PS Classics is the record label dedicated to the heritage of Broadway and American popular song. The label is branding its release as "A Jerome Kern Evening," which will be recorded Sept. 30, Oct. 1 and 2. The set will star the Merkin Hall concert's original cast — Tony Award nominee Kate Baldwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Tony nominee Rebecca Luker, Graham Rowat and Matthew Scott. PS Classics co-founder, the actor and recording artist Philip Chaffin, will be filling in for Colin Donnell, currently in Vancouver filming the TV series "Arrow."
"A Jerome Kern Evening" will be produced by PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker. Krasker told Playbill.com he anticipates a Nov. 27 street date; the recording is currently available for pre-order at the label's website, psclassics.com.
"A Jerome Kern Evening" was originally produced — under the title The Land Where the Good Songs Go — at Catholic University in November 2004, as part of the Excellence in Music Theater program. It was subsequently presented at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City in November 2010.
Fans of the songs of Kern (1885-1945), the composer who helped change the landscape of musical theatre with such musicals as Show Boat and Sweet Adeline, heard his music in a fresh context in the starry concert on Nov. 15, 2010.
Using the lyrics of more than a dozen of Kern's collaborators — including Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields and P.G. Wodehouse — the song cycle "weaves the stories of three couples how they meet, fall in love and face life's inevitable challenges," according to PS Classics. The result "sparkles with wit, tenderness, and warmth."
Music director David Loud provides new vocal arrangements and orchestrations for more than 30 songs, including standards such as "A Fine Romance", "Long Ago (and Far Away)" "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "The Way You Look Tonight," as well as more obscure Kern tunes like "An Irish Husband," "Bill's a Liar," "We're Crooks," "The Subway Express," "Ain't It Funny...?" and "Never Marry a Girl."
The album was made possible by funding from David & Kim Savage.
Loud was the music director and vocal arranger of Broadway's The Scottsboro Boys. As conductor, music director and/or arranger, he has worked on Broadway's Sondheim on Sondheim, Curtains, A Class Act, The Boys From Syracuse, Steel Pier, She Loves Me and more. As a performer, he appeared as pianist Manny in Master Class with Zoe Caldwell, as Sasha in Curtains and as Ted in Merrily We Roll Along.
Founded in 2000 by Tommy Krasker & Philip Chaffin, and a six-time Grammy nominee (for its cast albums of Assassins, Nine: The Musical, Grey Gardens, Company, A Little Night Music and Sondheim on Sondheim), 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 Bye and Bye, Strike Up the Band 1930 and Kitty's Kisses. Recent releases include the 2012 Encores! recording of Merrily We Roll Along, the new Broadway cast album of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and its acclaimed studio cast recording of George Gershwin's earliest surviving score, Sweet Little Devil.