If there is a theatre lover in your life and you still haven’t gotten them a holiday gift, Anastasia, The Original Broadway Cast Recording, will be released this Friday, December 14. What makes that especially exciting for “Un-Block The Music’s” readers is that last week, I interviewed Frank Filipetti who mixed and produced the soundtrack.
The Anastasia article has been hanging above my head as I searched for a story angle. I saw the show in September. If you read this blog regularly, you know that writing reviews is not really “my thing.” I believe there is value in EVERY production. I prefer to dig into what makes a production come together. Aside from that, Anastasia has been running on Broadway since 2017, so a review would not be a fresh story anyway. When I saw the show, I was hoping to talk with the musical director, Thomas Murray, but the show was in transition so my timing was off.
Specifically, Judy Kaye will play her final performance as the Dowager Empress on January 6, and Penny Fuller will take over on January 7. Constantine Germanacos will take over the role of Gleb on December 18. Max Von Essen is playing his final performance as Gleb on December 16. Max is another one of the reasons I wanted to write about Anastasia. I saw him perform at the newly constructed Birdland Theater at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City earlier this fall as well. And…”Un-Block The Music”has one more connection to the show, Christy Altomare who plays Anastasia. I met her when working for In Tune Monthly in 2001 when she was in Mama Mia. Obviously, I need to write a story!!!
That leads me back to Frank Filipetti, the Grammy Award winning producer I gathered quotes from many times in my days at Billboard. I ran into him at the Audio Engineering Show in October. I listened to him speak on the MetAlliance panel, and I realized an interview with him would be GOLDEN (https://unblockthemusic.blog/2018/10/30/grammy-winning-producers-call-for-better-sounding-music/). Not only did he produce the Anastasia soundtrack but he has worked on several other Broadway productions including The Color Purple, The Book of Mormon, Wicked, Monty Python’s Spamalot and Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. That of course is in addition to the tons of pop/rock releases he engineered including Foreigner’s Agent Provocateur which spawned the hit “I Want To Know What Love Is”.
As I told Frank, he is the epitome of my blog, bringing together my continued thirst for knowledge about pro-audio, my love for contemporary music and my burgeoning fascination with Broadway. However, with holiday parties and events taking up a lot of everyone’s time in December, I think it might be best to run the interview with Frank in January. Don’t want such as interesting man to get lost in holiday martinis. So, keep an eye out for this story in 2019.
In the meantime, Anastasia features a score from Tony Award winners Stephen Flaherty (Music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics) who also produced the recording with Frank Filipetti and Hunter Arnold. The score includes songs from the 1997 animated film, such as “Journey To The Past”. The original cast featured on this album includes Christy Altomare, Derek Klena, John Bolton, Ramin Karimloo Caroline O’Connor and Mary Beth Peil.
The special edition Anastasia vinyl will be available in the U.S. with a retail exclusive at Barnes & Noble and bn.com. It will also be available via BroadwayRecords.com. and to audience members at the merchandise stands of Broadway’s Broadhurst Theatre. Check out the show’s website at AnastasiatheMusical.com.