Grammy Nominees for Musical Album Include Nice Work, Once, Follies, Newsies and Porgy and Bess; Shaiman & Wittman, Too
By Kenneth Jones
Cast recordings of the Broadway musicals Newsies, Once, Follies, The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess and Nice Work If You Can Get It are among nominees of 55th Annual Grammy Awards, announced Dec. 5 by The Recording Academy.
In the category of Best Song Written For Visual Media, songwriters Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman (already Tony Award winners for Hairspray) were Grammy Award-nominated for the song "Let Me Be Your Star" from the musical TV series "Smash," sung in the show by Katharine McPhee & Megan Hilty.
In the Musical Theater Album category, the PS Classics label was nominated twice — for recordings of the controversial (and crowd-pleasing) revised Broadway revival of Porgy and Bess, with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by DuBose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward and Ira Gershwin; and composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim's score to Follies, revived on Broadway in fall 2011.
Both were released as two-disc packages. The latter recording is layered with dialogue from the show's libretto (by James Goldman), making it the deepest and perhaps most dramatically textured of the many Follies recordings on the market.
Once (inspired by the indie film of the same name) won the 2012 Tony Award as Best Musical. Porgy and Bess — despite cut, musically rearranged or dramatically altered songs that outraged hardcore purists — won the 2012 Tony as Best Musical Revival, besting Follies.
The Gershwin brothers are also represented with the score to the newly constructed musical comedy Nice Work If You Can Get It, still running at the Imperial Theatre. It plunders the Gershwin song catalog, serving a new plot by Joe DiPietro.
Like Nice Work, Newsies and Once are still going strong on Broadway. The others have ended their limited engagements.
Here are the Grammy nominees for Best Musical Theater Album:
The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess
Nice Work If You Can Get It
Once: A New Musical
In pop categories in the Grammy nominations for work released in 2012, The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, Fun., Jay-Z, Mumford & Sons, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West topped the nominations with six each; the Black Keys, Chick Corea and Miguel each earned five nominations; and producer Jeff Bhasker, mastering engineer Bob Ludwig and Nas are nommed for four awards.
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will be presented Feb. 10 in a televised ceremony.
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