PERFECTLY FRANK: When The Scarlet Pimpernel opened this past fall, composer Frank Wildhorn joined Andrew Lloyd Webber (Cats and The Phantom of the Opera) and the team of Alain Boublil/Claude-Michel Schönberg (Miss Saigon and Les Misérables) as the only composers to have more than one musical currently running on Broadway. (With the recent opening of Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club and Chicago still going strong at the Shubert Theatre, Kander and Ebb now join this group as well.) Like his Jekyll & Hyde, Wildhorn's Pimpernel‹with lyrics by Nan Knighton‹began life as a studio recording, which starred his soon-to-be wife and Jekyll star, Linda Eder. Now from Atlantic Records comes the original cast recording of Pimpernel with two of Broadway's finer singers, Douglas Sills‹in his Broadway debut‹and Christine Andreas. Although Pimpernel is set in Paris and England in the late 1700's, Wildhorn's score has a contemporary feel, combining the elements of pop and Broadway tunes. Highlights of the score include two of Marguerite's (Christine Andreas) ballads, "When I Look at You" and "Only Love"; the rousing "Into the Fire," sung by Percy (Douglas Sills) and his men; and the passionate "Storybook," which has already become a cabaret favorite. LYRICS AND LYRICISTS" Two recordings from DRG Records have recently been released that boast lyricists singing their own words. Comden and Green Perform Their Own Songs features the award-winning lyricists interpreting songs they wrote with such composers as Leonard Bernstein (On the Town and Wonderful Town), Jule Styne (Two on the Aisle and Peter Pan), Andre Previn (It's Always Fair Weather) and others. On Alan Jay Lerner Performs His Own Songs, the lyricist is joined by Kaye Ballard and Bill Taylor on such standards as "Almost Like Being in Love," "Here I'll Stay," and "There But for You, Go I."
SOUND BYTES: A 27-track double CD of music from Broadway's Forever Tango is now available from RCA Victor . . . The latest recording from The Broadway Kids, an ensemble of performers who have appeared on The Great White Way or in professional productions, is The Broadway Kids at the Movies. Available from Lightyear, the recording includes such film tunes as "Talk to the Animals," "Part of Your World," "Fame" and "High Hopes."
MANDY'S "MAMALOSHEN": Mandy Patinkin's foray into Yiddish music began eight years ago when the Public Theater's Joe Papp asked him to learn "Youssel, Youssel" for a Yivo Institute benefit. Patinkin ended up recording the tune, and when he played it for Papp, the producer said, "You have to do this music, this is your job." After Papp's death Patinkin continued his journey, and the result has just been released from Nonesuch. Titled Mamaloshen (Mother Tongue), the 16-track recording features such Yiddish gems as "Raisins and Almonds," "Paper Is White," "Motl the Operator," "American Tune" and "Yome, Yome," a song which Patinkin's father sang to him as a child. The recording also comes with an illustrated booklet that not only includes the Yiddish lyrics but line-for-line English translations as well. Patinkin is in wonderful voice, and his dramatic intensity is the perfect match for these ageless tunes.