Photo Coverage: Off-Broadway's 'VANITIES' Heads To Legacy Studios For Original Cast Recording

By: Aug. 22, 2009

It was announced earlier this month that the new musical VANITIES will receive an original cast album. The three-woman cast of the show, which recently performed its New York premiere Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre, headed into studio yesterday, Friday, August 21st to record the album for Sh-K-Boom Records.

The cast and creative team joined together at Manhattan's Legacy Studios, located at 168 West 48th Street.'s cameras dropped by to capture the cast as they "laid down the tracks" for the upcoming.

"We've restored a cut verse here and there, a few things that were trimmed during rehearsals and previews, that we all missed and always knew we wanted to restore for the CD. Everyone's been terrific about helping pull this together so soon after the end of the run at Second Stage. Lynne, Bryan, and Joel especially, along with me, put a lot of thought into this over the last couple weeks, and made some small but significant changes to hopefully make this a really satisfying listening experience, and to stand on its own as an album," said David Kirshenbaum, Composer and Lyricist of VANITIES.

The cast album is produced by Joel Moss and will be available by late 2009.

Second Stage Theatre concluded its 30th Anniversary mainstage season with VANITIES, a new musical written by Jack Heifner, featuring music and lyrics by David Kirshenbaum, directed byJudith Ivey. With musical staging by Dan Knechtges, VANITIES featured Lauren KennedySarah Stiles, and Anneliese van Der Pol. VANITIES began preview performances on Thursday, July 2nd. The show opened on Thursday, July 16th and played its final performance August 9th.

VANITIES spans the turbulent '60's through the late '80's and explores how important friends are as one faces life's defining moments: growing up, getting older and getting over it. VANITIES is a funny and poignant look at women who discover that, even in 30 years of rapidly changing times, the one thing they can rely on is each other.

VANITIES featured set design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Joe Aulisi, lighting design byPaul Miller, and sound design by Tony Meola. Music Director is Bryan Perri, vocal arrangements by Carmel Dean, and orchestrations are by Lynne Shankel.

VANITIES was originally produced at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto, CA in the summer of 2006. The production received two Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding Musical Production and Best Original Score, and was also showcased at the 2006 National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) Festival of New Musicals. The musical was most recently seen at Pasadena Playhouse (Pasadena, California) in August, 2008.

Lauren Kennedy (Mary) Broadway: Lady of the Lake in Monty Python's Spamalot, Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close, Side Show as Daisy Hilton, and Les Miserables as Fantine. Also, Cinderella at New York City Opera. London: Trevor Nunn's revival of South Pacific as Nellie Forbush at The Royal National Theatre. Lauren starred opposite Val Kilmer in The Ten Commandments at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. Most recently she starred in the pre-Broadway tryout of Lone Star Love with The Red Clay Ramblers. Other new works and premieres: Zelda Fitzgerald in Frank Wildhorn's Waiting For The Moon(LENAPE, Barrymore Award Nom. for Best Actress), The Rhythm Club (Signature TheatreHelen Hayes Nom. for Best Actress), White Christmas, Breakfast At Tiffany's (St. Louis MUNY), Hot Shoe Shuffle (TUTS) and The Last Five Years (Northlight). National Tour: Sunset Boulevard as Betty Schaeffer. Both her new album "Here And Now" and her debut album "Lauren Kennedy: Songs Of Jason Robert Brown" have both received rave reviews and are available on PS Classics. Lauren is most proud of her collaboration with husband Alan Campbell, their daughter

Sarah Stiles (Joanne) recently starred in the Broadway company of Avenue Q as Kate Monster and Lucy. She also appeared in the Broadway and first national touring companies of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and in the national tour of Titanic. She toured with Tommy Tune in the Polynesian production of Dr. Dolittle. Her Off-Broadway credits include Captain Louie (York Theater). Her regional credits include Joanne in Vanities (Theatreworks Palo Alto); Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Estelle in The Full Monty and the Teen Girl in the world premiere of Memphis (Northshore Music Theatre); Crissy in Hair (Theatre Under the Stars); Ermengarde in Hello, Dolly! (Kansas City Starlight); Esther in Meet Me in St. Louis (Virginia Music Theatre) and Frenchy in Grease (Papermill Playhouse).

Anneliese van Der Pol (Kathy) made her Broadway debut in 2007 as the final Belle in Beauty and the Beast. She starred for six years and in 100 episodes of the popular Disney Channel show "That's So Raven" as Chelsea Daniels, Raven's best friend. Theatre credits include: Eva Peron in Evita (Buena Park Civic Theatre), Laurey in Oklahoma! (Austin Musical Theatre). Dance roles include Clara in The Nutcracker and the title role of Coppelia (Southern California Dance Theater). Recording credits include "Over It" (Disney Channel original movie "Stuck in the Suburbs"), "Circle of Life" (The Lion King Special Edition DVD), "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" (Cinderella Special Edition DVD), "A Day in the Sun" (That's So Raven Too! soundtrack). Anneliese is also featured performing "Candle on the Water" for Walt Disney Records' Disneymania 4.

Book writer Jack Heifner's play, Vanities, ran for five years in New York and became one of the longest running and most produced comedies in off-Broadway history. He is also the author of over thirty other plays, including Patio/Porch, Natural Disasters, Running on Empty, Earth To Bucky, Bargains, Jumping for Joy, Boys' Play, Home Fires, Heartbreak, Comfort and Joy, Dwarf Tossing and China Dolls, which have been produced in New York and theaters around the world. He has also written for television and film.

Composer/lyricist David Kirshenbaum's other credits include Summer of '42 (book by Hunter Foster) at Variety Arts Theatre, Party Come Here (book by Daniel Goldfarb) at Williamstown Theatre Festival and the holiday musical Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus (book by Myles McDonnell). He is a contributing songwriter for the Disney Channel TV series, "Johnny and the Sprites." Regional: Goodspeed Musicals (CT), TheatreWorks (CA), Casa Manana (TX), Mill Mountain Theatre (VA), and the Victoria Theatre (OH). Upcoming projects include Sing Me a Happy Song (with songwriter Georgia Stitt), and an original musical with Joe DiPietro. Grants: The Jonathan Larson Foundation and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. His songs have been recorded by such singers as Lauren KennedyAlice RipleyRachel York and Kate Shindle, and the score of Summer of '42 was recently released by JAY Records. Graduate: University of Michigan.

Director Judith Ivey is the recipient of the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for her portrayals in Steaming and Hurlyburly, the Obie Award for her performance in The Moonshot Tape and countless others for her stage and film work. Most recently, she was honored with the Texas Medal of Arts for Theatre. She also recently toured the U.S. in the one-woman show, Irene O'Garden's Women on Fire. Some film credits include Devil's Advocate, Washington Square, Mystery, Alaska, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Love Hurts, Compromising Positions, What Alice Found, and Flags of Our Fathers. Judith starred in four television series, the most memorable being Designing Women. Some television film credits include The Long Hot Summer, What the Deaf Man Heard (Emmy nom.), and Half a Dozen Babies. Ms. Ivey's most recent directing credit is the off-Broadway production of Secrets of a Soccer Mom. Prior to that, she directed The Butcher of Baraboo (Second Stage Uptown Series), Fugue (Cherry Lane Theatre), and Southern Comforts (Primary Stages). Judith directed Bad Dates (Northlight Theatre in Chicago and the Laguna Playhouse), the acclaimed Steel Magnolias (Alley Theatre), and More with Yeardley Smith (Union Square Theatre, and the Falcon Theatre in Los Angeles). Other directing credits include Two For The Seesaw (Westport Playhouse), The Go-For-It Guy (Aspen Comedy Festival), and Soccer Moms (Fleetwood Stage).

Dan Knechtges (Choreographer). Broadway: Xanadu,...Spelling Bee, 110 in the Shade. Regional: Godspell (Paper Mill); The Boys From Syracuse (CenterStage), Vanities (TheatreWorks, CA); The Girl in The Frame (Goodspeed); The Wiz, Cats (Hangar Theatre); Mame, A Funny Thing...(Surflight Theatre); Don Giovanni (Indianapolis Opera); Carousel, West Side Story (Opera Illinois); The Mikado, HMS Pinafore (Blue Hill Troupe). TV/Film: "It's a Wonderful Night" (Fatboy Slim), Palindromes (Todd Solondz). BFA Musical Theatre, Otterbein College, member of Lincoln Center Directors Lab, SSDC.

Photos by Peter James Zielinski