BWW CD Reviews: Broadway Records' FROM BROADWAY WITH LOVE is Heartfelt
On January 28, 2013 more than 100 Broadway stars joined with over 300 students from several Newton dance groups, the Sandy Hook Elementary School 3rd and 4th grades (2012/2013 school year), and the Newton High School Chamber Choir (2012/2013 school year) to present FROM BROADWAY WITH LOVE: A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR SANDY HOOK. The event was a heartfelt concert of healing, and today Broadway Records is releasing a two-CD recording of the concert. Also, Broadway Records is donating 100% of its profits from the CD, DVD (also released today), and Blu-Ray (releasing February 18th) to support the Newtown-Sandy Hook community via the Newton-Sandy Hook Community Foundation.
The first thing listeners will notice about FROM BROADWAY WITH LOVE: A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR SANDY HOOK, held in the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut, is the energy on the discs. The recording opens with Robin de Jesus, Ashley Blanchet, and the From Broadway With Love Chorus singing a stirring rendition of Jonathan Larson's hit showtune "Seasons of Love" from RENT. Next is the 3rd and 4th grade students of Sandy Hook Elementary singing their school song with tangible and affective gusto and pride.
Across the remainder of the recording Broadway giants step in and out, delivering powerful performances of modern and classic Broadway standards. Standouts include Mary Testa delivering a rousing rendition of John Kander and Fred Ebb's "When You're Good to Mama." Michael Cerveris sings a stunningly beautiful version of Stephen Sondheim's "Finishing the Hat," and then immediately joins the Newton High School Chamber Choir for a lush performance of "Sunday." Singing the indelible and uplifting "The Impossible Dream" from Dale Wasserman, Mitch Leigh, and Joe Darion's MAN OF LA MANCHA, Brian Stokes Mitchell showcases his incandescent and cherished vocal skills. Yet, my absolute favorite track is the Newton High School Chamber Choir's lush performance of Robert Edgerton's gorgeous arrangement of "Somewhere" from WEST SIDE STORY.
The album was originally slated for a September 2013 release, but was delayed until the beginning of 2014. I'm assuming this was so Broadway Records could present audiences with the best mastering, mixing, and editing possible. The audio quality on this recording is not as clean and crisp as audiences may be used to hearing on other live recordings produced by Broadway Records. Regardless, Michael Croiter, of Yellow Sound Label, has mixed the album well to ensure that everything is heard by the listeners at home.
Having been previously aired in a commercial free one-hour special on select PBS affiliates, the celebratory and rejuvenating FROM BROADWAY WITH LOVE concert can now be enjoyed in its entirety via the CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray releases. Whether you're a fan of a specific star or song featured on recording, a fan of live concerts, or a fan of strong vocals, this concert is something you can enjoy and appreciate.
FROM BROADWAY WITH LOVE: A BENEFIT CONCERT FOR SAND HOOK was released as a two disc physical CD on February 4, 2014. It can be purchased from Amazon. The single disc DVD recording of the concert was also released on February 4 and can also be purchased from Amazon. The single disc Blu-Ray release of the concert will be released on February 18, 2014 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon. Lastly, the concert will be available in two volumes on iTunes on February 7, 2014.
For more information about the various releases and the concert itself, please visit http://www.frombroadwaywithlove.org.