The original cast recording of the Laguna Playhouse's production of Gunmetal Blues has been released by LML Music Co. and is now available in music stores, the Playhouse gift shop and through various online sources. The musical, which opened May 27, 1999, at the Laguna, CA, Playhouse and played to SRO audiences, has music and lyrics by Craig Bohmier and Marion Adler, book by Scott Wentworth. The cast includes the Playhouse's own artistic director, Andrew Barnicle, as well as Tracy Lore and Jeffrey Rockwell, among others.
The release of Gunmetal Blues marks the first time a Playhouse production has been selected to preserve a work of musical theatre. It is also the first time that a LORT theatre outside of New York has ever recorded an original cast album. Ronda and Kim Espy of Bob-a-Lew Music produced the CD, which was recorded at EMG Studios in North Hollywood and during the final week of the Playhouse run.
Gunmetal Blues was workshopped in 1989 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and was produced Off-Broadway in 1992, where it was hailed by the New Yorker as "the best small-scale musical we've seen in a long time." The show is a murder-mystery with a noirish spin on Hollywood. Set in a smoky, sultry airport cocktail lounge where has-been piano player Buddy Toupee plunks out his living to a handful of barflies including a down-on-his-luck gumshoe and a mystery blonde whose appearance promises nothing but trouble.
Newsday called the show's score "inventive and lively, in the style of vintage torch songs or jazz ballads, homages rather than echoes."
Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road. To order the CD, either call (888) 856-9202 or visit LML Music's website at www.lmlmusic.com or such sources as Amazon.com. The Playhouse's number is (949) 497-2787. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent