Audra McDonald's latest CD, "How Glory Goes," will be in stores on Feb. 22, according to a spokesperson at Nonesuch Record. The album will be a collection of new theatre songs and old standards. The mixture is a marked departure from her debut recording, "Way Back to Paradise," which was entirely given over to young, rising composers such as Michael John LaChiusa, Adam Guettel, and Jason Robert Brown.
Guettel is the only one of those tunesmiths to make a return appearance on the new CD. He penned the title tune, "How Glory Goes" (from Floyd Collins) and co-wrote "Was That You?" Also on the CD will be "Lay Down Your Head," a selection from the musical Violet by Jeanine Tesori and Brian Crowley, two other representatives of the so-called "new theatre music."
For much of the album, however, McDonald tries her hand at some of the classic musical composers. Harold Arlen is particularly well represented. McDonald sings Arlen's "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" and "I Had Myself a True Love," both from St. Louis Woman; "I Never Has Seen Snow" and "A Sleepin' Bee," both from House of Flowers; and "The Man That Got Away" from the Judy Garland film version of "A Star Is Born."
Reportedly, McDonald has spotlighted Arlen in recent concerts, commenting that, though she doesn't normally care for singing standards, she makes an exception for the composer.
"Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" (Arlen-Mercer)
"I Had Myself a True Love" (Arlen-Mercer)
"I Hid My Love" (Marzullo, poem by J. Clare)
"Was That You?" (Guettel-Robbins)
"I Won't Mind" (Blumenkrantz-Kessler-Saines)
"A Sleepin' Bee" (Arlen-Capote)
"Come Down from the Tree" (Flaherty-Ahrens)
"I Never Has Seen Snow" (Arlen-Capote)
"When Did I Fall in Love" (Bock-Harnick)
"The Man That Got Away" (Arlen-Gershwin)
"How Glory Goes" (Guettel)
"Lay Down Your Head" (Tesori-Crawley).
"Way Back to Paradise" was a surprise hit for Nonesuch Records, selling more than 30,000 copies. McDonald is currently starring in the Broadway musical Marie Christine.
-- By Robert Simonson