Feb. 11 would have been David Compton’s 59th birthday. And while Nashville’s theater community still mourns the loss of this remarkable actor, director, designer and educator, who died in 2016, it’s clear that his legacy lives on. In fact, Rosemary Fossee has marked the occasion with the release of Celebrate Sensation — a two-song musical theater EP created in honor of the man she called friend, mentor and even Dad.
An accomplished actor and singer in her own right, Fossee first met Compton when she was just 11 years old. He immediately recognized and encouraged her natural talent for the stage, casting her in her first show and often driving her to auditions. The two shared a love of all things playful and magical, and dreamed of someday performing the musical The Fantasticks together. In fact, the EP’s first track, “Much More,” is taken from that beloved show and features restored audio of Compton’s voice, which Fossee recorded on her iPhone back in 2010. She’s has paired that song with “Love Makes the World Go ’Round” from the 1961 Broadway musical Carnival.
Fossee sees Celebrate Sensation as a way to honor Compton “by doing what he taught me to do — perform with honesty, magic and passion. I hope this project brings you peace, magic, joy, hope and a peek into my world. David Compton gave me magic, and I hope it finds you too.”
Celebrate Sensation is available on streaming platforms Spotify, Apple Music and Bandcamp. You can check out the music video for “Much More” below. And Fossee plans to release a video for “Love Makes the World Go ’Round” — featuring that show’s original puppets, which were created by Nashville’s own Tom Tichenor — on Feb. 21 on her YouTube channel.