Once Cast Album Wins Grammy Award as Best Musical Theater Album
By Kenneth Jones
The Broadway cast recording of Once was named Best Musical Theater Album in the 2013 Grammy Awards on Feb. 10. The winner, among nominees that included Newsies, Follies, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and Nice Work If You Can Get It, was revealed Sunday afternoon in the pre-telecast of the 55th Annual Grammy Awards.
The primary Grammy Awards broadcast is 8-11 ET Feb. 10 on CBS-TV.
The cast album of Once: A New Musical was released on the Masterworks label. Its principal soloists (Grammy language) are Steve Kazee (already a Best Actor Tony Award winner for this) and Tomy nominee Cristin Milioti. The album's producers are Steven Epstein & music supervisor Martin Lowe (the latter responsible for the score's intricate, folky, evocative orchestrations). Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova are the composers/lyricists.
In the Musical Theater Album category, the PS Classics label was nominated twice — for recordings of the controversial (and crowd-pleasing) revised Broadway revival of Porgy and Bess, with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by DuBose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin; and composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim's score to Follies, revived on Broadway in fall 2011.
Both were released as two-disc packages in 2012. The latter recording is layered with dialogue from the show's libretto (by James Goldman), making it the deepest and perhaps most dramatically textured of the many Follies recordings on the market.
Once (inspired by the indie film of the same name) won the 2012 Tony Award as Best Musical. The stage score borrowed songs from the film, and interpolated several other numbers. As such, it was not eligible for a Best Score Tony.
Porgy and Bess — despite cut, musically rearranged or dramatically altered songs that outraged hardcore purists — won the 2012 Tony as Best Musical Revival, besting Follies.
The Gershwin brothers are also represented with the score to the newly constructed musical comedy Nice Work If You Can Get It, still running at the Imperial Theatre. It plunders the Gershwin song catalog, serving a new plot by Joe DiPietro.
Like Nice Work, Newsies and Once are still going strong on Broadway. The others have ended their limited engagements. A Porgy and Bess tour is planned.
Here are the Grammy nominees for Best Musical Theater Album:
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Nice Work If You Can Get It
In the category of Best Song Written For Visual Media, songwriters Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman (already Tony Award winners for Hairspray) were Grammy Award-nominated for the song "Let Me Be Your Star" from the musical TV series "Smash," sung in the show by Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty.
The Grammy Awards is a program of The Recording Acadeny, recognizing excellence in the recording industry.
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