Rags the musical London Cast Album released digitally on 15 May.

The Rags the musical London Cast Album which features the cast of the 2020 production which was staged at the Park Theatre. The album is being released on Ghostlight Records.

Rags musical Park Theatre London
Martha Kirby (Bella), Carolyn Maitland (Rebecca) in Rags. Photo: Pamela Raith

The Rags the musical London Cast Album 2020 will be released digitally by Ghostlight Records on Friday 15 May with physical copies being released later in the year.

Rags: The Musical tells the heart-warming and powerful tale of a group of Jewish immigrants as they arrive to start a new life in America.

Fresh from Ellis Island, a young mother and her son search for a new life and a sense of home as the 20th-century beckons. The streets of Manhattan’s Lower East Side may not be paved with gold, but they echo with the music of opportunity, optimism and hope. With a ravishing score by the songwriters of Wicked and Annie and the book writer of Fiddler on the Roof, this is a sweeping saga of America’s immigrant past.

This recording preserves the transfer of the UK premiere of this eagerly anticipated new version which premiered at Hope Mill Theatre in February 2019, directed by Bronagh Lagan (Little Women, Putting It Together, Promises, Promises), with musical direction by Joe Bunker, choreography by Philip Michael Thomas, orchestrations by Nick Barstow, set and costume design by Gregor Donnelly, lighting design by Derek Anderson, sound design by James Nicholson, casting by Jane Deitch and children’s casting by Keston and Keston. Rags at the Park Theatre was produced by Katy Lipson for Aria Entertainment, in association with Knockhardy Productions, Edward Prophet, People Entertainment Group, Park Theatre and Hope Mill Theatre, and was presented by arrangement with MTI Europe.

Rags: The Musical is a story of love, loss and hope. Featuring a score celebrating the multicultural music which was filling the streets of New York in 1910. It is a saga of both hope and disappointment, of power and greed, of strength and love, combined with memorable music.

Rags the musical has music and a book by Joseph Stein, lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and music by Charles Strouse. The original Broadway production whilst much-admired did not run for very long last 22 performances. Since that time the creative time with the addition of revised book by David Thompson several small regional productions have reworked and revised the show several times the latest being at Manchester’s Hope Theatre before transferring to the Park Theatre, London.

The London cast album of Rags features Carolyn Maitland as Rebecca, Dave Willetts as Avram, Sam Attwater as Bronfman, Debbie Chazen as Anna, Alex Gibson-Giorgio as Sal, Rachel Izen as Rachel, Samuel Jones, Jude Muir as David, Martha Kirby as Bella, Oisin Nolan-Power as Ben and Jeremy Rose as Jack, together with  Arthur Boan, Angela Caesar, Adam Crossley, Drew Dillon, Matthew Gent and Natasha Karp.

Recorded in February 2020 in London the cast album was Executive Produced by Stephen Schwartz with producers Joe and Nikki Davison for Auburn Jam and Nick Barstow. The Rags band include Joe Bunker (Keyboards), Nathan Gregory (Drums and Percussion), Sarah Campbell (Trumpet), Yusuf Narcin (Trombone) with Arthur Boan (Violin), Angela Caesar (Violin), and Natasha Karp (Clarinet). Orchestrations are Nick Barstow and musical direction by Joe Bunker.

During the lockdown the cast enjoyed a Zoom album listening party which you can see here and we have a sample track of Children Of The Wind as a preview.

The track listing for the Rags London cast album is as follows:-

1. Opening – The “Rags: The Musical” Original London Cast Recording Company

2. If We Never Meet Again – Carolyn Maitland, Martha Kirby

3. Greenhorns – Matthew Gent, Adam Crossley, The “Rags: The Musical” Original London Cast Recording Company

4. Brand New World – Carolyn Maitland, Jude Muir/Samuel Jones, Martha Kirby, Dave Willetts

5. Edge of A Knife – Carolyn Maitland

6. The Fabric of America – Rose, Oisin Nolan-Power, Martha Kirby, Carolyn Maitland, Debbie Chazen

7. Penny A Tune – Arthur Boan, Angela Caesar, Drew Dillon, Natasha Karp

8. Bella’s Song (Part One) – Oisin Nolan-Power

9. Meet an Italian – Alex Gibson-Giorgio

10. Friday Night Prayers – The “Rags: The Musical” Original London Cast Recording Company

11. No More Nightmares – Carolyn Maitland, Martha Kirby

12. Little Lady – Sam Attwater, Carolyn Maitland

13. Cheer Up, Chaimlet – Arthur Boan, The “Rags: The Musical” Original London Cast Recording Company

14. Blame It on The Summer Night – Alex Gibson-Giorgio, Carolyn Maitland

15. For My Mary – Oisin Nolan-Power, Matthew Gent

16. Take Our City Back – Adam Crossley, Matthew Gent

17. Rags – Carolyn Maitland, Martha Kirby

18. On the Fourth Day of July – Adam Crossley, Matthew Gent

19. Yankee Boy – Oisin Nolan-Power, Jude Muir, Samuel Jones, Martha Kirby, Adam Crossley, MatthewGent

20. Uptown – Sam Attwater, Carolyn Maitland

21. Wanting – Carolyn Maitland, Alex Gibson-Giorgio

22. Three Sunny Rooms – Rachel Izen, Dave Willetts, Oisin Nolan-Power, Martha Kirby

23. Kaddish – Dave Willets, The 2019 “Rags: The Musical” Company

24. Bella’s Song (Part Two) – Oisin Nolan-Power

25. If We Never Meet Again (Reprise) – Carolyn Maitland

26. Bread and Freedom – Carolyn Maitland, Alex Gibson-Giorgio, The “Rags: The Musical” Original London Cast Recording Company

27. Children of The Wind – Carolyn Maitland

28. Finale – The “Rags: The Musical” Original London Cast Recording Company

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