The show by Northwestern University grads was produced Off-Broadway in 2001 and presented in a starry, revised version at the York in October 2002, with Broadway's Matt Bogart, Chad Kimball, Lauren Kennedy, Danny Gurwin and Leslie Kritzer singing young characters who are coming of age in romance and life.
York artistic director James Morgan selected the show for that 2002 concert benefiting York's Janet Hayes Walker Memorial Fund, in support of new works. The day after of the Oct. 14 presentation, the album was recorded.
Morgan contacted John Yap, owner-producer of the London-based Jay Records, who agreed to release the show in its entirety on a double disc set, with the libretto printed in the CD booklet.
Substantial re-writes were done for the York concert and the resulting album, including some major cuts and the addition of three new songs. Cindi Rush cast the concert, while Randy Cohen added new orchestrations.
"I Sing! was written while its creators were still in college," according to the recording announcement. "Composer Eli Bolin was only 19 years old when the musical was created, while lyricist Sam Forman and director Benjamin Salka were not yet 21. All three collaborated on the book." It was produced Off-Broadway before they were 23 years old. The original production had a short commercial run, but the show had many supporters.
The I Sing! CD is available now at the York, in stores and online. Proceeds from the album will benefit the York Theater's Janet Hayes Walker Memorial Fund.
The York Theatre Company — billed as the place "Where Musicals Come to Life" — is an Off-Broadway theatre company which presents new and old musicals in its home in Saint Peter's Theatre at 54th and Lexington in New York City.
The company is currently presenting The Musical of Musicals—The Musical!, which has just extended its run to Aug. 29.
The I Sing! production history includes a 1999 presentation at Shanley Pavilion at Northwestern University in Illiniois; a 2000 workshop in Chicago; a fall New Dramatists reading in Manhattan in October 2000; a November 2000 workshop Upstairs at Playwrights Horizons (Jeff Beil, Arik Ahitov, Sam Franco, producers); a summer 2001 run at Maverick Theater Off-Broadway (Jeff Beil, Arik Ahitov, Sam Franco, producers); the October 2002 concert at The York Theatre Company (James Morgan, Louis Chiodo, producers); a March 2003 concert presentation at Powerhouse Theatre, Santa Monica, CA (Andrew Barrett-Weiss, Bob Wunsch, producers).