Cast Albums Blog

Month Archive:  March 2015

REVIEW: Tamar of the River - Original Cast Recording

Recording Cover

Frequently, “new musical theatre” conjures up images of a pop/rock-influenced score, or a pastiche show emulating the music of an earlier, perhaps more prosperous time on Broadway. Adventurous and risk-taking scores are more rare. Tamar of the River is one of those unique scores that successfully goes beyond the boundaries of Times Square -- and beyond the boundaries of Western cultures -- for its influences. Marisa Michelson and Joshua H. Cohen have written a beautiful score that pulls from a wealth of different traditions. The 2014 world premiere recording gives us the opportunity to experience this short-lived off-Broadway show. It is challenging yet accessible; unified and whole, but with clear elements. The final effort shows off a fresh approach to musical theatre, inspiring to listeners even after several listens.

REVIEW: Christine Pedi's GOOD TO MAMA

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Any musical theater lover out there worth his or her salt is sure to know multi-talented singer/actress/comedian Christine Pedi from her many years in the Forbidden Broadway franchise where she hilariously impersonated such legends from Elaine Stritch to Liza Minnelli. Her wonderfully over-the-top caricatures made her a true MVP in Forbidden Broadway’s many incarnations, but for some of us, the question remained: just who was the real Christine Pedi behind all those voices?

REVIEW: The Fortress of Solitude - Original Cast Recording

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I've had The Fortress of Solitude cast album on my phone for a week and I can't stop listening to it. Michael Friedman has given us one of those scores that offers new delights on each visit, brought to life through fantastic performances by Adam Chanler-Berat, Kyle Beltran, Kevin Mambo, André De Shields, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and the rest of the cast.

REVIEW: On the Town - New Broadway Cast Recording

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Holding the new 2014 Broadway cast recording of the 1944 musical On the Town in your hands, the first thing you notice is just how weighty it is. Two discs and a substantial booklet with lyrics, short essays, and eye-popping photos from the stage production, all enveloped in a handsomely designed sleeve. This isn’t just another cast recording, but a classic of the American musical theater made tangible.

REVIEW: Side Show - 2014 Broadway Revival Cast

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For those of us who grew up with the 1997 original cast recording of the cult musical Side Show, the rich score by Henry Krieger and Bill Russell combined with the Tony-nominated performances of Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner left us wondering how this fascinating show about real-life Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton could have failed. Now, seventeen years later, Side Show has been reborn and rethought for a new generation under the watchful direction of film director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls). While this revival played as short a run on Broadway as did its original incarnation—perhaps Siamese twins just can’t find an audience—the winning musicality of this new cast recording reinforces just why this show has so many adoring fans.