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The Frogs [Original Broadway Cast]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/25/2005
  • Label: P.S. Classics
  • UPC: 803607052522
  • Catalog Number: 525
  • Sales rank: 151,360

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Original Broadway Cast Primary Artist, Indexed Contributor
John Beal Bass
Paul Gemignani Conductor, Musical Direction
Marilyn Reynolds Concert Mistress
Les 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
Joe Lambert Mastering
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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