I Burn – sung by Donna Lynne Champlin

Special Episode #4: I’m so thrilled to add Donna Lynne Champlin to my list of special guest stars, first at my Birdland concert in November, and now on the podcast. After loving her performances in such Broadway shows as By Jeeves, Hollywood Arms, and Sweeney Todd, it’s a real treat for me to get to hear her sing my songs.

I do feel the need to mention: As wonderful as Donna Lynne has been in other people’s shows, she could never be better than she is in her own one-woman show, Finishing the Hat. It is, hands down, the most spectacular solo show I have ever seen in my life. Donna Lynne tells a series of stories about herself and her life (chosen from a hat by the audience), and she does so with a level of wit and comedy and pathos and musicality and drama that is truly in a league of her own. DO NOT MISS THIS if she ever does it again. (Donna Lynne, do it again.)

In the meantime, you lucky D.C.er’s can catch her at the Kennedy Center in Henry (Dreamgirls) Krieger and Bill (Sideshow) Russell’s Up in the Air, playing February 7-10.

In this special episode, she sings “I Burn,” from the dearly departed, unfinished musical, Hush. (Recorded 1/11/08.) The song is from a show-within-the-show, i.e. the main character, Miles, is writing a musical which deconstructs Great Expectations and centers around the character of Miss Havisham. This song finds Miss H. on the morning of her wedding day, before she discovers that her fiancĂ© has been deceiving her and will not marry her after all. The song would later be reprised as a duet between young Miss H and old Miss H, as the latter dies in a fire, still wearing her wedding dress.

By the way, The BMI Workshop Songbook Podcast is now officially up and running. Tune in to hear me interview the wonderful members and alumni of this acclaimed writers’ workshop and to listen to performances of their songs by our too, too talented guest stars! Subscribe here via iTunes.


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