Ghostlight Records and The Civilians continue the Michael Friedman Collection with the release of new cast albums for (I Am) Nobody's Lunch and Paris Commune, set to release for streaming and digital purchase August 14. The recordings will feature performances from Rebecca Naomi Jones, Adam Chanler-Berat, Mary Testa, Nick Blaemire, Kate Buddeke, and more.
This is the second batch of albums released in the Collection, an initiative to release premiere recordings of nine musicals penned by the late composer-lyricist that was announced last year. These new albums follow the October 2019 release of The Great Immensity, The Abominables, and This Beautiful City.
(I Am) Nobody's Lunch was the result of extensive interviews conducted by The Civilians about American public culture and the politics of information, delving into how we can know what we know when everyone in power seems to be lying. The piece was premiered by The Civilians at 59E59 Theaters in New York City in 2006, with a London debut at Soho Theatre later that year. The album's cast features Jones, Testa, Chanler-Berat, Blaemire, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Brad Heberlee, Daoud Heidami, Osh Ghanimah, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Jennifer R. Morris, Sarah Beth Pfeifer, and Brian Charles Rooney, with Stephen Schapero and Jacob Keith Watson joining in the ensemble.
Paris Commune centers on 1871 as working-class Parisians are overthrowing the French government, marking the first socialist revolution in Europe. Drawn from found texts and contemporaneous original songs, the work had its world premiere in the 2012 BAM Next Wave Festival and ArtsEmerson in Boston, with additional productions at The Public Theater and La Jolla Playhouse. The album's cast features Buddeke, Aysan Celik, Charlotte Dobbs, Rebecca Hart, Nina Hellman, Daniel Jenkins, Brian Sgambati, and Sam Breslin Wright, with an ensemble comprising Randy Blair, Ally Bonino, Pfeifer, and Jonathan Raviv.
Both albums are produced by Steve Cosson and Kurt Deutsch and co-produced by Ian Kagey, orchestrator Wiley DeWeese, music director Dan Lipton, and Amy C. Ashton. Cover art has been illustrated by Josh Neufeld.
Friedman is best known as the co-creator of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which premiered at The Public Theater before transferring to Broadway in 2010. Other musicals include Fortress of Solitude, Unknown Soldier, and Love's Labour's Lost. Friedman was a founding associate artist of The Civilians theatre company, working on such shows as Gone Missing, In the Footprint, The Great Immensity, Paris Commune, (I Am) Nobody's Lunch, The Abominables, and This Beautiful City. He passed away in 2017.