these songs.

* * *
THE SINGERS AND THE SONGS...

1. BOY WANTED (words by Ira Gershwin and music by George Gershwin, from the musical comedy "A Dangerous Maid”) ... Ellis Gage gets things off to a sprightly start–as a youth looking for love–with an early Gershwin number, “Boy Wanted.” (And I have Sarah Jessica Parker to thank for first introducing me to this song.) This is not a famous Gershwin
number–it was written for a 1921 musical production that never made it to Broadway–but it provides a perfect introduction to our song cycle. It sets up the whole album. To me, the song “Boy Wanted” is a delight, filled with youthful optimism and yearning. And so is Ellis Gage.
Let me tell you a bit about Ellis, since you’re going to hear a fair amount of him on this album.

This IRNE Award-winning singer/actor starred in the world-premiere production, at Goodspeed Opera House, of “James and the Giant,” with a score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. (Not many young people can say they’ve introduced Pasek and Paul songs!) He’s studied at Manhattan School of Music. He’s sung at Joe’s Pub in New York City. His film/TV credits include “Chasing Life” and “The Earth Rejects Him.” He’s recorded for me before. He sang a beautiful version of “My Buddy,” for example, on my album “Gay Love.” And he made the first recording, ever, of Irving Berlin’s “Come to the Land of the Argentine” on my album “An Irving Berlin Travelogue.” He has a fine voice, and I wanted to give him a bit of a showcase on this album--put a spotlight on him. He’s going to be a kind of recurring character on this album.

2. THE BOY NEXT DOOR .... David Warren–who sings Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane’s “The Boy Next Door” so beautifully here –co-starred in the first production of my musical play “George M.Cohan and Co.” He was also in my original “George M. Cohan Revue” (and may be heard on the cast album). He’s a standout on the album “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast,” singing Anthony Rapp’s “Just Some Guy.” And he sang, masterfully, Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” on my album “Gay Love.”

He has a gorgeous voice. (For my money, he’s one of the very best male singers, in this idiom, of his generation.) I love the way his voice just seems to float on the final notes of this song–truly sublime. He’s accompanied by pianist Sterling Price-McKinney, who’s music-directed several shows for me; they always work well together.

The song “The Boy Next Door” was, of course, introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 film “Meet Me in St. Louis.” (In that film, it was Garland who had the crush on the boy next door.) It was Dave Warren who had the idea of recording this particular song–the very first song recorded for this album–and he does a splendid job. (I’d never heard a guy sing this song, until Dave Warren sang it for me one day; and he just connected with it completely.) Without knowing it, David actually gave me the idea for this whole album. And for that, I’m in his debt. When I first knew him, incidentally, he lived within walking distance of me; for me, he practically was “the boy next door.” Today, he makes his home in distant Florida, so I don’t get to see him so often. But it’s always a joy to be able to present a recording of him.

3. NOTHING MORE (by Tim Rosser and Charlie Sohne)– which captures so well the tentative, awkward expressions of a youth who’s feeling the first stirrings of same-sex attraction--is sung sensitively by Ellis Gage. I think he strikes just the right tone-- a mix of innocence and awareness. I like very much his interpretation.

Lyricist Charlie Sohne notes: “‘Nothing More’ is part of a song cycle called ‘With The Right Music’ which we premiered with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra last year.” Songwriters Rosser and Sohne--winners of the Jonathan Larson Award and ASCAP's Mary Rodgers/Lorenz Hart Award–first impressed me when they were developing a musical, “The Boy Who Danced on Air.” (I listened to Giuseppe Bausilio sing one of their memorable songs and felt instantly: “These are songwriters I’d love to work with in some way.”) I’m glad to include one of their songs here, and hope to record more of their intriguing work in the future. Their songs have been sung at 54 Below, Birdland, Joe’s Pub, the New York Theater Barn, and more. If you’d like more info, they have a web site: www.rosserandsohne.com.

4. THEY SAY IT'S WONDERFUL .... This famed Irving Berlin ballad, written for the musical "Annie Get Your Gun,” is interpreted here by two of the best singers in New York: Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade. It’s always a joy to work with them, separately or together. And you can clearly hear that they love working together. I’m an Irving Berlin buff, but it was actually Seth Sikes’s idea to record this particular song--he loves this number; it’s an important song in his repertoire. And I’m glad Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade were able to record it together. (They’re both so busy and in-demand, it’s always hard to find a date that works for both of them, but it’s always worth it.)

Seth Sikes is the hottest male singer in the nightclubs these days. His shows at New York’s noted supper club Feinstein’s/54 Below sell out quickly. And he’s won fans in club appearances from Provincetown to London. Besides being a singer, he also works as a director, off-Broadway and on Broadway–most recently serving as Associate Director on the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit, “The Band’s Visit.” (And he previously was Assistant Director on the Broadway comedy “The Nance,” and the Off-Broadway play “The Tribe.”)

Clark Kinkade is a member of the popular vocal group “RANGE a capella,” which has sung everywhere from Radio City Music Hall to the red carpet of the Emmy Awards. (Their recent video of songs from “Hamilton” has gotten more than five million YouTube hits!) Kinkade worked alongside Seth Sikes in the development process of my show “The Johnny Mercer Jamboree.” He also originated the role of Bryan Foy--which I wrote for him--in my musical comedy “The Seven Little Foys,” among other credits.

Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade are always great fun. You can hear more samples of their work, together and separately, on such albums of mine as “Gay Love,” “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered” and “The Chip Deffaa Songbook.”

5. THE BOY FRIEND .... This was the title song from the sprightly musical comedy by Sandy Wilson that, in 1954, introduced Julie Andrews to America. She made her Broadway debut in “The Boy Friend,” and that launched her career. (She retained a great affection for this show, and years later directed a national touring production.) In the musical comedy–which was a terrific success in both London and New York--girls in the 1920s were voicing their hopes of finding a boy friend. (What could possibly be more important?)

The song “The Boy Friend” is such good camp fun–and the sentiments expressed have certainly been felt over the years by plenty of guys, not just gals–that I turned this song over to four devoted members of my theatrical family: Ellis Gage, Mark William, John Brady, Dylan Adams. (We’ll hear more from each of these singers, individually, later on this album.) And I didn’t have to teach them this number; these dedicated theater boys already knew it! In fact, some of them had been in productions of the musical. They get well into the spirit of the song here!

6. GIMME GIMME (words by Dick Scanlan, music by Jeanine Tesorii, from their musical comedy "Thoroughly Modern Millie") is a wonderful expression of youthful yearning for love. I love the way Ellis Gage sings it. And the way the whole performance builds. This song, I might add, is my favorite number from the stage musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” To me, it represents composer Tesori and lyricist Scanlan (whom I knew and admired as an author before he got into writing for theater) at their best.

I hope this track might get a bit of airplay. Ellis Gage has already sung “Gimme Gimme” “live”–and quite brilliantly!--on Seth Rudetsky’s radio show on Sirius XM. (The ever-supportive Rudetsky, who knows seemingly everyone in show business--and has usually known them from well before they were famous–has excellent taste!)

7. WHERE THE BOYS ARE was introduced by Connie Francis in a 1960 film of the same name; her record became a top-ten hit. Tyler DuBoys, who sings this song with lots of feeling here, has sung and/or danced on such albums of mine as “The Seven Little Foys,” “Irving Berlin Revisited,” “Irving Berlin’s America,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,.” and “An Irving Berlin Travelogue.” And on my album “Gay Love,” he helped introduce my song “The Old Dancer’s Blues” which I wrote with him in mind. He’s worked with me not just as a singer and dancer, he’s also choreographed shows for me. I think the world of this NYU-trained artist. And he’s always fun to work with.

8. PU-LEEZE, MR. HEMINGWAY (words by Walter Kent and Milton Drake, music by Abner Silver) is an entertaining number for Ellery Bakitis –personality aplenty!--and myself. A graduate of New York’s famed Laguardia High School of Music & Art, and the Performing Arts, Bakaits added lots of life to my musical play “George M. Cohan: In His Own Words.” (Check out his performance with Jon Peterson of “H-A-R-R-I-G-A-N” on the album of songs from that show.) He shines, too, on the cast album for my show “Mad About the Boy: the Festival Cast...,” on such numbers as “Help, the Girls are After Me” and “Mad About the Boy.” And he is perfect, putting across “Pu-leeze, Mr. Hemingway” here.

My arrangement of this vintage song (written for my show “Mad About the Boy”) includes a passing reference to the Variety Arts Theater, followed by a recommendation, ad-libbed in the recording studio by Ellery: “Don’t forget to tip the usher!” The versatile Ellery Bakaitis, I might note, once had a day job, working as an usher at New York’s Variety Arts Theater.

9. I'M CRAZY FOR MY BABY IN A UNIFORM (words and music by Chip Deffaa) .... Ellis Gage is back, this time singing breezily of a fellow he’s fallen for. And he has a good time with this solo piece. (I originally wrote this spirited ditty for my musical comedy “Theater Boys,” where it became a production number for a group of my singers/dancers.) Incidentally, the chart for this number was prepared by the multi-talented Seth Sikes. (He can do anything!)

10. MY BOYFRIEND BACK HOME–a cheery 1930s Cole Porter number–is sung with panache by Alec Deland. Deland has sung on such albums of mine as “Gay Love,” “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” “Irving Berlin Revisited,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” and “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities.” Currently attending Princeton University, Deland is a member of Princeton’s signature a capella vocal group, the Tigertones, and is also busy making his mark in theater, following in the footsteps of Princeton actors from Jimmy Stewart to Stephen Bogardus. I’ve enjoyed seeing him on stage at Princeton in such shows as “Next to Normal” and “The Last Five Years.” As I type these notes, he’s busy working up at the Williamstown Theater Festival. He has a bright future.

11. JUST BECAUSE –an original song of mine from a show that I’m developing–gets it first-ever recording by John Brady and Mark William. Both were in my show “Mad About the Boy” at the 13th Street Theater in New York, although they never got to sing a duet in that production. (We’re rectifying that situation now!) They really do work well together, performing this original number of mine (with a bit of the old favorite “I Wish I had a Girl” thrown in for good measure). And I think highly of them both as performers. I like their voices and I like their sense of humor. They’re both great looking, too. They were lots of fun in “Mad About the Boy” and I’m always happy when I have a chance to work with them. I picked them very carefully for this song, which deals with a situation I’ve certainly encountered plenty of times in life–the gay fellow who’s not quite ready yet to acknowledge that he’s gay.

John Brady–who holds a B.A in Theatre from DeSalles University and has studied Improv Comedy with the Upright Citizens Brigade–has enjoyed doing such shows as “The Music Man,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “A View from the Bridge,” and “Chicago.” He entertains at the Townhouse Bar in New York. Brady was originally recommended to me by the great Seth Sikes, and I’m grateful to Seth–who certainly knows talent--for the recommendation. Brady may be heard on such albums as “Mad About the Boy: The Original Cast, the 13th Street Theater Production”; “ Gay Love”; “Irving Berlin Revisited”; and “The Chip Deffaa Songbook.”

A graduate of Ohio Northern University, Mark William’s performing career has taken him to locales ranging from Westchester County (doing “Mary Poppins” at Westchester Broadway Theater), Florida (for “Mame,” starring Leslie Uggams), and Singapore (for “My Fair Lady”).
Some of his favorite roles to date include “Will Parker” in “Oklahoma,” “Andy Lee” in “42nd Street,” and “Greg” in “A Chorus Line.” He also narrates audio books. He was heard previously on the CD, “Mad About the Boy: The Original Cast Album, the 13th Street Theater Production.”

12. AN OLD FASHIONED WEDDING .... Mark William and John Brady–who discussed their relationship in the last number–cheerfully discuss their future plans in this song. They’ve got such terrific rapport, I’m glad we get to hear more of them!

Irving Berlin was 78 years old–and still at the top of his game, I might note–when he wrote this irresistible counterpoint number (or “double song,” as he used to say). And he was the all-time master of that form. (Some of his other first-rate “double songs” include “Simple Melody”/”Musical Demon,” “Pack Up Your Sins and Go to the Devil in Hades,” and “You’re Just in Love.”) Berlin created this number for the first major revival of his Broadway musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” and it was a huge success. I sat in the theater in awe, watching Ethel Merman and Bruce Yarnell sing this wonderful new counterpoint number–my favorite part of the show--and the audience didn’t want to let them go. “An Old-Fashioned Wedding” stopped the show, and Merman and Yarnell had to do chorus after chorus. I was enthralled.

I’ve never before heard this number–Berlin’s last major song--sung by two guys. But with gay marriage now, happily, both common and legal (which was unimaginable when this song was written)-- why not?

13. CITY OF MEN– sung with passion by Clark Kinkade, Ellis Gage, and Peter Charney–
was written by one of my favorite up-and-coming musical-theater writers, Brett Kristofferson (creator of such musicals as “Closer than You Think,” “Across the Tracks,” and “This Love”) . The song offers the perspectives of three young gay men, newly arrived in New York City from various small towns, and eager for life. New York will always be a kind of Mecca for gay men from the hinterlands, and Kristofferson captures the feelings well. (He himself came to NYC from a small town called Dittmer, Missouri.) Besides writing songs and shows which are being workshopped and performed in the New York area, Kristofferson helps train young singing actors at New York’s highly regarded Professional Performing Arts School, and at Wingspan Arts.

I picked the three singers–Clark Kinkade, Ellis Gage, Peter Charney. And, to ensure that this first recording of Kristofferson’s ode to New York would have just the right feel and tempo, I invited Kristofferson himself to rehearse the singers and play piano for this recording. I’m very glad he said yes! And hope to include more of his work on future albums.

14. MANHATTAN (words by Lorenz Hart, music by Richard Rodgers) ... New York City has always been an ideal place for young lovers. And no one captured that joyfully romantic sentiment better than lyricist Lorenz Hart. He was, alas, much better at finding the bliss of romance in his songs than in his life; Hart was, much of the time, a rather unhappy homosexual man, and often sought solace in drink. But oh! the enduringly delightful numbers he and his songwriting partner, Richard Rodgers gave us. They wrote this song in 1925.

I don’t think anyone could sing “Manhattan” with more appealing offhand charm than John Tartaglia, who interprets it here. Tartaglia–who really sparkles on stage--is a spirited performer, whose Broadway credits include “Shrek,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and–most memorably and importantly– “Avenue Q.” Tartaglia was the original star of “Avenue Q,” and he was just perfect in that show. I actually first heard him sing Bobby Lopez and Jeff Marx’s terrific songs for “Avenue Q” in BMI Workshop presentations while the show was still being written; I was so impressed with both the singer and the songs, I offered to present the show on a shoestring budget in my theater festival, if the creative team could not find commercial producers; they soon found some excellent producers and the rest, as they say, is history. The show is still running in New York City, some 15 years later!

The multi-talented Tartaglia has also been an important part of television’s “Sesame Street”; he created the Off-Broadway show “ImaginOcean”; he’s co-starred in the Off-Broadway show “Newsical”; he’s hosted his own radio program on Sirius XM; and he created and starred in his own hit TV series (for Disney), “Johnny and the Sprites.” On my album “Gay Love” (which was dedicated to Tartaglia, for he’s a great favorite of mine), he sang with verve a contemporary duet, “Here,” with Keith Anderson. He’s equally charming whether singing vintage numbers or contemporary ones.

I love seeing all of the successes that Tartaglia has achieved, and continues to achieve. All of his life, he’s followed his heart. When he was about 12, he created his first puppet–modeled on Carol Channing. Some of the other fellows at school –perhaps dubious about a boy who’d rather play with a Carol Channing puppet than play football with them–tried to put him down by calling him “puppet fag” and “Muppet boy.” But he was happy being exactly who he was. And by his mid 20s, this openly gay artist was starring on Broadway, and developing shows for radio and TV, and being profiled in magazines. I love people who are true to themselves, and realize their dreams I still keep on the shelf by my desk “The Advocate”’s profile of him–aptly titled “Muppet Boy Makes Good!”

15. THERE'S A BOY IN HAVANA (words and music by Irving Berlin, Ted Snyder, and E. Ray Goetz) is a fun number for Luka Fric and Clark Kinkade. I’m happy to bring together for the first time these two good-looking, talented–and very much in-demand--younger singing actors, who’ve both done such terrific work for me in shows and on recordings. Clark had just returned from doing a musical out on the West Coast , and Luka was about to do a show up in Connecticut when we managed to get them together at BeSharp Studios in Astoria to record this number.

Originally from Slovenia (and recently profiled in “Cosmopolitan” as a rising artist-to-watch), Luka Fric won audiences when he appeared in my show “Mad About the Boy.”He added life and color, too, to the musical production “Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic” at the Liberty Theater. His film credits include: “Trip to the Moon,” “It Gets Better,” and “Svet.” And he’s recently appeared in his first opera in New York, as well. He’s featured prominently on our CD, “Mad About the Boy: The Original Cast Album, The 13th Street Theater Production.” He made the first-ever recording of a rare Irving Berlin ballad, “The New Moon,” on the CD “Irving Berlin Revisited.” And he sang, with continental flair, the title song on my recently released album, “Gay Love.”

16. PRETTY BABY is sung with sincerity and heart by Tyqaun White. A graduate of New York’s famed Professional Performing Arts School, where I first saw him shine on stage, White is currently studying at Park University Conservatory of Performing Arts. On my last album, “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” he was heard buoyantly singing “When You’re Down in Louisville, Call on Me,” with Analia Heredia. It’s nice to have him in the recording studio, once again.

The background on the song “Pretty Baby” is fascinating. In its original form, “Pretty Baby” was the sole creation of Tony Jackson (1882-1921), an African-American singer/songwriter/pianist, hailed by fellow musicians in his native New Orleans as a giant. Legendary jazzman Jelly Roll Morton admired Tony Jackson tremendously, recalling: "He was the outstanding favorite of New Orleans. Tony was considered among all who knew him the greatest single-handed entertainer in the world.”

Morton also noted that Jackson was gay: “Tony happened to be one of those gentlemens that a lot of people call them ‘lady’ or ‘sissy.’" While still in New Orleans–Jackson’s base up until 1912–Jackson created, and began performing, “Pretty Baby,” which was inspired by a guy he liked. In 1912, Jackson moved permanently to Chicago, where he felt it was easier for him to live as a gay man. In Morton’s words, Jackson “liked his kind of diversion and felt more free in Chicago than in his home town.” Jackson entertained at Chicago cafes. “Pretty Baby” was still a highlight of his repertoire. By the time “Pretty Baby” was eventually published, in revised form, in 1916, Jackson shared songwriting credits with two white songwriting pros--Gus Kahn and Egbert Van Alstyne. The song became a huge hit. Jackson’s original version has been lost to history. But it’s worth remembering that “Pretty Baby” was originally inspired by a guy that Tony Jackson liked.

17. NOBODY'S CHASING ME–a clever, lighthearted, little-known Cole Porter number –is tossed off here with zest by Stephen Bogardus. (And it’s the kind of a song–witty and facile--that no one but Cole Porter could have come up with.)

Oh, Stephen Bogardus is a longtime favorite of mine. He has given memorable performances in many Broadway shows, including “Bright Star,” “White Christmas,” “Old Acquaintance,” “Man of La Mancha,” “James Joyce’s The Dead,” “High Society,” “King David,” “Love! Valour! Compassion!,” “Falsettos,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” “Safe Sex,” “Les Misérables,” and “West Side Story.” And as I type these notes, I’ve just come back from enjoying him, co-starring with Mellissa Errico, in the Irish Repertory Theater’s revival of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.” I’ve always loved Bogardus’ work. He enhances any show he’s in. Long before I saw him starring in shows on Broadway or making guest appearances on TV dramas, I was impressed with him. I can close my eyes and still see him, at the tender age of 19, running about the stage at Princeton University, starring in the student musical production “Mugs Money.” He was already a standout even then–a solid performer-- and he’s grown in depth in the years since.

I’d never turn down a chance to record Stephen Bogardus. Check out, if you can, his thoughtful rendition of “How Can I Forget?”–a never-before-recorded Irving Berlin ballad, which he sang with great care on my album “Irving Berlin Rediscovered.” And I chose his masterly rendition of Noel Coward’s “I’ll Follow My Secret Heart” to close my album “Gay Love”; nothing could follow that performance.

18. WHO NEEDS YA? .... This is the first recording of a song I’ve just written (from a show in development). And I’m delighted that the two singers I had in mind when I wrote this number were able to make the first recording: Alec Deland and Tyler DuBoys. I like them both a lot, as performers and people. And I very much had their contrasting personalities in mind, as I wrote this spirited number. (And yes, like so many of my songs, it has some autobiographical elements. “Write what you know!,” we’re always advised. And I know quite well the situation that this song deals with.)

Deland and DuBoys have both impressed me greatly since the days when I first saw them.
Deland was starring in a show at Stage Door Manor . I invited him, right then and there, to record for me, telling him I’d write him some special material. I promptly did just that, and he and Gabriella Green recorded it terrifically for my album, “The Chip Deffaa Songbook.” Tyler DuBoys was excellent in readings of plays of mine–and also so wonderfully independent–well before I got a a chance to record him. They’re both very special, and very talented, young men.

19. I WONDER WHERE MY SWEET SWEET DADDY'S GONE (words by T. A. Hammed, music by Ray H. Stark) is sung with characteristic conviction and purity of sound by Dylan Adams. An invaluable member of my theatrical family, Adams has been featured previously on such albums as “Gay Love,” “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities,” and “Irving Berlin Revisited.” (And this fine singing actor has also recently made his debut as theater producer, with his production in New York of the play “Beautiful Traces.”) I remember the first time I met Dylan Adams. He came to an open-call audition for a show of mine. And I so loved that beautiful sound of his–and that beautiful spirit of his–I asked him to sing song after song after song for me, just reveling in it.

20. OH! HOW I LAUGH WHEN I THINK HOW I CRIED OVER YOU.... Well, that’s one way to handle a breakup, I guess. (And sooner or later, we all have to deal with breakups.) This appealing vintage number (originally introduced by Georgie Jessel, who co-wrote it) is put across effectively here by one of my favorite younger performer’s from today’s Broadway community, Charlie Franklin. Oh! I really like that voice of his, and his way of handling a song. His Broadway credits include “The Book of Mormon” and “Bridges of Madison County.” And he’s also co-starred in a regional production–out in Texas--of “The Secret Garden” that I’m hoping may come to Broadway. Although he’s only in his 20's, he has a real feel for these older songs. He loves them, and it shows. Charlie Franklin may also be heard on such albums of mine as “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” “Irving Berlin Revisited,” and “The Irving Berlin Songbook.”

21. BEACH BOY.... I love this curious, exotic 1930s song by Ann Ronnell. So much yearning here. Alec Deland, whom I always enjoy, gets well into the feeling of this song. And his voice is really beautiful in this higher range.

22. CRATER LAKE BLUES ... This original song of mine (which I wrote for my musical comedy, “Theater Boys”) is sung here by two of my favorites, Ellis Gage and Erich Schuett. The scene: two teenage guys are going out to swim in a lake at night. There’s an attraction between them, even if they haven’t yet acknowledged it or articulated it. Gage is the first voice we hear–the fellow remembering that first late-night-swim together: the nervousness, the excitement.... And he captures the feelings.

The second character we meet–“the town’s most notorious bad boy”–is played by Erich Schuett.
I love that warm, good-natured voice of his. He was featured in the national tour of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “The Sound Music.” His motion picture credits include “18 to Party,” “Evil Intentions,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles,” and “Dolphin Tale 2. His TV credits include “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “ A Crime to Remember,” “Homicide for the Holidays,” “Shattered,” “Clarissa’s World,” and “Outdoor Wild.” He’s sung popular music at the West End Café and classical music at Carnegie Hall. On my last album, “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” he sang “Homesick” by himself and “I’m Down in Honolulu, Looking Them Over,” in a duet with the great Giuseppe Bausilio. And I’ve enjoyed seeing him sing on Harry Connick’s television show, “Harry.” This young man is going places!

Others have recorded this song, including Matt Nardozzi and David Cronin, and Seth Sikes and Clark Kinkade. It always fascinates me, seeing how different, talented singers can find their own unique takes on material. I’m very happy with what Erich Schuett and Ellis Gage have found.

23. WHAT'LL I DO? is one of the greatest of all Irving Berlin songs (which is to say, one of the greatest of all popular songs) –a perfect, piquant reflection on love lost: “Gone is the romance that was so divine. / It’s broken and cannot be mended....” And all of us–male or female, gay or straight–know those feelings.

Tyler DuBoys and Peter Charney–who have made many recordings for me in the past half-dozen years--sing from the heart. And they have never sounded better.

24. GOODNIGHT MY SOMEONE (words and music by Meredith Willson, from the musical production, “The Music Man”) .... The album ends, just as it began, with Ellis Gage –a young man, still tenderly, optimistically looking for love. Now, night is falling. And he’s offering good wishes to the someone he believes is out there, who’s right for him. A sweet note on which to end.

And that’s our song cycle.... Till next time.

– CHIP DEFFAA, September 2018

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CHIP DEFFAA (producer/writer) is the author of 16 published plays and eight published books, and the producer of 25 albums. For 18 years he covered entertainment, including music and theater, for The New York Post. In his youth, he studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He is a graduate of Princeton University and a trustee of the Princeton "Tiger" magazine. He wrote and directed such Off-Broadway successes as "George M. Cohan Tonight!" and "One Night with Fanny Brice." His shows have been performed everywhere from London to Edinburgh, to Seoul. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, NARAS, and ASCAP. He’s won the ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award, the IRNE Award, and a New Jersey Press Association Award. Please visit: www.chipdeffaa.com.

RICHARD DANLEY (music director/pianist) is Chip Deffaa's first choice among music directors and has worked on many shows and/or albums of Deffaa's, including "Irving Berlin's America," “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue,” "One Night with Fanny Brice," "The Seven Little Foys," "George M. Cohan Tonight!," “Mad About the Boy,” “Irving Berlin: In Person,” “The Irving Berlin Songbook,” “Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities,” “An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “Gay Love,” and "Theater Boys." Danley has performed everywhere from daytime dramas on television, to cruise ships, to clubs, to Carnegie Hall. He is on the faculty of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA).

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Playwright/director/producer Chip Deffaa is represented by The Fifi Oscard Agency (attention: Peter Sawyer, President), New York City; Email: psawyer@fifioscard.com, tel. (212) 764-1100.

For additional information on any of Deffaa’s shows, please feel free to contact Chip Deffaa Productions LLC, 50 Quartz Lane, Paterson, NJ 07501-3345, telephone: 973-684-3340; Email: Footloose518@aol.com; www.chipdeffaa.com.

* * *
Our thanks for the help provided, in various ways, by Carol Channing, Jonah Barricklo, Matthew Broderick, Giuseppe Bausilio, Oscar Walden Williams, Chase Brock, Jhon Marshall, Paul Burchett, Betty Buckley, Jack Corbin, Emily Bordonaro, Timothy Thompson, David Kenney, Joceir Bell, Jeremiah Cruz, Jed Peterson, Yunis Alibrahimi, Adam Barki, Deborah Deffaa, Max Deffaa, Louis Deffaa Sr., C. Hernandez, Josh Schaller, Ava Schaller, Logan Saby, Lawson Saby, Victor Calatayud, Adrian Carbajal, Brick Greenbean, M. Jmhour, and Prince Julius Taibor. Public relations assistance by Ibby, Abraheem, and Cinnamon Abdelhaq. Music preparation by Donald Brown and Richard Danley; graphic design by Frank Avellino; all work completed for Chip Deffaa on a work-made-for-hire basis.

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Chip Deffaa’s “The Boy Next Door” (p) and © 2018 by Chip Deffaa.

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If you’ve enjoyed this album, you might also enjoy these other Chip Deffaa albums (available from Amazon.com, CDBaby.com, iTunes, etc.): “Gay Love,” “Mad About the Boy: 13th Street Theater Production,” “Mad About the Boy: The Festival Cast,” “Chip Deffaa’s An Irving Berlin Travelogue,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin: Ragtime Rarities,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin Rediscovered,” “The Chip Deffaa Songbook,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin Revisited,” “Chip Deffaa’s Irving Berlin Songbook: Rare and Unrecorded Songs,” “The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue,” “George M. Cohan Tonight!,” “Irving Berlin’s America,” “One Night with Fanny Brice,” “Irving Berlin: In Person,” “The Seven Little Foys” “Theater Boys,” “Presenting Fanny Brice,” “George M. Cohan: In his Own Words,”“The George M. Cohan Revue,”Irving Berlin & Co.,” “The Johnny Mercer Jamboree,” “George M. Cohan: Rare Original Recordings.”

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Chip Deffaa's THE BOY NEXT DOOR

Songs of gay love and longing , performed by an all-star New York cast:

Stephen Bogardus, John Tartaglia, Seth Sikes, Clark Kinkade, Charlie Franklin,
Tyler DuBoys, Alec Deland, Erich Schuett, Chip Deffaa, David Warren,
John Brady, Mark William, Dylan Adams, Peter Charney,
Ellery Bakaitis, Rayna Hirt, Luka Fric, Tyqaun White ...

and introducing Ellis Gage


Produced by CHIP DEFFAA; Musical Director: RICHARD DANLEY

Associate Producers: Matthew Nardozzi, Steve Garrin; Recording engineer: Slau Halatyn
Music preparation by Donald Brown, Richard Danley; Historical consultant: Jessee D. Riehl
Assistants to the Producer: Sukhee Jun, Max Galassi, International advisors: Gabriel Beer, Byeong hyo Son Graphic Design: Frank Avellino; Aides: Oscar Williams; Max Beer; Emily Bordonaro; Michael Herwitz

Chip Deffaa Productions
Garret Mountain Records CDP ES080403
“Chip Deffaa’s The Boy Next Door” (P) and © 2018 by Chip Deffaa [Garret Mountain Records LOGO] [BAR CODE]


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