PS Classics Delays Recording of Passion Cast Album as Leading Lady Melissa Errico Recovers
By Adam Hetrick
PS Classics has postponed recording sessions for the Classic Stage Company Off-Broadway revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical Passion while leading lady Melissa Errico recovers from bronchitis. Producer Tommy Krasker anticipates recording the two-disc album within the next month, at which time a new release date will be announced.
Tony nominee Errico (Amour, High Society), who stars as the beautiful Clara in the musical about the chiaroscuro-esque facets of love, has been out of the production in recent weeks and is currently on vocal rest during her recovery. Audiences have had the opportunity to see understudy Amy Justman perform the role in her absence.
"We had hoped Melissa would be back in the show in time for the cast album date, but by this past weekend, she was still on vocal rest," Krasker told Playbill.com. "There are lots of shows where you can lay down tracks, if necessary, and have a singer come in later, but Passion isn't one of them. And in particular, this production sure isn't one of them – when you watch it, you feel like each moment is informing the moment that follows, that the performances of every cast member and every orchestra member are intertwined. I couldn't risk a recording that didn't reach those heights. There was no question that we had to postpone until Melissa was able to join us in the studio, so we could have the full cast and orchestra there together, making music. I always say, no one remembers when a recording comes out, they just remember if it's as good as it could be."
PS Classics co-founder Krasker has produced many Sondheim albums over the years, including Grammy-nominated cast recordings of Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Company, A Little Night Music, Sondheim on Sondheim and Follies. Passion was initially scheduled for an early June release.
The album — expected to be the most expansive recording of the score yet — is currently available for pre-order at PSClassics.com. The original Broadway cast recording is currently out of print in CD package format, though it's available digitally.
The leading trio also features Tony nominee Judy Kuhn (Chess, She Loves Me, Les Miserables, Rags) as Fosca and Ryan Silverman (The Phantom of the Opera) as Giorgio.
The Tony Award-winning 1994 musical, which features a libretto by James Lapine, has been intimately staged by Tony Award winner John Doyle (Sweeney Todd, Company, Road Show). Passion began previews Feb. 8 and officially opened Feb. 28. Critics embraced Doyle's production, which extended its run through April 19.
The cast also includes John Antony, Tony nominee Stephen Bogardus (Colonel Ricci), Jeffry Denman (Lieutenant Barri), Jason Michael Evans (Private Augenti), Amy Justman (understudy), Ken Krugman (Lieutenant Torasso), Orville Mendoza (Sergeant Lombardi), Tom Nelis (Doctor Tambourri) and Will Reynolds (Major Rizzoli/Ludovic).
Passion has musical direction by Rob Berman and orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. It has has costumes by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting by Jane Cox and sound by Dan Moses Schreier. Makeup design is by Angelina Avallone. Hair consultants are J. Jared Janas & Rob Greene. Production stage manager is Adam John Hunter. Assistant stage manager is Claudia Lynch.
PS Classics discs and many other theatre recordings are also available at PlaybillStore.com.
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