In the Broadway-bound In the Heights, Burns originated the role of Daniela, the saucy hair salon owner.
The Burns solo album is being produced by PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker, who told Playbill.com that he's working toward a Nov. 6 release. The album was inspired by Burns' sold-out performance in August 2006 at the Metropolitan Room.
"The live performance served as a foundation for this recording, but just a foundation — we maybe kept 40 percent and found a new 60 percent because as always, CDs are a totally different listening experience," Krasker told Playbill.com. "Andréa's so extraordinarily versatile, we're looking to capture the full range of her soulfulness, warmth, humor, and power."
The final song list has not yet been released, but Krasker said that the current session gives a hint of the album's flavor and eclecticism: songwriters range from Bernstein to Adler & Ross to Carole King to a new piece written especially for the singer by In the Heights composer-lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Steve Marzullo serves as music director, and provided several of the orchestrations, along with Jason Robert Brown, Larry Hochman, Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman. The disc marks a return to active record producing for veteran Krasker, who has struggled with illness since fall 2006.
"I've been sidelined, to put it mildly, with ongoing nerve damage due to a severe adverse reaction to a prescription drug," Krasker said. "It's been difficult predicting from day to day what my ability and energy will be. Fortunately for the company, we've had some wonderful producers take over projects that I couldn't oversee.
"With Andréa's CD, which I'd started right before I fell ill, I really hated to step down. Happily, she got so busy with In the Heights that, by the time she was ready to resume recording, I was back on my feet and able to join her in the studio. It's been a wonderful way to ease back into active producing."
Burns is expected to remain with the In the Heights company when the show moves to Broadway early in 2008; her more immediate job is standing by for Rosie Perez in The Ritz on Broadway this fall.
Burns has appeared on Broadway as Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast as well as Vicki Nichols in The Full Monty. Off-Broadway, she originated the role of Celeste in Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night and starred in Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World. She was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for her portrayal of Dot in Sunday in the Park with George at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. She was directed by Harold Prince in the role of Lucille Frank for the national tour of Parade (for which she garnered a National Broadway Award Best Actress nomination).
Burns' recordings include the original casts of Saturday Night and Songs for a New World, as well as two albums with PS Classics: Fine and Dandy and John Bucchino's It's Only Life.
For more information, visit www.psclassics.com.