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Frogs [Original Broadway Cast]
     

The Frogs [Original Broadway Cast]

by Original London Cast
 
In his seventies, Broadway songwriter Stephen Sondheim's production of entire new shows may have slowed (only Bounce, which closed out of town in 2003, appeared after 1994's Passion), but the remounting of his earlier works became a torrent in the spring and summer 2004, when the Broadway-affiliated Roundabout Theatre revived both Assassins and

Overview

In his seventies, Broadway songwriter Stephen Sondheim's production of entire new shows may have slowed (only Bounce, which closed out of town in 2003, appeared after 1994's Passion), but the remounting of his earlier works became a torrent in the spring and summer 2004, when the Broadway-affiliated Roundabout Theatre revived both Assassins and Pacific Overtures and the Broadway-affiliated Lincoln Center Theater brought in a heavily revised version of The Frogs. Sondheim and librettist Burt Shevelove had collaborated on this adaptation of Aristophanes' 405 B.C. comedy for the Yale Drama School in 1974, when it was staged in a swimming pool. In 2001, Nathan Lane played the leading role of Dionysus in a studio cast recording that combined the short score with the four songs Sondheim wrote for a 1966 television musical, Evening Primrose. After that, Lane worked with Sondheim to expand The Frogs, adding to Shevelove's book as the composer wrote six new songs. The result opened on July 22, 2004, and played a limited run for Lincoln Center Theater's subscription audiences before closing on October 10. Two days later, the cast assembled for a recording produced by Tommy Krasker, who also had handled the 2001 album. While that version did theater fans the favor of preserving what then seemed like an archival work, this one reinvents The Frogs. The new material includes the hilarious "Dress Big," sung by Burke Moses with Lane, and the equally sidesplitting "Hades," sung by Peter Bartlett. "Invocation and Instructions to the Audience," an original number, has been refurbished; it now includes an admonition about cell phones. As Sondheim does with the music, Lane has sprinkled the dialogue with witty quotes from other sources. But as funny as The Frogs is, it also has a serious and timely message. By the end, when Dionysus has returned from Hades, the characters speak directly to the people of Athens, and it's clear the cast is speaking directly to the people of the U.S. in the audience. It isn't hard to understand that the implied message is that listeners should vote in the 2004 Presidential election, and vote against the incumbent. By the time the album was released in January 2005, five days after the Inauguration, it was too late for that message to be satisfied, but Sondheim, Shevelove, and Lane's The Frogs remained an entertaining and pointed cry for tolerance and peace.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2005
Label:
P.S. Classics
UPC:
0803607052522
catalogNumber:
525
Rank:
80730

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Original Cast Recording   Primary Artist
John Beal   Bass
Paul Gemignani   Conductor,Musical Direction
Marilyn Reynolds   Concert Mistress
Scott   Clarinet
Mineko Yajima   Violin
Nathan Lane   Vocals
Richard Brice   Viola
Dean Plank   Bass Trombone
Tom Sefcovic   Bassoon
David Lowenstein   Vocals
Thad Wheeler   Percussion
John Byner   Vocals
Paul Pizzuti   Percussion,Drums
Phil Granger   Trumpet
Dominic Derasse   Trumpet
Jennifer Hoult   Harp
Steve Wilson   Vocals
Roger Bart   Vocals
Rebecca Eichenberger   Vocals
Eric Weidman   Clarinet
Jay Brian Winnick   Vocals
Michael Siberry   Vocals
Burke Moses   Vocals
Michael Boschen   Trombone
Kathy Voytko   Vocals
Jessica Howard   Vocals
Tyler Hanes   Vocals
Deborah Sepe   Cello
Gili Sharett   Bassoon
Meg Gillentine   Vocals
Richard Clark   Trombone
Ryan L. Ball   Vocals
Rod Harrelson   Vocals
Thomas Sefcovic   Bassoon
Richard Clark   Trombone
Daniel Davis   Vocals
Peter Bartlett   Vocals
Pia C. Glenn   Vocals
Frogs Cast Ensemble   cast
Dominique Derasse   Trumpet
Paul Pizzutti   Percussion,Drums
Kenway Hon Wai K. Kua   Vocals
Francesca Harper   Vocals
Luke Longacre   Vocals
Bryn Dowling   Vocals
Annbritt duChateau   Piano,Grand Cassa
Naomi Kakuk   Vocals

Technical Credits

Stephen Sondheim   Composer,Lyricist
Philip Chaffin   Executive Producer
Tommy Krasker   Producer,Executive Producer,Audio Production
Tom Lazarus   Engineer,Engineering
Nathan Lane   Liner Notes,Adaptation,Text Adaptation
William Shakespeare   Text
Ira Weitzman   Liner Notes,Plot Synopsis
John Costa   Art Direction
Susan Stroman   Choreographer,Direction
Burt Shevelove   Adaptation,Text Adaptation
Jason Gaines   Editorial Coordinator
Bart Migal   Engineer
Aristophanes   Text
Wendy Wasserstein   Liner Notes
John Costa   Art Direction

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