Stephen Bogardus And More Star In New Album THE BOY NEXT DOOR
ASCAP Award-winning writer/producer Chip Deffaa's new CD, "The Boy Next Door"--being released July 23rd--will features such Broadway notables as Stephen Bogardus ("Bright Star"), John Tartaglia ("Avenue Q"), Seth Sikes ("The Band's Visit"), Charlie Franklin ("The Book of Mormon"), and others.
The album, an outgrowth of shows that Deffaa has presented at the venerable 13th Street Theater and elsewhere, features 24 rare--and, in some cases, never-before-recorded--songs with a "gay romance" theme. The album--which will be available from Amazon, CDBaby, ITunes, Footlight Records etc. on July 23rd--may be pre-ordered, as either a physical CD or a digital download, here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/chipdeffaastheboynextdoo .
"Gay love has been around as long as there have been human beings," Deffaa commented. "As Alfred Kinsey noted, it's part of our basic mammalian heritage. And on this album, we'll have two dozen of the theater community's best--gay and straight alike--singing songs, old and new, touching on gay romance." Deffaa has taken great care to find just the right singer for each song.
"Stephen Bogardus, for example, has appeared memorably in more than a dozen Broadway shows--from 'Love! Valour! Compassion!' and 'Falsettos'--to 'Man of LaMancha' and 'White Christmas.' I've actually been an admirer of his work since he was 19, well before he got his first Broadway gig ('West Side Story'). He is a first-rate singing actor, and wonderfully versatile. He has fun here with a Cole Porter rarity, 'Nobody's Chasing Me.' It's always an honor to record him.
"John Tartaglia--who starred on Broadway in 'Avenue Q' and on television in 'Jonny and the Sprites,' among many other credits--always puts a big smile on my face. And again, I've admired his work since before he became famous. He sings with such warmth and joy, he adds life to the album.
"I'm so glad to have Seth Sikes--who's not just the hottest singer in the nightclubs these days, but also the Assistant Director of the musical 'The Band's Visit'--put his own stamp on Irving Berlin's timeless 'They Say it's Wonderful.' I heard him croon this ballad one night at Feinstein's/54 Below and fell in love with his interpretation. For this album, he sings it as a duet with Clark Kinkade, from the group 'Range a Capella'--Clark's another of my favorite singers --and those two always sound great together.
"Charlie Franklin--from 'The Book of Mormon' and 'Bridges of Madison County'--is becoming a regular on my recording projects. He sings with heart, and feeling, it's always fun to have him in the mix.
"But every artist on this album has been carefully chosen, whether he's a seasoned pro I've admired for years or a rising younger performer-to-watch like Alec Deland ("The Triangle Show"), Peter Charney ('The Bright and the Brave'), Luka Fric ("The Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic"), Ellis Gage ("James and the Giant Peach"), Dave Warren ("George M. Cohan & Co."), or John Brady and Cody Jordan ("Mad About the Boy"). Different singers are chosen for different strengths. There are superb younger singers in my theatrical family--like Erich Schuett, Tyler DuBoys, Dylan Adams, Tyqaun White, Mark William, Ellery Bakaitis--who've got such pure, appealingly youthful voices that they're just right for certain songs. Other songs require older singers, with more life experience. It's all good, and it all adds to the fun.
"And some of the up-and-coming artists provide really bright moments--high points of the set. Erich Schuett and Ellis Gage, for example, are terrific on 'Crater Lake Blues.' Alec Deland and Tyler DuBoys preview with flair a number from a new show that I'm developing.
"Most of the singers have worked with me in shows at one time or another. And most have recorded for me before. But they all love this music, and have a good feel for it. The album is an outgrowth of some gay-themed shows, such as 'Theater Boys' and 'Mad About the Boy,' that I've written and directed at my base in the city, the 13th Street Repertory Theater. I'm grateful to Edith O'Hara, the founder/original artistic director of the 13th Street Theater, for giving me carte blanche to develop shows there. This album has been a labor of love--great singers singing some great songs. " The new album--the 26th album that Deffaa has produced-- is available for purchase here: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/chipdeffaastheboynextdoo .