Shakespeare on the Sound's newly appointed artistic director Joanna Settle (9 Parts of Desire, Public Theater's In Darfur) commissioned the Tony-winning singer-songwriter and Passing Strange star to create songs for their al fresco production of the Shakespeare romance that played in Connecticut parks earlier this summer.
While the songs were penned for the cast of Midsummer, the 19-track studio album features incidental music, with several stand-alone songs featuring vocals by Stew, who also arranged the songs and plays guitar, mellotron and percussion. A nationwide in-store date for the album has not been announced.
The track listing for A Midsummer Night's Dream CD follows: "RockTheGround"
"Fairy Song pg15"
"Oberon Song 1"
"Fairy Lullaby pg26"
"06 Heart mellow mix"
"Oh How I"
"My music is there to serve Shake's work and Joanna's work and to support their profound magic," Stew said in a previous statement. "I'd like the audience to feel like this work is somehow relevant to their lives and not some fanciful bit of theatrical whimsy. I think this is what any artist wants an audience member to feel about their work: its relevance." Stew earned a 2008 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for his rock-fueled work Passing Strange. The singer-songwriter starred in the production and penned the score with collaborator Heidi Rodewald. The musical also earned the Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for Outstanding/Best Musical and garnered four Audelco Awards (including Best Musical Production of the Year). Stew has been commissioned by St. Ann's Warehouse to create the multimedia rock show Making It, which is set to premiere at the Brooklyn arts venue in February 2010.
To purchase the album, visit ShakespeareontheSound.