The album will be recorded during the current March 28-April 1 run of the concert revival at City Center. It's the first live album of a concert by the acclaimed series that revisits neglected American theatre scores. Produced by Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company, this preservation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Broadway musical rarity marks the first time an Encores! musical has been recorded live, R&H announced.
"In the back of my mind I always had the hope that the Encores! presentation of Pipe Dream would be good enough to warrant a recording," Ted Chapin, president of Rodgers & Hammerstein, said in a statement. "Once I heard a run-through and the orchestra rehearsal at the end of last week, I felt we had to find a way to capture the remarkable performances of the cast and orchestra. Through a lot of quick action by a lot of extraordinary people, we were able to push the button to create a live recording. If we get lucky, this could be the way for future recordings of Encores! shows — and more of them."
Encores! artistic director Jack Viertel added in a statement, "We're always thrilled when an Encores! production gets preserved on a cast album. In this case we're doing something new — a live recording of the actual performance — that would have been impossible without the spectacular renovation of City Center itself, which included a new sound system that allows for multi-track recording. This particular show is so beautifully sung and played, and the score is so underappreciated, that I'm incredibly grateful to Ted Chapin and the folks at R&H that we'll have it to listen to for years to come — forever, in fact."
The disc will feature the Encores! cast of 29 under the direction of Marc Bruni, and an orchestra of 30 musicians under the baton of Encores! music director Rob Berman. The concert revival (featuring a libretto adapted by David Ives) boasts the original Robert Russell Bennett orchestrations and John Morris dance arrangements, "meticulously restored over the past two years by Bruce Pomahac, director of music at Rodgers & Hammerstein, and his team."
The cast on the live album (and at City Center, of course) includes Will Chase as Doc ("All Kinds of People," "All at Once You Love Her," "The Man I Used to Be"), Laura Osnes as Suzy ("Everybody's Got a Home But Me," "The Next Time It Happens"), Leslie Uggams as Fauna ("Sweet Thursday"), Tom Wopat as Mac ("A Lopsided Bus," "The Party That We're Gonna Have Tomorrow Night") and Stephen Wallem as Hazel ("Thinkin'"). Pipe Dream is based on the John Steinbeck novel "Sweet Thursday," a sequel to "Cannery Row." Read the Playbill.com feature about the history of Pipe Dream.
The show's songs were previously heard on an original cast album, which, due to the limitations of the period, remains a shortened version of the score.
Watch the Playbill Video visit to the Encores! rehearsal hall of Pipe Dream: