NEW YORK , A breakup song is the beginning of one of the most exciting new partnerships in musical theater.
Composer Burt Bacharach met Steven Sater, a lyricist, while creating "Ready to be Done with You," which forged a partnership that has produced a 13-track concept record featuring Broadway's finest.
Sater, who is the Tony-, Olivier and Grammy-winner behind the musical "Spring Awakening," said that it was a "thrill ride for me" and "the thrill of a lifetime working with Burt."
Broadway Records released the songs for "Some Lovers", a musical still to be staged. The collection is now eligible for the Grammy for best musical theatre album.
Jennifer Holliday and Kristin Chenoweth are among the stars of the singers' list.
Colton Ryan sings "Molly" with Molly Gordon, his "Alice By Heart", co-star. "It's true that I am biased but also objective.
"Some Lovers" features four singers who, together, portray Ben and Molly in their happy youth as well as their disillusioned middle years. It moves between memory and time.
"The show kinda happens in the imagination and memory of the older people. Sater says that the younger parts of themselves still love one another and are trying to convince them to be together again.
According to him, the story was inspired from "The Gift of the Magi", an O. Henry short story about young poor couples. He sells his watch to purchase a watch chain for her, and she sells her hair for a set of Christmas combs.
"Some Lovers"' journey has been long and difficult. However, it has proven more effective than the pandemic. Sater met Bacharach for the first time years ago, when he was invited by Bacharach to his home. He wrote timeless songs like "What the World Needs Now is Love," "Raindrops Always Falling on My Head" and "I Say A Little Prayer For You."
"At the conclusion of the long meeting, which I had stayed too long in, he said to my me, "Well, it sounds as if you have your theater partner." "But if you ever have lyrics, perhaps you could give them to me."
Bacharach sang the song "Ready to Be Done With You", and he read the lyrics as he was walking Sater. He sank against a wall and read the lyrics. Then he turned around, walked Sater back, and read the entire lyric aloud. He said, "Oh Stevie, this feels so real, man. "You know what? Who hasn't felt it?
Bacharach called Sater two months later and said, "I have some money for the lyric that you wrote." Sater recalls, "Do you want it to be heard?" "He had somehow turned it into a Bacharach tune, and it was just about the most beautiful thing." Thus was born a partnership.
Although the proto-musical was first performed at San Diego's Old Globe in 2011, its creators were not happy. Sater states, "We were so unprepared." The songs were performed live at Lincoln Center in 2016. A revised musical was also staged in London at a festival in 2017 and at the Adirondack Theatre Festival 2018.
Before the pandemic, Sater and Bacharach devised a clever twist. They asked Broadway lovers to record their songs in duets.
Ryan would be singing with his "Alice by Heart” co-star Gordon, Groff, and Michele. They reunited from the "Spring Awakening," Slater & Cooper from "SpongeBob SquarePants", Lenk & Ari'el Stachel of "The Band's Visitors."
"There is something so heartbreaking about this album. There's so much yearning." Ryan said that Ryan believes it has so much chemistry already.
Ryan recorded his part at the Kentucky home of his mother. Ryan used a room that was slightly larger than a closet. He soundproofed the space by placing Styrofoam on its walls. He sang to a stripped-down track, and the strings and horns were added later. Gordon performed her part from Los Angeles months later, and their voices were merged.
I was thrilled to actually hear the final product. It was amazing. Ryan says that Ryan was shocked at the sound quality. "We all sent our little bits away from our parts of the globe. It became this beautiful thing.