An unusually busy Broadway and off-Broadway season is leading to a bumper crop of original cast albums and revival cast albums. Here is a roundup of planned CDs.
* RENT: The eagerly-awaited original cast album of Jonathan Larson's Tony- and Pulitzer-winning rock musical will be released by DreamWorks Records, a subsidiary of Geffen Records, Aug. 27. The CD will include a bonus cut: Stevie Wonder singing "Seasons of Love."
* BIG: Available now. Universal Records released the original cast album of Big on July 2. Eight-time Grammy winner Phil Ramone produced the recording, which features performances by Tony nominees Crista Moore and Brett Tabisel. Composer David Shire and lyricist Richard Maltby Jr.'s score, which includes "Stop, Time" "Dancing All the Time" and "Stars, Stars, Stars," was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Original Score.
* BED & SOFA: Available now. Musical which played off-Broadway in spring 1996 with music by Polly Pen, libretto by Laurence Klavan. Original cast album on Varese Sarabande released July 2.
* BRING IN 'DA NOISE, BRING IN 'DA FUNK: RCA Victor is recording the score of this Savion Glover musical, with music by Daryl Waters, Zane Mark, Ann Duquesnay; lyrics by Reg. E. Gaines, George C. Wolfe and Duquesnay. Release date: July 30. Nominated for a 1996 Tony Award as Best Original Score. * STATE FAIR: Available now. Cast album of the new Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical State Fair. Grammy Award-winning producer Hugh Fordin produced the album for DRG, featuring cast members John Davidson, Kathryn Crosby, Andrea McArdle, Donna McKechnie, Scott Wise and Ben Wright. The cast album will include the 22-piece "State Fair" orchestra as well as 12 additional string players. The musical is based on Oscar Hammerstein II's screenplay for the 1945 film of State Fair and includes the Academy Award winning Best Song "It Might As Well Be Spring" as well as "It's a Grand Night for Singing," "Our State Fair." But under Tony rules, only the four interpolated songs "Driving at Night," "You Never Had It So Good,: "Boys and Girls Like You and Me" and "When I Go Out Walking With My Baby" were considered as this show's nomination for Best Original Score.
* FORUM: Available now. Broadway Angel Records has released the Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with a cast headed by Nathan Lane (1996 Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical). Based on the farces of the Roman Plautus, the show has a score by Stephen Sondheim that includes "Comedy Tonight," "Lovely," "Free," "Everybody Ought To Have a Maid" and "Pretty Little Picture." Starring alongside Lane are Lewis J. Stadlen, Ernie Sabella and Mark Linn-Baker. Nominated for a 1996 Tony Award as Best Revival of a Musical.
* SWINGING ON A STAR: Available now. Original Broadway cast album of this revue of songs by Johnny Burke -- nominated for a 1996 Tony Award as Best Musical -- was released in April on the Touchwood label. Songs include "Pennies From Heaven," "But Beautiful," "Here's That Rainy Day," "Misty" and the title song.
* FLOYD COLLINS: The score of Floyd Collins, the short-lived off-Broadway musical by Adam Guettel and Tina Landau, has been recorded by Nonesuch Records, and will be released at a date to be announced. The show, which ran about six weeks at Playwrights Horizons, won the Lucille Lortel Award as Best Musical of 1994-95. Based on a true event, the musical examines the media circus surrounding the attempted rescue of a cave explorer in 1925 Kentucky. Guettel is the grandson of Richard Rodgers, and son of Mary Rodgers Guettel. Produced by Tommy Krasker, the original cast CD includes a 13-member cast and an eight-piece band.
* I DO! I DO!: Available now. The hit off-Broadway revival of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt's I Do! I Do! will be recorded by Varese Sarabande, production spokesman Dan Shaheen said. Bruce Kimmel will produce the CD, which is scheduled to be released in early June 1996. Karen Ziemba, best known for her comedic musical role in "Crazy for You" and the hit "And the World Goes 'Round," stars with David Garrison in the revival. The last time "I Do! I Do!." ran on Broadway was in 1966, starring Robert Preston and Mary Martin. The show received seven Tony nominations. Jones and Schmidt wrote the long-running musical The Fantasticks. I Do! I Do! is adapted from Jan de Hartog's hit comedy The Fourposter. The score includes "My Cup Runneth Over with Love," "The Honeymoon is Over," "Love Isn't Everything" and "Where are the Snows?"
* THE KING AND I: A spokesperson for the Broadway revival of The King and I said the producers are still (June 20) in negotiations with record companies to record and release a CD of this production, starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy. No dates have been announced. Won the 1996 Tony Award as Best Revival of a Musical.
Playbill On-Line lists hundreds of recent and forthcoming theatre-related CDs and videos in our Recordings Column. Check it out!