Everybody Rise! Company Cast Album Will Be Recorded Dec. 18-19

News   Everybody Rise! Company Cast Album Will Be Recorded Dec. 18-19
A new generation of Broadway cast album for Company, the 1970 Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical comedy, will be recorded Dec. 18-19 in Manhattan in a joint effort by the Nonesuch and PS Classics labels.
Raul Esparza in Company.
Raul Esparza in Company. Photo by Paul Kolnik

The unusual dual-label project will be produced by Grammy Award nominee Tommy Krasker, a frequent free-lance producer for Nonesuch who is respected for discs on PS Classics, the label he co-founded. This will be his 10th Sondheim cast album.

A release date of "early 2007" has been indicated.

This will be the third Broadway recording of the groundbreaking score by Sondheim, which is now freshly orchestrated by the current Broadway revival's music supervisor Mary-Mitchell Campbell. The production, directed by John Doyle, is populated by musician-actors who accompany themselves on instruments the same way Doyle's acclaimed troupe for the recent Sweeney Todd did. That show's Broadway's cast album, produced by Krasker for Nonesuch, was recently nominated for a Grammy Award.

For the new Company cast album, expect frisky pizzicato where there wasn't any before, a fresh thrumming bass line to introduce "Side by Side by Side," and a neurasthenic shot of muted trumpets that has been the tradition of past orchestrations (they were by Jonathan Tunick).

As the show is set in the cocktail party world of Manhattan, Campbell and Doyle employ the piano more prominently now than in the past (indeed a grand piano is center-stage at the Ethel Barrymore, where the Doyle staging opened Nov. 29 to enthusiastic reviews). Company examines the lives of a group of friends in New York City — five married couples, three single women, and one enigmatic, conflicted bachelor (Robert/Bobby, played by Raúl Esparza, who also plays piano) — as they celebrate Bobby's 35th birthday and deal with issues of romance, commitment, and friendship.

Rounding out the cast are Barbara Walsh (Joanne/orchestra bells, percussion), Keith Buterbaugh (Harry/trumpet, trombone), Matt Castle (Peter/piano, keyboards, double bass), Robert Cunningham (Paul/trumpet, drums), Angel Desai (Marta/keyboard, violin, alto sax), Kelly Jeanne Grant (Kathy/flute, alto sax), Kristin Huffman (Sarah/flute, alto sax, piccolo), Amy Justman (Susan/piano, keyboards, orchestra bells), Heather Laws (Amy/French horn, trumpet, flute), Leenya Rideout (Jenny/violin, guitar, double bass), Fred Rose (David/cello, alto sax, tenor sax), Bruce Sabath (Larry/clarinet, drums), and Elizabeth Stanley (April/oboe, tuba, alto sax).

An original 1970 cast album of the show was released (followed up by a second pressing featuring an overdubbed Larry Kert as Bobby) and the 1995 Roundabout Theatre Company staging also begat a cast album.

For more information, visit www.psclassics.com or www.nonesuch.com.

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