Entertainment » Music

Maltby & Shire’s "Closer Than Ever"

by Steven Bergman
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Jul 24, 2013
Maltby & Shire’s "Closer Than Ever"

Couples, dating, breakups, hookups, single living, marriage and divorce: The topics that have always made perfect fodder for songs of all genres. Everyone can relate to at least one of these circumstances, and good songwriters can mold them into lyrical and melodic memories that effortlessly withstand the sands of time.

In 1989, the team of Richard Maltby and David Shire premiered their evening of songs "Closer Than Ever" at the Off-Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre, where it ran for a respectable 312 performances. The original recording became a recommended resource for soloists seeking quality audition and cabaret material. In 2012, the York Theatre Company presented a revival of the show, and noted cast album producer John Yap has released the cast recording from this new production.

With a new opportunity to present their material, Maltby and Shire were able to incorporate a few changes this time around that they weren't able to implement for the original recording. "The Sound of Muzak" was replaced with the character-driven song, "Dating Again," to remain consistent with the theme of the evening, "lives lived over time."

"Like A Baby," included on the first record, has been replaced by "I'll Get Up Tomorrow Morning," which also replaced the same song during the premiere production. With these changes in place, a top-notch quartet of singers was assembled to once again bring these songs to life. Christiane Noll ("Jekyll and Hyde") and Jenn Colella ("Tarzan"), form a female, dynamic duo that delivers each song with a spot-on amount of determination, desperation, and sex appeal.

Colella shines on the classic "Miss Byrd," while Noll transports us back into our subconscious with "Patterns" and "The Bear..." The men are just as able to keep up with the powerful women. George Dvorsky and Sal Viviano are stage veterans comfortably capable with these songs, from "One of the Good Guys" and "What Am I Doing?" (for Viviano) to "If I Sing" and "I'll Get up Tomorrow Morning" for Dvorsky.

It's refreshing to have this new recording available for a new generation of cabaret lovers and musical theater aficionados to enjoy and appreciate.

"Closer Than Ever (Original 2012 Off Broadway Cast)"
Richard Maltby and David Shire
CD and Digital formats
JAY Productions

Steven Bergman is a Composer / Playwright / Performing Arts Educator based outside of Boston, MA.


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