Ghostlight Records pays tribute to pioneering theatre artist Elizabeth Swados (Runaways, Alice in Concert) with a new album The Liz Swados Project, featuring such theatre favorites as Amber Gray, Ali Stroker, Michael R. Jackson, Grace McLean, Sophia Anne Caruso, and Taylor Mac. The album releases for digital purchase and streaming May 22, and can be pre-ordered at GhostlightRecords.com.
Get an exclusive first listen to Hadestown Tony nominee Gray's track, "Oh, King Daddy," below. The song was first performed at Swados' 1978 concert at The Bottom Line.
Also singing on the album are Starr Busby, Damon Daunno, Stephanie Hsu, Jo Lampert, Alicia Olatuja, and Ashley Pérez Flanagan. The album will also feature vocal performances from such songwriters as The Begnsons, Heather Christian, Dave Malloy, Shaina Taub, and the late Michael Friedman. Swados herself is represented on the track "Bird Lament."
The album's songs are pulled from 10 of Swados' stage works, including Runaways, The Beautiful Lady, Alice in Concert, and Nightclub Cantata—14 of 19 tracks feature songs that have never before been recorded. Kris Kukul, Swados' longtime music director, orchestrated and arranged the album, which is produced by Lauren Fitzgerald, Kukul, and Matt Stine. Kurt Deutsch and Rosalind Lichter are executive producers.
Swados was a four-time Tony nominee, all in the same season; she was nominated as a director, book writer, choreographer, and composer in 1978 for her work on Runaways. Her experimental and groundbreaking work made her a fixture of the downtown NYC theatre scene in the '70s and '80s, though she was produced everywhere from La MaMa ETC and The Public Theater to Carnegie Hall, Broadway, and Manhattan Theatre Club. Swados passed away in 2016 from complications following surgery for esophogeal cancer.