Ahead of its November 18 release, we've got a first listen to a track from Yellow Sound Label's upcoming Sondheim Unplugged: The NYC Sessions–Volume Three. Hear Into the Woods original Broadway cast members Danielle Ferland and Jeff Blumenkrantz take on the show's "It Takes Two" below.
Into the Woods fans remember Ferland as Broadway's original Little Red Riding Hood. Blumenkrantz was an understudy in the original company and later took over the role of Jack.
"When I approached my former NYU classmate (and frequent Sondheim Unplugged special guest) Danielle Ferland about the recordings, I said I wanted to delve into her amazing legacy with Sondheim musicals, but maybe with a little twist," shares Sondheim Unplugged creator and producer Phil Geoffrey Bond. "Not only does she deliver a fabulous 'Children and Art' on Volume One and a hilarious 'Hello, Little Girl' (as the Wolf) on Volume Two, but here she conquers the Baker’s Wife. I knew she had done another production of Woods and played the role, and I thought it would be great to capture that. When she asked me with whom she could record 'It Takes Two,' I put my thinking cap on and called my old pal, the lovely Jeff Blumenkrantz, whom I adore and admire, and who, incidentally, made his Broadway debut in the original production of Into the Woods as a cover and later assumed the role of Jack. Danielle loved the idea, and it was a joy to reunite them in the studio."
Listen to "It Takes Two" below:
Along with Ferland and Blumenkrantz, the upcoming album will feature performances from a host of Broadway favorites who originated roles in Sondheim musicals, including George Lee Andrews (A Little Night Music), Joy Franz (Into the Woods), Annie Golden (Assassins), Teri Ralston (Company, A Little Night Music), Ken Jennings (Sweeney Todd), Pamela Winslow Kashani (Into the Woods), Pamela Myers (Company), Sarah Rice (Sweeney Todd), Melanie Vaughan (Sunday in the Park with George), and Jim Walton (Merrily We Roll Along).
The series, based on the popular concert series, aims to present songs from the late, Tony-winning composer-lyricist's canon with simple and essential piano-only arrangements, letting the listener focus more on the words and music. The third entry includes some of Sondheim's most beloved songs, such as "Being Alive" and "Move On," along with lesser-known tunes from The Girls of Summer and The Frogs and songs cut from Company and Assassins. The album was recorded in studio throughout 2020 and 2021.
Sondheim Unplugged is created and hosted by Bond, who produces this album. Music director Joseph Goodrich is featured on the piano.
The first volume of Sondheim Unplugged released December 1, 2021, and the second volume dropped March 22.