Jay Records releases the first complete recording of the Tony-winning Broadway musical 42nd Street April 8 digitally and on CD. The recording, featuring a mix of Broadway and West End actors, was recorded in October 1996, first at London's Abbey Road Studios and subsequently at New York's Clinton Recording Studios, but this release is its first.
The cast includes Marti Stevens as Dorothy Brock; Jamie Ross as Julian Marsh, the role Ross played on Broadway for several years; the late Cathy Wydner repeating her Broadway work as Peggy Sawyer; Michael Gruber as Billy Lawlor; Kim Criswell as Maggie; and Caroline O'Connor as Annie, plus a company of actors from the West End and Broadway who appeared in various productions of 42nd Street.
Conducted by Craig Barna, the album also features The National Symphony Orchestra playing Philip J. Lang's original Broadway orchestrations.
The complete recording features the work's dance sequences in their entirety as orchestrated by Lang. The tap sequences were danced by a group of American actors tapping to choreography by Wydner. All the songs are featured—including "I Know Now," not part of earlier cast recordings—along with select scenes.
"Over the years, many have bemoaned the absence of a good recording of 42nd Street because almost all the dance sequences were either abridged or not recorded at all," says Jay President and Founder John Yap. "It is gratifying to be able to present to the world, for the first time outside of the theatres of the original Broadway and West End productions of the musical during its original run, the wonderful, sparkling, and joyful dance sequences as orchestrated by the amazing Philip J. Lang."
Borrowing songs from old Warner Bros. movies, Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble wrote the book (based on the novel by Bradford Ropes and the film of the same name) for 42nd Street, Harry Warren wrote the music, and Al Dubin wrote the lyrics. The original Broadway production opened in August 1980, playing nearly 3,500 performances before closing January 8, 1989. The musical was nominated for eight 1981 Tony Awards, winning two, Best Musical and Best Choreography for Gower Champion.