VIDEO: Darius de Haas Records 'Real Thing' for ALL THE POSSIBILITIES: BROADWAY SINGS WARTOFSKY
Darius de Haas (Shuffle Along, Rent, Children of Eden) is looking very animated lately, especially as presented in a new cartoonified recording session video of "Real Thing," released today, Friday, March 29, as a single from the album "All the Possibilities: Broadway Sings Wartofsky" on Yellow Sound Label. Mr. de Haas premiered the same song in the one-person musical The Man in My Head at the 2006 New York Musical Theater Festival. For his album, composer/lyricist and Berklee College of Music Professor Michael Wartofsky enhanced the funk arrangement with additional strings, horns and rhythm quartet, collaborating with faculty and students from Berklee, all captured in the new video. Broadway veteran musical director Eric Stern (Shrek, Parade, Xanadu) and producer Sean Patrick Flahaven (President, Concord Theatricals, and a producer on the original cast recording of Hamilton) round out the album's personnel.
"The vintage comic-strip look for the video came from the playful wholesomeness of the lyric," says Wartofsky. "In the original show, the song embodied the character's naïveté, and his love was definitely not the 'real thing'. But on the album, we can just groove to the song as an exuberant celebration of love." On a light-hearted note, the video also ends with a short outtakes reel.
The Man In My Head was a one-man musical in which Mr. de Haas played six different characters in the life of a gay, African-American twenty-something, with songs by Wartofsky, book by Thomas F. DeFrantz, and direction by Schele Williams. Mr. de Haas calls the one-man musical "truly one of the most musically and artistically rewarding, and challenging, projects I've ever done." Wartofsky's score was singled out as "a percolating delight" by Rob Weinert-Kendt on Broadway.com. The review continues "de Haas is such a magnetic marvel standing on the platform of Wartofsky's endlessly inventive score that we can easily see him as much more than The Man in My Head."
With lead vocals by a dozen of the Broadway community's most breathtaking artists, "All the Possibilities: Broadway Sings Wartofsky" is available in physical format from www.yellowsoundlabel.com or may be downloaded from iTunes HERE, including a 20-page digital booklet of lyrics and photos. Also available in streaming format on all the major services, Wartofsky's eleven original songs feature vocals by, in alphabetical order: Farah Alvin (Ruben and Clay's Christmas Show), Kate Baldwin (Hello, Dolly), Darius de Haas (Shuffle Along), Annie Golden (Violet), Aisha Jackson (Frozen), Marcus Paul James (Ain't Too Proud), Michael Roberts McKee (Mamma Mia), Daniel Quadrino (Newsies), Shayna Steele (Hairspray), Katie Thompson (Giant), Allie Trimm (13), Alysha Umphress (On The Town).
The 12 Broadway artists learned the songs from demos recorded by Wartofsky's students in the Berklee Theater Arts Collaborative. The album's instrumental ensembles were recorded on campus by faculty engineer Chad Blinman, with the majority of the Broadway vocals recorded at Yellow Sound Lab in New York by Matthias Winter, who also mixed the entire album. Album artwork and booklet design, as well as lyrics for three songs, were contributed by David Reiffel, currently teaching Musical Theater Writing at Berklee, as well.
- In A Dream Alysha Umphress
- My Kiss Aisha Jackson
- All the Possibilities Kate Baldwin
- No One Quite Like You Daniel Quadrino
- I've Got a Crush Michael Roberts McKee and Allie Trimm
- Without Your Love Marcus Paul James
- Just Between Us Annie Golden
- Real Thing Darius de Haas
- 9. Halfway Shayna Steele
- Lament of the Real Estate Agent Farah Alvin
- Never Far From Home Katie Thompson
Michael Wartofsky is a Professor of Songwriting at Berklee College of Music, where he established an undergraduate minor in Musical Theater Writing in 2015 and won a Distinguished Faculty Award in 2018. He composed the musicals Car Talk: The Musical!!! and Cupcake, both produced in Boston in 2012, and wrote music/lyrics for The Man in My Head starring Darius de Haas at New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) 2006. Along with David Reiffel, he was a finalist in the 2014 Davenport Musical Theater Songwriting Contest, and his song "Without Your Love" was recorded by John Michael Dias for his 2014 release Write This Way. In 2013, Michael's songs were featured in the revue Never Far From Home with script by Broadway playwright Lydia Diamond (Central Square Theatre); and in The Concert hosted by Seth Rudetsky at Second Stage in NYC. The Broadway Boys have performed "All the Possibilities," named one of the "top 25 songs" of 2012 by ContemporaryMusicalTheatre.com. Adjunct faculty and alumnus, NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program; Founder, NOMTI (New Opera & Musical Theater Initiative); member, The Dramatist Guild. Winner, Frederick Loewe Foundation First Look Award 2009. www.michaelwartofsky.com
Stills include Saxophonists L to R Berklee faculty members, Jeri Sykes, Mark Zaleski