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The Michael Friedman Collection: (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch

Michael Friedman
The Michael Friedman Collection: (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch

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Ghostlight Records and The Civilians have joined together to release The Michael Friedman Collection, a long-term project which will comprise the premiere recordings of nine musicals from the beloved late Obie Award-winning songwriter Michael Friedman. 

Download the (I Am) Nobody's Lunch Booklet

(I Am) Nobody’s Lunch, a dark ride through the landscape of American public culture, asks the thorny question — how do we know what we know when everyone in power seems to be lying? Is it possible to know what’s really going on in the world when information is manipulated to serve particular interests? Delving into the politics of information, The Civilians conducted extensive interviews with subjects ranging from a policymaker to a plucky extraterrestrial to soldiers guarding the New York subway. Turning these subjects into a mercurial cabaret-play, a versatile cast inhabits an eccentric cast of characters, all taken from real life. The New York Times hailed the show as “a funny, searching, at times plaintive look at the dangerous blurring of fact and myth in American culture.” Time Out New York called it “an elegant balance of intellectual inquisitiveness, political comment and sly entertainment.” (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch received its U.S. Premiere by The Civilians at 59E59 Theaters in New York City in 2006. Later that year, it received its London Premiere by the Civilians at Soho Theatre. The album features Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Nick Blaemire, Adam Chanler-Berat, Brad Heberlee, Daoud Heidami, Osh Ghanimah, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Jennifer R. Morris, Sarah Beth Pfeifer, Brian Charles Rooney, and Mary Testa, with an ensemble including Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Sarah Beth Pfeifer, Stephen Schapero, and Jacob Keith Watson.

“The Michael Friedman recording project has truly been the work of a community,” says Friedman’s collaborator Steve Cosson. “As we all continue to feel the deep pain of his loss, there is solace in our being able to preserve and share his music with generations to come. In spending time with his work, I’m reminded with each song how much of Michael’s singular self is present in his music. The fact that his voice is so clear and present even as he finds his way inside of so many different genres, subject matters, and characters is a testament to how fully open to the world he was. Michael could find a point of connection with anything and from that build a song, working as part-explorer, part-essayist and of course, composer. Because of that, listening to his work both takes us out into the world and offers a portal into Michael’s astonishing mind and his enormous capacity for empathy. How he lived is built into every thought and note of these songs, and I’m so glad that these recordings will add to his previously published works, offering others a chance to know his music, and through that, know Michael.”

“It’s been a little over two years since my friend and colleague Michael’s untimely death,” says label founder Kurt Deutsch. “The Civilians, Michael’s family and my label Ghostlight Records have all been working to preserve his legacy. It was my honor to work side by side in the studio with Michael to preserve Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Fortress of Solitude and others. Now his life’s work will continue to live on and inspire generations of musical theatre lovers to come.”

The Michael Friedman Collection is made possible by the generous donors to the Michael Friedman Legacy Fund and by the artistic contributions of his many collaborators.


Track Listing

1. The Telephone Song – Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Nick Blaemire, Brad Heberlee, Daoud Heidami, Jennifer R. Morris, Sarah Beth Pfeifer, (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch Original Cast Recording Ensemble

2. Someone to Keep Me Warm – Brian Charles Rooney

3. It’s Scary How Easy It Is – Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Nick Blaemire, Brad Heberlee, Daoud Heidami, Jennifer R. Morris, Sarah Beth Pfeifer, (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch Original Cast Recording Ensemble

4 .Watch Out Ladies – Osh Ghanimah, Jennifer R. Morris, (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch Original Cast Recording Ensemble

5. Supersecret Places – Adam Chanler-Berat, Ashley Pérez Flanagan

6. The Song of Progressive Disenchantment – Mary Testa

7. America – Rebecca Naomi Jones, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Brad Heberlee

8. Schrodinger’s Cat – Adam Chanler-Berat, Jennifer R. Morris, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Nick Blaemire, Brad Heberlee, Daoud Heidami, Sarah Beth Pfeifer, (I Am) Nobody’s Lunch Original Cast Recording Ensemble