Jesse Ruben–“We Can”

I’ve discovered a new singer/songwriter today…at least to me. This morning I heard the tail end of a song during the final few minutes of the Today show with Kathie Lee and Hoda. The lyrics were so positive, and the singing so good, that I just had to see who it was. All I saw was a banner with the name “Jesse” and a guy with his guitar. It took a few minutes of research to find Jesse Ruben, who is based in New York City.  He sounds like a guy with a lot of heart–and a tremendous sense of mission.

He’ll be playing Jammin’ Java on Monday. Alas, I found out too late. He’s playing the Ram’s Head Tavern in Annapolis on March 30. It would take some doing to travel up there.  I still have to work that one out. Maybe he’ll play the Birchmere one day soon. I signed up on his mailing list, at any rate.

Here’s a video of “We Can,” the song I like so much. What a day brightener!  And spirit brightener.



“Phantom of the Opera” Favorites

The first week of June, 1992, my aunts and I spent a week in New York City. We did the whole tourist thing, and in the evenings we saw musicals. I loved them all, but this was also the first time I ever saw Phantom of the Opera. It is still a favorite musical. We saw it at the Majestic Theatre, where it is still playing. A couple of years later, we saw it at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The show was also a birthday present for my cousin a couple of years ago. She and her daughter spent the day in New York, and that was her surprise.

As everyone must know by now, the music really grabs you–from after the auction scene and the chandelier of the Paris Opera House rises. At the end of the first act it comes crashing down. And all the way through you’re on the edge of your seat.

“Think of Me” is my favorite song from the show, with lyrics. I saw Jackie Evancho perform it on America’s Got Talent the other night. She did a great job! The song makes me think of happy days that can’t come back again.



And since I’m a night owl, this next one,  “Music of the Night,” seems fitting. I have a Merlin music box that plays this, so it’s another favorite.


And here is the song with the words:


Finally, “Masquerade” is my third favorite. It’s another music box tune– a unicorn.

In the stage play, the costumes are very colorful, and the number is often performed with dignity. The movie version is also spectacular,but here the costumes are in black and white, like traditional harlequin costumes.As one commenter said here, it is very tempting to play this over and over.