Ghostlight Records will release the Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording of Michael Friedman and Daniel Goldstein's Unknown Soldier for digital purchase and streaming September 24. The album release comes on what would have been Friedman's 46th birthday.
With a score by the late Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson songwriter and Daniel Goldstein, who also penned the musical's book, Unknown Soldier follows Ellen Rabinowitz, who discovers a photograph of an anonymous soldier while cleaning out her grandmother's home and ultimately finds uncovering some tangled family lore.
Following a 2015 world premiere at Williamstown Theatre Festival, the musical had its New York premiere at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons in February 2020, ultimately having its run cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. The album will feature the entire original Off-Broadway cast, which comprises Kerstin Anderson, James Crichton, Zoe Glick, Emilie Kouatchou, Erik Lochtefeld, Jay McKenzie, Jessica Naimy, Estelle Parsons, Margo Seibert, Thom Sesma, and Perry Sherman. The production was directed by Trip Cullman.
Music director and conductor Julie McBride leads the Unknown Soldier band on piano, with Hiroko Taguchi on violin, Deborah Assael on cello, Ben Kono on reeds, Mike Thurber on bass, Mike Dobson on percussion, and Jim Hershman on guitar. The album is produced by Dean Sharenow and co-produced by Daniel Goldstein, with Hunter Arnold, The Civilians, and Kurt Deutsch as executive producers.
The album is the latest release in Ghostlight's Michael Friedman Collection, an initiative to release premiere recordings of nine musicals penned by the late composer-lyricist that was announced in 2019. Unknown Soldier follows the October 2019 release of The Great Immensity,The Abominables, and This Beautiful City; and (I Am) Nobody's Lunch and Paris Commune last year.
Friedman is best known as the co-creator of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which premiered at The Public Theater before transferring to Broadway in 2010. Other musicals include Fortress of Solitude and Love's Labour's Lost. Friedman was a founding associate artist of The Civilians theatre company, working on such shows as Gone Missing, In the Footprint, The Great Immensity, Paris Commune, (I Am) Nobody's Lunch, The Abominables, and This Beautiful City. He passed away in 2017.