The cast of the Sheldon Harnick-Jerry Bock musical — including Tony Award winner Cady Huffman and Tony nominees Brad Oscar and Megan Lawrence — will head into the recording studio April 7 to preserve the score of the 1958 musical. Bruce Yeko of Original Cast Records is producing the recording, which is scheduled for an early summer release.
The Original Cast disc will mark the first recording of The Body Beautiful. Columbia Records had been set to record the original Broadway production, but the contract was canceled by the show's producers, who instead "made a $5,000 payment to offset advertising costs of the then-struggling show," according to press notes.
About the upcoming recording, composer Bock said in a statement, "A sparkling new original cast album 50 years after the show opened? If that's not a first, I'll eat my notes while Sheldon eats his words! And if that's not a definition of The Fabulous Invalid, better known as The Body Beautiful, we'll both eat Joe Stein's book. Bless the Gods of the Bods!"
The upcoming CD will also boast the talents of Stephen Bienskie, Laura Marie Duncan, Ryan Duncan, Capathia Jenkins, Jonathan Kay, Mike McGowan, John Eric Parker, Patrick Richwood, Angie Schworer, Jim Sorensen and Kerry Conte. The recording will feature musical direction by John Bell with Damien Bassman on drums and Jordan Jancz on bass. Charles Martinez is the recording engineer.
The Body Beautiful features a book by Joseph Stein and Will Glickman, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Jerry Bock. The musical, according to press notes, concerns "a wealthy Dartmouth College graduate who wishes to be a prize-winning boxer and the girl he loves who disapproves of his ambitions. His fight manager must deal with uninspired fighters, two ex-wives and a new girlfriend." The Body Beautiful originally opened at the Broadway Theatre Jan. 23, 1958. George Schaefer directed a cast that included Mindy Carson, Steve Forrest, Jack Warden, Barbara McNair, William Hickey and Brock Peters.