Premier recording of Library of Congress concert starring Faith Prince, Brad Oscar, Kate Baldwin and Montego Glover.
York Theater Gala concert cast staring the extraordinary Jim Dale, plus Annie Rogers, George S. Irving, Jessica Grové and special guest Glenn Close.
All-star centennial collection of award-winning hits from Styne's Hollywood years, starring Kelli O'Hara, Audra McDonald, Leslie Uggams, Brent Barrett, and more!
Premier recording of Kay Swift's machine-age romp starring Mario Cantone, Carolee Carmello, Mark Lynn Baker and Andrea Burns.
Premiere recording of Vincent Youmans' incandescent and most romantic Broadway score starring Heidi Grant Murphy and Brent Barrett.
Youmans standards sung by Sutton Foster, Ron Raines, Debbie Gravitte, Christianne Noll, Norm Lewis, and other favorite performers.
Jay Records release date: 2013
Comprehensive collection of commercial recordings from Vincent Youmans' extraordinary song catalog.
I am thrilled to annouce the release of the cast album of The Shaggs, featuring the 2011 Playwrights Horizons cast, for which I was the Music Director. An extra bit of fun was serving as co-producer of the album!
Shaggy thanks to the persevering folks at Playwrights Horizons, especially Kent Nicholson and Carol Fishman, and to our intrepid producuer Mike Croiter of Yellow Sound Label, and of course to Peter Friedman, Annie Golden, Jamey Hood, Sarah Sokolovic, Emily Walton, Cory Michael Smith, Kevin Cahoon and Steve Routman, and bandmates Steve Gilewski, David Jerome Hilliard and LeRoy Bach.
At long last, New York City was walloped with the sumptuous, joyous songs of Mark York! I'm very happy to have been the producer and Music Director of this event at 54 Below, Broadway's Sexiest Supper Club, hosted by the irresistable Klea Blackhurst. Mark York was at the piano, accompanying a choice sampling of New York's finest singers, all under the eagle-eyed direction of Walter Willison.
Many thanks to our sterling cast: Anna Bergman, Suellen Estey, David Jackson, Shelly Burch, Jeffrey Pew, Stacey Logan, Sarah Rice, Mark Campbell, Diane J. Findlay, Heather Parcells, Camille Saviola, Walter Willison, David Auxier, Janet Dunn, Merrill Grant and Ryan Mccall!
Some projects win your heart, while challenging and stretching you toward excellence. That's Pulse. I'm so honored to be the Music Director of this sensational show, and to be a part of this incredible team of artists, led by conceiver/writer/star Noah Racey and Director Extraordinaire Jeff Calhoun.
Many thanks to the spectacular Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida for believing in the show, and giving us the most incredible launch imaginable.
Check out this promo video for a taste of what Sarasota got whalloped with in June.
Jim Dale is bringing his one-man show Just Jim Dale to Roundabout Theatre's American Airlines Theatre on Monday, November 5. Richard Maltby, Jr. directs, Mark York tinkles the ivories, and I am privileged to serve as music director.
From his early days in the British Music Hall to his Broadway triumphs in Barnum, Me and My Girl, and Scapino, from his days as a pop star and songwriter ("Georgy Girl") to his years with the British National Theatre, Jim brings it all back to life in his first-ever solo evening.
For more info about Jim, visit him at his website.
Email me at aaron@aarongandycomme for more information, or to request seats.
I'm truly honored to have been invited to join the advisory board of this enterprising young theatre company, founded by Artistic Director Ben West. UnsungMusicals.Co.Inc is dedicated to the preservation of musical theatre through the restoration and presentation of obscure but artistically sound works.
Come see their production of Schwartz & Dietz's At Home Abroad on Monday, October 15 at New York's Symphony Space.
At this year's Gala, held in Saratoga Springs, legendary entertainer Ben Vereen was inducted into the National Museum of Dance's Hall of Fame. I was honored to perform with Noah Racey and The New York Song & Dance Company in a heart-racing performance of "Sunny Side Of The Street".
Following our performance, Ben Vereen took the stage and reminded all that he's a National Treasure.
In July I produced this thrilling concert for the Grant Park Music Festival at the super-cool Frank-Geahry-designed Pritzker Pavillion in Chicago's Millenium Park. The stellar cast included Rebecca Luker, Howard McGillin, Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley, and members from the Grant Park Chorus. Kevin Stites conducted, and Gary Griffin directed.
This concert saluted Broadway and Hollywood songwriter Frank Loesser, and offered many of his most beloved contributions to American song.
In October I will happily jump onboard another reading of a new musical with directdor and mensch David Glenn Armstrong.
From the show's website: "Civil War Voices tells the compelling and passionate true stories of five individuals who lived through the conflict, using the actual words the characters left behind in diaries, letters, and other writings.
Civil War Voices had an incredible cast led by James Barbour (Jane Eyre, Assissins), and featuring Nili Bassman (Chicago, Curtains), Paul Anthony Stewart (Cyrano, Fiddler On The Roof), Danielle Lee Greaves (Hairspray, Rent), and many other incredible artists.
In July, I music directed a reading of this lusty and romantic new musical by Cheryl E. Kemeny and directed by the peerless David Glenn Armstrong.
From the NYMF website: "In a tale of love, rebirth and redemption, passion erupts into song as the reincarnated Illona remembers her mission: to save the soul of her husband, the tortured Count Dako… who has waited 500 years for her return and has his own plans for eternal life with his "beloved".
Hungarian Nights had an incredible cast led by Sean McDermott in the role of Count Dako, and featuring Josefina Scaglione (West Side Story), Ben Davis (A Little Night Music, Thoroughly Modern Millie), Jennifer Sanchez (Ghost, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), Dan Sharkey (The Music Man, The Fantasticks), and many other incredible artists.
A Band Called Honalee, a modern folk trio inspired by Peter, Paul & Mary, is showcasing at the MAC Conference in Grand Rapids on September 13-14. I'm so excited to be producing this group of gifted and inspiring artsts! We're looking forward to bringing the FOLK to the folks in Michigan!
Enjoy "Turn, Turn, Turn", from our upcoming debut CD!
Our inventive arrangements of PPM favorites like "Leaving on a Jet Plane", "Blowing in the Wind", "Puff the Magic Dragon" and others honor the past, while bringing fresh appreciation to long-time PPM fans and new audiences alike.
Our show includes songs by Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkle, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, The Mamas and the Papas, The Weavers, The Seekers, Judy Collins, and others.
For more info, please check out our website!
On November 12, I conducted this gala concert, hosted by Martin Short. Also appearing are Rachael Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Scott Adsit (30 Rock), Mario Cantone (Sex in the City), Cady Huffman (The Producers) and Gregory Generet (Birdland).
The event celebrated the grand opening of Molloy College's new performing arts center, and Madison Theater.
Playwrights Horizons' production of the incredible new musical The Shaggs will receive a cast album in 2012. Yellow Sound Lab began recording in October of this year, and will continue early next year.
From the press release: "They defined cult status, and were gone in the blink of an eye. Fremont, NH, the early '70s. A working class dad has a vision of rock n' roll destiny for his three talentless daughters, convinced they're his family's one-way ticket out of poverty and obscurity. But the girls have ideas of their own; and as their father's ambition turns to obsession, the price of familial obligation becomes all too clear." Based on a true story.
To experience the traffic-stopping, seriously disturbing essence of the real Shaggs (the true life sister act on whom the musical is based), listen to the title track from their cult-favorite LP, The Philosophy of the World, (not for the weak of stomach):
I'm the Producer/Music Supervisor of A Band Called Honalee, a modern interpretation of the music of Peter, Paul & Mary. The show brings together three gifted young artists whose passion and enthusiasm for Folk music sparks an invigorating return to the era of Peter, Paul and Mary. Sarah Hunt, Chris Ware and Eli Zoller offer a fresh take on this music, enlivening it with today's version of the same youthful energy that sparked the folk movement.
Our inventive arrangements of PPM favorites like "Leaving on a Jet Plane", "Blowing in the Wind", "Puff the Magic Dragon" and others honor the past, while bringing fresh appreciation to long-time PPM fans and new audiences alike. Our show includes songs by Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkle, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, The Mamas and the Papas, The Weavers, The Seekers, Judy Collins, and others. For booking inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Dale is launching his first one-man show, Just Jim Dale, and I am privileged to serve as his music director. From his early days in the British Music Hall to his Broadway triumphs in Barnum, Me and My Girl, and Scapino, from his days as a pop star and songwriter ("Georgy Girl") to his years with the British National Theatre, Jim brings it all back to life in this first ever solo evening, accompanied by the peerless Mark York on the piano. Richard Maltby is our fearless director.
For a refresher on his unique brand of stage wizardry, here's a beloved morsel from Pete's Dragon:
Please contact Sue Birch at email@example.com for more information.
I'm honored to be the editor of Warner/Chappell's recently-released Kay Swift Songbook, the first folio dedicated to this trailblazing composer of Broadway scores, concert works and a Ballenchine ballet. Publication date was July 13, 2011.
For a brief introduction to Swift, have a listen to this television program called The American Musical Theater of the Air, broadcast on CBS circa 1949. The hour-long episode was dedicated to Kay Swift and her music, and featured Swift, vocalist Louise Carlysle and orchestrator Hans Spialek.
This ten minute excerpt includes the songs "Can't We Be Friends?", Fine And Dandy" and "Can This Be Love?".
In September of 2011, I music directed this exciting new piece at Asbury Park's celebrated Revision Theater, directed by Peter Schneider.
The Break Up Notebook examines a year in the life of the recently dumped Helen Hill. With her family of friends by her side she encounters: two-stepping twelve-steppers, Paxil popping lawyers, dental dams, grrrl bands, hot girl on girl action, and maybe…just maybe…the girl of her dreams.
The Break Up Notebook premiered at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center earning a GLAAD nomination. In 2005, the musical had its World Premiere at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood, where it received an Ovation Award for Best World Premiere Musical, an L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical Score, and six Garland Awards, including Best Adaptation.
The Break Up Notebook features a book by television and screenwriter Patricia Cotter and music and lyrics by LA composer, Lori Scarlett.
I am honored to be the music director/conductor for The New York Tenors, featuring Daniel Rodriguez, Michael Amante and Andy Cooney.
Performances begin in Massepequa Park, Long Island, NY on August 2, and continue on September 24 in Landsdale, PA.
For information, please contact Sue Birch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In February 2011, I was Music Director for the premiere performance of this new musical about Ziegfeld star Marilyn Miller. The new show is written, directed and produced by Ziegfeld Society President Mark York.
Merrill Grant starred as Marilyn Miller, with choreography by David Auxier and costumes by George Halley. Stay tuned here for updates, or visit www.theziegfeldsociety.org for more information.
After the success of the 2003 studio cast recording which I conducted, it became clear that Kay Swift's Fine And Dandy (1930) deserved to be revived. The obstacle was its original book, which was heavily tailored to the vaudeville hi-jinks of the show's original star Joe Cook, a celebrated comedian in the same vein as Eddie Cantor, Bert Lahr and Ed Wynn. The Kay Swift Trust and writer Jimmy Ray Bennett are collaborating on a new version of the show.
Bennett's new script preserves the energy and contours of the original story, but enhances the character development and tightens the dramatic integrity. It also adds eight million laughs, all while eliminating the midgets acts, the clown acts, the dog acts and acrobats of the original (no kidding!). The new version will receive several industry readings this summer. Stay tuned for more developments.
To read a Playbill.com article about an early reading of this project, click HERE
Back by popular demand, Mark York and The Ziegfeld Society will present Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolic on the Main Stage for a three-weekend run, April 18 through May 3, 2012. The Midnight Frolic is a fully-staged salute to the legendary after-hours revues that Florenz Ziegfled offered on the roof of the New Amsterdam Theater in the nineteen teens and twenties. Like those legendary shows, the Frolic features all the glitz and glamour of Ziegfeld opulent affairs, offered by a fully-choreograph and elaborately-costumed cast of 14. I am tickled to return as music director. Special guest stars Anita Gillette (Gypsy, All American, Cabaret), Jane Summerhays (Sugar Babies, Me And My Girl, The Wild Party) and Sarah Rice (Sweeney Todd) each headlines a weekend during the run.
In 2009, I had the pleasure of once again hosting a songwriter salute at the Paley Center for Media, this time for Lerner and Loewe. As always, I collaborated closely with Paley Center currator Rebecca Paller, who expertise, knowledge and good spirit in these matters is unmatched. Our special guest was in incandescent Leslie Caron, star of Gigi and An American In Paris.
Joining her was Liz Robertson, Brent Barrett and Jenny Felner, all accompanied by Mark York at the piano.
Have a peek at my interview with Leslie Caron above, who describes how she won the title role in Lerner & Loewe's Gigi.
This innovative concert delivers Irving Berlin's extraordinary score, including "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun", "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" and of course "There's No Business Like Show Business". But there's a novel twist that makes this program distinct: this concert simultaneously tells the gripping story of the show's creation. Audiences are introduced to librettist Dorothy Field, who had the initial vision of Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley. Her collaboration with Berlin and producers Rodgers & Hammerstein proved immensely successful, and gave star Ethel Merman one of the highlights of her extraordinary career. A favorite of successive generations, the show inspired an MGM film treatment starring Betty Hutton, and a recent revival starring Bernadette Peters, followed Reba McEntire.
A Salute to Annie Get Your Gun features the extraordinary talents of Klea Blackhurst singing the title role, and Lawrence Harris in the role of celebrated sharpshooter Frank Butler.
For more information, click HERE.
On December 1, 2009, I was delighted to participate in a Paley Center program saluting the very first animated Christmas TV special, Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. Following a screening of the digitally restored program, a roundtable discussion was moderated by casting director and long-time Magoo fan Jack Doulin. Panelists included Judy Levitow (daughter of the special's director, Abe Levitow), author-animator Darrell Van Citters (whose beautiful book on the TV special is now available) and Marie Matthews, the actress who provided the voice for Young Scrooge. I had the distinct pleasure of chatting about the much-loved score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill. To top off a very merry afternoon, Marie delighted everyone with a moving reprise of "All Alone In The World", the song she recorded for the TV special's original soundtrack back in 1962, with the help of pianist Mark York.
Have a listen to Marie's performance of "All Alone in the World" from the original TV soundtrack:
To read a playbill.com article about this event, click HERE
In 2007, I assembled the score to this early and obscure Lerner and Loewe musical from the composer's manuscripts housed at the Library of Congress. The occasion was a concert production as part of the York Theatre's Musicals In Mufti series, directed by David Glenn Armstrong. To read the New York Times article about this ambitious restoration and production, click HERE
Since then, the tireless Lerner and Loewe scholar Dominic McHugh unearthed a complete score (click HERE), and it was gratifying to see just how close our production came to the newly found material.
Here's Woody Herman's recording of "You Haven't Changed At All", with vocals provided by the The Blue Flames, Herman's in-house quartet:
And here's Woody's take on "A Jug Of Wine", with Woody himself providing the vocal:
And lastly, here's Frederick Loewe playing one of the ballets from the show (surely one of the neatest things I stumbled upon while working on this project). You'll hear that Loewe weaves fragments of "You Haven't Changed At All" into the ballet, which accompanied a sequence called "Ballet According To Alex", choreographed by Anthony Tudor.
I recently conducted a concert performance of this sparkling jazz-era musical by Rodgers & Hart. This virtually forgotten score introduced the classics "With A Song In My Heart" and the cabaret favorite "Why Can't I?". The performance was a one-night-only gala produced by Jay Hershkowitz on behalf of the Dix Hills Performing Arts Center and Five Towns College. The starry cast was lead by Melissa Erico, Danny Gerroll, & Jenny Fellner, and directed and designed by Tony Walton.
To read the playbill.com article about the production, click HERE
Have a listen to this excerpt from a piano roll recording of Selections from Spring is Here, played by Richard Rodgers. The roll is included in a revealing collection of recordings recently released as Richard Rodgers Command Performance, on Harbinger Records.
I have the pleasure of serving as an artistic adviser to Mr. Vincent Youmans, Jr, the son of the celebrated composer, and the caretaker of his father's legacy and music catalog. Youmans many standards include "Tea For Two", "I Want To Be Happy", "Hallelujah!", "More Than You Know", "Great Day", "Through The Years", "I Know That You Know", "Flying Down To Rio", "Sometimes I'm Happy" and many others. His musicals include No, No Nanette, Hit The Deck, Take A Chance, Great Day, Rainbow, Two Little Girls In Blue, Through The Years and the film score to Flying Down To Rio. Although his career was cut short due to tuberculosis, Vincent Youmans was recognized in his time as a supreme melodist, and one of the giants of American Popular Song.
2011 marks my fifth year performing at the annual tribute concert for composer Alec Wilder (1907-2007), produced by the non-profit group The Friends of Alec Wilder. This year, I'm mounting a performance of his rarely-heard one act opera Sunday Excursion, libretto by Arnold Sundgaard. The concert will took place on Sunday, April 11, at Christ and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 120 W. 69th Street between Broadway and Columbus, New York City.
My contributions to the concerts tend to focus on Wilder musical theater output, with a fond emphasis on his collaboration with lyricist William Engvick. Previous performances include the one-act jazz operetta Miss Chicken Little (libretto by Engvick), selections from Pinocchio, Hansel And Gretel and Alice In Wonderland, several newly-written songs by Engvick based on melodies taken from Wilder's octets, and The Churkendoose (text by Ben Ross Berenberg).
To read more about Wilder's legacy and diverse catalog of music, click HERE
To sample more than 150 musical works by Wilder, visit Rob Geller's compendium of Wilder recordings at http://wilderworld.podomatic.com. Yours truly can be heard on selections #103 ("The Moon Just Winked At Me", from the unused score intended for the Fred Astaire film Daddy Long Legs) and #142 (selections from Pinocchio, Hansel And Gretel and Kittiwake Island).
Click below to listen to the Wilder composition that was played at my wedding, entitled "The Children Met The Train", one of Wilder's celebrated octets.
Email Aaron at email@example.com