| Songs For A New World - Original New York Cast
Music: Jason Robert Brown
Lyrics: Jason Robert Brown
Book: Jason Robert Brown
Jason Robert Brown, one of musical theater's brightest young composers, made his first New York splash in 1995 with Songs for a New World at the WPA Theatre. It's a revue of 16 of his cabaret and theater songs, directed by Daisy Prince (Hal's daughter) and realized by a crack cast of Andrea Burns, Jessica Molaskey, Brooks Ashmanskas, and Ty Taylor (who sang the role on this recording only because cast member Billy Porter had a contractual conflict), with Brown himself leading a small combo from the piano. Soaring melodies and irresistible rhythms mark a wide range of songs that encompass jazz ("Just One Step"), gospel ("The River Won't Flow"), funk ("Steam Train"), and Kurt Weill ("Surabaya Santa," sort of Mrs. Claus's lament as it would be sung by Lotte Lenya). Most memorable are two songs of lost love: the Ashmanskas-Burns duet "I'd Give It All for You," which perfectly captures romantic yearning, and Molaskey's wry yet poignant "Stars and the Moon," which has become something of a jazzy standard, recorded by such luminaries as Audra McDonald and Betty Buckley.