The second volume of Yellow Sound Label's Sondheim Unplugged: The NYC Sessions series was released in streaming, digital purchase, and physical CD formats March 22, what would have been late musical theatre icon Stephen Sondheim's 92nd birthday.
Danielle Ferland, Into the Woods' original Little Red, is among several Sondheim original cast members represented on the album, a group that also includes A Little Night Music's George Lee Andrews, Passion's George Dvorsky, Company and A Little Night Music's Teri Ralston, Sweeney Todd's Sarah Rice, Sunday in the Park With George's Melanie Vaughan, and Merrily We Roll Along's Jim Walton. They're joined by current Company Broadway revival stars Jeff Kready, Manu Narayan, Rodriguez, and Tally Sessions; 2009 A Little Night Music revival alum Hunter Ryan Herdlicka; The Frogs cast member Eric Michael Gillett, and 2004 Pacific Overtures revival cast member Telly Leung.
Also featured on the album are Tony nominees Dee Hoty, Sally Mayes, and Emily Skinner; Karen Mason, Christina Bianco, Kelli Rabke, Stearns Matthews, Kristy Cates, Lucia Spina, Jacob Hoffman, Ereni Sevasti, Courter Simmons, Lisa Sabin, Rob Maitner, Natalie Arneson, Donna Vivino, T. Oliver Reid, Natalie Douglas, Victoria Cook, Erica Spyres, Julie Reyburn, Leenya Rideout, Evan Harrington, Alexa Green, and Gabrielle Straveli. Also performing is vocal quintet Marquee Five.
The series, based on the popular concert series, aims to present songs from the Tony-winning composer-lyricist's canon with simple and essential piano-only arrangements, letting the listener focus more on the words and music. The second volume includes some of Sondheim's most beloved songs, along with lesser-heard numbers from Evening Primrose, Reds, and an unproduced movie musical titled Singing Out Loud. Listeners can also expect songs cut from Sondheim's scores, including Gypsy's "Smile, Girls," A Little Night Music's "Silly People," and Anyone Can Whistle's "There’s Always A Woman."
The next live Sondheim Unplugged concert is set for April 24 at Feinstein's/54 Below, with a livestream option also available. Lorna Dallas, Ramona Mallory, Sally Mayes, and Sarah Rice will be the evening's special guests, with the concert also featuring John Treacy Egan, Aaron Ramey, Brian Charles Rooney, Lucia Spina, and Donna Vivino. For streaming tickets, visit 54Below.com.
Sondheim Unplugged is created and hosted by Phil Geoffrey 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 third volume in the series is set to follow later this year, releasing June 1.
To listen to Sondheim Unplugged: The NYC Sessions - Volume Two, visit SondheimUnplugged.com.