This new recording, which is based on the well-reviewed City Center Encores! Off-Center staging, preserves the entire show from beginning to end, including more than 15 minutes of previously unrecorded music. The Encores! version incorporated several rewrites by Finn and Lapine.
"And They're Off" is sung by Broadway, film and TV star Jonathan Groff in the lead role of a promising young composer faced with a life-threatening brain disorder. Joined by the entire company, Groff sings of a childhood shaped by a gambling father who abandons the family. The orchestrations are by Michael Starobin with vocal arrangements by Jason Robert Brown and Ted Sperling.
"When we saw the show last June, we were incredibly moved, not only by the amazing performances but also by the revisions Bill and James had made, which made the piece seem more powerful than ever," PS Classics co-founder Philip Chaffin told Playbill.com. "The opportunity to record it, from start to finish, and release it in a two-disc set, was irresistible. And I have to say, the company was truly one of the nicest and most accommodating we’ve ever worked with: folks had moved on to other projects – shows and readings and TV pilots – and they worked hard to make themselves available. The result is really a tribute to their efforts."
The cast featured Groff (Hamilton, Spring Awakening) as a promising young composer struck down by illness alongside Fogler (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Gasteyer ("Saturday Night Live") and Lazar (A Little Night Music, The Light in the Piazza). The cast also included Jenni Barber, Quentin Earl Darrington, Bradley Dean, Josh Lamon, Alyse Alan Louis and Rema Webb.
Also featured on the album is Christian Borle (filling in for Dan Fogler, who was filming in London at the time of the recording).
Broadway producer and New York City Center board co-chair Stacey Mindich is funding the recording.
Track listing follows:
Prologue: Frogs Have So Much Spring ("The Spring Song")
Prologue: 911 Emergency/I Have So Many Songs
Heart and Music
Mother's Gonna Make Things Fine
Trouble in His Brain
Be Polite to Everyone
I'd Rather Be Sailing
Gordo's Law of Genetics
And They're Off
Poor, Unsuccessful and Fat
Sitting Becalmed in the Lee of Cuttyhunk
An Invitation to Sleep in My Arms
In the Middle of the Room (Part 1)
Throw It Out
In the Middle of the Room (Part 2)
A Really Lousy Day in the Universe
The Music Still Plays On
Don't Give In
You Boys Are Gonna Get Me in Such Trouble
I'd Rather Be Sailing (reprise)
The Homeless Lady's Revenge
Time and Music
I Feel So Much Spring