Brownstone: The Musical [Original Cast Recording]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The musical Brownstone, with music by Peter Larson and Josh Rubins, lyrics by Rubins, and a book by Larson, Rubins, and Andrew Cadiff, about a small apartment building in New York and five of its inhabitants, had two brief Off-Broadway productions in the 1980s, then largely languished until the Berkshire Theatre Festival mounted a new version in 2002 that seems to have inspired this first-ever recording, although only two of the performers, Liz Callaway and Kevin Reed, were featured in that production. That makes it a "studio cast" album, the other participants being Broadway veterans Brian d'Arcy James, Debbie Gravitte, and Rebecca Luker. (While the show lay fallow, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The musical Brownstone, with music by Peter Larson and Josh Rubins, lyrics by Rubins, and a book by Larson, Rubins, and Andrew Cadiff, about a small apartment building in New York and five of its inhabitants, had two brief Off-Broadway productions in the 1980s, then largely languished until the Berkshire Theatre Festival mounted a new version in 2002 that seems to have inspired this first-ever recording, although only two of the performers, Liz Callaway and Kevin Reed, were featured in that production. That makes it a "studio cast" album, the other participants being Broadway veterans Brian d'Arcy James, Debbie Gravitte, and Rebecca Luker. (While the show lay fallow, the melancholy ballad "Since You Stayed Here" earned covers by the likes of Dionne Warwick and Bette Midler.) Set in "the present day," the show explores urban apartment living among thirty-sometings including Mary (Luker) and Howard (James), a married couple, Stuart (Reed), newly arrived from Wisconsin, and two single women, Claudia (Callaway) and Joan (Gravitte), the latter of whom is involved in a long-distance relationship. Their issues include their relationships with each other, their hopes and fears, and, in a newly added song for 2002, the matter of cell phones and how, because of them, you can no longer easily identify the crazy people on the street (they might not be talking to themselves after all). The obvious antecedents for this sort of show are Stephen Sondheim's Company and Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire's Closer than Ever, and the songs are often in a similar vein. Callaway's "What Do People Do?," for instance, finds her character at loose ends without a date, and explores other (unsatisfactory) possibilities (reading? knitting?). Inevitably, the married couple is considering starting a family, but it's unusual that the funny "Baby on the Brain" is given to James, the husband, not Luker. The music is in familiar show tune style for the '80s, with the exception of "We Came Along Too Late," which locates the songwriters' hearts in the era of the Great American Songbook and intentionally sounds like something Fred Astaire could have danced to. The intention of the recording may have been to demonstrate to regional theaters that here is a smart, tuneful show with a small cast that could be ideal for a modest production. If so, that goal is reached with the disc.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/26/2003
  • Label: Original Cast Record
  • UPC: 741117605220
  • Catalog Number: 6052
  • Sales rank: 131,557

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Dennis Anderson Reeds
Glenn Drewes Trumpet
Joyce Hammann Violin
Peter Larson Piano, Conductor
Ray Marchica Drums
Carol Pool Violin
Roger Wendt French Horn
Liz Callaway Vocals
Ron Tierno Drums
Debbie Gravitte Vocals
Rebecca Luker Vocals
Mort Silver Reeds
Charles Pillow Reeds
Belinda Whitney Violin
Anik Oulianine Cello
Brian d'Arcy James Vocals
Kevin Reed Vocals
Ed Sterbenz Bass
Darryl Pelligrini Drums
Technical Credits
Peter Larson Composer, Producer, Book
Harold Wheeler Orchestration
Mark Wilder Mastering
Liz Callaway Contributor
Debbie Gravitte Contributor
Rebecca Luker Contributor
Bruce Yeko Producer, Executive Producer
Howard Kissel Author
Lance McVickar Engineer
Josh Rubins Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Book
Brian d'Arcy James Contributor
Kevin Reed Contributor
Andrew Cadiff Book
Ron Spivack Cover Design
Lance McVickard Engineering
Ron Spivak Cover Design
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