By Stuart Nulman
This past December 12, the Segal Centre revisited the show that was the highlight of their 2014-2015 season, as they officially launched the original cast recording of “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz: The Musical”, which is now available on Ghostlight Records.
The invitation-only launch event was attended by members of the press, special guests and most of the original cast of the production, who performed a selection of songs from the show that are included in the album, all accompanied by the same live band who performed the musical score throughout the show’s run. The musical, which played to sold out crowds at the Segal Centre in the spring and summer of 2015, is based on the late Mordecai Richler’s classic 1959 novel about an overly ambitious young man who is a product of Montreal’s Jewish neighborhood – “The Main” – during the late 40s and early 50s. Alan Menken, best known for writing the musical scores of such Tony Award-winning productions as “Beauty and the Beast”, “Newsies”, “Aladdin” and “The Little Mermaid”, wrote the music for “Duddy Kravitz”.
Also present at the launch was David Spencer, who wrote the show’s book and lyrics. “It took weeks to do the orchestral mixing for the album,” he said. “But everybody who was involved with the project did all the heavy lifting, and the end result was a show that I wanted it to be.” There were also some video messages from those involved who were not able to attend, including Menken and veteran American actor Austin Pendleton, who directed the show. “Directing Duddy Kravitz was one of the best experiences I had in so many years,” he said in his pre-recorded message.
The single-CD album, which contains a total of 30 tracks, is quite an impressive, attractive package. It also includes a full colour companion booklet that contains original production photos, production notes by journalist Sean Silcoff, a thorough synopsis of the story as told by Duddy’s father Max Kravitz, and complete lyrics to all of the songs on the album. All in all, a fitting souvenir of a memorable musical production that should set the standard for any future musical productions for the Canadian stage. Even the “Boy Wonder” himself would approve.
For more information, or to purchase copies of “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz: The Musical” cast album, go to www.ghostlightrecords.com.