‘Raise The Curtain’Caroline’s debut album is a compelling selection of songs by leading contemporary musical theatre writers from Britain and America; featuring 5 previously unrecorded songs, including a cut song from The Witches Of Eastwick; alongside songs from The Light In The Piazza, Just So, Grey Gardens, and Mary Poppins; with a special album foreword by journalist and theatre critic Mark Shenton.
West End leading lady Caroline Sheen created the roles of Jennifer Gabriel in the World Premiere of The Witches Of Eastwick, and Clara Johnson in the European Premiere of The Light in the Piazza.
She has appeared as Truly Scrumptious in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sandy in Grease, Eponine in Les Miserables, Florinda in Into The Woods, Philia in the National Theatre’s A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, and was part of the original cast of Mamma Mia!
Other musical theatre work includes the UK Premiere of Adam Guettel’s Myths and Hymns, Grant Olding’s Three Sides and Richard Taylor’s Jonah Boy.
Caroline played the title role on the International Tour of Mary Poppins, and in 2010 was invited to join the National Tour of the United States.
- Carrie Makes A Decision *
by Grant Olding
- A Part Of Me
by Maltby & Shire
- Isn’t This What Every Woman Wants? *
by Dempsey & Rowe
- Higher *
by Richard Taylor
- Will You?
by Frankel & Korie
- What Did You Want From Love? *
by Conor Mitchell
- I Lay My Armor Down
by Stitt & Greenberg
- Wait A Bit
by Stiles & Drewe
- Mr Hopalong Heartbreak
by Jason Robert Brown
- Miss Hardcastle’s Wedding *
by Goodall & Hart
- The Light In The Piazza
by Adam Guettel
- Anything Can Happen
by Stiles & Drewe
Bonus Track: Nothing Is Too Wonderful To Be True
by David Yazbek - with Michael Jibson
* Previously unrecorded
Producer: Simon Greiff for SimG Records
Engineered, Mixed & Mastered by Steve Kent
All songs recorded at Tin Pan Alley Studio, London,
Musical Director & Piano: Ben Stock
Piano (track 1 & 11 only): Julian Kelly
‘Anything Can Happen’ arrangement: Ben Stock & Caroline Sheen
‘Isn’t This What Every Woman Wants’ singers: Jasna Ivir & Sarah Lark
CD Cover/Book Design & Art Direction by Simon Beechey
Album Photography by Joanna Lane
Released 1st February 2010 by SimG Records
Catalogue Number: SimGR-CD02
'I especially enjoyed 'Carrie Makes a Decision', a peppy ode to ambivalence by Grant Olding, and 'Isn't This What Every Woman Wants?' Sheen's voice range is mezzo-soprano, but basically she is a Broadway belter who can sell big, extroverted numbers like Conor Mitchell's jazzy 'What Did You Want From Love?' with plenty of flair … her rendition of 'The Light in the Piazza' is a shimmering treat … Sheen and her husband Michael give a wonderfully droll performance of 'Nothing Is Too Wonderful to Be True', a hilarious duet by David Yazbek'.
John Fleming from Critics Circle, TampaBay.com
'The title of Caroline Sheen’s debut album comes from the lyrics of 'Anything Can Happen', one of Stiles & Drewe’s new songs for Mary Poppins. She may come from a family steeped in amateur theatricals and musical history, but this West End leading lady – already a veteran – has her eye firmly on the present, as well as the future.
This ambitious and enterprising selection showcases not only Sheen, but the new talents in the world of musical theatre songwriting today. Stand-alone songs by the new generation include Richard Taylor’s 'Higher', Georgia Stitt’s 'I Lay My Armor Down', and Conor Mitchell’s 'What Do You Want from Love?' She opted for piano/vocal presentation “so the songs can be heard in their most honest form.
If you want to listen outside the box, and discover songs and singer, here’s the album. You won’t be sorry.'
Catherine Surowiec from whatsonstage.com
'Sheen mines the world of contemporary musical theater with flair, lending her versatile and lilting soprano to such songs as ‘Light in the Piazza’, ‘Mr. Hopalong Hearbreak’ and ‘Will You?’
Andy Propst from TheaterMania.com
“The Welsh-born West End regular Caroline Sheen throws down the gauntlet for new musical theatre with this terrific collection of songs by composers who are mostly little known. After this, you’ll want to explore their repertoires much further. There’s also a previously unrecorded song from The Witches of Eastwick and songs from Broadway shows as yet unseen here [in the UK], all rendered in her vivacious soprano.”
REALLY USEFUL GROUP Theatre Programmes
“Sheen presents a mix of always interesting, musically wide-ranging material. With her very mutable voice – hear a Gilbert and Sullivan patter song, then a country pipe, then a cool jazz temperament, then again a fiery soprano – Sheen succeeds in making every number of its own kind both musically and theatrically. She provides equally potent proof of her comedic skills as well as of her emotional intensity as an actress. To those who prefer the primate of content and substance over surface, Sheen’s CD is a perfect example. Sheen accomplishes more in her three-minute songs accompanied by a single piano than many a West End-scale musical theatre production with a full orchestra comes close to in three hours.”
Fredrik Fischer from OPERA Sweden
“That sterling, stalwart ability to simply live it as she performs it shines through quite effortlessly on her surefire hit first solo album … it is clear to hear here that Sheen is a quite astonishingly versatile actress and her voice is blessed with so much character and style as to always singularly, well, shine with a certain sheen all her own. Without question, it is all-too-rare indeed to see a sheen (capital S or otherwise) shine with such brilliantine gloss and polish as Caroline Sheen‘s does here.”
“[Caroline] is a consummate artiste of the highest standards. There is not a bad song on this superb recording … what a wise choice Caroline has made, opting for superb piano accompaniment as opposed to a synthetic orchestral sound. The choice allows her voice full expression and gives her way with words a great and very successful emphasis indeed. Each song is delivered superbly with the character fully realised.”
Ken Caswell from MUSICAL STAGES
"Simply fantastic ... There is such a varied choice of songs there. I stopped buying compilation albums as they all seemed to contain the same songs ... Raise the Curtain certainly does not. The "previously unreleased" content initially attracted me. All of these are a real treat to listen to as Caroline sings so beautifully. The rest of the songs are a real delight too. The notes that come with the CD are detailed in why these particular songs are meaningful to Caroline, and enhance the listening pleasure. They are also filled with some great photographs too. In the days when it is so easy to download music, I really appreciate it when the CD comes with such extra content ... Every song on this CD is a real treat, and the cheeky bonus song will certainly make you chuckle. I urge you to add this to your collection, you won’t be disappointed."
“Beautiful music … a wonderfully talented woman and can go from a comedic song like ‘Mr. Hopalong Heartbreaker’ to the beautifully melodic and sincere ‘Anything Can Happen’ with a grace and ease that is astounding. There are many wonderful and different songs in this collection that you get the opportunity to hear the emotional as well as vocal range of a true talent. This is a definite gem of a find and I am pleased to have been introduced to such a wonderfully amazing talent from across the pond. I look forward to future recordings from this absolutely lovely lady.”
“Her debut album is fantastic! Her voice is effortless, whether it be on the sweet-sounding melody of ‘Will You?’ or the jazzy ‘What Did You Want From Love?’. The song choices are great and showcase little-known composers … Caroline's album has been on repeat since I bought it, and it is truly practically perfect.”
Buy the CD:
‘Raise The Curtain’ is available in-store at Dress Circle (57-59 Monmouth Street, London), and to download on www.cdbaby.com