Broadway Records digitally releases an original cast album of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's new musical Knoxville October 21, with a physical release set to follow November 11. With a book and direction by Ahrens and Flaherty's Ragtime collaborator Frank Galati, the new musical played a world premiere engagement at Asolo Rep earlier this year. Watch the cast recording the score above, and get a first listen to a track from the release below.
Based on James Agee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiographical novel A Death in the Family, the show chronicles Agee's struggle to write about the gripping loss of his father and its effect on his and his mother's life. Ahrens penned lyrics to Flaherty's music for the score.
The album will feature the cast from the world premiere run, led by Jason Danieley, Hannah Elless, and Paul Alexander Nolan as novelist James Agee, Mary Follet, and Jay Follett (respectively). Also reprising their performances on the album are Ellen Harvey as Hannah Lynch, Nathan Salstone as Andrew Lynch, Sarah Aili as Sally Follet, Natalie Venetia Belcon as Jessie, Dwelvan David as The Ferryman/Doctor Dekalb, Jack Casey as Rufus Follet, Barbara Marineau as Catherine, William Parry as Joel, Abigail Stephenson as Victoria, Joel Waggoner as Ralph Follet, and Scott Wakefield as Man at the Scene.
Ahrens, Flaherty, and Galati previously collaborated on Broadway's Ragtime, an epic stage musical adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's novel tracking an upper-class white family in Westchester, a courageous Harlem pianist, and an enterprising Jewish immigrant at the turn of the century. Ahrens and Flaherty earned a 1998 Tony Award for their score to the work and Galati received a nomination for his direction of the production.
Meeting in the BMI Workshop in 1982, Ahrens and Flaherty's long collaboration had produced the musicals Lucky Stiff, Once On This Island, My Favorite Year, Ragtime, Seussical, A Man of No Importance, Dessa Rose, The Glorious Ones, Rocky the Musical, Marie, Dancing Still; and Anastasia. Their Man of No Importance, written with Ragtime book writer Terrence McNally, is currently being revived with an extended production Off-Broadway by Classic Stage Company.