|Status: This is an official style guideline.|
A “theatre” release is a recording of a work for the theatre involving music, songs, and/or spoken dialogue, occasionally also including dance. Typically these works are of a musical nature, but they may also be dramatic or comedic.
This guideline specifically applies only to non-opera theatre releases. Opera is covered by a different style guideline. Depending on the release, it may be more appropriate to instead apply classical style. Theatre Style also applies to soundtracks for television or film versions of musical theater shows.
The release type should be “Soundtrack”, even for live cast recordings. “Compilation” should only be used for a true compilation. The presence of multiple complete or nearly-complete shows on the same release does not make the release type compilation.
The recording Artist Credit should be to the performer.
In most cases, the release group, release, recording and track artist credit should be to the work’s composer(s), not the performer(s), lyricist(s), or librettist(s). Performer(s), lyricist(s), and/or librettist(s) should be indicated using advanced relationships. Exceptions: The following commonly credited composer/lyricist collaborations should be expressed as joint artist credits to the composer and lyricist:
- Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II as: Rodgers & Hammerstein
- William Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan as: Gilbert & Sullivan
- John Kander & Fred Ebb as: Kander & Ebb
- Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe as: Lerner & Loewe
- Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart as: Rodgers & Hart
The performance cast, including year, may be used in the disambiguation comment. It should not be included in the title unless it is actually part of the release title. Examples:
- Carousel (1956 film cast)
- State Fair (1945 & 1962 film casts) (two different recordings, by two different casts, on the same release)
“Broadway revival cast” is correct, not “new Broadway cast”, as the 2004 Broadway cast is only the “new” cast until the next “newer” cast at some point in the future performs that same show in the same location. “Revival” should only be used within the cast information if “revival” or “new” appears on the liner; it should not be otherwise assumed.
For compilations of songs from different shows not compiled as part of a theatrical revue, or where the songs are performed by different casts, do not include the cast information in the release and release group titles (unless it already is part of the title of the release). Instead, the cast information should be placed in the disambiguation comment where necessary. Cast information should be appended to each track title:
- Over the Rainbow (A revue by different casts.)
Cast should not be appended to each track title:
- The Magic of Broadway (Album by release artist 101 Strings Orchestra.)
- Allegro (1947 original Broadway cast) (Not a compilation.)
- The Very Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Compilation, but of soloist performers, not entire casts. Use performance ARs rather than adding the soloists into the track titles.)
Note: The intent of this guideline is to avoid the creation of “Cast of (some show)” artists whenever possible. If it makes more sense to handle a special case differently, such as Glee Cast, differently, then common sense should overrule this guideline.
Within the cast information, only proper nouns (e.g. “London”, “Broadway”, “Senator Theatre”) should be capitalized. All other words (e.g. “cast”, “original”, “demo”, “revival”) should be lower-cased. Correct: Allegro (1947 original Broadway cast) Incorrect: Allegro (1947 Original Broadway Cast)
For a live cast recording, two minor differences from normal Live bootlegs apply:
- a. Exclude the colon after the date.
- b. If the city is easily identifiable (e.g. Toronto, London, Paris, New York, etc.), other location information may be excluded.
- Theatre Style applies:
- Studio recording of a musical theatre work
- Godspell (1973 film cast)
- My Fair Lady (1964 film cast)
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975 film cast)
- Soundtracks to films based upon musical theatre shows. Theatre Style overrides the generic Soundtrack Style.
- Demo cast recording for a musical theatre work.
- Non-musical theatre release, using the author, William Shakespeare, as the artist.
- Note that this example overlaps with Audiobook Style. There is no cast information included in the title, as there is a single reader, rather than a dramatic performing cast.
- Live bootleg of a theatre cast with a known performance date.
- Live bootleg of a theatre cast with an unknown performance date, where only the performance season is known.
- Barnum (1980 original Broadway Cast)
- Pacific Overtures (2004 Broadway revival cast)
- Zorba (1983 Broadway revival cast)
- Original and revival casts.
- Studio recording of a musical theatre work
- Theatre Style does not apply:
- These are operas, thus Opera, not Theatre Style, would apply.
- A musical theater-themed album is not automatically considered a “theatre release”.