Far From Heaven Company, Featuring Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale, Records Cast Album July 12

By Adam Hetrick
July 12, 2013

Cast members from the Playwrights Horizons production of Far From Heaven, which features a score by Tony Award-nominated songwriters Michael Korie and Scott Frankel, reunite July 12 to record the world-premiere cast album of the intimate musical based on the Todd Haynes film.



A label and release date have not been announced for the album, which features the original Off-Broadway cast, including four-time Tony nominee Kelli O'Hara (South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza), Steven Pasquale (A Man of No Importance, Intelligent Homosexual's Guide) and Isaiah Johnson (Peter and the Starcatcher; The Merchant of Venice).

Grammy Award-winning record producer Steven Epstein (Once, The Light in the Piazza, Grey Gardens) is producing the album.

Korie and Frankel are the Tony Award-nominated songwriters of Grey Gardens. They are also at work on the new stage musical Finding Neverland. Far From Heaven has a book by Take Me Out Tony Award winner Richard Greenberg.

Tony nominee Michael Greif (Grey GardensRent, Next to Normal) directed Far From Heaven, which concluded its Off-Broadway run July 7. The stage production is based on Haynes' Academy Award-nominated 2002 film, which starred Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid and Dennis Haysbert.

"If I had ever entertained any ideas of doing pastiche-period songs, Richard Greenberg was not into that at all," Korie told Playbill.com in a 2012 interview about the project. "He took the stories completely seriously. So we went on the assumption that the music would take the place of the stylization and cinematography of the film. When we started writing songs, almost immediately that seemed to prove true. And when we did the first reading, the story just worked, and the music maybe even intensified it. It's a mostly-music musical — in a Rodgers and Hammerstein vein, where you take the characters seriously. You don't write genre cream-puff songs. You write from character."

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."

The cast also includes 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).

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 orchestrations by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin. Musical director was Lawrence Yurman; production stage manager was Judith Schoenfeld. Alex Sanchez choreographed.

 

View highlights from the production: