Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Show-Tune Kings: With Cast Albums Ranging from Nine to the Gay Off-Broadway Smash Zanna, Don't! Life and Business Partners Tommy Krasker and Philip Chaffin Make Their PS Classics Label a Labor of Love

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Show-Tune Kings: With Cast Albums Ranging from Nine to the Gay Off-Broadway Smash Zanna, Don't! Life and Business Partners Tommy Krasker and Philip Chaffin Make Their PS Classics Label a Labor of Love

Article excerpt

For music producer Tommy Krasker and actor-singer Philip Chaffin, Broadway has gone to the dogs--specifically, to their pets Please, an Australian cattle dog, and Sumner, a bull terrier, for whom Krasker and Chaffin named their successful indie label PS Classics. In much the same way they rescued their canine pals from the Pasadena, Calif., dog pound, the couple are on a joint mission of love to save select vintage musicals.

"We know we're not doing Top 40," says bookish and bespectacled Krasker, 44, who produced, among others, the Broadway cast recording of Titanic and the cast album for the early Stephen Sondheim rarity Saturday Night. "But we know we're doing music that lasts," he adds.

That enduring music includes such PS Classics releases as Vincent Youmans's unrecorded 1932 musical, Through the Years, to new, often queer-friendly material, including the original cast recordings of Zanna, Don't! (starring Queer Eye for the Straight Guy minister of culture Jai Rodriguez) and My Life With Albertine (music and lyrics by Ricky Ian Gordon). The label's repertoire also includes solo recordings by out musicians Darius de Haas, Chaffin, and others.

When Krasker, a New Hampshire native, was working as an archivist of a series of restored Gershwin musicals in the late '80s, he was sent to California to check out a production of one of iris projects, Strike Up the Band, by a Pasadena troupe. "Philip had a solo in act 2. I didn't know him, but I made a note that he had this gorgeous tenor voice," Krasker continues. …

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