BWW Photo Exclusive: Jose Llana Will Release Debut Album, ALTITUDE, This May!
YELLOW SOUND LABEL will release the debut American solo album from Drama Desk Award-winning theatre star JOSE LLANA on Friday, May 13. Altitude - based on his acclaimed concert at the Lincoln Center American Songbook Series last year - celebrate his 20 years on Broadway with a savvy collection of songs he performed on and off the main stem, in addition to pop favorites. Tony Award winner Ruthie Ann Miles, his co-star in the Off-Broadway smash Here Lies Love, is featured as special guest. Altitude is produced by Michael Croiter with Kimberly Grigsby serving as Music Director. Pre-order the album at www.YellowSoundLabel.com.
Llana will return to the starring role in the Lincoln Center Theater production of Rodgers & Hammerstein'sThe King & I from April 19 to May 1, directed by Bartlett Sher. His two week return will be a reunion with his Here Lies Love co-star Ruthie Ann Miles. Llana appeared in the title role for the first time last season and made his Broadway debut as "Lun Tha" in the 1996 Revival of the show opposite Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips. Advance copies of Altitude will be exclusively available at the Vivian Beaumont during this time.
Altitude follows Llana through show-stopping highlights of his accomplished Broadway career. When this program debuted last year at Lincoln Center, a rave review from Flavorpill praised Llana as "an exceptionally versatile performer, thrilling the audience with contemporary pop songs and Broadway standards alike." The album features several numbers from The King & I, including his personal arrangement of "A Puzzlement." "Child of the Philippines" and "A Perfect Hand" come from Here Lies Love, the smash hit musical at the Public Theater which helped him explore his own Filipino roots. Ben Brantley of The New York Times said "he should have been nominated" for a Tony Award in his the role of Marcos. Other highlights include "Chip's Lament" from William Finn's Spelling Bee - in which Llana was called a "standout" by The Washington Post - and selections are from Adam Guettel's song cycle Saturn Returns. The album is rounded out by numbers from classic musicals Company and On the Town, pop hits from Billy Joel and Ed Sheeran, and a contribution from Pretty Dead Girl, a musical adaptation of the cult short film.
"Twenty years ago - in the Broadway Revival of The King & I - I began an amazing, messy, unpredictable journey," says Llana. "Since then, I've gotten to sail on Adam Guettel's rolling waves, misspell words in Bill Finn's adolescent gymnasium, and rule with an iron fist in David Byrne's presidential palace. And two decades after I arrived in New York, when I took the stage as the King in the new Broadway production of The King and I, I knew I'd come full circle. At my concert for Lincoln Center's American Songbook Series, I got the chance to honor the composers who've kept me gainfully employed, and who make me want to keep reaching for higher altitudes. This album was inspired by that night, and the astonishing music I've been lucky enough to get to sing."
JOSE LLANA starred on Broadway as "Chip Tolentino" in William Finn's The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee (Drama Desk Award, directed by James Lapine), "El Gato" in Wonderland, "Wang Ta"in David Henry Hwang's adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song, "Angel" in Rent(directed by Michael Greif) and "Jessie-Lee" in Street Corner Symphony.
His Off-Broadway appearances include "Marcos" in David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim's Here Lies Love at The Public Theater (directed by Alex Timbers) garnering a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical. "Adam" in Falling For Eve (York), "Gabey" in On the Town (directed by George C. Wolfe, Delacorte) and Adam Guettel's Saturn Returns (directed by Tina Landau, Public Theater). Regional appearances include "Bill Sikes" in Oliver! (Papermill), "Guillaume" in Cameron Mackintosh's Martin Guerre (Guthrie Theater), "Tin Man" in Ballad of Little Jo (Steppenwolf Theater, directed by Tina Landau, Jefferson Nomination - Best Supporting Actor) and the title role in Candide (Prince Theater, Barrymore Nomination - Best Actor).
Jose's TV and Film appearances include HBO's "Sex and the City" opposite Margaret Cho and Hitch with Will Smith. He appears on numerous cast albums and is also a best-selling recording artist on the VIVA Philippines label. Trained at Manhattan School of Music, Jose is an advocate for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and serves on the Advisory Committee for Broadway Impact for Marriage Equality.
1. "Saturn Returns" - written by Adam Guettel, from Saturn Returns: A Concert
2. "Icarus" - written by Adam Guettel, from Saturn Returns: A Concert
3. "We Kiss in a Shadow/I Have Dreamed" - music by Richard Rodgers/lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, from The King and I
4. "Lonely Town" - music by Leonard Bernstein/lyrics by Betty Comden & Adolph Green, from On the Town
5. "Chip's Lament (M. U. E.)" - written by William Finn, from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
6. "Marry Me a Little" - written by Stephen Sondheim, from Company
7. "She is More" - written by AnnMarie Milazzo, from Pretty Dead Girl
8. "Child of the Philippines" - written by David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim, from Here Lies Love
9. "Hero and Leander" - written by Adam Guettel, from Saturn Returns: A Concert
10. "Thinking Out Loud" - written by Ed Sheeran
11. "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" - written by Billy Joel
12. "A Puzzlement" - music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, from The King and I
13. "A Perfect Hand" - written by David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim, from Here Lies Love
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski