Tony Award winner and Special Tony recipient Brian Stokes Mitchell will release his new solo album Plays With Music digitally and in stores November 29. The release from Broadway Records marks his first solo album since 2012's Simply Broadway—and the two records sit on the opposite ends of the spectrum. While Simply Broadway featured Mitchell alongside a solo piano, Plays With Music is a full symphonic recording.
Mitchell approaches each song on the new release as its own mini-play with music, bringing fresh interpretation to musical theatre classics like “Hello, Young Lovers” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” (which you can listen to below, exclusively on Playbill) as well as standards like “What a Wonderful World.”
The album, which he self-produced, features arrangements and orchestrations by Mitchell himself. It’s currently available for pre-order via Broadway Records, Amazon, and iTunes.
“I’m so excited that Plays With Music, my third solo album, finally exists outside of my head!” Stokes says. “It’s the finale of a really creative and fun process that began three years ago. I wanted to make a big-hearted, exciting, feel-good Broadway album that preserves the spirit of the original songs, while giving them a fresh new life and point of view. Backed by a big orchestra, each song has its own character, unique spin and musical surprises. I sometimes feel like the inside of my mind is like Santa’s toy factory—although the toys I make are musical. Now I get to share them with others! I hope everyone has as much fun listening to them as I’ve had making them.”
In celebration of the album launch—and of the holiday season—Mitchell will play a solo concert engagement at Feinstein’s/54 Below November 12–23 in Plays With Music - Holiday!.
Best known for his portrayal of Don Quixote in the 2002 revival of Man of La Mancha and for originating the role of Coalhouse Walker, Jr. in Ragtime—earning Tony nominations for each—Mitchell made his Broadway debut in Mail. He also starred in Oh, Kay!, Jelly’s Last Jam, Kiss of the Spider Woman, as well as Kiss Me, Kate (for which he won his Tony Award), King Hedley II (for which he earned a Tony nomination), Love/Life, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Shuffle Along. He received the Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award in 2016, largely tied to his work as the Chairman of the Board of The Actors Fund. Last year, he starred on the CBS sitcom Fam and has appeared in recurring roles on The Path and Mr. Robot. Most recently, he played Signor Naccarelli in the L.A. Opera production of The Light in the Piazza.
Mitchell has two previous solo albums: Simply Broadway and his self-titled Brian Stokes Mitchell.
The full track list for Plays With Music includes:
1. There’s No Business Like Show Business
3. By Myself
4. I Won’t Send Roses
5. If Ever I Would Leave You
6. Getting Married Today
7. The Man I Love
8. Hello, Young Lovers
9. A Wizard Every Day
10. Flag Song
11. What A Wonderful World