The new Broadway revival company, headed by Alfred Molina, went into in a Manhattan recording studio April 26. The staging earned Tony Award nominations for Best Actor in a Musical (Molina), Best Revival of a Musical, Best Scenic Design (Tom Pye), Best Lighting Design (Brian MacDevitt), Best Orchestrations (Larry Hochman) and Best Featured Actor in a Musical (John Cariani).
By Playbill On-Line's count, this is the first English language Fiddler cast recording to appear wide since the 1971 film soundtrack; cast albums of the original London company (with Topol) and Broadway troupe (with Zero Mostel) preceded it.
In studio, the 36-member cast, including Randy Graff as Golde, and 25-piece orchestra performed the score by composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick (not the mention book pieces by Joseph Stein).
For fans, it will be a fresh listen to a beloved 40-year-old score. PS Classics co-founder and executive producer Tommy Krasker said the 75-minute disc allows for the inclusion of "a great deal of material not heard on the original cast album, as well as the revival's new song, 'Topsy-Turvy.'"
Among pieces on the disc are the lesser-known "Chavaleh," the wedding procession and dance music, the "To Life" dance music, the "Now I Have Everything" reprise, and the sequences in which Tevye's inner thoughts are revealed ("Tevye's Monologues" that begin with "they gave each other a pledge..."). The final notes of the show, billed as "The Leave-taking," are also on the CD. The full color CD booklet includes essays from director David Leveaux, librettist Joseph Stein, a synopsis by Wayne Wolfe & Jason Gaines and the complete lyrics by Harnick.
This marks the second Broadway cast album from PS Classics, the young label devoted to the heritage of Broadway music and American pop songs. PS Classics' 2003 recording of Nine was Grammy Award nominated earlier this year. A cast album of A Year With Frog and Toad, recorded before the show went to Broadway, was released by PS Classics April 6.
On June 7, PS Classics recorded what will be its third Broadway cast album: The 2004 Tony Award-winning production of Assassins. It's due in stores July 27.
Krasker told Playbill On-Line, "Philip [Chaffin, co-founder of PS Classics] and I saw the revival and thought it was brilliant. I mean, like most people, I've seen a lot of Fiddlers: I've music directed Fiddlers, and accompanied Fiddlers, and seen Philip perform in Fiddlers. Heck, I saw the original Fiddler. I didn't expect to be as blown away as I was, but for me, this revival truly honored the original while daring to see it through new eyes; and I found myself moved as if I were seeing it for the first time. We're really thrilled to have the chance to record it."
David Leveaux directed the new revival, at the Minskoff Theatre, with Kevin Stites serving as musical director.
Larry Hochman orchestrated the new song, "Topsy Turvy," written in the last year, which takes the place of "The Rumor." Don Walker's original orchestrations sweeten the score by composer Jerome Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick. Hochman also penned new orchestrations throughout the score and was nominated for a 2004 Tony Award for the chore.
For more information, visit www.psclassics.com.