The revue of specialty, trunk and show songs from the composer of Falsettos and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee opened Nov. 12 at Off-Broadway's New World Stages. Sh-K-Boom founder and producer Kurt Deutsch said the details are still being worked out.
No recording date or release date has been set, and it is yet to be determined whether the recording will capture a live performance in the theatre, or be in-studio.
The disc will preserve the performances of Sandy Binion, D.B. Bonds, Adam Heller Sally Wilfert, and singing pianist-musical director Darren R. Cohen.
Songs from Finn's Falsettos, A New Brain, The Royal Family of Broadway, Elegies: A Song Cycle and more are heard in the intimate revue, which was constructed and directed by Rob Ruggiero.
Previews for Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn began at Off-Broadway's New World Stages (Stage 5) on Oct. 30. The show was seen in a popular 2006 presentation at TheaterWorks in Hartford, CT, where Ruggiero is associate artistic director.
The revue has been revised and refined since its Connecticut run. Ruggiero has one new cast member and a new pianist for starters, but he's also revamped the Falsettos section of this catalog show and added and subtracted musical numbers since 2006.
The musical — promising to "tell personal, haunting, and often hilarious tales from Finn's rich and touching human songbook" — is now a swift 90 minutes rather than two acts. In eliminating the intermission, the thinking was: why interrupt the fizzing energy of a unique voice?
Michael Morris is music supervisor.
Finn is the two–time Tony Award winner for the groundbreaking musical Falsettos, and is currently represented on Broadway with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (which will close in January 2008, the producers recently announced; the tour continues). Make Me a Song features classics from these shows as well as selections from Romance in Hard Times, Elegies and the yet-to-be-produced The Royal Family of Broadway, now apparently a shelved show.
"What gives me unending pleasure, infinite joy," Finn once said, "is a well-made song."
The song list of Make Me a Song includes "Mister, Make Me a Song" (a song written for Mandy Patinkin for an intended Finn evening); "Heart and Music" (from A New Brain); "Hitchhiking Across America" (written for a proposed musical about thumbing it across the U.S.); "Republicans" (recurring comic pieces, written "either during Reagan's last term or Bush Senior's only term," now laced throughout the show and sung by the Finn persona onstage, Adam Heller); "Billy's Law of Genetics" (from A New Brain, with an arrangement by Jason Robert Brown); Passover (written for Elegies: A Song Cycle); "Only One" (inspired by teachers of Finn, from Elegies); "I'd Rather Be Sailing"/"Set Those Sails" (from A New Brain and In Trousers, respectively); "Change" (from A New Brain); "I Have Found" (from the unproduced musical, The Royal Family of Broadway); "You're Even Better Than You Think You Are" (written for a show — Songs of Innocence and Experience — to honor a new theatre built on the campus of Finn's alma mater, Williams College); "All Fall Down" (heard in both America Kicks Up Its Heels and Romance in Hard Times); "Stupid Things I Won't Do" (from The Royal Family of Broadway, penned for Elaine Stritch, who appeared in a developmental reading); "That's Enough for Me" (from Romance in Hard Times); "I Went Fishing With My Dad" (written while Finn was penning Songs of Innocence and Experience); "When the Earth Stopped Turning" (a personal song of loss); "Anytime" (written at request of Finn's dying friend, Monica Andress, for her funeral).
The show's Falsettos suite includes "Four Jews in a Room Bitching," "A Tight-Knit Family," "Love Is Blind," "My Father Is a Homo," "Trina's Song," "March of the Falsettos," "The Year of the Child," "The Baseball Game," "Unlikely Lovers," "Falsettoland." The vocal arrangements for the suite are by Michael Starobin, Carmel Dean and Michael Morris.
For more information, visit www.makemeasongthemusical.com.