Dirty Rotten Cast Album Being Explored; Altar Boyz and Billy Porter Discs Coming

News   Dirty Rotten Cast Album Being Explored; Altar Boyz and Billy Porter Discs Coming Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the new, starry Broadway musical with a score by The Full Monty songwriter David Yazbek, is a sure bet to get a cast album, and discussions are ongoing about a disc.
Gregory Jbara and Joanna Gleason in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Gregory Jbara and Joanna Gleason in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Photo by Joan Marcus

The show's producer, Marty Bell, told Playbill.com he is pursuing several options to make a cast album, and one of the record producers he's been speaking to is Kurt Deutsch of Ghostlight Records, a spinoff of Sh-K-Boom Records. The new Ghostlight label focuses on theatre music.

Deutsch, who also runs the five-year-old Sh-K-Boom Records, is married to Dirty Rotten Scoundrels star Sherie Rene Scott. He told Playbill.com there is no official announcement on Ghostlight doing Dirty Rotten, but he's hopeful it will be on the Ghostlight label.

"I love Dirty Rotten and have an invested interest in seeing it succeed," Deutsch said. "Marty [Bell] and I worked together on The Last Five Years cast recording and have been working tirelessly along with [David] Yazbek on figuring out a new and innovative approach to the making of the Dirty Rotten cast album."

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, now in previews at the Imperial Theatre, stars Tony Award-winner John Lithgow, Tony nominee Norbert Leo Butz, Tony Award winner Joanna Gleason, Greg Jbara and Sara Gettelfinger, as well as Sherie Rene Scott. The show, based on the film of the same name, has a libretto by Jeffrey Lane and reunites Full Monty and Hairspray pals Jack O'Brien (director) and Jerry Mitchell (choreographer).

Cast albums are hot marketing tools for new shows, and help spread the word for the future licensing of properties. The cost of producing an album with a large-cast Broadway show, however, can run to the half-million dollar mark or more. It's a rarity today that labels will put up all of the money for the cost of recording a show album. More and more, the financial burden of a recording is being shared by a show's producers and the label and/or its distributor. A cast album has not been announced yet for the current Broadway revival of La Cage aux Folles, but recording plans have been announced for Spamalot (on the Decca label) and All Shook Up (by Sony/BMG Strategic Marketing Group).

Expected from Ghostlight and Sh-K-Boom in 2005 are the Broadway cast album of Little Women (on Ghostlight), the concert recording of Hair (on Ghostlight) and the studio cast album of the revised pop musical Bright Lights, Big City (on Sh-K-Boom).

The producers of Altar Boyz are also in discussions with Deutsch about a cast album for that Off-Broadway pop show, a spokesman for the show confirmed.

A special Sh-K-Boom limited-edition web release is imminent for the new Billy Porter album, "At the Corner of Broadway and Soul," to coincide with his current run of Ghetto Superstar at Joe's Pub in New York. The disc will be in stores come summer, but the new "Broadway and Soul" album — made up of songs by hot contemporary theatre writers (Jason Robert Brown, Stephen Sondheim, Adam Guettel, Jeanine Tesori), R&B writers and Porter himself — is first available at www.sh-k-bom.com and at Joe's Pub.