CD Roundup

by Marilyn Lester

New and Noteworthy Recordings

• All the Girls with star Broadway vocalists Rebecca Luker and Sally Wilfert is available from PS Classics on Friday, December 25 in digital and streaming formats and a. a CD on Friday, January 15, 2021. Adapted from the stage show of the same name, and building on their “real life” friendship, the pair have recorded a celebration of womanhood in all its complexities and expressions. The 15 tracks on the album include works by Stephen Sondheim, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Fred Ebb & John Kander, plus a medley from musicals featuring female duets.

• An original concept album of Starry, the new musical by Matt Dahan and Kelly Lynne D’Angelo, has been re-released with new songs by Broadway Records, available in physical and digital format. Starry is based on the thousands of letters between the painter Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo van Gogh, and their journey together to find the power of artistic expression. Set to a modernized pop-rock score, the new edition of the album features never-before heard demos of songs not featured on the original album, performed by Dahan and D’Angelo. Performers on Starry include Jeff Blim, Jaime Lyn Beatty, Mariah Rose Faith, Natalie Llerena, Natalie Masini, Michael Minto, Joe Viba, Clayton Snyder, Dylan Saunder and Huck Walton.

• Broadway Records has also released the digital album of Estella Scrooge: a Christmas Carol with a Twist, a new virtual holiday musical that blends theatre, film and animation, starring Betsy Wolfe, Clifton Duncan, Patrick Page, Carolee Carmello and Danny Burstein. The virtual presentation was planned and digitally captured entirely during the pandemic, utilizing cutting-edge technology. The fully-realized production was filmed using green screen while employing strict social distancing practices, with hundreds of images, animations and digital environments blended in post-production with the footage of the actors. Estella Scrooge features a book by Tony Award winner John Caird (Les Misérables, Nicholas Nickleby) and Tony Award nominee Paul Gordon (Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice), and music and lyrics by Gordon, with direction by Caird. To view the production, visit EstellaScrooge.com.

• The 10th anniversary re-release of The Trumpet of the Swan by PS Classics, celebrates the collaboration between Marsha Norman, the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright (The Color Purple, ’night Mother), and Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Bridges of Madison County). The Trumpet of the Swan, previously available only as a full-album download, is now available at streaming sites as well, and for purchase and streaming of individual tracks. Based on E. B. White’s children’s novel, The Trumpet of the Swan is about Louis, the young swan born without a voice, who––with the help of his courageous father and a loyal boy named Sam––overcomes his adversities, learns to write and play the trumpet, and finds fame, fortune and true love in the big world. Featured are an all-star cast headed by John Lithgow, Kathy Bates, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Mandy Moore, James Naughton and Martin Short. The album was conducted by Jason Robert Brown, and orchestrated by Sam Davis.

Legacy, a collection of two previously unheard song cycles by the award-winning composing duo Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, has been released by Broadway Records, featuring Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Sarah Uriarte Berry and Steven Pasquale. These demos, recorded 16 years ago, have been enhanced and remastered. The album is available on CD from BroadwayRecords.com and digitally from all major digital retailers. The first song cycle, “1859: A Farmer’s Diary,” is based on excerpts from the diary of a farmer in upstate New York, which he wrote over the course of one year, revealing the joys and sorrows of an unpredictable life. The second song cycle, “A Boy with a Camera,” was inspired by photographs taken in the 1940s and 1950s by Ahrens’s father.

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