Catered Affair [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

A Catered Affair [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

     
 
A Catered Affair began life as a TV play written by Paddy Chayefsky in his kitchen-sink drama style, telling the story of a Bronx taxi driver's wife who wants to stage a big wedding for her daughter that the family can't really afford. Gore Vidal wrote the screenplay for a 1956 movie version starring Bette Davis, and Harvey Fierstein has scripted the musical

Overview

A Catered Affair began life as a TV play written by Paddy Chayefsky in his kitchen-sink drama style, telling the story of a Bronx taxi driver's wife who wants to stage a big wedding for her daughter that the family can't really afford. Gore Vidal wrote the screenplay for a 1956 movie version starring Bette Davis, and Harvey Fierstein has scripted the musical adaptation with songs by John Bucchino. Fierstein, the author of several gay-oriented stage works (notably the book for La Cage aux Folles) and an accomplished Broadway actor (he played the mother in Hairspray), has gone even deeper into realism than Chayefsky or Vidal dared in the '50s, turning the live-in brother of the wife, a "confirmed bachelor," into the closeted gay man he could not be on TV or in the movies 50 years earlier. Fierstein also plays the part himself, singing in his gruff bass voice. The brother, Winston, is put out because, at least initially, he is not to be invited to the wedding, and he takes his revenge in "Immediate Family," the show's wittiest song and one that perks the score up considerably. Bucchino, in keeping with the small scale of the work, uses a chamber orchestra of only nine musicians and creates modest musical settings in which the various characters get to express their feelings. His lyrics have a touch of Stephen Sondheim in their frankness, but not much sparkle. In the '50s, the wonder of the kitchen-sink style was that it seemed to be elevating the lives of ordinary people into the realm of serious drama. A musical further heightens the experiences of these housewives and working people, but also exposes their dreariness. Despite the best efforts of Fierstein, Faith Prince as the wife, and Tom Wopat as the husband, A Catered Affair as a musical doesn't really take off. Its flaws are somewhat hidden on the cast album, however, since the problem of its small scale in a Broadway house doesn't come in. The show probably didn't belong on Broadway (where it didn't stay long), though fans of more serious theatrical flare might appreciate it in another forum.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/27/2008
Label:
P.S. Classics
UPC:
0803607086428
catalogNumber:
864
Rank:
289643

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tom Wopat   Vocals
Neil Balm   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Kenneth Burward-Hoy   Viola
Jimmy Ercole   Woodwind
Faith Prince   Vocals
Dean Witten   Percussion
John Arbo   Bass
Dale Stuckenbruck   Concert Master
Philip Hoffman   Vocals
Harvey Fierstein   Vocals
Don McGeen   Woodwind
Kristine Zbornik   Vocals
Susannah Chapman   Cello
Heather MacRae   Vocals
Ethyl Will   Piano
Lori Wilner   Vocals
Matt Cavenaugh   Vocals
Donald McGeen   Woodwind
Liz Lim-Dutton   Violin
Kitsopoulos   Conductor
Leslie Kritzer   Vocals

Technical Credits

John Bucchino   Composer,Lyricist
Philip Chaffin   Executive Producer,Art Direction
Jim Cox   Production Photography
Tommy Krasker   Producer,Executive Producer
Tom Lazarus   Engineer
Jonathan Tunick   Orchestration
Harvey Fierstein   Liner Notes,Book
Bart Migal   Engineer
Clifton Guterman   Editorial Coordinator
Penny Daulton   Company Manager
Charles Pyle   Cover Illustration
Jesse Green   Liner Notes

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