OB Musical Comedy, Kuni-Leml, Finally Has a Cast Album

News   OB Musical Comedy, Kuni-Leml, Finally Has a Cast Album Kuni-Leml, the award-winning musical comedy that earned a cult following after regional productions and two stagings at the Jewish Repertory Theatre in New York, finally has a cast album.
Danny Gurwin and Jennifer Rosin Kuni-Leml.
Danny Gurwin and Jennifer Rosin Kuni-Leml.

Kuni-Leml, the award-winning musical comedy that earned a cult following after regional productions and two stagings at the Jewish Repertory Theatre in New York, finally has a cast album.

Members of the 1998 Jewish Rep cast, including Farah Alvin, Danny Gurwin, David Brummel, Jonathan Hadley, Paul Harman, Joel Newsome, Jennifer Rosin and Jay Brian Winnick, were committed to disc in late 1998, with Randy Klein producing, and the CD found a distributor in spring 1999. The disc, on the Slider Music label, is on store shelves now.

Based on the play by Abraham Goldfadn, with a book by Nahma Sandrow, music by Raphael Crystal and lyrics by Richard Engquist, Kuni-Leml tells the story of a young woman whose father offers her in marriage to a young Hasidic scholar named Kuni-Leml (Gurwin), despite her desire for an enlightened student (Hadley). The clash between old and new generations is told with a contemporary feminist twist on the 19th-century world.

Despite the Yiddish-name title, the musical is in English and isn't afraid to have an accessible, American musical theatre sound.

One of the show's musical highlights since its first New York staging in 1984, when it won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical, is "The Boy Is Perfect." In it, Kuni-Leml is praised despite his squint, his limp and his stutter. The musical had a major regional production in the 1980s at the now defunct Nederlander-run Birmingham Theatre in metropolitan Detroit. Shelley Berman starred with Stuart Zagnit and Liz Larsen.

Songs on the disc include:

"Celebrate"
"The Boy Is Perfect"
"Carolina's Lament"
"The World Is Getting Better"
"Cuckoo"
"Don't Worry, Darling"
"A Meeting of the Minds"
"Act One Finale"
"A Little Learning"
"Nothing Counts But Love"
"What's My Name?"
"Purim Scene"
"Do Horses Talk to Horses"
"Love Songs and Lullabies"
"Be Fruitful and Multiply"
"Act Two Finale"

-- By Kenneth Jones