The site (www.davidspencerworks.com) features direct-sale CDs — featuring stage and studio casts, including some available for the first time — as well as links to commercial items, including the instructive book, "The Musical Theatre Writer's Survival Guide."
In addition to being a composer, lyricist, librettist and author, Spencer has long been a moderator in the influential BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and, starting June 11, he'll teach a class on musical libretto writing for HBStudio (visit www.HBStudio.org).
Of the new and evolving website, Spencer told Playbill.com, "As I've said before, I have a good cult reputation and a kind of 'midlist' industry profile (to borrow a publishing term), but as with many of my colleagues who've only broken through to a limited degree, that's not a comment on the quality of the work. The business is not easy, and we're clearly in a period where, in large measure, it's often up to the writer to use his own resources to get the work out there. I've never recorded a demo that didn't have the sound and feel of a vibrant cast album, and I've always worked with brilliant performers. And I've been asked so often for some of these recordings — to the point where a few have even been bootlegged — that it finally seemed not only silly, but negligent and a little lazy not to create a website for them. And for those who don't know the pieces — or me — there are loads of full-length mp3 files, several for each recording. So you'll get a really good sampling of what you're in for, and nobody'll be buying the proverbial pig in a poke."
Spencer has written music and lyrics for several multi-award winning shows: The Fabulist, an epic fable of Aesop (book by Stephen Witkin, based on the novel by John Vornholt); and the Theatreworks/USA versions of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables (book for both by Rob Barron). As a lyricist-librettist, he has collaborated with composer Alan Menken on the cult favorite Weird Romance and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and authored the English adaptation and lyrics for the Public Theater production of La Bohème that introduced Patti Cohenour, David Carroll and Howard McGillin.
As an author, he's written "The Musical Theatre Writer's Survival Guide" (Heinemann) and a novel based on the popular TV series "Alien Nation," called "Passing Fancy" (Pocket). He also runs the theatre review website Aisle Say (www.aislesay.com).
Spencer received a 2002 Richard Rodgers Development Award for creating music and lyrics for The Fabulist. Other awards include four Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Theatre Foundation grants, and a 2000 Kleban Award for excellence in theatre lyrics.
Spencer's latest musical? He's currently working on a "jazz-noir-caper musical" about a thief in 1970s New York, called The Last Hard Score (original book by Jerry James).
Spencer told Playbill.com, "The thief is a safe cracker, a 'box man' known as Teaser, because he can tease a combination out of anything with moving parts…but it's the mid '70s, budding technology is changing everything, and he sees the handwriting on the wall telling him to get out. But then, because someone he cares about is threatened, he finds himself coerced into pulling one more job, the most dangerous of his career. And thus the double-edged title, which refers to the high octane jazz pallet and the caper."