Company Cast Album Gets Feb. 20 Release

News   Company Cast Album Gets Feb. 20 Release The new Broadway cast album of Company, a collaboration between the labels PS Classics and Nonesuch Records, arrives in stores Feb. 20.
Raul Esparza in Company.
Raul Esparza in Company. Photo by Paul Kolnik

The disc's release was originally announced for Feb. 13, but that was later changed. Web sales began Feb. 9, so some fans already have discs.

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 is 66 minutes and features 18 tracks, with generous chunks of Furth's libretto (the disc's "Another Hundred People" is spiked with book material, reflecting what's heard onstage). 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). Lynne Shankel conducts.

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 centerstage 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.

Visit www.ps.classics.com.

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