|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. Depending on the release, it may be more appropriate to instead apply classical style (as used for opera) or audiobook 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. If the performer is unknown, use the Special Purpose Artist [unknown]. In some cases, the performer may not be suitable for a separate artist (e.g. “Full cast”, “Ensemble”, “Nun's Chorus”). In such cases, link the Special Purpose Artist [theatre], credited as it appears on the release.
Track Artist Credits should be as listed on the release. In most cases this will be the writers. Again, in some cases, the credited artist may not be suitable for a separate artist (e.g. “Full cast”, “Ensemble”, “Nun's Chorus”). In such cases, use the Special Purpose Artist [theatre], credited as it appears on the release. If there are no credited per-track artists, use the release artist, or the track’s composer if there is no clear release artist.
In most cases, the release group and release artist credit should be to the writers, rather than performers, which should be indicated using relationships. Casts should be indicated using disambiguation comments.
For most theatre releases which are non-musical, artist credit should be to the writer/author of the work. The Special Purpose Artist [unknown] should be used for those cases where the writer is unknown.
Make sure to add the appropriate relationships for all writers as well.
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 placed 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.
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 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 actually is part of the title of the release). Instead, the cast information should be placed in the recording disambiguation comments where necessary.
Cast information should be placed in each recording’s disambiguation comment:
- Over the Rainbow (A revue by different casts.)
- The Very Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Compilation, but of soloist performers, not entire casts. Use performance ARs. Optionally, list the soloists in the disambiguation comment.)
Cast information should not be placed in each recording’s disambiguation comment:
- The Magic of Broadway (Album by release artist 101 Strings Orchestra, no cast information relevant)
- Allegro (1947 original Broadway cast) (Not a compilation. Cast information goes in the release’s disambiguation comment)
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, then common sense should overrule this guideline.
Note: italics denotes disambiguation comment.
Theatre Style applies:
- Studio recording of a musical theatre work:
- The Rocky Horror Show (1973 original London cast)
- Oklahoma! (1998 London cast)
- Pacific Overtures (2004 Broadway revival cast)
- Soundtracks to films based upon musical theatre shows:
- Godspell (1973 film cast)
- My Fair Lady (1964 film cast)
- The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975 film cast)
- Demo cast recording for a musical theatre work:
- Chess (1984 demo cast)
- Non-musical theatre release, using the writer as the artist:
- Live bootleg of a theatre cast with a known performance date:
- The Little Mermaid (2007-07-26 Denver cast)
- Live bootleg of a theatre cast with an unknown performance date, where only the performance season is known:
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (2005 Encores! cast)
Theatre Style does not apply:
- These are operas. Classical, not Theatre Style, would apply:
- A musical theater-themed album is not automatically considered a “theatre release”: