“I was wond’ring when you gonna notice me”
Hey Producer! is a collection of musical theatre and cabaret songs by composer Danny Davies, pulling together selections from cabarets, excerpts from musicals he has written and specially composed songs for this CD. It was released in 2012, and as is the way with these albums, a spectacular array of performers have been assembled to deliver this material. From fresher talents like Julie Atherton and Daniel Boys to the more experienced hands of Peter Polycarpou and Rosie Ashe, the combined effect is of an old-school musical theatre vibe that is rather pleasing.
The CD starts with a classic cabaret number, Atherton’s ‘Hey Producer!’ in which a budding star pleads for her chance for a big break, offering up any kind of inducement including her body even though “you’re probably gay” – witty and light and one can imagine it going down a storm somewhere like the Crazy Coqs. We then move into a sequence of impassioned old-school balladry – Patrick Smyth’s ‘Falling Rai’n, Chris Thatcher and Alison Jiear’s ‘One More Night’ and Polycarpou’s ‘Twice the Man’ all stir the soul with noble sentiment, rousing emotion and most significantly, cleanly memorable tunes.
Influences of a more modern style of musical theatre do peek through (Jason Robert Brown is unashamedly referenced in at least one song), but it doesn’t appear to be his real oeuvre here. The songs from his musical Face to Face – the aforementioned ‘Twice the Man’, Kirsty Hoiles’ passionate ‘Isn’t It Strange’ and ‘Who’s The Greater Fool?’ being the stand-outs for me – are proof positive of the strength of thematic continuity, and making a great pitch for a new production of the show, I’d certainly pay to hear these songs performed live.