The audience in the sold-out house of The Fortress of Solitude Original Cast CD Release Concert at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater on Monday, April 13 were treated to a glorious night of music featuring tracks from the CD sung by original cast members André De Shields, Kevin Mambo, Adam Chanler-Berat, Kyle Beltran, Britton Smith, Akron Watson, Juson Williams, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Ken Barnett, Carla Duren, Jahi Kearse, Malaiyka Reid and Conor Ryan, accompanied by musical director Kimberly Grigsby on the keys.
The show, which was produced by The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham), is based on the national best-selling novel of the same name by Jonathan Lethem, with a book by Itamar Moses, music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, and conceived and directed by Daniel Aukin. Time Out New York raved, “Michael Friedman’s score draws excitingly on period sounds” and according to The New York Times, “the score flows in undulating rivers of soul, funk, punk and rap.” Friedman wrote the musicals Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Love’s Labour’s Lost, also produced at The Public Theater and available from Ghostlight Records. THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE has orchestrations by John Clancy, with additional orchestrations by Matt Beck. The 24-track, 70-minute recording was produced by Dean Sharenow and Kurt Deutsch. To order the CD, please visit www.sh-k-boom.com/fortress or click here to purchase on iTunes.
The Fortress of Solitude scored four Lucille Lortel Award nominations in the categories of outstanding musical, choregrapher (Camille A. Brown), lead actor in a musical (Adam Chanler-Berat), featured actor in a musical (Kevin Mambo).
Superman/If I Could Fly/Grab Something
(Adam, Kyle, Kevin, Akron, Juson, Britton)
Ballad of Barrett Rude, Sr.
(André, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Carla Duren, Malaiyka Reid)
Take Me to the Bridge
(André and Company)
(Kevin, Akron, Juson, Britton, Adam)
(Adam, Kyle, Company)
Click below for BWW’s recap of the night.
THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, a co-production with Dallas Theater Center, is the extraordinary coming-of-age story about 1970s Brooklyn and beyond – of black and white, soul and rap, block parties and blackouts, friendship and betrayal, comic books and 45s. And the story of what would happen if two teenagers obsessed with superheroes believed that maybe, just maybe, they could fly.
The complete cast of THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE featured Ken Barnett (Abraham Ebdus); Kyle Beltran (Mingus); Adam Chanler-Berat (Dylan); André De Shields (Senior); Carla Duren (Marilla); Stephane Duret (Swing); Rebecca Naomi Jones (Lala, Abby); Jahi Kearse (Raf, Henry, Desmond, Jared); Kevin Mambo (Junior); Malaiyka Reid (Swing); David Rossmer (Arthur); Conor Ryan (Radio Guy, Mike, Gabe); Kristen Sieh (Rachel Ebdus); Britton Smith (Subtle Distinction); Brian Tyree Henry (Robert); Akron Watson (Subtle Distinction); Alison Whitehurst (Skater Girl, Liza); and Juson Williams (Subtle Distinction).
The new musical featured scenic design by Eugene Lee; costume design by Jessica Pabst; lighting design by Tyler Micoleau; sound design by Robert Kaplowitz; projection design by Jeff Sugg; hair and wig design by Leah Loukas; and choreography by Camille A. Brown. Kimberly Grigsby serves as Musical Director.
The Public Theater gratefully acknowledges the support of Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman for this production. THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE is supported in part by the National Fund for New Musicals, a program of National Alliance for Musical Theatre, with funding from Stacey Mindich Productions – www.namt.org.
Below is Ghostlight’s advance preview track from the CD, “The One I Remember”, featuring the full cast.
The Fortress of Solitude CD Reviews:
BWW CD Reviews: Ghostlight Records’ THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE (Original Cast Recording) is Accessible and Artful
Other articles about André De Shields:
Actor André De Shields on His Self-Made Journey
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Click here for more articles on André De Shields.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington and Roscoe Orman. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
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