By Kenneth Jones
02 Jun 2010
|Photo by Richard Termine|
The Roundabout Theatre Company production — starring the Broadway legend Babara Cook, a 2010 Tony Award nominee for her work — continues its limited engagement at Studio 54. James Lapine conceived and directed the project.
The cast goes into the recording studio June 6-7. The album is now available for pre-orders at www.psclassics.com. An August release is expected, record producer Tommy Krasker said.
Sondheim on Sondheim, featuring more than 50 years of music and lyrics by the Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, began performances at Studio 54 on March 19, and opened officially on April 22. It has been extended through June 27.
Sondheim on Sondheim stars Cook, Vanessa Williams, Tom Wopat, Leslie Kritzer, Norm Lewis, Euan Morton, Erin Mackey and Matthew Scott.
Sondheim on Sondheim weaves new video interviews of Sondheim with performances of his songs — well-known tunes, fan favorites and obscure numbers. Audio versions of some of those interviews will be heard on the album.
Krasker told Playbill.com, "Although I never reveal anything about content or track listing until a few weeks prior to release, I will say that the plan is to preserve not only the glorious performances, but also a good chunk of Sondheim's commentary. Not too much, not too little — the right amount! That way folks who might not get to see the production will still get to have the one-of-a-kind experience that is Sondheim on Sondheim."
"Through the use of exclusive interview footage, audiences get an inside look at Sondheim's personal life and artistic process," according to Roundabout notes. "A cast of Broadway's best, perform brand-new arrangements of over two dozen Sondheim tunes, ranging from the beloved to the obscure."
The show's creative team includes David Loud (music direction and arrangements), Michael Starobin (orchestrations) and Dan Knechtges (musical staging).
Sondheim on Sondheim has been nominated for two Tony Awards including Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Barbara Cook) and Best Sound Design of a Musical (Dan Moses Schreier). The show also received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical Revue, four Outer Critics Circle nominations for Outstanding New Broadway Musical, Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Barbara Cook), Outstanding Set Design (Beowulf Boritt) and Outstanding Lighting Design (Ken Billington), one Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Musical and two Drama League nominations for Distinguished Performance (Barbara Cook & Vanessa Williams).
Special funding for this recording has been provided by The Shen Family Foundation, HRH Foundation, The Benjamin M. Rosen Family Foundation, Peter and Leni May, Daryl Roth Productions, Barry Diller, Perry and Marty Granoff Foundation and R. Martin Chavez.
The album will be produced by PS Classics co-founder, Tommy Krasker, who has 12 Sondheim cast albums to his credit, including the current Broadway production of A Little Night Music, and Roundabout Theatre Company's productions of Assassins and Pacific Overtures. PS Classics co-founder Philip Chaffin, Sean Patrick Flahaven, and Alan D. Marks and Stephen Moore, of The Marks-Moore Group, will serve as executive producers.
PS Classics, devoted to the heritage of Broadway and the American popular song, has preserved many Sondheim productions on disc including Company, The Frogs, Road Show and Sunday in the Park With George.
Founded in 2000 by Tommy Krasker & Philip Chaffin, PS Classics is a four-time Grammy nominee for its cast albums of Assassins, Nine: The Musical, Grey Gardens and Company. Its catalog includes award-winning cast recordings; solo albums by such artists as Maureen McGovern, Victoria Clark, Jessica Molaskey and Christine Andreas; and recordings drawn from rare sound archives, including "Sondheim Sings." Its most recent releases include solo albums by Liz Callaway, Rebecca Luker and Kate Baldwin, and cast albums of Finian's Rainbow and A Little Night Music. Visit www.psclassics.com.
For tickets to Sondheim on Sondheim, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.