Robert Sher, a multiple Grammy nominee, will produce the CD, which will be released on the Time Life Records label. An August 2008 release is currently scheduled.
The recording will boast songs cut from the original Broadway production of Gypsy: "Three Wishes for Christmas," "Mama's Talkin' Soft," "Nice She Ain't," "Mother's Day," "Smile, Girls," "Who Needs Him?," and an alternate version of "Mother's Day," all featuring new orchestrations penned by Jonathan Tunick.
In a statement producer Sher said, "Time Life and Broadway make a perfect marriage. Gypsy is a great American classic and Time Life is the great American entertainment company, and what better team to reach the incredibly broad and ever-growing audience for top-caliber musical recordings."
Time Life, in fact, will also release "Annie: 30th Anniversary Cast" recording, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical and a recording of the upcoming 30th anniversary tour of Ain't Misbehavin starring "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard and Rent's Frenchie Davis.
* Following a critically acclaimed limited engagement at City Center in summer 2007, Gypsy — starring LuPone, Gaines and Benanti — began previews at Broadway's St. James March 3 and officially opened March 27. Gypsy librettist Arthur Laurents direct.
LuPone heads the cast as that stage mother of all stage mothers with three-time Tony winner Gaines as the beleaguered Herbie and two-time Tony nominee Benanti as the wallflower-turned-world-famous-stripper Gypsy Rose Lee.
LuPone, Gaines and Benanti are joined onstage by Leigh Ann Larkin as Dainty June, Tony Yazbeck as Tulsa, Marilyn Caskey as Electra, Alison Fraser as Tessie, and Lenora Nemetz as Mazeppa with Bill Bateman as Mr. Goldstone, Jim Bracchitta as Uncle Jocko, Sami Gayle as Baby June, Bill Raymond as Pop, Brian Reddy as Weber and Emma Rowley as Baby Louise.
The company includes Andrew Boyer, Dorothy Stanley, Beckley Andrews, Nancy Renée Braun, Mindy Dougherty, Kyrian Friedenberg, Matt Gibson, Sarah Marie Hicks, Steve Konopelski, Matthew Lobenhofer, Nicole Mangi, Katie Micha, Matty Price, Andy Richardson, Lisa Rohinsky, Jessica Rush, Alicia Sable, John Scacchetti, Geo Seery, Rider Quentin Stanton and Pearce Wegener.
Gypsy features scenic design by James Youmans, costumes by Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz, lighting by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley, hair by Tony Award winner Paul Huntley and sound design by Dan Moses Schreier.
The Encores! Summer Stars production of Gypsy played New York City Center July 9-29, 2007. It opened July 14.
Gypsy features a score by Jule Styne (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) and a book by Laurents. The musical bowed on Broadway in May 1959 at the Broadway Theatre, playing 702 performances before closing at the Imperial Theatre, where it later transferred, on March 25, 1961. Ethel Merman created the role of Rose in the original production; subsequent Broadway Roses include Angela Lansbury, Tyne Daly and Bernadette Peters (as well as Linda Lavin, who took over for Daly). Merman and Peters were Tony-nominated for their performances; Lansbury and Daly won the coveted award.
A Tony Award winner for her work in Evita, LuPone also earned an Olivier Award for her performances in the West End productions of Les Misérables and The Cradle Will Rock. Her other theatrical credits include Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Oliver!, Working, The Old Neighborhood, Master Class and Pal Joey. LuPone also headlined two solo Broadway concerts, Patti LuPone On Broadway and Matters of the Heart, and received glowing notices for her performance as Mrs. Lovett in the Lincoln Center concert version of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and a Tony nomination for her performance in the recent revival of that Sondheim work. She was seen in the Kennedy Center's staging of Marc Blitzstein's Regina and recently joined Audra McDonald for Los Angeles Opera's production of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht's Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. She was also seen as Rose in a Ravinia Festival concert run of Gypsy. Her screen and recording credits are numerous.
Laura Benanti was most recently on Broadway in The Wedding Singer. She played Claudia in the Tony-winning revival of Maury Yeston's Nine, and she received Tony Award nominations for her performances in Swing! and the revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. She was also seen in The Sound of Music, Time and Again and the City Center Encores! mounting of Wonderful Town. Benanti's regional credits include roles in A Little Night Music, Man of La Mancha and A Winter's Tale.
Boyd Gaines was most recently on Broadway in the revival of Pygmalion. He won Tony Awards for his performances in The Heidi Chronicles, She Loves Me and Contact and was Tony-nominated for his work in Journey's End. His other Broadway credits include Twelve Angry Men, Cabaret, Company and The Show Off.
Gypsy plays Monday-Saturday at 8 PM and Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM. Beginning March 31, show times will be Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM. (There will be no performance Friday, March 28; a matinee has been added on Sunday, March 30).
The St. James Theatre is located in Manhattan at 246 West 44th Street. Tickets, priced $42-$117, are available by calling (212) 239-6200 or by visiting www.telecharge.com.