Original Cast Recording starring:
Stephen Berger, James Judy, Herndon Lackey, Michael James Leslie, Michael Mccormick, William Parry, Charles Pistone, Steve Routman with Jill Paice and Karen Ziemba Recordings © 2008 JAY Productions Ltd. Used by permission of JAY Productions Ltd.
An excerpt from the recent Playbill.com On the Record review:"Upon pressing the play button, though, Cohen launched into his bravura opening sequence ("Farewell Mere Existence, Hello Jazz!") and I was instantly engrossed. Cohen takes six solitary characters, adrift in separate lives, and linked only by their Wednesday night jam session, and in 11 minutes builds the basis for a musical. From there on, I found myself listening intently to just about every moment of The Gig — a lost musical that, without this new CD, I don't suppose many would ever have a chance to discover....Cohen, as in No Way to Treat a Lady, is a keen and clever composer/lyricist, with an offbeat sense and a penchant for sly surprises. One supposes there is a story behind the strange non-history of The Gig; certainly, the score deserves better than what seems to be one official New York performance over 14 years. The show is something of a Full Monty, albeit with clothes; Full Monty mixed with Sideman, perhaps. Building your musical around six equal-sized middle-aged male characters is not a recipe for instant success, perhaps, in the theatre of today and yesterday. Nevertheless, a listener stumbling upon this CD of The Gig might well be surprised by how very interesting it is." - Steven Suskin, Playbill.com
"Crackling with energy that is a wonderfully rewarding mix of cleverly bright banter and genuine human feeling is the score for The Gig. This smartly crafted show has a mission and serves it superbly: it looks with a clear but sympathetic eye at the lives and dreams of some men approaching or past middle age. That can be felt in the characterizations that are just-right and down-to-earth and not hammy or precious or sentimentalized in performance or writing by the gifted composer-lyricist Douglas J. Cohen. It's the ultimate compliment and coup that this recording—and I suspect, the show, which has seen productions already and the CD should inspire more—works perfectly as an ensemble piece where no one man of the six—or the professional jazz musician they meet—outshines the other or the material. Likewise, the songs are the model of character-driven writing with their specificity to situation and relationships and personality revelation like the peeling of an onion. This is a musical for grown-ups with little flash and lots of feeling, but also laced liberally with humor and sarcasm, mirroring real-life friendships where people bristle and blend and blubber and bond. The late Michael Gibson's orchestrations, featuring terrific jazz players (like Bud Burridge on trumpet) that more than help to capture the very accessible jazz elements of the score, are spot on. The buoyant and snappy jazz and snappy patter are a perfect counterpoint to the more intense feelings brought up (without being a spoiler, mortality is an issue here) and so ... The Gig is indeed bittersweet. But that's better than 'sweet." Rob Lester, Talkin' Broadway.
Recordings © 2008 JAY Productions Ltd. Used by permission of JAY Productions Ltd.