PS Classics Will Record Sondheim's The Frogs

News   PS Classics Will Record Sondheim's The Frogs PS Classics will record the Broadway production of Sondheim's The Frogs, the label announced on its website.

In a posting, the company said, "PS Classics will be producing the Broadway cast recording of Stephen Sondheim's The Frogs. The Lincoln Center Theater production is freely adapted from Aristophanes by Burt Shevelove, and even more freely adapted by its star Nathan Lane."

In a previous interview with Playbill On-Line, director Susan Stroman said the cast would likely go into the studio toward the end of the show's run, which ends Oct. 9.

Stroman directs and choreographs the show, which will feature a half dozen new songs by Sondheim and marks star Lane's first attempt at writing a musical theatre libretto.

Nathan Lane stars as Dionysos in the musical, which is based on the Aristophanes classic. The ancient play focuses on a debate between Aeschylus and Euripides, to determine who is the greater artist. The winner of the contest returned to Earth with Dionysos to save civilization.

Also in the cast are John Byner (Charon), Peter Bartlett (Pluto), Daniel Davis (Shaw), Burke Moses (Herakles) and Michael Siberry (Shakespeare). Sondheim (Assassins) and librettist Burt Shevelove wrote the show for a production staged in the Yale swimming pool in 1974. The story was updated to feature a debate between William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw and has traditionally required elaborate special effects, a large cast of actors skilled in both acting and swimming and an exhibition pool in which they perform.

That 1974 cast included Larry Blyden as Dionysos, Michael Vale as his slave, Charles Levin as Charon, Jerome Dempsey as Pluto, Jeremy Geidt as Shakespeare and Anthony Holland as Shaw. There was also a large chorus of Yale students which included Christopher Durang, Meryl Streep and Sigourney Weaver, among others.

The songlist, according to the Playbill, runs as follows:

"Invocation and Instructions to the Audience"
"I Love to Travel"
"Dress Big"
"I Love to Travel"
"All Aboard"
"Adriadne"
"The Frogs"
"Hymn to Dionysos"
"Hades"
"It's Only a Play"
"Shaw"
"All Aboard"
"Fear No More" (lyrics from Shakespeare's Cymbeline)
"Hymn to Dionysos"

The songlist of a 2001 recording of the 1974 score ran as follows:

"Fanfare"
"Prologue: Invocation and Instructions to the Audience"
"Traveling Music"
"Parados: The Frogs"
"Hymnos: Evoe!"
"Dialogue: 'Pluto!'"
"Parabasis: It's Only a Play"
"Dialogue: 'That Was Some Banquet!'"
"Evoe for the Dead"
"Invocation to the Muses"
"Fear No More"
"Exodos: The Sound of Poets"

Visit psclassics.com.

Peter Bartlett (left) and Nathan Lane in <i>The Frogs</i>
Peter Bartlett (left) and Nathan Lane in The Frogs Photo by Paul Kolnick