Dessa Rose

Original Cast Recording of The Lincoln Centre Theater production

Dessa Rose, Original Cast Recording of The Lincoln Centre Theater production
CDJAY2 1392
CD1: 61'45''
CD2: 60'52''

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Book and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens 
Music by Stephen Flaherty

Based on the novel by Sherley Anne Williams 

Orchestrations by William David Brohn and Christopher Jahnke

Rebecca Eichenberger , Tina Fabrique , Michael Hayden , David Hess , LaChanze , Kecia Lewis , Norm Lewis , William Parry , Soara-Joye Ross , James Stovall , Rachel York , Eric Jordan Young

Based upon the lives of two real women living in the antebellum Deep South, DESSA ROSE explores the fictional meeting of these women and the impact they have on each other. Dessa Rose (LaChanze) is a pregnant slave condemned to death after leading an uprising. Her captors, choosing not to destroy "perfectly good property," delay her sentence and keep Dessa imprisoned until she gives birth. As she awaits her hanging, Dessa is interviewed by Adam Nehemiah (Michael Hayden, of LCT's Henry IV, Far East, and Carousel), who is writing a book on slave rebellions.

Ruth Sutton (Rachel York) is a white woman abandoned by her slave-owner husband on an isolated farm in Northern Alabama. When Dessa and her companions escape, they make their way to Ruth, who has begun to provide sanctuary to fugitive slaves. Initially distrustful of each other, Dessa and Ruth form an unsteady alliance after a bold scheme is devised to win the slaves' freedom by fleeing to the West. Through hardship and humor, the two women slowly become united, discovering greater strength by being together than by being alone.

DESSA ROSE, perhaps Ahrens and Flaherty's most ambitious musical to date, is almost entirely sung through. The score and its extended musical themes reveal the rarely told story of the strong-willed American women from whom our country derives much of its strength, character, and identity. The authors have structured DESSA ROSE as an oral history being passed down from Dessa Rose and Ruth to their children and grandchildren.



CD 1
  1. We Are Descended
    LaChanze, Rachel York, Company
  2. Comin' Down The Quarters
    LaChanze, Eric Jordon Young, Company
  3. Ol' Banjar
    Eric Jordan Young
  4. Oh Slavery Didn't Do Away
    Rachel York, LaChanze, Eric Jordan Young, Tina Fabrique
  5. Something Of My Own
  6. Watch You Step, Mr Nehemiah
    Michael Hayden, David Hess
  7. Ink
    Michael Hayden, LaChanze
  8. Hey...Hey...
    LaChanze, Eric Jordan Young, William Perry, Tina Fabrique
  9. You Had No Call To Break That
    Eric Jordan Young, LaChanze, William Parry
  10. Why You Kill Him
  11. The Gold Band
    Norm Lewis, Rachel York, LaChanze, Tina Fabrique, Company
  12. See Them Stars
    Norm Lewis, LaChanze
  13. Little Stars
    Norm Lewis, James Stovall, LaChanze
  14. Hey, Pretty Girl
    David Hess, LaChanze, Company
  15. The Gold Band (reprise)
    LaChanze, Company
  16. Ladies
    Rebecca Eichenberger, Kacia Lewis
  17. Bertie's Waltz
    Rachel York, David Hess
  18. At The Glen
    Rachel York
  19. Good Afternoon, Odessa
    LaChanze, Michael Hayden
  20. Observations On The Famed Devil Woman
    Michael Hayden
  21. Capture The Girl
    Michael Hayden, LaChanze
  22. Janet? Phillip?
    Rachel York
  23. The People On Her Place
    LaChanze, Rachel York
  24. Miss We Was Only
    Norm Lewis, Rachel York, LaChanze
  25. Fly Away
    LaChanze, Michael Hayden, Rebecca Eichenberger, Rachel York, Company
  26. That's The First Time
    Michael Hayden, LaChanze
  27. I'm Sorry, Master
    Kacia Lewis, Michael Hayden
  28. Fly Away (conclusion)
    LaChanze, Norm Lewis, Kacia Lewis, Company
  29. Dessa Rose Escapes
    Michael Hayden
  30. Terrible
    Michael Hayden, Kacia Lewis, LaChanze, Rachel York, Norm Lewis, James Stovall
  31. Mmm...Hmm
    Rachel York, LaChanze
  32. Obstinate Little Fool
    Rachel York
  33. Their Eyes Are Clear, Blue Like Sky
    Tina Fabrique, Rachel York, LaChanze
  34. This Baby Don't Need No Name
    LaChanze, Rachel York
  35. Twelve Children
CD 2
  1. Noah's Dove
    Norm Lewis, Rachel York, LaChanze, Men
  2. Through Talking To Nathan
    LaChanze, Norm Lewis
  3. Why Y'all Call Her Devil Woman?
    Rachel York, Norm Lewis
  4. It Was Then I Knew
    Rachel York
  5. Fly Away (reprise)
    Kacia Lewis, Norm Lewis, James Stovall, Soara-Joye Ross, Company
  6. Ah, Look Here!
    Norm Lewis, LaChanze, James Stovall, Rachel York, Soara-Joye Ross, Kacia Lewis, Tina Fabrique
  7. The Scheme
    Norm Lewis, James Stovall, Company
  8. Nathan Thinks We Might Could
    James Stovall, Norm Lewis, Company
  9. Why Miz Ruth
    Norm Lewis, Rachel York
  10. In The Bend Of My Arm
    LaChanze, Rachel York, Eric Jordan Young, Norm Lewis
  11. Miz...Nathan! Nathan...
  12. Better If I Died
    Rachel York, LaChanze, Norm Lewis, Company
  13. Ten Petticoats
    Rebecca Eichenberger, Kacia Lewis
  14. We Organized To Go
    Norm Lewis, Company, LaChanze, Rachel York
  15. Just Over The Line
    Rachel York, LaChanze, Norm Lewis, Company
  16. Now Things Was Going
    LaChanze, Rachel York, William Parry
  17. A Pleasure
    Rachel York, William Parry, LaChanze
  18. That, Mr Oscar Is...
    Rachel York, LaChanze
  19. Not If You Tongue Gets Loose...
    LaChanze, Rachel York
  20. I Understood
  21. White Milk, Red Blood
    Kacia Lewis, Rachel York
  22. They Tell You About The Gloried South
  23. Anna, I Swear You Are As Slow..
    Rachel York, LaChanze
  24. It Was Just Like Her
    LaChanze, Michael Hayden, David Hess
  25. Master, Master
    LaChanze, Michael Hayden, David Hess
  26. 'S'caped
    David Hess, Michael Hayden, LaChanze, Rachel York
  27. I Don't Want Your Money Child
    Tina Fabrique, LaChanze
  28. Sheriff, This Girl Ain't Got...
    Tina Fabrique, Michael Hayden, David Hess
  29. Sheriff, I Got...
    Michael Hayden, David Hess
  30. Master, Master...
    Michael Hayden, Rachel York, David Hess
  31. Mistriss, I...
    Rachel York, LaChanze
  32. Epilogue: We Are Descended
    LaChanze, Rachel York, Soara-Joye Ross, Company
  33. Exit Music
    David Holcenberg