Laura Osnes' Maury Yeston Evening Gets Recording; December Songs Among Repertoire

By Kenneth Jones
February 22, 2013

PS Classics will record and release "Laura Osnes Sings Maury Yeston," drawing from the Tony Award-nominated actress' November 2012 turn at the cabaret 54 Below. This is the second solo disc by the star, who is now on Broadway in the title role of Cinderella.



Mirroring the 54 Below show, the studio disc will feature Yeston's song-cycle December Songs as well as "a generous sampling of his musical theatre work," according to the label dedicated to the heritage of Broadway and American popular song. Read the earlier Playbill item about the Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 2012, 54 Below engagement. Osnes, music director and pianist Fred Lassen, and the full band from the 54 Below engagement — Eric Davis on guitar, Peter Donovan on bass, Harry Hassell on winds, Peter Sachon on cello — will reunite in a New York studio in mid-April. The disc will be produced by PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker, whose association with Yeston began on the original production of Nine in 1982. Krasker told Playbill.com the recording will be released June 4.

The album is currently available for preorder at the label's website, psclassics.com. Visit playbillstore.com to view other theatre-related recordings.

Yeston, the Tony Award-winning composer of Nine: The Musical, Grand Hotel, Titanic, Phantom and Death Takes a Holiday, told Playbill.com, "I've been waiting almost 30 years to find a brilliant soloist who'd devote a whole album to my work, and I feel like I've found a perfect match with Laura. It was actually after Rebecca Luker's thrilling evening of Kern at 54 Below that Phil Bond, who supervises their presentations, suggested to me that Laura would be the ideal headliner for a show devoted to my songs. I could not have agreed more — in fact, I leaped at the idea — and I was blown away by the resulting performances. I think it was after the first sound check that I called Tommy and said, 'You have to get down here, and then you have to record this!'"

Krasker told Playbill.com, "We're expanding the repertoire a bit from the live show, as we don't have the time constraints of the concert. Maury has written so many brilliant songs over the years that still have never seen the light of day; this has been a wonderful opportunity for him to dig back into his trunk, come up with a half-dozen songs that he particularly loves, that seem best suited to Laura, and then let Laura and Fred decide which ones they'd like to premiere here. It's going to be a very rich album."

Osnes was nominated for a Tony Award for her last appearance on Broadway in Bonnie and Clyde, which she also performed at Asolo Repertory Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award - Outstanding Lead Female Performance in a Musical). Recent New York/Broadway theatre credits include Pipe Dream at Encores! (which was recorded), a one night only concert of The Sound of Music at Carnegie Hall, the Tony-winning revival of Anything Goes (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Astaire Award nominations), Lincoln Center Theater's South Pacific and (her Broadway debut) the most recent revival of Grease.

She made her cabaret debut at the Café Carlyle which resulted in her first solo CD, "Dream A Little Dream: Live at the Carlyle."

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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 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 2012 Encores! Recording of Merrily We Roll Along. Upcoming releases include the revue "Noel and Cole," due in stores on Feb. 26 (hear a clip from it here, in an earlier Playbill.com story).