PS Classics' Passion Off-Broadway Cast Recording Cracks Billboard Cast Album Chart

By Adam Hetrick
July 12, 2013

PS Classics' Off-Broadway cast recording of the Tony Award-winning musical Passion, which was released July 2 featuring Judy Kuhn, Ryan Silverman and Rebecca Luker, placed fifth on the Billboard Top Cast Album chart in its first week of release.



The expansive, two disc album came in behind the Broadway hits Wicked, Motown, Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon. The album also finished at #16 in Top Internet Sales.

"This is the best first week we've had for an Off-Broadway cast album since 2003, so we're pretty thrilled," PS Classics co-founder Philip Chaffin told Playbill.com. "Off-Broadway shows don't usually make this kind of showing - sort of evidenced by the fact that all the other cast albums on the chart are Broadway or West End productions - but I think it's a real tribute to how the Classic Stage production hit home for a lot of people, and the enduring power of the piece itself. I will say we've had dozens of emails to our site from customers saying how moved they were by the recording, so it does seem to have hit a nerve."

Read Playbill.com's review of the album here. 

The original Off-Broadway cast, with the addition of Tony Award nominee Luker, gathered May 18 to record the cast album of Classic Stage Company's acclaimed production that concluded its extended run in April.

Luker, a three-time Tony Award nominee for Mary Poppins, The Music Man and Show Boat, recorded the role of Clara on disc. Tony Award nominee Melissa Errico (High Society), who originated the role of Clara in the recent CSC revival, came down with bronchitis during the Off-Broadway run. Understudy Amy Justman assumed the role of Clara in her absence. Errico remained on vocal rest and was unable to participate in the recording.

Luker previously appeared in the Kennedy Center's 2002 revival of Passion, which also featured Tony Award nominee Kuhn (Chess, Les Misérables) as Fosca. Kuhn, who re-explored the role in the acclaimed Classic Stage Company revival of Passion this spring, is reunited with Luker on disc. The leading trio also features Silverman (The Phantom of the Opera) as Giorgio.

The album is the most expansive treatment of the Tony Award-winning 1994 musical to date. PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker previously told Playbill.com that the recording includes over 40 tracks on two discs.

The album is available by visiting PSClassics.com. The original Broadway cast recording is currently out of print in CD package format, though it's available digitally.

The track listing follows:

DISC ONE
1. Happiness
2. "Ah, Captain Bachetti..."
3. First Letter
4. "That's Signora Fosca playing..."
5. Second Letter
6. "Don't be alarmed..."
7. Third Letter
8. "Late for breakfast, Captain Bachetti..."
9. Fourth Letter
10. I Read
11. "Some flowers for your room..."
12. Transition ("How can I describe her?")
13. Garden Sequence
14. Transition ("All the time I watched from my room...")
15. Fifth Letter
16. "I hope we can still take hands..."
17. Three Weeks
18. "Signora Fosca has taken a turn for the worse..."
19. "I never thought you would come..."
20. I Wish I Could Forget You

DISC TWO
1. Soldiers' Gossip I
2. Flashback
3. Sunrise Letter
4. "Are you running away from me?"
5. Is This What You Call Love?
6. Soldiers' Gossip II
7. Nightmare
8. "She was dragging me down..."
9. Transition ("To feel a woman's touch...")
10. Forty Days
11. "How dare you follow me?!"
12. Loving You
13. Soldiers' Gossip III
14. Milan
15. "I'm only staying four days..."
16. Christmas Music
17. "Thank you for coming, Captain..."
18. Farewell Letter
19. "I discovered this letter at my cousin's bedside..."
20. No One Has Ever Loved Me
21. Duel
22. Finale

PS Classics co-founder Krasker has produced many Sondheim albums over the years, including Grammy-nominated cast recordings of Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Company, A Little Night Music, Sondheim on Sondheim and Follies

The Tony Award-winning 1994 musical, which features a libretto by James Lapine, was intimately staged by Tony Award winner John Doyle (Sweeney Todd, Company, Road Show). Passion began previews Feb. 8 and officially opened Feb. 28. Critics embraced Doyle's production.

The cast also included John Antony, Tony nominee Stephen Bogardus (Colonel Ricci), Jeffry Denman (Lieutenant Barri), Jason Michael Evans (Private Augenti), Amy Justman (understudy), Ken Krugman (Lieutenant Torasso), Orville Mendoza (Sergeant Lombardi), Tom Nelis (Doctor Tambourri) and Will Reynolds (Major Rizzoli/Ludovic).

Passion had musical direction by Rob Berman and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. It had costumes by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting by Jane Cox and sound by Dan Moses Schreier. Makeup design was by Angelina Avallone. Hair consultants were J. Jared Janas & Rob Greene. 

PS Classics discs and many other theatre recordings are also available at PlaybillStore.com.

View highlghts from Passion on Playbill Video: