Soft Power, which made its Off-Broadway debut at The Public Theater this past fall, will release a cast recording via Ghostlight Records for digital streaming and download April 17. Until then, watch as the company records the track "Democracy (Reprise)" in the video above.
Co-commissioned and co-produced with Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group, Soft Power features a book and lyrics by David Henry Hwang and music and additional lyrics by Jeanine Tesori.
The album features the performances of the complete Off-Broadway cast, led by Conrad Ricamora as Xuē Xíng, Francis Jue as DHH, and Alyse Alan Louis as Zoe and Hillary. Rounding out the company are Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei, Geena Quintos, Trevor Salter, Kyra Smith, Emily Stillings, Emily Trumble, and John Yi.
The work flips the script on Western-centric representations of foreign cultures, specifically commenting on the depiction of Siam in Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I. Partially autobiographical and inspired by events in Hwang's life, Soft Power centers on a Chinese-American playwright. After being stabbed on the street, he descends into an elaborate dream in which a Chinese theatrical producer travels to America and forges a powerful bond with then-Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The production was directed by Leigh Silverman, leading a creative team that included choreographer Sam Pinkleton, music supervisor Chris Fenwick, scenic designer Clint Ramos, costume designer Anita Yavich, lighting designer Mark Barton, sound designer Kai Harada, sound effects designer Bart Fasbender, video designer Bryce Cutler, and hair and makeup designer Tom Watson. Special effects were by Lillis Meeh, orchestrations by Danny Troob with additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy, dance arrangements by Clancy, and music contracting by Antoine Silverman.
Soft Power's original cast album will be produced by Beetlejuice and Moulin Rouge! music producer Matt Stine.
“The extraordinary beauty of Jeanine Tesori’s score and David Henry Hwang’s lyrics for Soft Power will now be preserved forever,” said Public Artistic Director Oskar Eustis earlier. “Soft Power is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and history-making show: this recording will not only save this amazing cast and orchestra, but it will be a thrilling map for what promises to be an exciting future for the show.”