Broadway stars Marin Mazzie (Kiss Me, Kate), Christiane Noll (It Ain't Nothin' But the Blues), Bryan Batt (Saturday Night fever) and others sing merrily on a new holiday-themed CD, "A Survival Guide for Christmas," released Dec. 1.
The disc, on the Car-Jams Records label, features 23 Broadway performers singing 16 new or newly-arranged classics, including work by Ragtime songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and Grammy Award-winner Julie Gold ("From a Distance").
The disc includes Ahrens and Flaherty's "All Those Christmas Cliches" (sung by Noll); Gold's "Christmas Eve," newly written for the CD (sung by Mazzie); a naughty "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town," written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller of Smokey Joe's Cafe fame (sung by Batt, Maria Cominis and Sally Wilfert); a trio of "Amazing Grace," "Some Children See Him" and "Away in the Manger" (sung by Emily Skinner, Alice Ripley and Tim Shew); and songs both swinging and sacred, sung by Roger Bart (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown), Mary Testa (Marie Christine, On the Town), Heather Mac Rae (Falsettos), Danny Gurwin (A New Brain), Marc Kudisch (The Scarlet Pimpernel), LaChanze (Once on This Island), Ross Lehman (Epic Proportions), Sally Mayes (She Loves Me), Janet Metz, Marcus Neville, Casey Nicholaw, Karyn Quackenbush, Ric Ryder (The Jazz Singer), Jennifer Simard and Valerie Wright (Annie Get Your Gun).
"A Christmas Survival Guide" was conceived by actor-writers James Hindman (of Scarlet Pimpernel) and Ray Roderick (I Love You, You're Perfect...). John Glaudini is musical arranger. The trio created "I Love New York" at Manhattan's Rainbow and Stars nightspot.
-- By Kenneth Jones