Concord Theatricals Recordings releases a cast album of Shaina Taub's musical adaptation of Shakespeare's As You Like It December 9, featuring the cast of the summer 2022 Free Shakespeare in the Park Public Works production. The release is available for streaming and digital purchase. Watch Darius de Haas, Taub, and the rest of the company record "In Arden" in the studio above.
The work closed this year's Free Shakespeare in the Park season at Central Park's Delacorte Theater last summer. Co-adapted by Taub with production director Laurie Woolery, the musical premiered with a five-night run in the 2017 Public Works program. It was scheduled to return for the summer season in 2020, but postponed due to the pandemic. Similar to the original Public Works production, the 2022 staging featured two rotating ensembles of 127 New Yorkers representing all five boroughs.
That large, diverse ensemble performs on the album as well, led by featured voices Damion Allen as William, Tristan André as De Boys/Attendant, Ato Blankson-Wood as Orlando, Lori Brown-Niang as Agent/Puppet-deer, Brianna Cabrera as Silvia, Darius de Haas as Duke Senior, Bianca Edwards as Phoebe, Pierre Harmony Graves as De Boys/Arden Dancer/Young Orlando Dad, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Rosalind, Jonathan Jordan as Andy, Bobby Moody as De Boys/Arden Dancer, Renrick Palmer as Oliver, Eric Pierre as Duke Frederick, Idania Quezada as Celia, Christopher M. Ramirez as Touchstone, Edwin Rivera as De Boys/Attendant, and Shaina Taub as Jaques.
"As You Like It is extremely close to my heart," shares Taub in a statement. "I wrote these songs in the chaotic, devastating first months of the 45th presidency in a desperate search for healing, and to get to permanently record them means the world to me. I’m beyond proud of our Public Works community for their beautiful work in the recording studio, and very grateful to Concord Theatricals and The Public Theater for making this album happen. The Forest of Arden we’ve created with Public Works is a place of hard-won, transformative joy and I hope this album brings that spirit to listeners. I’m also so delighted that dozens of theatres and schools have put on their own productions of our As You Like It in the last five years, and I hope this album inspires even more people to bring the spirit of Arden to their community."
The album features orchestrations by Mike Brun, music direction by Andrea Grody, and music coordination by Dean Sharenow. Backing up the singers is a band comprising David Farrell Melton, Mike Brun, Hiroyuki Matsuura, and Renato Thoms. Sharenow and Taub produced, with Concord Chief Theatricals Executive Sean Patrick Flahaven serving as executive producer. Sharenow also recorded, mixed, and mastered.
To stream or download As You Like It, click here.