The cast of the York Theatre's recent revival of The Body Beautiful - including Tony winner Cady Huffman (The Producers) and Tony nominees Brad Oscar (The Producers) and Megan Lawrence (The Pajama Game) - will go into the recording studio on April 7 to preserve Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's inaugural Broadway score set to a book by Joseph Stein and Will Glickman.
The original 1958 Broadway production of The Body Beautiful had its Columbia Records cast album contract canceled by the producers at the request of Columbia, who instead made a $5,000 payment to offset advertising costs of the then-struggling show.
Composer Bock reflected on the upcoming recording - "A sparkling new original cast album 50 years after the show opened? If that's not a first, I'll eat my notes while Sheldon eats his words! And if that's not a definition of The Fabulous Invalid, better known as The Body Beautiful, we'll both eat Joe Stein's book. Bless the Gods of the Bods!"
Bruce Yeko of Original Cast Records is producing the recording, which will be released in early summer. The York production's musical director, John Bell, and director/choreographer, David Glenn Armstrong, are co-producing the recording at Audio Paint Studios, NYC.
Reprising their roles on the recording from the York's Mufti production are Stephen Bienskie (Cats), Laura Marie Duncan (South Pacific), Ryan Duncan (Altar Boyz), Capathia Jenkins (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me), Jonathan Kay (Gemini the Musical), Mike McGowan (Paper Mill's Kiss Me, Kate) John Eric Parker (All Shook Up), Patrick Richwood (Peter Pan tour), Angie Schworer (The Producers), and Jim Sorensen (York's Plain & Fancy).
Joining the York cast under the musical direction of John Bell are Kerry Conte (Irish Rep's Meet Me in St. Louis), drummer Damien Bassman, and bass player Jordan Jancz. CharLes Martinez is the recording engineer.
The Body Beautiful was the first collaboration between Bock, Harnick, and Stein who went on to write Fiddler on the Roof a few years later. The show is set in New York City's boxing underworld in 1958. The plot follows the misguided adventures of a wealthy Dartmouth College grad who yearns to be a down-and-dirty boxer and the girl he loves who disapproves of his ambitions. The lovers are surrounded by a colorful assortment of boxing world denizens: bleached blonde groupies, deal-making mobsters, addled heavyweights, vengeful ex-wives, and desperate fight promoters.
The Body Beautiful opened at the Broadway Theatre on January 23, 1958 after a Philadelphia tryout and starred Jack Warden, Steve Forrest, Mindy Carson, Barbara McNair and William Hickey. The George Schaefer-helmed production had choreography by Herbert Ross and ran for 60 performances. There were no regional, stock or touring productions of the show. The York Theatre's sold-out concert staging in October of 2007 was the first-ever revival of The Body Beautiful.