Prolific theatrical record label Decca Broadway, dormant since the release of the 2015 The King and I cast recording with Kelli O’Hara and Ken Watanabe, is set to relaunch this year with Broadway cast albums for the current revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! and the new musical Tootsie.
The label’s rebirth follows a long and storied career in the world of cast recordings, from releasing the first-ever Broadway cast album (for the original production of Oklahoma! in 1943) to becoming the most frequent winner of the “Best Show Album” Grammy Award (currently titled “Best Musical Theater Album”). Grammy-winning titles in their catalog include Wicked, Spring Awakening, Spamalot, Les Misérables, Cats, Evita, and Funny Girl. The label was absorbed into Universal Music Group’s Verve Records in 2013.
Oklahoma!’s album will be produced by Dean Sharenow and Daniel Kluger, the latter of which penned the production’s new, stripped-down orchestrations. Rebecca Naomi Jones and Damon Daunno (as Laurie and Curly respectively) lead a cast that also features Patrick Vaill as Jud Fry, Mary Testa as Aunt Eller, Ali Stroker as Ado Annie, James Davis as Will Parker, Will Brill as Ali Hakim, Mallory Portnoy as Gertie Cummings, Mitch Tebo as Andrew Carnes, Anthony Cason as Cord, and Will Mann as Mike. Nathan Koci leads the production’s seven-piece band as music director.
The recording for Tootsie will be produced by Sharenow and David Yazbek, the show’s songwriter. Tony nominee Santino Fontana leads the cast as Michael Dorsey, a struggling actor who lands a job under the female persona of Dorothy Michaels. The cast also includes Lilli Cooper as Julie Nichols, Sarah Stiles as Sandy Lester, John Behlmann as Max Von Horn, Andy Grotelueschen as Jeff Slater, Julie Halston as Rita Marshall, Michael McGrath as Stan Fields, and Reg Rogers as Ron Carlisle. Andrea Grody and Dean are the production’s musical supervisors. The musical is set to officially open April 23.
Both Decca Broadway releases are planned for spring-summer 2019, with exact dates due to follow shortly.