Personals

Original London Cast

Personals, Original London Cast
CDJAY 1319
DIGITAL
SURROUND
RECORDING
DDD
CD1: 71'02''

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Book & Lyrics by
David Crane, Seth Fiedman and Marth Kauffman

Music by
William Dreskin, Joel Phillip Friedman, Seth Fiedman, Alan Menkin, Stephen Schwartz and Michael Skloff.

In the final run-up to the millenium, it is very unlikely that you would not have heard of FRIENDS, the world renowned television comedy, created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman with music by Michael Skloff. Alongside such hits as CHEERS, FRASIER and SEINFELD, they were part of the vanguard that brought American comic irony to the "we didn't know what we were missing" millions. What many don't know is that Crane and Kauffman had sharpened their comic (bite?) teeth in the theatre, particularly, with musical comedies and sketch revues on and Off-Broadway. Even with an open heart and mind, Personals may seem like a cursory glance into the unfortunate state of contemporary relationships. Romance is not the ever-elusive "Holy Grail." Through trial and tribulation as well as great adversity, one may eventually find their golden chalice, but the taxes, maintenance and security to protect this priceless treasure might bankrupt the most careful collector. Although battling singledom can often be like betting on an abstract horse race where you've picked the long shot and the jockey is carrying the horse, sometimes, with the right two people, it can all be worth it. Personals was written by a trinity of writers David Crane, Seth Friedman, and Marta Kauffman. From numerous interviews, it was obvious that the three writers had been collaborating so long together that they practically spoke in unison and consistently finished each other's sentences. They met at Brandeis College when they were fledgling drama students and the threesome, in their late twenties, had known each other for almost a decade. Personals was the offspring of this eight-year conjugation of knowing minds. When this threesome first came up with the idea as students at Brandeis, they saw personal ads as a satirical phenomenon. Even though that first show won the American College Theatre Festival and was performed at the Kennedy Center, they continued to rework it, inserting with each subsequent draft their growing first hand knowledge of being out there without a life-mate. "That's how we wrote Personals," says Marta, "we were desperately looking for subject matter and came across the personals and thought it was a funny idea for a song, then we thought of it as a show, not just a song." David adds, "it was conceived as revue but it has developed a throughline and a number of book characters…"and Seth chimes in "while keeping a revue style all the way through." David confirms, "of the original Personals at Brandeis, only one song is still in the show and about 75 percent of the sketch material is new." The first thing they did when they originally wrote the show was read pages and pages of personal ads from a whole variety of papers and magazines all over the U.S., not just the Village Voice but everything from Screw Magazine to the New York Review of Books. Their favorite ones aren't in the show anymore, but they realized that personals were written by people who believed that it was the best way to reach out to others. Although all three had contributed to other Off-Broadway shows, including A … My Name Is Alice which had a long run at the Village Gate and Martin Charnin's Upstairs at O'Neal's, this one was all their own, the first child.

CD 1
  1. Nothing To Do With Love
    Company, Stephen Schwartz
  2. After School Special
    Company, David Bardsley, William Dreskin
  3. Mama's Boys
    Summer Rognlie, Seth Friedman, Ria Jones, Martin Callaghan, Joel Phillip Friedman
  4. A Night Alone
    Marcus Allen Cooper, Michael Skloff, Summer Rognlie
  5. I Think You Should Know
    Ria Jones, Seth Friedman, Joel Phillip Friedman
  6. Second Grade
    Michael Skloff, Marcus Allen Cooper, David Bardsley, Martin Callaghan
  7. Imagine My Surprise
    Summer Rognlie, William Dreskin
  8. I'd Rather Dance Alone
    Company, Alan Menken
  9. Moving In With Linda
    Marcus Allen Cooper, Company, Ria Jones, Summer Rognlie, Christina Fry, Stephen Schwartz
  10. A Little Happiness
    Martin Callaghan, Seth Friedman, Joel Phillip Friedman
  11. I Could Always Go To You
    Summer Rognlie, Christina Fry, Alan Menken
  12. The Guy I Love
    Christina Fry, William Dreskin
  13. Michael
    Ria Jones, William Dreskin
  14. Picking Up The Pieces
    David Bardsley, Seth Friedman, Martin Callaghan, Joel Phillip Friedman
  15. Some Things Don't End
    Company, Stephen Schwartz