FOR THE RECORD -- April
SISTER ACT: Coinciding with the Pointer Sisters' ten-month tour (prior to opening on Broadway), RCA Victor has released The Pointer Sisters in Highlights from "Ain't Misbehavin"'. The three-time, Grammy-winning sisters Ruth, Anita and June put their own stamp on some of Fats Waller's greatest tunes, including "Honeysuckle Rose," "Mean to Me," "The Joint is Jumpin' " and the title track. Michael-Leon Wooley and Eugene Barry-Hill, veterans of four productions of Ain't Misbehavin', join the talented trio on the CD/cassette.
THE CALLAWAY SISTERS: Another multi-talented sister act can be heard on Sibling Revelry, a DRG recording taped live at New York's Rainbow & Stars in September 1995. Liz Callaway, who is known to Broadway audiences for her work in Baby, Miss Saigon and now as Grizabella in Cats, is joined by her acclaimed singer/songwriter sister, Ann Hampton Callaway. Ann's jazz-flavored style is the perfect complement to Liz's traditional Broadway belt, and the peak of their act is "The Huge Medley," which includes pieces of songs from Chess, Miss Saigon, West Side Story and many others. In addition, each lady gets a chance to shine individually Liz on a soaring "Meadowlark" and Ann on a gut-wrenching "Old Friend." Other highlights: their opening number, Jerry Herman's "It's Today," and Stephen Sondheim's "Our Time" from Merrily We Roll Along.
JOHN AND JEN: Tom Greenwald and Andrew Lippa's Off-Broadway musical john & jen has recently been released, starring its two original performers, James Ludwig and Carolee (Falsettos) Carmello. It is a touching story that covers a 40-year period in the life of Jen and her brother John and is told entirely in song. After John's death and the birth of her own son, Jen must come to terms with the past and face the future. Both performers imbue their characters with much heart, and Carmello gets to show off her dazzling, powerful voice. Just listen to her emotion packed version of "The Road Ends Here" in Act II (Varese Sarabande).
SOUND BITES: Songs from Chess, Pal Joey, The King and I, Miss Saigon, Song & Dance, Les Miserables and other Broadway favorites can be heard with a new twist on a DINK Records release. Titled Stage 1: How I Love You, this romantic collection of songs traditionally sung by both men and women is now sung entirely by men. Call 1-800-707-8683. . . John Mauceri leads The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra on Always and Forever, 16 of the most romantic love themes from Hollywood motion pictures. This Philips Classics release features songs from Laura; Now, Voyager; An Affair to Remember; Somewhere in Time as well as a guest appearance from soprano Sylvia McNair. -- By Andrew Gans