PS Classics Releases Six CDs, Including "Howard Sings Ashman," Dear Edwina, Chaffin, Hoffman

News   PS Classics Releases Six CDs, Including "Howard Sings Ashman," Dear Edwina, Chaffin, Hoffman From comedy to soundtrack to show tune to musical pop solo album and beyond, a half-dozen new recordings from PS Classics — the label dedicated to American popular song and musical theatre — are in stores, available for digital download and at internet retailers on Nov. 11.
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Websales began at www.psclassics.com on Oct. 28, but the discs — including the cast album of Off-Broadway's The Marvelous Wonderettes, and the archival treasure-trove "Howard Sings Ashman" — now go wide.

Tommy Krasker, co-founder of PS Classics, told Playbill.com, "This is as varied a set of discs as we've ever released: two cast recordings, a solo album, a comedy album, an archival release, and our first soundtrack."

In celebration of his new album, Philip Chaffin, co-founder of PS Classics, will be performing and signing CDs at the Barnes & Noble at Broadway & 66th St. in Manhattan 6 PM Nov. 12. Two weeks later, on Nov. 26 at 6 PM, Jackie Hoffman will be performing and signing at the same Barnes & Noble.

Here's a rundown of the PS Classics releases:

  • "Howard Sings Ashman": The latest entry in PS Classics' ongoing Songwriter Series is a two-CD set, with the second disc devoted entirely to 15 demos from the late Howard Ashman's 1986 Broadway collaboration with Marvin Hamlisch, Smile. The first disc — 18 tracks — includes Ashman's collaborations with Alan Menken from Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and Little Mermaid, as well as individual tracks from Diamonds (with Jonathan Sheffer) and from Babe, Ashman and Menken's unfinished musical on the life of Babe Ruth.
  • The Marvelous Wonderettes: The original Off-Broadway cast recording of the show now playing New York's Westside Theatre starring Farah Alvin, Beth Malone, Bets Malone and Victoria Matlock. The new disc consists of all 32 songs heard in the Off-Broadway production, a parade of hits from the '50s and '60s, and was produced by Grammy winner Jeffrey Lesser, whose most recent PS Classics discs include the cast recording of Xanadu and Maureen McGovern's acclaimed solo disc, "A Long and Winding Road."
  • "Jackie Hoffman: Live at Joe's Pub": The Second City alum, best known for her bawdy and hilarious turns on Broadway in Hairspray and Xanadu, is heard here in performances recorded live at Joe's Pub in February 2008. "Hoffman's unique blend of cynicism, stand up, and original songs leaves no comic stone unthrown, targeting everything from West Side matrons to public displays of affection, from the vagaries of show business to her own mortality."
  • "Philip Chaffin: When the Wind Blows South": For his third solo album, PS Classics co-founder Chaffin "revisits his Southern roots and brings them to bear on the music he loves best. It's a meeting of two worlds — the sounds of the Old South gently filtered through the music of Broadway — and the result is a deeply personal journey." The songwriters include Harold Arlen, Burton Lane, Frank Loesser, Arthur Schwartz, Johnny Mercer and Jerry Herman.
  • "Were the World Mine": PS Classics' first original motion picture soundtrack is director Tom Gustafson's "moving musical comedy of errors," "Were the World Mine." After playing prestigious film festivals around the world, "Were the World Mine" receives its theatrical release next month. "With vibrant imagery, a first-rate ensemble cast, and innovative music rivaling the best of pop/rock and contemporary Broadway, 'Were the World Mine' expands the boundaries of modern gay cinema and musical film."
  • Dear Edwina: This earliest collaboration of award-winning songwriters Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich makes its Off-Broadway debut next month, but in the meantime, PS Classics "has recorded the sweet, smart and tuneful musical with an all-star cast" headed by Kerry Butler (Xanadu), Rebecca Luker (Mary Poppins), Andréa Burns (In the Heights), Terrence Mann (Beauty and the Beast), Danny Burstein (South Pacific) and Telly Leung (Rent).
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