A new website for lovers of Broadway musicals
Sony Masterworks is creating a website to pay tribute to soundtracks from Broadway musicals.
Admittedly, they happen to be Sony Broadway soundtracks. But the label does own lots of them -- and, according to a spokeswoman, it is hoping to expand the initial offerings with those from other labels.
"The idea is to start with their catalog and branch out to make it a resource for everyone," the spokeswoman said. Whether that will happen remains to be seen, of course, but there's enough there now to make this a worthwhile destination for Broadway aficionados.
MasterworksBroadway.com is scheduled for an official opening April 1 but can be seen in previews now. It features a catalog of more than 400 Broadway cast recordings. Click on the album cover and up pops a bevy of fun facts: when the album was released, historical notes, a detailed synopsis, a list of songs, production credits and -- naturally -- information on how to buy it.
Among the albums included are “My Fair Lady,” “South Pacific,” “Cabaret,” “Avenue Q,” “Camelot,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd,” “South Pacific,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” "West Side Story" (both the original and last year's revival), “The Sound of Music,” “Hairspray” and “A Chorus Line.” There are also some not-so-classic works: Meredith Willson's "Here's Love," Kander & Ebb's "Steel Pier," "All American" (starring Ray Bolger, with a book by Mel Brooks) and, from 1957, "Jamaica," with Lena Horne and Ricardo Montalbán.
Elsewhere on the site are photos from recording sessions; biographical blurbs on performers, composers and lyricists; podcasts; and a blog by Peter Filichia, theater critic for the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger.
-- Lee Margulies
Top photo: Hal Prince and Elaine Stritch at the recording session for "Company." Credit: Stephen Paley / RCA Victor
Lower photo: Carol Lawrence, Goddard Lieberson, Stephen Sondheim (right) at the original recording session of "West Side Story." Credit: Don Hunstein / Sony Music Archives