Marcia Lewis, the big-voiced musical theatre matron currently playing Matron Mama Morton in Broadway's Chicago, finally gets her own solo CD of show tunes and cabaret material, available in stores Dec. 1.
"Nowadays," on the Original Cast Records label, features the Mark Hummel Quartet accompanying Lewis singing new arrangements and interpretations of 18 songs from such shows as Chicago ("Nowadays"), Destry Rides Again ("Anyone Would Love You"), Cabaret ("So What!"), Hello, Dolly! ("It Only Takes a Moment"), the still-in-process Paper Moon ("I Do What I Can"), Dear World ("And I Was Beautiful"), State Fair ("It Might As Well Be Spring") and the thwarted Richard and Robert Sherman show, Busker Alley, which closed out of town.
In her liner notes, Lewis writes, "I arrived in New York City in August 1964 -- a nurse from Ohio with one dream in her heart: To be in 'Show Biz!' It was tough to leave the financial security of a respected profession for a career that was so far-fetched and hard to get...but I made it, and I enjoyed every step of the journey."
Her first solo album, following a number of cast recordings, is "proof to me that anything is possible...nothing is beyond our reach...however long it takes." The helpful liner notes explain her links to the tunes.
Among Lewis' credits are regional stagings of Nunsense, the Ethel Merman (final) Broadway company of Hello, Dolly! , the national tour of Hal Prince's Cabaret revival, the national tour of Grease, Broadway's Roza, the tryout of Busker Alley, Broadway's Rags, the national tour of Tommy Tune's Bye Bye Birdie, singing a new song by Strouse and Adams. One of her several club acts was called "On the Road to Chicago." She was nominated for a Best Actress in a Featured Role (Musical) Tony Award in 1997, for Chicago.
The CD's songlist:
"Nowadays"/"Chicago" (John Kander & Fred Ebb/Fred Fisher)
"So What!" (Kander & Ebb)
"Anyone Would Love You" (Harold Rome")
"House in Algiers" (Gilbert Becaud/Julian More)
"Tragic Nurse Porter's Lament" (Barry Kleinbort)
"It Might As Well Be Spring" (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
"I Do What I Can" (Larry Grossman & Ellen Fitzhugh)
"Circle of Friends" (Carol Hall)
"People Will Say We're in Love" (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
"It Only Takes a Moment/And I Was Beautiful" (Jerry Herman)
"Whatever It Takes" (Billy Stritch & Mark Waldrop)
"Here's That Rainy Day"/"In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" (James Van Heusen & Johnny Burke/David Mann & Bob Hilliard)
"He Has a Way" (Robert Sherman & Richard Sherman)
"Tin Whistle Tune" (Sherman & Sherman)
"After Autumn" (Robert Wright & George Forrest)
"Nowadays" (Kander & Ebb)