Playbill is proud to announce the inaugural release of its record label, Playbill Recordings, with The Phantom of the Opera, a new version of the classic story, originally presented by Theatreworks USA.
With music and lyrics by David Spencer, book by Rob Barron, the musical tells the familiar Gaston Leroux story of the masked musical genius who emerges from his catacomb beneath the Paris Opera to mesmerize an exquisite young soprano. But this new version, geared to younger audiences as is Theatreworks' policy, springs several unexpected twists along the way.
The 27-track recording can be ordered by calling (800) 533-4330. It's also available in New York area record stores including Footlight Records and the uptown Tower Records, and will arrive at HMV and other NY-area stores shortly. The recording costs $11.95 for CD, $12.95 for cassette, plus a shipping and handling charge for those who order by phone, credit cards only. There is a discount for members of the Playbill On-Line Club.
Hailed by The New York Times as "a juicy ghost story, with lilting music," the score is sung by Benjamin A. Damiano as the Phantom, Marni Raab as Christine, Heidi Anderson as Carlotta, Joyce A. Presutti as Mme. Giry, Brian Robinson as M. Richard and Andrew Sgroi as Gaston.
The musical debuted April 15, 1996 at Town Hall Theatre in New York. The cast on the CD was first heard March 15, 1997 at the Promenade Theatre in New York. Spencer wrote lyrics to two scores by Alan Menken: Weird Romance and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. He's currently writing music and lyrics to The Fabulist with a book by Stephen Witkin. Spencer also runs the AisleSay website.
Playbill Recordings is designed to showcase up-and-coming theatre composers, to re-release out-of-print cast albums, and to showcase the best of individual theatre performers. This is Playbill Recordings' first release.