CHILD'S PLAY: It may surprise many to learn that the late Jonathan Larson, creator of the Pulitzer and Tony-winning musical Rent, also composed music for children. Away We Go, a video co-created and co-composed by Larson (who also directed) and Bob Golden (whose music has graced "Sesame Street" and "Lamb Chop's Play-Along!"), is a delightfully tuneful musical adventure for the whole family. Hosted by the lovable puppet Newt the Newt, the video stars kids shot in and around New York City on all modes of transportation and features eight original sing-along songs, four by Larson.
The color video runs approximately 30 minutes and is being sold at New York's Nederlander Theatre, which houses Rent, in Bloomingdale's Rent boutique and children's division, and via J & R Music World (1-800-221-8180). Newt Partners Home Video; suggested price, $14.98. SARDI'S JAZZ GROUP ON CD: The Joe Traina Quintet/Friday Evenings at Sardi's, a new CD, recaptures the pleasant jazz sessions that this lauded quintet has been conducting at Sardi's for over a year. Traina, who also happens to be house manager of the Richard Rodgers Theatre, plays both clarinet and alto sax and leads his skillful quintet in such memorable tunes as "It Could Happen To You," "Alone Together," "Skylark," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "That Old Feeling" and seven other standards. His vocalists all have Broadway credits and lend their talents to this arresting collection of songs. The CD is produced by Chuck Bergeron, who also performs on the disc, and is arranged by Bergeron and Pete McGuinness (Filigree Records). The CD is available directly from Filigree Records, 340 W. 55th St., Suite 3C, New York, NY 10019; at Sardi's Restaurant, 234 W. 44th St, New York, NY 10036; or at New York's Colony Records.
ASTAIRE AWARDS: The Fifteenth Annual Astaire Awards were conferred recently at Sardi's Restaurant. Presented by Mrs. Fred Astaire, awards honored Savion Glover for both his choreography and his dancing in the current hit, Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk and Donna McKechnie for her dancing in State Fair. The Anglo-American Contemporary Dance Foundation established the Awards in 1982 to honor Fred Astaire and his sister Adele and to reward the achievement of an outstanding dancer or dancers and an outstanding choreographer in each Broadway season. Theatre Development Fund had the privilege of assuming administration of the Awards in 1991.