DRG Records recorded the Encores! concert staging of the early Bock & Harnick score, Tenderloin, April 18 for a concert cast album to be released June 15.
Composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick were present at the studio session and will write liner notes for the new recording of the 1960 score. Bock and Harnick, of course, would go on to international fame for Fiddler on the Roof. Their Tenderloin also had an original Broadway cast album, which is available on CD.
Hugh Fordin produces the new recording, which preserves the New York City Encores! concert revival of March 23-27. The cast included Debbie Gravitte and David Ogden Stiers.
With a book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbott, the tuner is a look at prostitution and corruption in New York City in the 1890s, with the forces of morality represented by Dr. Brock (Stiers), a monomaniacal preacher who infiltrates the red-light district, known as "the tenderloin." Cecil Beaton provided the stylized costumes for the original.
It's generally thought the best songs of the score ("Reform," "Little Old New York," "Artificial Flowers" and "Shame") go to the drinkers, pimps and prostitutes, while the puritans sing such tunes as "Good Clean Fun," "Army of the Just" and "Dear Friends." Pop singer Bobby Darin had an unexpected, swinging hit with "Artificial Flowers," which is sung in the show as a sentimental 19th-century story ballad.
DRG producer Fordin is busy this month: As a free-lance producer he is also helming the new Q Records cast album of the Broadway revival of The Music Man, going into the studio May 1.
-- By Kenneth Jones
and Robert Simonson