Music to our ears!
New original cast albums worth many a listening.
DRG Records has released a cast recording of the Broadway revival of Rupert Holmes’ Tony-Award-winning music The Mystery of Edwin Drood, starring Chita Rivera, Stephanie J. Block,Will Chase and Betsy Wolfe.
The two-disc album will preserve music not heard on the original 1985 Broadway cast album, including "Jasper's Vision/Smoke Ballet," as well as eight separate tracks that capture the confessions of the musical's potential murderers.
Holmes wrote the book, music and lyrics to Drood, and has revised the material since audiences first experienced it on Broadway over three decades ago. Revised material includes "Ceylon," which now incorporates "A British Subject"; as well as a new second act opener, "An English Music Hall." Holmes will pen the liner notes for the album that will reflect new material and revisions. Holmes has also re-orchestrated the production for a 19-piece orchestra led by Paul Gemignani.
Seen through Holmes' dramatic framing device, Charles Dickens' unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood invites audiences to take part in the action with a choose-your-own-adventure-style ending where they vote on which character murders Drood (as well as choosing a romantic pairing and the identity of a mystery detective). Holmes has penned multiple endings, confessional songs and plot twists for Drood, which keeps its actors on their toes.
Masterworks Broadway has released the new musical (flop) Chaplin, a new musical depicting the life of film icon Charlie Chaplin. With music and lyrics by Christopher Curtis and book by three-time Tony Award-winner Thomas Meehan, it’s one of the best scores we’ve heard in years, and we were as sad as a little tramp when we heard the musical closed. (We especially love “This Man.”)
Chaplin starred Rob McClure in the title role, and featured Jim Borstelmann, Jenn Colella, Ethan Khusidman, Erin Mackey, Wayne Alan Wilcox, Michael McCormick and the so-underrated Christiane Noll.
Sony Masterworks has also released Seventeen (1951) and Cabaret (1968 Original London Cast). Seventeen, a genial coming-of-age story, managed a Broadway run of 182 performances in the summer and fall of 1951–not bad, considering that Guys and Dolls, Call Me Madam and The King and I were the new shows everyone wanted to see that year. Based on a novel by Booth Tarkington, Seventeen features a score by composer Walter Kent and lyricist Kim Gannon and book by Sally Benson. Produced by legendary TV star Milton Berle, Seventeen starred Kenneth Nelson (the original Matt in The Fantasticks and Michael in The Boys in the Band) and evokes a world located–to quote a line from the show–"somewhere between a headache and a heartache and a laugh." It's a loving snapshot of the era it depicts–pre-World War I small town America–filled with the gee-whiz charm of the post-World War II era when the show was written and produced.
The original London production of Kander and Ebb's Cabaret, with Harold Prince reprising his Broadway role as director, opened in 1968 and ran for 336 performances. Cabaret starred Judi Dench (long before she was a Dame) in her first musical role as the heroine, Sally Bowles. Lila Kedrova is Fraulein Schneider, in her first musical role. Also featured is American actor Barry Dennen in his British stage debut as the Kit Kat Klub's gregarious and outrageous Master of Ceremonies. Dennen received the Evening Standard Award for his performance, which led to his role as Pontius Pilate on the original concept recording of Jesus Christ Superstar and its subsequent 1973 film version.
Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight raises the curtaon of a quartet of goodies.
Now. Here. This.
The return of the ultra-talented team behind the Obie Award-winning musical [title of show], Now. Here. This. delves into life's big questions with inimitable humor and humanity.
13 The Musical
Jason Robert Brown's 13 gets an updated recording with the cast of the National Youth Music Theatre's West End production.
Leap of Faith
A new musical from eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken and featuring Raul Esparza.
No Way To Treat A Lady
Douglas J. Cohen’s musical, based on William Goldman's novel, devilishly blends humor, romance and murder. This is a rerelease of the 1996 York Theatre Company recording.