Release date: 2006.
Type: Broadway musical.
It's easy to compare John Bucchino's It's Only Life with Jason Robert Brown's Songs for a New World. Both are revues collecting the songs of talented young composers. Both were directed by Daisy Prince, and both star Andrea Burns, Jessica Molaskey, Brooks Ashmanskas, and Billy Porter (though he was replaced for the New World recording by Ty Taylor); It's Only Life adds Gavin Creel. And Brown contributed two vocal arrangements to It's Only Life. But Brown has a kickier, more percussive style in both his writing and piano playing, and he leans heavily on rock and gospel influences. Bucchino is more lyrical and introspective, his piano playing is the only accompaniment here, and Stephen Sondheim is a major influence. But both are terrific storytellers, and It's Only Life collects both new songs and songs that cabaret audiences have loved for years such as the beautiful "Sweet Dreams" and "It Feels Like Home," and the witty "Painting My Kitchen." And Bucchino also shows a jazzy side with the ensemble numbers "That Smile" and "It's Only Life," plus a piano interlude. There's also an inevitable comparison to be made to Bucchino's all-star recording Grateful, and both have their strengths, but It's Only Life benefits from a more cohesive (and excellent) cast that recorded the show shortly after their January 2006 Lincoln Center concert performance. The CD booklet has lyrics for all the songs, even the stage transitions that are not on the 79-minute CD.
Songwriter John Bucchino?s powerful and uplifting new musical revue features five extraordinary Broadway vocalists -- Brooks Ashmanskas, Andrea Burns, Gavin Creel, Jessica Molaskey and Billy Porter ? performing a moving collection of both familiar and new compositions.