PHOTO CALL: Sutton Foster and the Company of Violet Head Into the Recording Studio

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08 Apr 2014

The Broadway cast of the Jeanine Tesori-Brian Crawley musical Violet, including Sutton Foster, Colin Donnell and Joshua Henry, headed to the recording studio April 7 to record a new two-disc PS Classics cast album.



The recording will be produced by PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker, who previously helmed Grammy-nominated cast albums of Roundabout Theatre Company productions of Nine, Assassins and Sondheim on Sondheim. This album, which marks the sixth collaboration between Roundabout Theatre Company and PS Classics, is made possible in part through the generosity of Elizabeth Armstrong and Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino.



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Emerson Steele, Joshua Henry and Sutton Foster
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The Broadway cast album of Violet will be released June 3. 

Violet was first produced at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons in 1997 and was preserved on a single disc. The new PS Classics album will preserve additional, previously unrecorded material.

Reached for comment, Krasker told Playbill.com, "Philip [Chaffin, co-founder of PS Classics] and I saw the last run-through at the rehearsal space: no sets, no costumes, no orchestra — just cast and script and score, and by the end, I found myself in tears. It was as if the show could have been written for this cast; they were so brilliant. And I confess, I'd forgotten how expansive and accomplished Jeanine and Brian's score is: it's this marvel that weaves in and out of the script, this rich and complex and alluring musical journey. When I sat down to work on a recording edition, I kept feeling that the cuts I'd have to make to squeeze it onto one disc would undermine what the show actually was — much the way I felt doing Passion last year. I'd be cutting a whole lot of material that I loved. So we're delighted to be able to preserve this work — and this phenomenal cast, so many of whom we've worked with multiple times — in a two-disc set."

The album is currently available for pre-order at PSClassics.com.

Violet, which features music by Tesori and book and lyrics by Crawley, is based on Doris Betts' story about a disfigured woman's journey to visit a faith healer she hopes will make her beautiful. The Broadway production is based on a one-night concert presentation, which was staged as part of the inaugural season of Encores! Off-Center, which is dedicated to revisiting Off-Broadway productions. Tesori is the artistic director.

Directed by Leigh SilvermanViolet will officially open April 20 at the American Airlines Theatre.

The production stars two-time Tony winner Foster, who has starred on Broadway in Anything Goes, Shrek the Musical, Young Frankenstein, Little Women, The Drowsy Chaperone and Thoroughly Modern Millie, in the title role. Her TV work has included "Bunheads," "Psych" and "Flight of the Conchords."

Joining Foster are Donnell and Tony Award nominee Henry. 

Donnell, whose stage credits include Anything GoesJersey Boys and Love's Labour's Lost, plays Monty. Henry returns to the role of Flick, which he played in the 2013 New York City Center Encores! Off-Center production of Violet. Henry's stage work also includes The Scottsboro Boys, Porgy and Bess and American Idiot.

The cast also includes Alexander Gemignani (Les Misérables, Sweeney Todd) as Father, Ben Davis (A Little Night Music, Anna Nicole the Opera) as Preacher, Annie Golden ("Orange Is The New Black," Assassins) as Hotel Singer/Old Lady and Emerson Steele (A Christmas Carol, Annie) as Young Violet.

The ensemble includes Austin Lesch (Billy Elliot, Altar Boyz), Anastacia McCleskey (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Hair), Charlie Pollock (Urinetown, 9 to 5) and Rema Webb (The Book of Mormon, The Lion King). Jacob Keith Watson and Virginia Ann Woodruff (The Color Purple, Leap of Faith) are swings. 

"Violet tells the story of a young woman’s quest for beauty amidst the image-obsessed landscape of the 1960s," according to the Roundabout. "Facially disfigured in a childhood accident, Violet (Foster) dreams of a miraculous transformation through the power of faith. Convinced that a televangelist in Oklahoma can heal her, she hops a Greyhound bus and starts the journey of a lifetime. Along the way, Violet forms unlikely friendships with her fellow riders, who teach her about beauty, love, courage and what it means to be an outsider."

Violet features choreography by Jeffrey Page and original orchestrations by Joseph Joubert and Buryl Red. Michael Rafter is music director.

The creative team includes David Zinn (sets), Clint Ramos (costumes), Mark Barton (lights) and Leon Rothenberg (sound).

Tickets and more information are available by calling (212) 719-1300 or visiting roundabouttheatre.org

 

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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 Far From Heaven, Philip Chaffin's Dorothy Fields Album "Somethin' Real Special" , 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. Recent albums include the cast recordings of Fun Home and Yank!