The show by composer-lyricist-librettist Kirsten Childs premiered Off-Broadway in 2000 at Playwrights Horizons, in a staging that featured LaChanze, Felicia Finley, Darius DeHaas and more. The original production never received a cast album, despite the reviews and honors that indicated Childs was the next great thing in American musical theatre.
Now, "through the combined preservation efforts of Playwrights Horizons and Ghostlight Records," the first recording will be available for purchase and download April 3. Visit www.ghostlightrecords.com.
The original production was developed through Playwrights Horizons' New Theater Wing Program. For her book, music and lyrics, Kirsten Childs was honored with the prestigious Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, The Edward Kleban Award for Lyrics and The Richard Rodgers Production and Development Awards. The musical — which was nominated for three Drama Desk Awards — was choreographed by Tony Award nominee A.C. Ciulla and directed by Emmy Award winner Wilfredo Medina.
Drawing on experiences in her own life, Childs created "a unique and extraordinary coming-of-age musical memoir about an African-American in a white world," according to the producers. "The sounds of pop, jazz and Motown fuse together in the infectious tracks as we follow Viveca 'Bubbly' Stanton from the turbulent 1960s through her hometown of Los Angeles to New York City in the 1990s. It's the tale of a young woman's tumultuous journey towards self-acceptance in the face of conflicting messages about gender, race and relationships." The recording features original cast members LaChanze as Viveca (the 2006 Tony Award winner for Best Actress in The Color Purple), Jerry Dixon (Once On This Island), Felicia Finley (Broadway's The Wedding Singer, Aida), Darius de Haas (Broadway's Marie Christine, Rent, Carousel), Jonathan Dokuchitz (Broadway's Hairspray, The Boys from Syracuse, The Who's Tommy, Company), Cheryl Alexander (Broadway's Dreamgirls, Once On This Island and Sophisticated Ladies) Duane Boutte (Playwrights Horizons' The Heliotrope Bouquet), Robert Jason Jackson (Off-Broadway's Running Man), Natalie Venetia Belcon (Off-Broadway's And the World Goes 'Round) and Angel Desai (Stop Kiss at the Public). Joining the cast for this recording are Adriane Lenox (Tony Award winner for Doubt) and Shayna Steele (Broadway's Hairspray, Jesus Christ Superstar and Rent).
The album was produced by Grammy Award winner Joel Moss and Curtis Moore, with Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight president and co-founder Kurt Deutsch as executive producer.
After its debut in May 2000 at Playwrights Horizons' Anne G. Wilder Theater, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin was hailed as "a captivating new musical" by Ben Brantley of The New York Times, "absolutely delightful" by Amy Gamerman of The Wall Street Journal and as "one of the most confident and original pop musicals in recent seasons" by Linda Winer of Newsday.
Kirsten Childs is an alumna of NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. Her show Miracle Brothers, which debuted at the Vineyard Theatre, won the Meet The Composer and Kitty Carlisle Hart Musical Theatre Awards. Her concert version of Rumpelstiltskin was seen at the American Songbook series at Lincoln Center, and her adaptation of the Harold Arlen/Truman Capote musical House of Flowers was seen at City Center Encores! She has written songs for Dianne Reeves, and is working on original musicals with playwright Charles Randolph-Wright as well as novelist Walter Mosley. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild Council, a professor at NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program at Tisch School of the Arts, a TDF Mentor in Wendy Wasserstein's Open Doors Program and a teaching artist at Lincoln Center Theater Songwriting in the Schools Program.
For more information visit www.GhostlightRecords.com or www.sh-k-boom.com.