Lilli Cooper (SpongeBob SquarePants, Spring Awakening) and Tony winner Norbert Leo Butz (My Fair Lady, Big Fish) co-star on the world-premiere concept recording of Edge of the World, a new musical by Tony nominee Ethan Slater (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Nick Blaemire (Glory Days, tick, tick...BOOM!), who also co-star. The album will receive a digital release August 6 from Broadway Records.
Slater stars as Ben, a young man who moves to remote Alaska with his father (Butz), only to find that the line between lie and reality begins to blur in isolation.
"While Edge of the World isn’t autobiographical, it is personal in so many ways," says Slater. "It’s the story of a father doing his best to protect his kid, and that kid doing his best to understand his father. And both of them are coping with unimaginable loss, which is something my family went through. So while the album is fun and energetic, for me at its core, it’s about wanting to escape your grief, represented here by the vast wilderness. As Henry sings, there’s solace in the knowing that ‘something as old as loss is young in comparison to rocks.'"
"Nature doesn’t have the problems society does," adds Blaemire. "That’s why I think we all fantasize about escaping it all. Living off the land. Being ‘free.’ The problem is, we bring ourselves with us wherever we go. I think that’s what draws me to this story—the tension between what we know to be true and what we wish to be true, and how they obscure each other. That tension feels uniquely juxtaposed in the expanse of Alaska."
Edge of the World is the first musical written by Slater and Blaemire as a team; the two previously shared the stage as mortal enemies SpongeBob SquarePants and Plankton in the pre-Broadway tryout of The SpongeBob Musical. Blaemire has appeared on Broadway in Cry-Baby and Godspell, and co-wrote the music and lyrics to 2008's Glory Days. Slater was Tony-nominated for his performance in the title role of SpongeBob SquarePants, and is set to appear in Classic Stage Company's upcoming Off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Assassins.
The album is produced by Bonnie Comley and Stewart Lane, mixed by Aaron Ankrum, and mastered by Hans Dekline. The band includes Slater on guitar, Marco Paguia on piano, Michael Dobson on drums, Christian Ankrum on bass, and Aaron Ankrum on horns, strings, and more.