Musical theatre workshops and productions

Blog 25 – Original cast recordings

birdI remember preparing for my audition for Dr. Sedgwick in IT’S A BIRD, IT’S A PLANE, IT’S SUPERMAN. I ran all over Milwaukee trying to find a copy of the original cast recording of the Broadway show. (There was no internet back then.) I just had to hear what this character sounded like before I went into the audition.

Tomorrow, we go into the studio to record two songs from our new musical NUMBERS N3RDS.  We are all very excited.  And as I was making the arrangements, I started to think a lot about Original cast recordings.

  • Perhaps the most exciting documentary about the making of a cast recording is the one done on the original COMPANY. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVf78joLfSg (this is part one of six) It shows an amazing backstory to how some of these albums come about.  You’ll see Stephen Sondheim discussing her big number with Elaine Stritch (wearing no makeup!).  And you’ll see the entire cast working their butts off to get it right.
  • Cast albums used to be recorded in ONE day – a Monday – because this was the only day the actors had off. Now, they are recorded over time.
  • The biggest selling Broadway cast album is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s PHANTOM OF THE OPERA with over 13 million sold.
  • Check out https://www.footlight.com/rare.cfm?cat_id=19 for a list of rare Broadway cast recordings – shows like COLETTE, NEFERTITI and SHE’S A GOOD FELLOW – do these shows ring a bell?
  • It is estimated that these recordings cost about $400,000 to make and it takes about 150,000 sales to break even.
  • http://castalbums.org/ a great place to find what you are looking for.

recordingLastly, here is a great example of what goes on in the studio when making the recording, from the newest FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.  Enjoy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PbgHko34Tg

Oh yeah….I forgot to tell you….I got the part of Dr. Sedgwick…thanks to the album that I found in a small record store in a distant mall outside of Milwaukee.  Did I tell you we are going to record two songs tomorrow from our new musical NUMBERS N3RDS – stay tuned…..

Larry Little

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