Eagerly-awaited cast albums of two comparatively obscure musicals are finally available in North American record stores: Floyd Collins by Richard Rodgers' grandson, and the Swedish Kristina Fran Duvemala, the new show from the writers of Chess. Floyd Collins (on Nonesuch) has music and lyrics by Adam Guettel (son of Mary Rodgers of Once Upon a Mattress), who wrote a 1989 opera based on A Christmas Carol. Tina Landau, his collaborator on that project, wrote the book and directed the NY production.
Floyd Collins concerns the celebrated case of the title character, who got wedged in a cave in 1925 Kentucky. The musical world premiered at the American Musical Theatre in Philadelphia in 1994 and was subsequently workshopped at Playwrights Horizons. It won the 1996 Lucille Lortel Award as Best Off-Broadway Musical.
Floyd Collins explores the spiritual journey taken by the title character, played by Christopher Innvar, as the effort to save him erupts into an above-ground media circus.
Also in the cast are Stephen Lee Anderson, Matthew Bennett, Don Chastain, Brian d'Arcy James, Cass Morgan and Michael Mulheren, among others.
Kristina Fran Duvemala, the story of a Swedish heroine, has a score by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson. The imported three-CD set of the smash Swedish production is available on the MSI label, retailing for about $60 or so in midtown Manhattan. The set captures the 1995 Malmo cast in Swedish starring Helen Sjoholm & Anders Ekborg.
--By Robert Viagas