Columbia Records has released Harry On Broadway, Act 1: a two-CD collection of Broadway music performed by Harry Connick, Jr. The new collection includes separate discs, The Pajama Game Cast Album and Thou Shalt Not.
The first disc included in Harry On Broadway, Act 1 is devoted to the new Broadway cast recording of the Roundabout Theatre Company's critically-acclaimed revival of "The Pajama Game," starring Harry Connick, Jr. in his Broadway stage debut, Kelli O'Hara, and Michael McKean.
Based on the novel, "7-1/2 Cents," by Richard Bissell, "The Pajama Game" is set in the Sleep-Tite Pajama Factory during a strenuous labor negotiation and centers on the simmering romance between a handsome new manager and a lovely union representative that is threatened by the impending strike. With book by George Abbott and Richard Bissell and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross, the original 1955 Broadway production of “The Pajama Game” won three Tony Awards ®, including Best Musical. The 2006 production, part of the 40th anniversary season of the Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director), was in performance at the American Airlines Theatre through June 17, 2006 and was directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall.
In addition to stellar interpretations of the musical's classic songs including "Hey There," "Steam Heat," and "Hernando's Hideaway," both the Roundabout Theatre production and The Pajama Game Cast Album feature three songs -- "If You Win, You Lose" and "The Three of Us," written by Richard Adler, and "The World Around Us," written by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross -- not included in the original production.
The sold-out run of "The Pajama Game" generated unanimous raves from the theatergoing public and press alike. "Ms. O'Hara and Mr. Connick pulse with an immediacy that makes them, hands down, the hottest couple in the New York theater. With this show, she becomes a full-fledged musical star. So does Mr. Connick, making his Broadway debut as an actor…If sexual chemistry was illegal, then Mr. Connick and Ms. O'Hara (not to mention their red-handed director and choreographer, Ms. Marshall) would be looking at long jail terms. Mr. Connick and Ms. O'Hara provide the fiery kick in a show that goes down as easily and intoxicatingly as spiked lemonade at a summer picnic." – Ben Brantley, The New York Times
"Harry Connick Jr…is absolutely sensational…He's bright, funny, plays a mean piano and can even dance. This is a debut of legendary proportions." - Clive Barnes, The New York Post
"That sound you hear coming from 42nd Street is the collective swoon of hundreds of women—and quite a few men—whenever Harry Connick Jr. eases into a song in 'The Pajama Game.'" - David Rooney, Variety
"(Harry Connick, Jr.) has the confidence of talent—and the sex appeal that goes with it. Connick—a virtuoso at the keyboard—launches into a thrilling stride-piano version of 'Hernando's Hideaway,’ in what is one of the few genuinely show-stopping musical moments in recent years." - John Lahr, The New Yorker
Thou Shalt Not, the second CD in the Harry On Broadway, Act 1 collection, showcases “The Pajama Game” stars Connick and O'Hara performing jazz interpretations of songs written by Connick for the Broadway musical “Thou Shalt Not.” The program includes songs featured in the 2001 Broadway production, which received a Tony nomination for Best Score, as well as music written for but not included in the production. With the exception of "The Other Hours," which Connick sang on his platinum-selling Sony/Columbia album Only You, none of the songs on Thou Shalt Not have been previously recorded in vocal versions or sung by Harry.
The Harry Connick, Jr. Quartet, which features Charles "Ned" Goold (tenor saxophone,) Neal Caine (bass,) and Arthur Latin, II (drums,) appear throughout the Thou Shalt Not album to provide Connick (who also plays piano) and O'Hara with swinging and sophisticated accompaniments.
The Pajama Game Cast Album Production Credits: Produced by Tracey Freeman and Harry Connick, Jr., Recorded and Mixed by Vince Caro, Second Engineer - Sandy Palmer Grassi, Pro Tools Engineer - Michael Peters, Pro Tools/Assistant Engineer: Peter Doris, Mastered by Vlado Meller, Recorded at Avatar Studios, NYC, March 6 & 7, 2006, Mixed and Mastered at Sony Studios, NYC The Pajama Game Cast Album Musicians: Vocals: Harry Connick, Jr. as Sid Sorokin, Kelli O'Hara as Babe Williams, Michael McKean as Hines, Richard Poe as Mr. Hasler, Megan Lawrence as Gladys, Roz Ryan as Mabel, Michael McCormick as Ganzenlicker/Pop, Rob Berman - Conductor, Chris Fenwick, Associate Conductor, Marilyn Reynolds - Violin, Beth Sturdevant - Cello, Steve Kenyon, John Winder - Reeds, Roger Ingram, Christian Jaudes - Trumpet, John Allred, Joe Barati - Trombones, Jim Hershman - Guitar, Chris Fenwick - Piano, Neal Caine - Bass, Paul Pizutti - Drums, Andy Barrett - Synthesizer Programmer, Seymour "Red" Press
Thou Shalt Not Production Credits: Produced by Tracey Freeman, Recorded and Mixed by Vince Caro, Mastered by Vlado Meller, Recorded at Avatar Studios, NYC, March 9 & 10, 2006, Pro Tools/Assistant Engineer: Peter Doris, General Assistant: Jim Keller, Additional Recording at Right Track Studios, NYC, March 17, 2006, Pro Tools Engineer: Alex Venguer, Assistant Engineers: Vick Banns & Rick Kwan, Mixed and Mastered at Sony Studios, NYC, Pro Tools Engineer - Michael Peters Thou Shalt Not Musicians: Harry Connick Jr. - Piano & Vocals, Kelli O'Hara - Vocals, Charles "Ned" Goold - Tenor Sax, Neal Caine - Bass, Arthur Latin - Drums, Marilyn Reynolds - Violin (Concert Master), Sylvia D'Avanzo - Violin, Maura Giannini - Violin, Suzanne Ornstein - Violin, Belinda Whitney - Violin, Dale P. Woodiel - Violin, Eugene Moye - Cello, Beth Sturdevant - Cello, Aija Silina - Violin, Crystal Garner - Viola, Jill Jaffe - Viola, Sally Shumway - Viola, Rob Berman - Conductor, Seymour "Red" Press - Contractor, Geoff Burke - Music Preparation & Copyist