The 42nd Annual Grammy Award nominations were announced Jan. 4, and everything old is new again: Hedwig and the Angry Inch is the only completely new score to earn a nomination in the category of Best Musical Show Album.
Hedwig, currently playing at New York's Jane Street Theatre, is the concert-format story of a German-American, transsexual rock star. The original Off-Broadway cast album of Hedwig has music and lyrics by Stephen Trask, on Atlantic Records.
The other original cast album nominees are revivals or shows that use previously-heard material: Annie Get Your Gun (the Broadway revival cast including Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat, music and lyric by Irving Berlin, on Angel Records); Footloose (the original Broadway cast, with lyrics by Dean Pitchford, music by Tom Snow, on Q Records); Fosse (original Broadway cast with Valarie Pettiford and Jane Lanier, various songwriters, on RCA Victor); You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Broadway revival cast with Roger Bart and Kristen Chenoweth, songs by Clark Gesner and Andrew Lippa, on RCA Victor).
All but You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown are currently running in New York.
The Show Album award, to be announced at the Grammy Awards ceremony Feb. 23, will go to the album producer(s) and to the lyricist(s) and composer(s) of 51 percent or more playing time of the album. Overlooked in the eligibility period Oct. 1, 1998, to Sept. 30, 1999, are Follies (Paper Mill Playhouse), Parade (Lincoln Center), The Civil War (Broadway and concept albums), among others.
Other theatre-related Grammy Award nominations, among other nominees in specific categories, include:
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance (for solo vocals, or duos/groups with vocals): "Bennett Sings Ellington - Hot & Cool" (Tony Bennett, RPM Records/Columbia), "You're The Top: Love Songs Of Cole Porter" (Bobby Short, Telarc Jazz).
Best Song Written For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media (a songwriter award for a song -- melody and lyrics -- written specifically for a motion picture, television or other visual media, and commercially released on a recording for the first time during the eligibility year, singles or tracks only): "The Prince Of Egypt (When You Believe)" by Stephen Schwartz (of Broadway's Pippin, Rags and Godspell).
Best Soundtrack Album (award to the artists and/or producers of a majority of the tracks on the album, or to the individuals actively responsible for the concept and musical direction and for the selection of artists, songs and producers, as applicable): "The Prince Of Egypt" (various artists, DreamWorks Records).
-- By Kenneth Jones