Fans of actress Emily Skinner can not only catch her on Broadway in The Full Monty, just in time for the holidays they can get her self-titled solo CD, which was released (via the internet only) Dec. 4 on the Fynsworth Alley label.
Showtunes on the disk include “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have” (from On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever), “Be Good or Be Gone” (Pump Boys and Dinettes) and “Lazy Afternoon” (Golden Apple). She duets, of course, with Alice Ripley, her Siamese-twinned Side Show castmate, on Gypsy’s “You’ll Never Get Away From Me” / “Together Wherever We Go,” as well as on “Ballyshannon” from James Joyce’s The Dead, which also featured both Ripley and Skinner on Broadway.
Perhaps of most interest is a trunk song by David Yazbek, “Maid of the Mist,” which was cut from The Full Monty.
The Emily Skinner album, which was recorded in August, will be available only via the website for the first three months of release. After that, the disk will go into general release — but without “Maid of the Mist” on it. For more information, check out the company’s website at www.fynsworthalley.com. The label’s next release. Jan. 9, 2001, will be an original cast recording of Godspell, the version that played Off Broadway this past summer.
Fynsworth’s first disk, released Oct. 1, was "The Sondheim Album." That recording had fresh orchestrations (by David Siegel) of songs both new and familiar to followers of Stephen Sondheim's work. Todd Ellison conducted singers including Dame Edna ("Losing My Mind"), Ruthie Henshall ("Children Will Listen"), Dorothy Loudon ("I'm Still Here") and Brian d'Arcy James ("Giants in the Sky"). In November, the label also released a two-disk original cast recording of the Tony-winning non-musical, Copenhagen. *
In his tenure at the Varese Sarabande label, Bruce Kimmel produced 106 theatre related CDs, including shows such as the 1994 revival of Merrily We Roll Along and the 1996 revival of I Do! I Do!, and the L.A. cast recording of Ruthless! The label also offered such solo artists as Sally Mayes, Twiggy, Rebecca Luker and the late Laurie Beechman, and special compilations like "Unsung Musicals" and "Lost in Boston."
But Varese found their show catalogue less profitable and manageable than their film and classical endeavors, so they halted that line "and got out of the Broadway business," as Kimmel puts it. Kimmel bought out the vast majority of the theatre-related disks he created there. He started the new label to put out show-related CDs and also help move the back catalogue of Varese Sarabande discs he produced.
"You'd think cast albums wouldn't be as expensive as they are," said Kimmel. "But you factor in the cast, the band...it's much more expensive than the compilation and solo albums." Kimmel estimates the cost of an average solo artist CD to run in the $35,000 range, while the Sondheim album topped $50,000. Other upcoming albums include a jazz trio version (The Trotter Trio) of The Fantasticks — all instrumentals, with co composer Harvey Schmidt guesting at the piano on one track, as well as solos from Brent Barrett (Chicago) and the aforementioned Alice Ripley. (The latter is also recording a rock album on another label but will do a showtune disk for Fynsworth.) A Richard Rogers compilation, similar to the Sondheim disc, is also in the works.
For more information, check out the Fynsworth web site at www.fynsworthalley.com.