The episode, called “Original Cast Album: Co-Op”, will chronicle the recording of a cast album for the fictional musical Co-Op. Taran Killam, John Mulaney and James Urbaniak play producers overseeing the recording for the cast album.
Alex Brightman (Broadway’s School of Rock), Richard Kind, Paula Pell and Renee Elise Goldsberry (Broadway’s Hamilton) play the stars of Co-Op.
The episode pays homage to Pennebaker’s 1970 documentary Original Cast Album: Company, which showcased the efforts of an exhausted orchestra and exhausting performers to get an album recorded during a marathon session. The highlight of the film was Elaine Stritch’s monumentally dramatic attempts to finish and perfect her performance of “The Ladies Who Lunch”, a song that would become her signature.
The new episode and casting follow IFC’s recent announcement that Cate Blanchett will guest star as a performance artist in a Documentary Now! episode based on the 2012 film Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present.
The series was co-created by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers and Rhys Thomas and is executive produced by Lorne Michaels. Documentary Now! returns to IFC on Wednesday, February 20 at 10PM with the first of seven all-new episodes.