With Tony Award Winner Faith Prince stepping into the role of Miss Hannigan in Broadway's latest revival of Annie, I couldn't help but dig out her most recent album Total Faith: Live from the Royal Room at The Colony, her first solo album in 13 years. The cabaret performance that was recorded live for this album ran at Palm Beach, Florida's The Colony Hotel's Royal Room from April 13-17, 2010. Featuring dazzling renditions of iconic songs from well-loved musicals, across the recording Prince gleefully sings "a smorgasbord, a goulash, a bouillabaisse...of Faith Prince past, present, future--succulent musical morsels for your discriminating palette."
Alex Rybeck skillfully provides musical direction for the cabaret performances and the disc, and he also wrote the arrangements of the songs. Under his direction, Prince gets to really showcase her charming and charismatic personality. Matching her appealingly quirky character, Rybeck keeps the music lighthearted and her performances sparkling with sheer fun. The joy that Prince experiences performing in this room is infectious and is sure to bring smiles to faces of listeners.
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The recording opens with an inviting medley that predominately features music from Guys and Dolls, which Prince won her Tony Award for when she played Adelaide in the 1992 Broadway Revival. From there she springboards into a delightful parody of Cole Porter's "Take Me Back to Manhattan" entitled "Take Me Back to the Eighties." In this number she laments America's recent economic downturn and reminisces about the joys of excess. Later, she astounds audiences with a lovely and powerful medley of "Somewhere That's Green" and "Suddenly Seymour" from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's Little Shop of Horrors. Price brings effervescing life to Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg's cute and witty "Lydia, The Tattooed Lady." As the disc nears its close, Prince delivers stunning, powerhouse renditions of Stephen Sondheim's "The Ladies Who Lunch" and John Kander and Fred Ebb's "But the World Goes 'Round." Her rousing encore is dedicated to her husband and is a splendid performance of "Bless Your Heart" by Rybeck, with lyrics by Ira Gasman.
There is no doubt that Prince loves her audiences and appreciates their support. Also, as a fan of Little Shop of Horrors, I found it truly fantastic to get a glimpse behind the scenes of the show. I never knew she was initially considered for the role of Audrey in the original Off-Broadway production of the musical.
Prince's fascinating and engaging solo album, Total Faith: Live from the Royal Room at The Colony is a sprightly adventure into the live of the cherished star.
Broadway Records digitally released Prince's Total Faith: Live from the Royal Room at The Colony on April 12. Digital copies can be purchased from iTunes and Amazon. Physical copies were released on April 16 and can be purchased elsewhere music is sold.