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We Love Howard Ashman and Disney Musicals

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He gave a Mermaid her voice and a Beast his soul. Joe sings backup as Dan belts out “Kiss The Girl”. This week we love Howard, a new documentary now on Disney+. Howard is the untold story of Howard Ashman, the brilliant lyricist behind Disney classics like “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and creator of musicals including “Little Shop of Horrors.” First, listen to our show, and then go relive your favorite Disney lyrics in this remarkable documentary.

We had the amazing opportunity to witness a masterclass with Howard’s longtime collaborator, Alan Menken, when we were undergrads at the University of Michigan. Listen in for when long time friend of the pod, Will Burton, sings Proud of Your Boy in front of a misty Alan Menken.

This week we celebrate Howard by geeking out over his lyrics and revisiting the movie musicals that shaped our lives. Howard died in his prime due to complications from AIDS. This week we celebrate the genius lost waaaay too soon, and the countless artists who died during the AIDS epidemic. The world lost a generation of brilliant minds, and they will not be forgotten.

We would have no “Waving Through a Window” without “Somewhere That’s Green”, no “In The Heights” without “Belle”, no “Wizard and I” without “Part of Your World”… The musical theater we know today is BECAUSE of Howard Ashman. Cheers to Howard… to the musicals you gave us, and the ones that might have been. Thank you.

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