Terri White, Santino Fontana, Kristy Cates and More Featured on New MAD ABOUT THE BOY Cast Album, Out Today!
ASCAP Award-winning writer/director Chip Deffaa is releasing a second cast album of his show "Mad About the Boy" today. The new album - which follows on the heels of the cast album of his recently released 13th Street Theater production - mixes performances by stars of Deffaa's original festival production, plus some very special surprise guests.
The album includes such Broadway notables as Terri White ("Follies," "Chicago," "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Barnum," etc.), Santino Fontana ("Cinderella," "Act one," "Billy Elliot," "Sunday in the Park with George"), Kristy Cates ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Finding Neverland," "Wicked"), Jon Peterson ("Cabaret"), Barrett Foa ("Avenue Q," "Spelling Bee"), Eric B. Anthony ("Hairspray), Jamie LaVerdiere ("Motown," "The Pirate Queen," "The Producers"), Timothy Britten Parker ("Wicked," "Rent," "Runaways," "The Innocents"), Samantha Soule ("Dinner at Eight," "Coram Boy," "The Philanthropist"), and more.
Deffaa notes: "I'm grateful to everyone who helped make this possible--not only the stars from my original festival cast, but the many special surprise guests who sing a number or two."
This limited-edition special album, being released today, is available from Amazon, iTunes, CDBaby, etc.
"Many of my favorite performers are here, " says Deffaa. "There's no lyric soprano in our theater community today with a stronger, purer, warmer sound than Kristy Cates. She was so fierce in our original festival production, I wanted to document that work. No one ever could sing 'Lavender Nights' better than she could. I've loved Keith Anderson's work since I first saw him in shows Off-Broadway and at the Kennedy Center; and I was thrilled to have him in our original cast. Suzanne Dressler always cracks me up. Baby Jane Dexter, who's won as many awards as any singer in cabaret, stopped the show in our original production, singing Ma Rainey's 1920s ode to lesbianism, 'Prove It On Me,' and I wanted to preserve that performance.
"No Broadway performer can belt the blues with greater power than Terri White, a very special guest on this album; she's a force of nature, and 'B.D. Woman's Blues'--which she nailed in one authoritative take--captures her in peak form," Deffaa says. "She's dealing with some challenging health issues right now, and we all wish her a speedy recovery; she's a one-of-a-kind performer. And a very giving one.
"For my money, no modern-day Broadway leading man has a lovelier voice than Santino Fontana, and it means more than I can say that he's represented here." Deffaa notes: "This album is dedicated to him; he's really an inspiring guy. I've known him since he was 17--all of his promise was evident then, it sort of radiated off of him--and every time I see or hear him, whether on Broadway, or on a TV show like 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,' or in Disney's 'Frozen,' it makes me happy that he's fulfilling the potential I sensed in him then. He can sing anything and it's a joy to hear. Whenever I see him, I think of that Biblical parable about the fellow who was given so many talents and he put them to such good use that he was given more. That's Santino."
The album gives prominent billing to newcomer Clark Kinkade. "The album says: "And introducing Clark Kinkade.' He's not as well known as the others yet, but he very much belongs in their company," comments Deffaa. "I've been impressed by Clark since Day One. I wrote a role for him in one of my musicals, which he did up in Connecticut. He currently sings with the best a cappella vocal group around, Range A Capella, which has sung at the Emmy Awards. He's got a bright future, and I hope to present him on many albums to come. Championing up-and-coming talent has always been an important part of my mission, too--and he's first-rate.
"Jon Peterson, who kicks the album off, is currently starring as the Emcee in the musical 'Cabaret' at the Kennedy Center in Washington. He's played that role many times--in New York and on tour. There's no greater song-and-dance man working today, and I'll work with him any chance I can get. Just the other day, he used a day off from the demanding 'Cabaret' national tour to record some more songs for me for a future album. I feel very grateful.
"I've watched Toby Parker add color and life to so many shows, from 'Rent' to 'Wicked.' I'm honored he's here. And dear Sam Soule is here. And versatile, big-hearted Patrick Rinn. And sprightly Ellery Bakaitis. And dynamic David Colbert, from 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' and 'C.OA.L' And Barrett Foa--who's a regular on TV's 'NCIS-Los Angeles,' but is a musical-comedy-man at heart. I could not ask for a better group."
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 conceived and produced the show. Drawing upon his expertise in jazz, blues, theater, and gay 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 Noel Coward's arch evocation of a gay aesthetic, "We All Wear a Green Carnation," to Cole Porter's ebullient, semi-autobiographical "Find Me a Primitive Man." The album also features contemporary originals by two of Deffaa's favorite writers, Rick Crom ("Lesbian Madness") and Anthony Rapp ("Just Some Guy"), as well as crowd-pleasing originals by Deffaa, such as "You Need to be Loved to be Happy," and "I'm Crazy for My Baby in a Uniform."
The show was first presented at the Chip Deffaa Invitational Theater Festival on 42nd Street, and was made possible with support from Chashama. Deffaa notes: "Two people I greatly respect, Broadway's Tommy Tune and radio's Joey Reynolds, came to see the show and urged me to do more with it." And he continued to workshop it.
"Mad About the Boy," directed by Deffaa, broke box-office records at New York's venerable 13th Street Theater. A cast album was recently released, featuring 14 members of the 13th Street Theater production--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, Mark Blowers, and Al Roths, plus choreographer/tap dancer Rayna Hirt--with bonus tracks by Jon Peterson and Terri White, who helped provide Deffaa with inspiration for the show. Richard Danley (pianist/musical director) is heard on both "Mad About the Boy" albums.
Producer Edith O'Hara, the 100-year-old founder/artistic director of the 13th Street Repertory Theater--where Deffaa workshopped, revised, and most recently presented "Mad About the Boy"--has given Deffaa carte blanche to develop his shows at her theater. She was happy to aid in the development of a gay musical, she commented when the show was being workshopped there. She noted that the first big hit gay musical in New York was developed at her theater (and produced by her), more than 40 years before--"Boy Meets Boy." It made her happy, she said when "Mad About the Boy" opened at her theater, to see the history continuing, declaring: "I hope the show has a long life."
For more information, or to order a copy of the new "Mad About the Boy" album, click here.