Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just arrived from PS Classics..a forgotten 20's musical plus three Broadway divas!

Kitty's Kisses - 2009 Studio CastKitty's Kisses - 2009 Studio Cast

PS Classics continues its forgotten musicals series, which kicked off with Vincent Youmans' Through The Years (unfortunately no longer available) and Kay Swift's Fine & Dandy, with the world premiere recording of the 1926 bright new summer musical delight - Kitty's Kisses.

This tuneful charmer beguiled Broadway audiences in its day spawning several hit songs, but like so many musicals of its era, it faded unfairly into obscurity. The music is by Con Conrad, who took home the first Academy Award for Best Song (The Continental, in 1934); the lyrics are by Gus Kahn, whose standards include: It Had to Be You, I'll See You in My Dreams, and Makin' Whoopee and the book was co-authored by celebrated librettist Otto Harbach (Roberta, Desert Song, and No, No, Nanette!).

Now PS Classics has assembled Broadway's best musicians and an all-star cast including Rebecca Luker (The Secret Garden, Mary Poppins), Danny Burstein (South Pacific), Andréa Burns (In The Heights), Christopher Fitzgerald (Young Frankenstein), Victoria Clark (Light In The Piazza), Kate Baldwin (Finian's Rainbow), Malcolm Gets (The Story Of My Life) and PS Classics' own Philip Chaffin to bring this delightful Jazz Age hit vividly to life.

Rebecca Luker - Greenwich TimeRebecca Luker - Greenwich Time

With her new album, Greenwich Time, Broadway star Rebecca Luker (The Secret Garden, Show Boat, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, Nine) gives voice to the work of bold new songwriters while honoring a generation of musical theatre giants - including Jule Styne, John Kander and Maury Yeston - with some of their most deeply personal dramatic ballads.

Each song stands as a self-contained moment of intimacy, at turns comic, tender, and breathtaking, as in 'Summer With You,' the world premiere of the rare song with both music and lyrics by John Kander; the shattering 'Killing Time,' by Jule Styne & Carolyn Leigh; Paul Loesel & Scott Burkell's thrilling 'Ohio, 1904;' and Joseph Thalken & Marshall Barer's witty, sardonic 'Billions of Beautiful Boys.'

Greenwich Time's daring collection of songs celebrates the anticipation, joy, and wonderment of love, and Luker's shimmering, soaring soprano embraces every note.

Kate Baldwin - Let's See What HappensKate Baldwin - Let's See What Happens

For her starring role in the Broadway-bound Finian's Rainbow in the spring of 2009, actress-singer Kate Baldwin was hailed by The New York Times as 'a discovery ... her rich, pure soprano riding the crests of the melodies with ease.' The New York Post proclaimed the newcomer 'a real musical theater star,' while Playbill christened her 'our next, best, undiscovered musical comedy heroine.'

While critics were discovering Kate, the actress herself was rediscovering her love for the songs of Finian's Rainbow creators Burton Lane and E.Y. Harburg; when she embarked on her first solo disc, she decided to showcase the work of these legendary songwriters. The result, Let's See What Happens (music direction by Rob Berman, with a special appearance by Jonathan Tunick and His Broadway Moonlighters), is an auspicious debut album from one of Broadway's newest and brightest stars. Equally at home with the tender ease of 'How Are Things in Glocca Morra?' as she is with the swinging drive of 'Come Back to Me,' Kate mines the rich lyrics of the smoldering 'Paris Is a Lonely Town,' exudes romance and wit in the playful 'How About You?,' and brings down the house with the raucous, robust 'I Don't Think I'll End It All Today.'

The songs of Lane and Harburg seem custom-made for Kate's glorious voice.

Liz Callaway - Passage Of TimeLiz Callaway - Passage Of Time

Liz Callaway, who landed her first Broadway starring role at the age of 22 in the Maltby-Shire musical Baby, returns with her first solo album in eight years.

This new collection, which ranges from standards to contemporary fare, reveals an actress who has lived a rich life both on and off stage. Liz transforms classics like 'Something Wonderful' and 'Make Someone Happy' into personal songs of depth and perspective, then uncovers new meaning in Stephen Schwartz's 'I'm Not That Girl,' in which a young woman tastes the bitterness of unrequited love, by pairing it with John Bucchino's song of self-preservation 'Just Another Face.' Returning to Baby, she inhabits the quiet anguish of 'Patterns;' revisiting Cats, she offers up a definitive performance of 'Memory,' giving new life to the classic song.

In addition to songs from the stage, Callaway is joined by her sister, the accomplished jazz singer Ann Hampton Callaway, for Carly Simon's anthem to the distant thunder of married life, 'That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be.'

With this rewarding series of songs, Liz reveals herself not only as one of Broadway's timeless voices, but as an artist who continues to experience and celebrate the Passage of Time.

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