Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome!
Welcome to MasterworksBroadway!
I’m Peter Filichia. I’ve been an original cast aficionado for quite some time. For those of you who share my passion for show albums – be they original cast, revival cast or even studio cast – this is the site for us.
While Masterworks Broadway doesn’t quite have an inventory of 1,776 original, revival, or studio cast albums, it does have quite a few. Right now, scores of scores are available, ranging from Ain’t Misbehavin’ to Zorba. So if you did miss Miss Liberty, that Irving Berlin show from 1949, here it is again. Links to www.amazon.com and www.iTunes.com make it easy to get — and you don’t have to be as rich as The Rothschilds to afford it.
Although the vast majority of the titles come from Broadway, the albums aren’t All-American; the London cast album of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is here, as is Notre Dame de Paris, and El Fantasma de la Opera — the Spanish-language version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biggest hit.
The Titanic news is that Masterworks Broadway will eventually be Movin’ Out to us all the titles ever recorded in the ol’ days by Columbia and RCA Victor (and even Arista). Yes, the day will come when, through CD or downloads, we’ll have access to every one of the musical theater albums Sony has in its vaults — bar none (and Barnum). Won’t that be Kean? To a cast album enthusiast, this news is Out of This World. Sign up for updates via e-mail.
One of my favorite parts of the site is “Photos.” Over here, there are snapshots from Over Here – including one of a very young John Travolta – as well as pictures from more than 200 other shows. My favorites are the recording session photographs, which we seldom get the chance to see. Alice Ripley and Raul Esparza are here, long before they became stars, recording The Rocky Horror Show. And when Patti LuPone waxed Anything Goes, didn’t she look cute with her glasses and earphones on? (No? Well, these ARE work sessions.)
We’re planning videos, too. Right now, see the recording session from South Pacific come to life. That’s the 2008 cast recording of South Pacific, mind you — though Masterworks Broadway did the 1949 and 1967 recordings, too. This gives you the chance to compare three South Pacific overtures (not to mention Pacific Overtures, too – but that’s literally and figuratively another story.)
We’ll get the chance to listen to podcasts as well. Check out the ones that celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music. There are also some that centered on the recording of the current West Side Story. From Hair to Jerry Herman, there are many others.
All this makes musical theater Closer Than Ever, even if you live in the City of Angels, Oklahoma, or Saratoga. You don’t have to step even Once on This Island of Manhattan and into this Wonderful Town to experience musical theater’s best. After all, more than any other label, Masterworks Broadway boasts more Show Album Grammy-winners – 27, including the 2009 West Side Story recording that won on Sunday night. So there’s something here for grammy and grandson and all Guys and Dolls.
So Merrily We Roll Along. Take The Grand Tour of www.masterworks Broadway.com and have a Blast. In the meantime, to quote a lyric from a Gershwin song that became a standard (despite being cut from three musicals), “Tuesday will be my good news day” — because that’s when I’ll get to visit with you each and every week to talk about The Sound of Music that Broadway has given the world.
And we’ll all get the chance to chat. Let’s make Contact by joining the Forum where we’ll trade opinions on the recordings and musicals. Blog, too. There’s a place for us at Masterworks Broadway.
Peter Filichia also writes for Theatermania. Visit www.theatermania.com/peterfilichia