The inspirational original musical Angels, based on John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost, is –ironically —walking its talk. One of the themes of the show is never giving up… and, on its ten-year journey to Broadway, its creators, Australians Ken Lai (composer) and Marcus Cheong (book and lyrics) have determinedly hung in since wrting it in 2002. Both have been working to mount the show on the Great White Way since it received a staged reading at New World Stages in December 2008.
With nearly a decade gone by, the two have decided to relaunch Angels with a studio album. Just released and now available for purchase via Amazon, CDbaby.com, Alliance Entertainment and Super D, with both physical copies and digital downloads. Additionally, Cheong and Lai decided to license Angles to community theatres, schools and churches as a full musical or as individual songs for a showcase. Scripts, scores and complete instrumental backing tracks have been made available. Plans are afoot for Angels merchandise and an Angels book, scheduled for publication sometime in 2018.
Angels’ subject, the epic battle of good versus evil among the divine, initiated by fallen angel Lucifer is told through the eyes of Sera, angel of light. Though she can control light, she aspires to be more heroic and is opposed by Lucifer, causing chaos for the angels and the humans they protect.
The 27-track CD features three Tony Award nominees: Laura Osnes as Sera, Robert Cuccioli (who’s been with Angels from the beginning) as Lucifer and Josh Young as Tyriel. Others in the large cast are Alan H. Green as Gabriel, Alexandra Zorn as Rebekah/Vixen, Stephen Cerf as Michael/Dasher/Joab, Kevin T. Collins as Stratus/Dasher/Titus/Reuben, Elizabeth Ann Berg as Bethany, and Stefanie Clouse as Sofiel. Additional vocalists are Jane Leslie Anderson, Hugh Wilson, Nicky Kurta, Tim Moxey, Gabrielle Lee, Mark Friedlander, Hannah J. Peterson, James Tehero, Daniel Thornton and Mikaela Thornton. Rich Fowler is the recording’s producer and assistant director credit goes to Breanna Hickson.
In the band are Mitch Farmer (drums/percussion), Ben Whincop (bass), Jeff Camilleri (bass) and Charmaine Ford (keys). Other music credits: David Holmes (music director); Tauesa Tofa (music co-director); Jane Leslie Anderson (assistant music director); Daniel Thornton (new orchestral arrangements) and Linda Wood (original vocal arrangements). Tracks were recorded in NYC (Downtown Music Studios and Smash Studio) and in Australia (The Grove Studios in Somers as well as Ramrod Studios and 301 Studios in Sydney).