Ghostlight Records and investigative theatre company The Civilians will release the final four albums for The Michael Friedman Collection March 24. Available in digital format and for streaming, the collection features album recordings of nine musicals by late Obie-winning songwriter Michael Friedman.
The collection's last installment will include Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play, Adventures in Reality, In the Footprint: The Battle for the Atlantic Yards, and Canard, Canard, Goose? All four works feature music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, except Mr. Burns which features lyrics by Anne Washburn and with additional orchestrations by Wiley DeWeese and Andrea Grody. Canard, Canard, Goose? was written by Steve Cosson and the company.
Performers for the new albums include Nick Blaemire, Cindy Cheung, Carla Duren, Jackie Hoffman, Jo Lampert, Lauren Molina, Dito van Reigersberg, Brian Charles Rooney, Heath Saunders, Mary Testa, Tony Torn, Alison Weller, and Ada Westfall for Adventures in Reality; Andrew Kober, Grace McLean, Jonathan Raviv, Maya Sharpe, Kristin Stokes, and Colleen Werthmann for Canard, Canard, Goose?; Andrew Kober, Grace McLean, Onyie Nwachukwu, Jonathan Raviv, Maya Sharpe, Kristin Stokes, Akron Watson, and Colleen Werthmann for In the Footprint; and Gibson Frazier, Rebecca Hart, Matthew Maher, Jennifer R. Morris, Maya Sharpe, Christina Sajous, Kristin Stokes, and Sam Breslin Wright for Mr. Burns.
Cosson and Kurt Deutsch produce the new albums, with Ghostlight Records and The Civilians serving as executive producers. Serving as co-producers for all four are Ian Kagey and DeWeese with the addition of Grody for Mr. Burns for which she is also music director. Adventures in Reality, Canard, Canard, Goose?, and In the Footprint feature orchestrations by DeWeese, who also serves as music director. Dan Lipton is co-music director for Adventures in Reality.
The collection previously released albums for The Great Immensity, The Abominables, This Beautiful City, (I Am) Nobody's Lunch, and Paris Commune. Ghostlight previously recorded Friedman’s Broadway score to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Fortress of Solitude, and Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Public Theater, as well as Unknown Soldier, Pretty Filthy, and Gone Missing with The Civilians.
“Having a cast album available is essential to a musical’s enduring legacy and to inspire ongoing productions,” said Friedman’s collaborator Steve Cosson in a statement. “And now, thanks to these new recordings, Michael’s shows are part of the future—new people will inhabit them, give them their voices, and step into the wonderfully rich and idiosyncratic world that Michael’s music conjures.
Friedman was a founding member of The Civilians, which will honor Ghostlight's Kurt Deutsch at its 2023 Spring Benefit. The event will be held April 3 at 6:30 PM at City Winery. The Civilians is currently Green Performance Space's 2023 Spring Artist-in-Residence.
For more information about The Michael Friedman Collection, visit MichaelFriedmanMusic.com.
For more information about the benefit, visit GiveLively.org.