By Adam Hetrick
and Andrew Gans
08 Dec 2008
|Photo by Carol Rosegg|
Produced by David Lai, Bruce Pomahac and Ted Chapin, the first complete recording of the musical will be released by Sony Masterworks Broadway, the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization announced.
For the recording, Larry Blank conducts the 50-piece Istropolis Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring the original orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett and dance arrangements by Trude Rittmann.
The new recording of Allegro features Patrick Wilson (The Full Monty, Oklahoma!) as Joe Taylor, Jr.; Nathan Gunn (Camelot) and Audra McDonald (Ragtime, Carousel, Master Class) as Joe's parents; Marni Nixon (My Fair Lady, Nine) as Joe's Grandma; Judy Kuhn (Les Misérables, She Loves Me, Chess) as Beulah; Liz Callaway (Baby, Cats, Miss Saigon) as Emily; Laura Benanti (Gypsy, Into the Woods, Nine) as Jennie; and Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Wicked, Is He Dead?) as Joe's best friend, Charlie.
The Allegro ensemble features Judy Blazer, Maureen Brennan, Ashley Brown and Kathy Morath as well as a full chorus and a children's chorus. Vocal cameos are made by original Broadway Follies veterans Harvey Evans and Kurt Peterson, as well as Ray DeMattis; New York City Cultural Affairs Commissioner Schuyler Chapin; All Souls Church Reverend Dr. Galen Guengerich; Lincoln Center Theater executive producer Bernard Gersten; theatre critics Howard Kissel and John Simon; and Allegro's original production assistant, Stephen Sondheim.
In a statement Ted Chapin, president of The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, said, "Along with the innovations of the original production, Allegro's score has its own innovative qualities, most of which are simply unknown. To do justice to the show that Rodgers & Hammerstein created, I have long wanted to capture the score in a way that explains to us all how the musical tapestry of Allegro was conceived. It is almost through-composed, using elements of songs in fascinating, dramatic ways – which has led people to assume incorrectly that it is a lesser work. After all, Allegro comes chronologically between Carousel and South Pacific, so it's not as if Rodgers & Hammerstein had lost their talent. My hope is that this recording will introduce this extraordinary work to musical theatre lovers in the best way possible – and I am thrilled that we have been able to attract such a stellar group of artists to join us."
The Allegro score includes "So Far," "The Gentleman Is A Dope," "I Know It Can Happen Again," "Come Home," "You Are Never Away" and the title song.
For further information visit SongBMGMasterWorks.