Though initially announced for release June 15, the DRG Records disc of the Encores! concert staging of Tenderloin, recorded April 18 for a concert cast album, will instead be released July 25. Marketing director Dan O'Leary told Playbill On-Line the delay was "just standard record stuff. Releases go on a monthly cycle, so if you miss one, it goes into the next month."
Composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick were present at the studio session of Tenderloin and will write liner notes for the new recording of the 1960 score. Bock and Harnick, of course, would go on to international fame for Fiddler on the Roof. Their Tenderloin also had an original Broadway cast album, which is available on CD.
Hugh Fordin produced the new recording, which preserves the New York City Encores! concert revival of March 23-27. The cast included Debbie Gravitte and David Ogden Stiers.
With a book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott, the tuner is a look at prostitution and corruption in New York City in the 1890s, with the forces of morality represented by Dr. Brock (Stiers), a monomaniacal preacher who infiltrates the red-light district, known as "the tenderloin." Cecil Beaton provided the stylized costumes for the original.
It's generally thought the best songs of the score ("Reform," "Little Old New York," "Artificial Flowers" and "The Picture of Happiness") go to the drinkers, pimps and prostitutes, while the puritans sing such tunes as "Good Clean Fun," "Army of the Just" and "Dear Friend." Pop singer Bobby Darin had an unexpected, swinging hit with "Artificial Flowers," which is sung in the show as a sentimental 19th-century story ballad.
DRG producer Fordin is busy this month: As a freelance producer he also helmed the new Q Records cast album of the Broadway revival of The Music Man.
Other upcoming DRG releases include The Green Bird (August), KT Sullivan's "The Sweetest Sounds of Richard Rodgers, and the June 27 release of "The 20th Anniversary of Forbidden Broadway." Marketing director O'Leary told Playbill On-Line the disk is dubbed, "The Ultimate, Unreleased, Unoriginal Cast Recording." Actually, it's 17 songs culled from the previous five Forbidden Broadway disk releases, with eight new tracks recorded just for the new CD. "It's an enticement for fans to get the unreleased stuff, such as the Dreamgirls parody 'Screamgirls,' and a hilarious Liza track, done by Christine Pedi," said O'Leary.
-- By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson & David Lefkowitz