The hidebound tradition of the Broadway cast recording gets a shake-up this year, as the Tonys team with music label Broadway Records for an album that’s not songs from just one show – it’s songs from all of them.
The “2017 Tony Award Season Album,” due out June 9, will include tunes from nearly all the musicals (both originals and revivals) that made up the 2016-17 slate, ranging from Tony contenders like “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Come From Away” to the now-closed “Holiday Inn” and “In Transit.” Beyond the ceremony itself, the album represents a rare instance of branding the Broadway lineup as a full season of varied work rather than show by show. At the same time, it’ll serve both as a souvenir of the year as well as a discovery tool, aiming to entice avid theatergoers to check out shows they otherwise wouldn’t go to see.
Theater enthusiasts had a role in creating the album too, with a large chunk of the song list selected by online vote.
“We wanted to engage the Broadway community directly to create a musical time capsule, curated by theater fans,” says Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, which co-produces the Tonys with the American Theater Wing.
The collectible component comes in a booklet spotlighting each Tony-eligible show of the season, including introductory liner notes by Jennifer Ashley Tepper (“The Untold Stories of Broadway”) and original drawings by theater-world caricature artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson – one for each production, from “Groundhog Day” to “Miss Saigon” to “Anastasia.”
Make room on your shelf for more than one of those albums, says Broadway Records president Van Dean: “The goal is to do it every year.”