MAD ABOUT THE BOY Cast Album Announces April 28th Release
The original cast album for Chip Deffaa's trailblazing gay musical, "Mad About the Boy," which broke box-office records at New York's venerable 13th Street Theater, will be released April 28th. The CD can be pre-ordered now from such sites as Amazon.com and CDBaby.com; digital downloads are available from iTunes, starting today.
The album features 14 members of the original Off-Broadway company--John Brady, Cody Jordan, Joris de Graaf, Luka Fric, Benjamin Grier, Toby Medlyn, Maite Uzal, Katherine Paulsen, Amanda Andrews, Michael Knowles, Shinice Hemmings, Michael J. C. Anderson, and Al Roths, plus choreographer/tap dancer Rayna Hirt--with bonus tracks by Broadway veterans Jon Peterson and Terri White, who helped provide Deffaa with inspiration for the show. Richard Danley is the musical director.
Hailed as the quintessential gay musical, "Mad About the Boy" mixes vintage gay numbers from America, England, and Germany with originals by ASCAP award-winner Deffaa, who wrote and directed the show. Drawing upon his expertise in jazz, blues, theater, and hay history, Deffaa conceived the musical with the intent of showing audiences that there were songs dealing with gay themes long before the advent of the modern gay-liberation movement.
Vintage numbers range from Ma Rainey's 1920s ode to lesbianism, "Prove it On Me Blues," to Noel Coward's arch evocation of a gay aesthetic, "We All Wear a Green Carnation." The album also features contemporary originals by two of Deffaa's faborite writers, Rick Crom ("Lesbian Madness") and Anthony Rapp ("Just Some Guy").
The cast includes members of Deffaa's theatrical family who have worked with him before in shows and/or on albums. Joris de Graaf, for example, was a star of Deffaa's musical comedy "Theater Boys," and is featured on the two-CD album "The Chip Deffaa Songbook." Rayna Hirt has a decade-long association with Deffaa as a performer, recording artist and choreographer. John Brady, Cody Jordan, Katherine Paulsen, and Amanda Andrews may be heard on such albums as "Irving Berlin Revisited," "Irving Berlin & Co.," "The Irving Berlin Songbook," "The Chip Deffaa Songbook," and the forthcoming "Irving Berlin Revisited." John Brady and Cody Jordan jointly won the Ray DeMattis Award for promising newcomers, for their work in the show. Deffaa comments: "I was so happy with this cast--I really lucked out--it's important to have their work preserved."
Producer Edith O'Hara, the 100-year-old founder/artistic director of the 13th Street Repertory Theater, has given Deffaa carte blanche to develop his shows at her theater. Deffaa. who has mounted many productions at the 13th Street Rep--including "One Night with Fanny Brice," "The Irving Berlin Ragtime Revue," "Theater Boys," "Irving Berlin's America," and "Mad About the Boy"--is widely credited with sparking a Renaissance at the theater. O'Hara commented, when Deffaa workshopped and mounted "Mad About the Boy" at her theater, that he couldn't have picked a more appropriate venue for the development of a gay musical, since she had produced the first hit gay musical in New York, Bill Solly's "Boy Meets Boy" (which helped launch the career of Richard-Jay Alexander, among others) at that very theater, some four decades earlier. The album includes a photo of the cast with O'Hara, who hopes the show will have a long, healthy future life.
Dennis Gleason and Peter Charney were assistant directors of the 13th Street Theater production; Tyler DuBoys and Matthew Nardozzi were assistants/consultants. Slau Halatyn served as recording engineer for the album. Frank Avellino handled overall graphic design. The cover artwork is by Howard Cruse, the internationally known creator of the comic strip "Wendel" and the graphic novel "Stuck Rubber Baby." The album is dedicated to the multi-talented Alex and Alec Deland ("Even I have trouble telling them apart," Deffaa says), for inspirational help.
Deffaa considers "Mad About the Boy" to be a work-in-progress. He notes: "Each production of the show may be a bit different. I have far more good material than I can fit into any one production." Deffaa presented the first tryout production of "Mad About the Boy" at his Chip Deffaa Invitational Theater Festival on 42nd Street. Encouragement from theater pro's like Tommy Tune, and boosting from radio's Joey Reynolds convinced Deffaa to do more with the show, and he workshopped it at Roy Arias Studios and then at the 13th Street Rep. "I'm looking forward to doing more with the show. And we've got some wonderful young performers, just beginning to make names for themselves. The album should help get their names out there." Deffaa intends to follow the release of this cast album with--a month later--a second cast album of the show, featuring stars from his original festival production
For more information, or to pre-order a copy of the CD, please visit: