Ken Howard’s “On the Boulevard” 

[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts music review of Ken Howard’s “On the Boulevard” original cast concept album.

This is a first for me! An original musical concept album set in West Hollywood. Music and lyrics all written by Ken Howard, the story is an homage to George Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion.” The twist being that instead of 1914 England, it’s 2023 West Hollywood. Also where “Pygmalion” themes were class and misogyny, “On The Boulevard” explores gender, sexuality and the LQBTQ culture.

This is an enormous album. Twenty-nine tracks in fact, all packed with excellent orchestration and arrangements really beautifully produced, vivid storytelling and a wonderful range of vocalists.

Clearly a passion project, the songs transport us to each of these characters’ lives. Give insight and clarity to their hopes and dreams, their fears and regrets, all with very powerful performances.

This is a concept album, so one would imagine that if this piece were to progress to a staged musical the stories of these disparate characters would intertwine, each turn of their lives affecting the other and so on. It’s not immediately apparent what that would be, but then this is just the beginning…with something as richly drawn as this I can only say that the sky’s the limit!

Either way, it’s a fascinating listen with great catchy songs and some lovely heartfelt and funny performances. They obviously had a lot of fun creating this opus and congratulations to all involved…the hard work paid off!! Bravo! 

Would love to see the staged musical!!! Hollywood Fringe perhaps?

Stream “On the Boulevard” original cast concept album on Spotify. 

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