By Adam Hetrick
20 Sep 2013
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
As first reported by Playbill.com, the original Off-Broadway cast gathered July 12 to record the album, which is produced by 17-time Grammy Award-winning producer Steven Epstein (Once, The Light in the Piazza, Grey Gardens). PS Classics previously recorded Korie and Frankel's acclaimed Grey Gardens.
Korie and Frankel are the Tony Award-nominated songwriters of Grey Gardens. They are also at work on the new stage musical Finding Neverland.
"Michael Korie and I are enormously proud of the score to Far From Heaven and we're absolutely delighted that it has been recorded and will soon be available on CD and for download," Frankel told Playbill.com. "The masterful and memorable performances by Kelli, Steven and Isaiah – along with the entire company and orchestra – will now be preserved for the ages. And being reunited on disc with the legendary producer Steven Epstein, musical director Lawrence Yurman, orchestrator Bruce Coughlin, Playwrights Horizons and the PS Classics Label – feels like a Grey Gardens flashback of the best kind!"
Far From Heaven featured four-time Tony nominee O'Hara (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza) as Cathy Whitaker, Pasquale (The Bridges of Madison County, A Man of No Importance) as Frank Whitaker and Isaiah Johnson (Peter and the Starcatcher; The Merchant of Venice) as Raymond Deagan.
Tony nominee Michael Greif (Grey Gardens, Rent, Next to Normal) directed Far From Heaven, which ran Off-Broadway May 8-July 7. The stage production is based on Todd Haynes' Academy Award-nominated 2002 film, which starred Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert.
"If I had ever entertained any ideas of doing pastiche-period songs, Richard Greenberg was not into that at all," Korie told Playbill.com in a 2012 interview about the project. "He took the stories completely seriously. So we went on the assumption that the music would take the place of the stylization and cinematography of the film. When we started writing songs, almost immediately that seemed to prove true. And when we did the first reading, the story just worked, and the music maybe even intensified it. It's a mostly-music musical — in a Rodgers and Hammerstein vein, where you take the characters seriously. You don't write genre cream-puff songs. You write from character."
In the show, according to PH, "Cathy Whitaker (O'Hara) seems to be the picture-perfect wife and mother in 1957 suburban Connecticut. But roiling beneath the surface, secret longings and forbidden desires cause her world to unravel, with incendiary consequences. With a lush score that is both jazz-inflected and hauntingly lyrical, Far From Heaven is a powerful story of romance, betrayal and intolerance, as a woman grapples with her identity in a society on the verge of upheaval."
The cast also included J.B. Adams (Parade, Beauty & the Beast, Me & My Girl on Broadway; Annie Warbucks Off-Broadway; the film "Far From Heaven"), Marinda Anderson (From the Inside, Out at NY Fringe Festival; Freedom Train for TheatreWorks USA), Olivier Award nominee Nancy Anderson (Wonderful Town, A Class Act on Broadway; Kiss Me, Kate in London; Yank! Off-Broadway), Elainey Bass (Radio City Christmas Spectacular), Obie Award winner Quincy Tyler Bernstine (In the Next Room on Broadway; Ruined at MTC), Justin Scott Brown (Les Misérables, Spring Awakening national tours), Obie Award winner Alma Cuervo (PH's The Heidi Chronicles and Isn't It Romantic?; Titanic, Cabaret, Women on the Verge… on Broadway), Korey Jackson (Wild with Happy at The Public; "Homeland"), Jake Lucas (Newsies), James Moye (Million Dollar Quartet, Ragtime, White Christmas on Broadway; Happiness Off-Broadway), Julianna Rigoglioso (Pippi Longstocking Off-Broadway; Mary Poppins national tour), Sarah Jane Shanks (Wicked, Promises Promises, Shrek, Wonderful Town, The Apple Tree on Broadway), Tess Soltau (The Addams Family on Broadway; Into the Woods for The Public/Shakespeare in the Park), Mary Stout (Cather County at PH; Jane Eyre, Beauty & the Beast, Me & My Girl on Broadway) and Victor Wallace (Mamma Mia! on Broadway, Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera national tours).
Far From Heaven was commissioned, developed and produced through the Playwrights Horizons Musicals in Partnership Initiative, with leadership support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The musical had scenic design by Tony Award nominee Allen Moyer, costume design by five-time Tony Award winner Catherine Zuber, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, projection design by Peter Nigrini and production stage manager was Judith Schoenfeld. Alex Sanchez choreographed.
Founded in 2000 by Tommy Krasker & Philip Chaffin, and an eight-time Grammy nominee (for its cast albums of Assassins, Nine: The Musical, Grey Gardens, Company, A Little Night Music, Sondheim on Sondheim, Follies and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), PS Classics celebrates the heritage of Broadway and American popular song through award-winning cast recordings; solo albums by such artists as Maureen McGovern, Victoria Clark, Steven Pasquale, Liz Callaway and Christine Andreas; and restorations of long-lost musicals, including Sweet Little Devil, Sweet Bye and Bye and Strike Up the Band 1930. Recent releases include Rebecca Luker’s solo disc "I Got Love (Songs of Jerome Kern)," the world premiere recording of Anthony Rapp’s one-man show, Without You, and the revue Noel and Cole.
View highlights from the production: