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The theatre music of GrooveLily, the pop trio that recently starred in the acclaimed Off-Broadway musical Striking 12, is heard on a new CD, "A Little Midsummer Night's Music, " consisting of original songs and instrumental music from the unique production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in which GrooveLily co-starred in spring 2006 at the Paper Mill Playhouse and the McCarter Theatre. Lyrics are by GrooveLily and William Shakespeare. GrooveLily vocalist, keyboardist and songwriter Brendan Milburn produced the disc.
Street date is April 10.
The new recording of Company is a collaboration between PS Classics and Nonesuch Records. The street date is Feb. 20 (a change from an earlier announcement of Feb. 13).
The unique new production of the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical is directed by Tony Award winner John Doyle (who helmed the recent Sweeney Todd) and has orchestrations and music supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell. As was the case with Doyle's Sweeney Todd, the cast is made up of actor-musicians. The show was first produced in 1970, and won six Tonys.
Company examines the lives of a group of friends in New York City — five married couples, three single women, and one enigmatic, conflicted bachelor (Robert, played by Raúl Esparza) — as they celebrate his 35th birthday and deal with issues of romance, commitment and friendship.
The unusual dual-label project is produced by Grammy Award nominee Tommy Krasker, a frequent freelance producer for Nonesuch who is respected for discs on PS Classics, the label he co-founded. This will be his tenth Sondheim cast album. The disc will be 66 minutes and feature 18 tracks.
Company opened to critical praise in November 2006 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, where it continues. The disc was recorded in studio sessions Dec. 18-19, 2006.
The cast includes Barbara Walsh (Joanne/orchestra bells, percussion), Keith Buterbaugh (Harry/trumpet, trombone), Matt Castle (Peter/piano, keyboards, double bass), Robert Cunningham (Paul/trumpet, drums), Angel Desai (Marta/keyboard, violin, alto sax), Kelly Jeanne Grant (Kathy/flute, alto sax), Kristin Huffman (Sarah/flute, alto sax, piccolo), Amy Justman (Susan/piano, keyboards, orchestra bells), Heather Laws (Amy/French horn, trumpet, flute), Leenya Rideout (Jenny/violin, guitar, double bass), Fred Rose (David/cello, alto sax, tenor sax), Bruce Sabath (Larry/clarinet, drums), and Elizabeth Stanley (April/oboe, tuba, alto sax).
For the new Company cast album, expect frisky pizzicato where there wasn't any before, a fresh thrumming bass line to introduce "Side by Side by Side," and a neurasthenic shot of muted trumpets that has been the tradition of past orchestrations (they were by Jonathan Tunick).
The show is set in the cocktail party world of Manhattan. Campbell and Doyle employ the piano more prominently now than in the past (indeed a grand piano is center-stage at the Barrymore).
An original 1970 cast album of the show was released (followed up by a second pressing featuring an overdubbed Larry Kert as Bobby) and the 1995 Roundabout Theatre Company staging also begat a cast album.
The new album's booklet includes complete lyrics.