To celebrate Sheldon Harnick’s 96th birthday producer, Arnold Mittelman and the National Jewish Theater Foundation, in conjunction with Jay Records, are offering a free audio stream of the cast recording of Rothschild & Sons, the re-imagined The Rothschilds musical.
The show, revised by original book writer Sherman Yellen and lyricist Harnick, had a limited run Off-Broadway at the York Theatre Company in 2015. Directed by Jeffrey B. Moss, the production starred Robert Cuccioli and Glory Crampton, who can be heard on the cast album.
“It was a great honor to present the New York and London sold-out runs but an even greater honor to work directly with our genius lyricist, the legendary Sheldon Harnick. We are proud to share this 'listening gift' made possible by his incredible creative contribution. Sheldon, inspired by his long-time collaborator composer Jerry Bock and librettist Sherman Yellen, created a universal tribute to Jewish and family identity. Its message is timeless and remarkably relevant in understanding today’s challenging world,” said Mittelman, president of the National Jewish Theater Foundation, in a statement.
Rothschild & Sons is based on the Tony-nominated The Rothschilds, about a dynasty of German-Jewish financiers, which opened on Broadway in 1970. The more intimate, one-act retelling features several songs not included in the original, with new lyrics by Harnick. (Composer Bock passed away in 2010.) A story of human rights and triumph, the new work focuses on the relationships between the patriarch of the family, Mayer Rothschild (Cuccioli), his wife Gutele (Crampton), and their five sons, living as Jews in a German ghetto.
With composer Jerry Bock, Harnick created such classic Broadway musicals as Fiorello! (Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize), Fiddler on the Roof (two Tony Awards), and She Loves Me (Grammy), as well as Tenderloin, The Rothschilds, The Apple Tree, and The Body Beautiful. With wife Margery Gray and son Matthew, the 95-year-old writer is also the author of Koi: A Modern Folktale, featuring photographs by Matthew and Margery Gray and narrative by Sheldon.