The Roundabout Theatre Company production of the biographical show, conceived and directed by James Lapine to include many exclusive video sequences of composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim talking about his craft, ends its limited run at Studio 54 on June 27.
Preorders for the album are already being accepted at amazon.com and at psclassics.com.
Album producer and PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker told Playbill.com on June 23 that as a courtesy to the label's online customers, "many of whom have been buying directly from us for ten years now and really helped us stay afloat in those early years," PS Classics will be shipping three weeks ahead of street date to customers who purchase the discs directly from the label's website.
Although Amazon is already reporting a track listing, Krasker cautions that it's a "mock" track listing. "One of the more bizarre aspects of retail is that in order to set up a title, we have to provide a track listing three months prior to street date. But of course, on most cast albums — particularly expansive ones like Sondheim on Sondheim — the final track listing isn't solidified until the final stages of post-production. So we set up the title with a 'mock' track listing, which inevitably gets refined. Those who know us know we continue to refine and polish albums until the minute they ship to plant. As I recall, Joe Mantello and John Weidman and I decided to delete about five lines of dialogue from the Assassins recording even after the booklet had shipped to plant — so we had to pull the thing out of production!"
He added, "What I will say, at this time, is that the recording will include not just the superb performances from the show…but a good chunk of Sondheim's commentary. Finding the right balance between the two is the challenge in the weeks of post-production ahead, and that balance that will ultimately determine the final track listing. Sondheim on Sondheim is a unique experience on stage, and I think it's going to make a very special recording. Although the listener won't have the fun of 'seeing' Steve, of course, I think that even as an audio-only experience, it's going to be both entertaining and illuminating." *
The company of Sondheim on Sondheim, the unique Broadway musical that is part video biography and part revue, was in a Manhattan recording studio June 6-7.
The musical stars the Broadway legend Barbara Cook, a 2010 Tony Award nominee for her work, plus Sondheim on Sondheim stars Cook, Vanessa Williams, Tom Wopat, Leslie Kritzer, Norm Lewis, Euan Morton, Erin Mackey and Matthew Scott.
Sondheim on Sondheim, featuring more than 50 years of music and lyrics by the Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, began performances at Studio 54 on March 19, and opened officially on April 22.
Sondheim on Sondheim weaves new video interviews of Sondheim with performances of his songs — well-known tunes, fan favorites and obscure numbers. Audio versions of some of those interviews will be heard on the album.
"Through the use of exclusive interview footage, audiences get an inside look at Sondheim's personal life and artistic process," according to Roundabout notes. "A cast of Broadway's best, perform brand-new arrangements of over two dozen Sondheim tunes, ranging from the beloved to the obscure."
Sondheim on Sondheim was nominated for two Tony Awards including Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Barbara Cook) and Best Sound Design of a Musical (Dan Moses Schreier). The show also received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical Revue, four Outer Critics Circle nominations for Outstanding New Broadway Musical, Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Barbara Cook), Outstanding Set Design (Beowulf Boritt) and Outstanding Lighting Design (Ken Billington), one Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Musical and two Drama League nominations for Distinguished Performance (Barbara Cook & Vanessa Williams).
Krasker has 12 Sondheim cast albums to his credit, including the current Broadway production of A Little Night Music, and Roundabout Theatre Company's productions of Assassins and Pacific Overtures. PS Classics co-founder Philip Chaffin, Sean Patrick Flahaven, and Alan D. Marks and Stephen Moore, of The Marks-Moore Group, serve as executive producers of the Sondheim on Sondheim album.
PS Classics, devoted to the heritage of Broadway and the American popular song, has preserved many Sondheim productions on disc including Company, The Frogs, Road Show and Sunday in the Park With George. Its recordings drawn from rare sound archives include "Sondheim Sings."
Visit www.psclassics.com or www.roundabouttheatre.org.