DRG Records Has Plans for New Sweet Charity Cast Album, Plus Whoopi Discs and Reissues of Recent Shows

News   DRG Records Has Plans for New Sweet Charity Cast Album, Plus Whoopi Discs and Reissues of Recent Shows DRG Records plans to preserve the score of Broadway's new Sweet Charity on a cast album, president Hugh Fordin told Playbill.com.

Fordin was as disappointed as anyone with the March 25 news that the show would not come to Broadway after its pre-New York tryout. But with the surprise March 29 announcement that the show's producers would indeed go forward, toward a May 4 opening, DRG's Fordin said the album plan is also back on track.

No record or release date has been announced. Fans of the Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields score can almost surely expect the disc won't sound like any other recording of the 1966 songs. Director Walter Bobbie and company have been working on changes in the Neil Simon script and Coleman-Fields score, with some songs cut, others added. The score's standouts are "Where Am I Going?," "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "Big Spender" and "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This."

Changes were being made throughout previews out of town, and it won't be known until the May 4 Broadway opening what the score will include. For example, "I Love to Cry at Weddings" was not part of the show early in the tryout, which played Minneapolis, Chicago and Boston. The show's signature songs remain intact.

Since both Charlotte d'Amboise and Christina Applegate have played the role in the out of town engagements, and d'Amboise will appear in the first week of Broadway previews, a fan can't help wonder if the disc might include a bonus track with trouper d'Amboise singing.

Applegate is expected to be recovered from a broken foot suffered March 11 and will open the show May 4 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Applegate is scheduled to start April 18, after d'Amboise kicks off previews April 11-16. The cancelled show was un-cancelled March 29, after producer Barry Weissler listened to pleas from Applegate about her commitment to the show — and after doctors said she could indeed eventually perform her duties.

The score of Sweet Charity has been recorded three times in the U.S. — for the original cast album with Gwen Verdon in 1966, the soundtrack recording with Shirley MacLaine and the 1987 Broadway revival with Debbie Allen. Each disc offered different versions of the score, with changes in each successive incarnation.

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DRG also announced it would produce a two-CD set of Whoopi Goldberg's recent 20th anniversary Broadway show, Whoopi. HBO will be airing an edited version of the show in April. DRG's album will be the complete performance as performed and recorded at Broadway's Lyceum Theatre on Jan. 29-30, 2005.

DRG will also be adding some bonus material from "Fontaine Why Am I Straight," Whoopi Goldberg's 1988 recorded performance. Release date is Aug. 9, 2005.

DRG has acquired the master recordings of recent cast albums owned by Q Records (a division of QVC). They include the recent Broadway cast recordings of Footloose, The Music Man, 42nd Street and Off-Broadway's Fame on 42nd Street .

The four discs will be repackaged and reissued by DRG with additional bonus material on a new series for 2006.

DRG's reissue program of Capitol/United Artists, Sony/BMG and Warner Bros/Atlantic back catalog continues with many surprises to come, Fordin promised.

Among DRG's recent reissues from other labels was the original cast album of The Gay Life, a lush musical comedy score by Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz, featuring Barbara Cook.

For more information, visit www.drgrecords.com.