The album, which will be released digitally June 2 and in stores June 19, will include songs by Stephen Sondheim, Frank Loesser, and Rodgers & Hammerstein, Joni Mitchell and Sara Bareilles. Also featured will be Phil Collins' "You'll Be in My Heart" from Tarzan.
Heard here are the opening two tracks: Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin," from Oklahoma!; and Joni Mitchell's "Conversation." The album is produced by Tommy Krasker and Bart Migal, who recently co-produced Judy Kuhn's solo album, "Rodgers, Rodgers & Guettel," and features music direction and arrangements by pianist David Budway, along with Neal Caine on bass, Donald Edwards on drums and Ron Afif on guitar. Barry Ball serves as executive producer.
Krasker told Playbill.com, "We wanted to share an advance track, but felt we couldn't really convey the scope of the album with just one track – two seemed better! The thing about Nicholas is that he can embrace a broad range of styles – which is why you've got Frank Loesser sitting next to John Denver, and Stephen Sondheim sitting next to Joni Mitchell – but he embraces everything in such a deeply personal, singular style that he makes it all cohesive. It was so much fun after mixing down Judy Kuhn's rendition of 'Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'' to mix down Nicholas': so different, yet both so perfect, both so revealing about the artist, how the song affects them and how they convey that to the listener. And then 'Conversation' may be my single favorite track I've worked on this year – I keep playing it for pure pleasure."
"Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'"
The track listing follows:
. Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'
3. Sooner or Later
4. Leaving on a Jet Plane
5. I've Never Been in Love Before / Amor
6. Waters of March
7. Will You Love Me Tomorrow
8. You'll Be in My Heart
9. A Case of You
13. That's All
Rodriguez's credits also include The Toxic Avenger, Mother Courage and Her Children, My Fair Lady and his Helen Hayes Award-winning performance in Oklahoma! His numerous concert performances include appearances at Radio City Music Hall, 54 Below, Feinsteins, Birdland and the Metropolitan Room.
A portion of the proceeds from "The First Time..." will go to benefit the Broadway Dreams Foundation. Numerous cast albums are also available at PlaybillStore.com.