The CD

September 10, 2010

The CD is your best friend! And your worst enemy.

Your Best Friend:

The CD of the original cast recording is a document of that magical first production, with top notch cast and musicians, often with the composer in the room. It’s usually made right after the show opens, so it’s fresh and lively. Sometimes the actors in the original cast help you understand why the composer made her choices the way she did.  It’s a great way to acquaint yourself with the bones of the show.

Your Worst Enemy:

The CD will give your kids something to imitate. Something that isn’t necessarily the way you’d like it performed, something that isn’t necessarily the healthiest form of singing for their young instruments. And kids are really good imitators. Time constraints on the length of a CD often necessitate drastic cuts, which will cause problems when your choreographer tries to choreograph the dance with the cuts. Your version of the show may not even be the version represented on the CD. Sometimes the licensing organization licenses a version that went out on the national tour or a revision that’s different than what was recorded. The musical Big is a case in point. So is Footloose, which has a number on the CD that’s in a completely different time signature than the one in the score, or at least it was the last time I did it. Don’t assume that the version they sent you is the one on the original cast recording. You have to check. Also, if at all possible, DON’T REHEARSE WITH THE CD! The kids don’t memorize the words, they rely on the CD for the notes, the harmonies go away; it’s death. Don’t believe me? Turn the CD off mid song, and see how loud and accurate the kids are.


One comment

  1. when are you going to address PERFORMING to cd… what is the world coming to these days. 😦

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