Upcoming Threepenny Opera Star McKay Splits with Label; New Album in Limbo

News   Upcoming Threepenny Opera Star McKay Splits with Label; New Album in Limbo Nellie McKay — a star of the upcoming The Threepenny Opera on Broadway — and her label Columbia Records have split, according to several reports, some citing her work in the stageshow as a factor in the decision.

The songstress' sophomore effort, "Pretty Little Head," was to be released on Jan. 3 by the label, but the album's fate is currently unknown. The album featured duets with her Threepenny co-star Cyndi Lauper as well as singer k.d. lang.

Word broke in late December 2005 that the artist had left the label, but the company — an offshoot of the Sony Label Group, which recently underwent corporate restructuring — has yet to be reached for comment. On Jan. 3, The New York Times quoted McKay, who claims she was dropped by the company.

The Times article said McKay recently joked that she took the role in Threepenny as a way to get out of touring, and that McKay "assumed that this also played a part in Columbia's decision, saying it was `a combination of things, adding up to irreconcilable differences.'"

Already distributed to the media for reviewing purposes, the new album features 23 new songs written by McKay. Among the titles includes a new compositions called "Columbia Is Bleeding" which is described on the artist's website thusly: "...it's turned into a real rock tune..."

McKay will appear as the young bride Polly opposite Alan Cumming, Ana Gasteyer, Cyndi Lauper and Jim Dale in the Wallace Shawn adaptation of The Threepenny Opera. The Scott Elliott-directed Roundabout Theatre Company production will begin March 24, 2006 at Broadway's Studio 54 and open April 20. Her involvement in the busy show schedule would curtail McKay's ability to help publicize the album. Songstress McKay was signed to Columbia Records in 2003 and released her debut double-disc album, the jazz-influenced edgy "Get Away from Me" in Febuary 2004. The up-and-coming blond Harlem native has opened for Cyndi Lauper, Sting, Barenaked Ladies and Alanis Morissette as well as Lou Reed at Carnegie Hall.

Tickets go on sale to The Threepenny Opera shortly through Roundabout Ticket Services at (212) 719-1300. For more information, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.

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