By Adam Hetrick
12 Nov 2013
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.
The 32-track disc is accompanied by a 36-page full-color booklet complete with essay by Jesse Green, synopsis, full lyrics and production photographs.
Tony nominee Michael Greif (If/Then, Grey Gardens, Rent, Next to Normal) directed Far From Heaven, which ran Off-Broadway May 8-July 7 at Playwrights Horizons. The musical features orchestrations by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin (The Light in the Piazza, Grey Gardens) and musical direction by Lawrence Yurman.
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.
Lyricist Michael Korie told Playbill.com, "I knew I wanted an opening song that would establish a 'picture postcard' of the world Cathy Whitaker lives in – before the shadows start to encroach. I thought of that descriptive sub-genre of New England songs like 'Moonlight in Vermont' or the Judy Garland - Bing Crosby duet 'Connecticut,' and suggested the idea of a song called 'Autumn in Connecticut' to Scott. He thought about it and then wrote the music first. It sang to me and I wrote the words after."
Composer Scott Frankel continued, "This was one of the first set pieces we wrote. I knew that we needed something to establish time, mood and milieu, which Todd Haynes does so evocatively in the opening shots of the film. I also wanted to underline the fact that Cathy Whitaker has a special affinity for nature and the outdoors. This vibrant natural world stands in sharp contrast to the Whitakers' hermetically sealed suburban existence."
The complete track listing follows:
Autumn in Connecticut
Once Upon a Time
If It Hadn't Been
Mrs Magnatech (Reprise)
Sun and Shade
Table Talk II
Autumn In Connecticut (Reprise)
If It Hadn't Been (Reprise)
Once a Year
Cathy, I'm Your Friend
The Only One
If It Hadn't Been (Reprise)
Table Talk III
I Never Knew
Cathy, I'm Your Friend (Reprise)
Table Talk IV
A Picture in Your Mind
Heaven Knows / Act II Finale
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).
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."
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: