Years after the show ended its developmental run at the Terris in Connecticut, the original cast reunited in 2004 to preserve the Erik Haagensen-Richard Isen score on disc.
The 1989 show is based on the bestseller by Peter S. Beagle, author of "The Last Unicorn." Book and lyrics are by Haagensen and music is by Isen.
The recording reunites Gabriel Barre (now a noted director, but also an actor known for Starmites), Evalyn Baron (Les Misérables), Maureen Silliman (Is There Life After High School?, "Pictures in the Hall"), Brian Sutherland (Steel Pier, Cats) and Charles Goff (Drood, State Fair).
The album will be available at major music retailers as well as through online outlets. Members of the creative team and cast will appear July 7 at Footlight Records for a CD signing, 5-7 PM at 113 E. 12th Street.
For more information, log onto the recording's official website at www.afandpp.com. The recording is said to be the first in musical theatre history to reassemble the entire original cast of a musical some 15 years after the final curtain came down.
Musical Direction is by Henry Aronson. The recording was produced by Kristen Blodgette and David Lai.
"A Fine and Private Place tells the story of Jonathan Rebeck, who lives in a Bronx cemetery courtesy of his feathered friend, a wise (and wisecracking) Raven, who flies in stolen fast food in exchange for companionship," according to the CD announcement. "Rebeck helps newly arrived ghosts to accept death, after which they vanish. But Michael Morgan has other plans. A ghost at only 34, he wants to live. His efforts bring chaos into Rebeck's life in the form of perpetually visiting widow Gertrude Klapper. He also romances the shy Laura, who never experienced love while alive. But Michael has a secret, which could destroy everything. How Michael and Laura find love after death and how Gertrude cajoles Jonathan back to life in the real world comprise the conclusion of this whimsical and touching fantasy."
The intimate, five-actor property is published by Samuel French and has enjoyed regional productions. That regional life may now expand with the marketing value of the cast album.
Haagensen is a playwright-lyricist whose musicals have been seen in regional theatres across the country. He devised the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway York Theatre production of Taking a Chance on Love: The Lyrics and Life of John Latouche, which was subsequently recorded by Original Cast Records. Most recently, he wrote the book and lyrics for the new musical Summer (music by Paul Schwartz), based on the novel by Edith Wharton, which was selected to receive a National Endowment for the Arts New American Works grant and won a Richard Rodgers Development Award. It was chosen as one of nine musicals (culled from 186 entries from 16 countries) to be showcased in the International Festival of Musical Theatre's Global Search for New Musicals in Cardiff, Wales.
His other credits include the reconstruction of Alan Jay Lerner and Bernstein's original, pre-Broadway version of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (Kennedy Center) and his reworking of the Jule Styne musical, Darling of the Day (York Theatre Company's Musicals in Mufti), which is slated to receive a full production in Chicago in 2005.
Isen's musical theatre scores include Spring Awakening, written with David Petrarca and Joel Beard and produced by the Chelsea Theater; Salford Road: A Musical Photograph (written with Grammy Award Winning producer Stefan Rudnicki and poet Gareth Owen and winner of The Edinburgh Festival Fringe First Award); and Night City Diaries, a cabaret piece based on poet Arthur Rimbaud produced by Playwrights Horizons.
His first CD release, "Let It Fall," is also available on Clearsong Records. Richard holds an MFA in Musical Theatre from New York University and is a member of ASCAP.