Sunday, January 10, 2016

Updates

2016 is starting with a lot of hope and excitement.  "The Rivals" is getting another Reading at The Westport Playhouse on February 29, 2016 and we are in the midst of casting.  John Rando is directing and my pal and collaborator Pete Mills is our MD again.  Pete did an amazing job as MD at our last Reading which went over really well.  We are very hopeful about "The Rivals" and it's future.  I am very proud of the score.  Peter Kellogg has written an extraordinarily smart and funny Book and his lyrics are superb.With the incomparable Harriet Harris as Mrs. Malaprop and John directing, can it get any better?

"The Honeymooners" gets it's turn at bat March 21 - April 8 when we do our final Lab/Workshop in NYC.  After that, it is onto Broadway once and for all.  John Rando is our Director, Josh Bergasse is choreographer and Remy Kurs is our Musical Director.  We will have our usual wonderful small band and a fabulous cast led by Michael McGrath as Ralph Kramden and Hank Azaria as Ed Norton.

After the Lab, I take a break and hope for good news on both fronts!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Honeymooners - On our way!



As announced, our workshop/dance lab will be held on Friday Nov. 7.  John Rando directs and Josh Bergasse doing choreography.  Sam Davis doing dance arrangements and Remy Kurs is our Musical Director.  Our cast is led by Michael McGrath as Ralph Kramden, Hank Azaria as Ed Norton, Leslie Kritzer as Alice Kramden and Megan Hilty as Trixie Norton.  Cast of 19 and five piece band.  Goodspeed and Jeffrey Finn producing.  We are thrilled.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fantastic first read-through of "The Rivals" !

Audience loved it!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"THE RIVALS" and "THE HONEYMOONERS"

First read-through and listen to The Rivals next week with a killer cast.

The Honeymooners - stay tuned!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

"The Rivals" - my new show

"The Rivals" based on the 1775  play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan is my latest show, written with the brilliant Peter Kellogg who wrote the book and lyrics.  The show was written over the course of two years in spurts, in between work on "The Honeymooners".  I really enjoyed the process since Peter is such an easy, warm and true collaborator.  This was also a show where I wrote mostly to his lyrics, versus music first which is how I usually write.  Both approaches have their advantages.  Writing music first gives me the freedom to explore the emotional arc of the song and find the voice (literally) of the character, while writing to lyric first takes some of that onus away from the composer and allows you to find the voice melodically within the already established concept and scan.

I started writing "The Rivals" with the intent of having a more classically-themed tone to the show, but that quickly gave way to more of my "Broadway" style of writing everything from big production numbers to ballads to quirky songs and comedy numbers.  "The Rivals" is a farce after all and works well within a musical comedy tonality.  Peter is a very accomodating collaborator and when I challenged him to change structure and literally re-write established lyrics, he did so at an incredible pace.  He is one of the fastest writers I have ever worked with.

We do envision a mildly enhanced string quartet playing on stage though and playing our score somehow in an innovative way.  That could be fun, and also gives them a chance to be a part of the show in funny and different ways.

We've just started the journey with this show and I have no idea where it will take us.  I remain hopeful however, as we all do when the glow of just having finished the first draft seems to linger, and that immense satisfaction of having completed the show is still fresh.  God knows there will be tons of re-writes and changes should the show get done, as is always the case, but I am proud of our work.

This also was a "first" in some ways - the "first" time I wrote a show from the public domain (believe it or not) and the first time I sang all the songs on the demo (all parts).  It was also refreshing not having to worry about rights for a change, the endless back and forth negotiating with  arrogant and dismissive corporate lawyers, creators and movie studios they represent.  It feels like a small victory when I can write something that evades all of that nonsense.  But, for the time being.....

I'm already thinking about my next show......




Friday, August 31, 2012

"Once Upon A Time In New Jersey" opens at the Surflight Theater, Beach Haven, New Jersey

Great opening night. Full house, practically sold out. Wonderful response to the show and the actors gave it their all. We run through September 16th.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"New Jersey" and onto "Rocket"

Sitzprobe today- the band sounded great and we had a terrific run-through. Next time I see the show will be our first preview! And our choreographer got married today! Congratulations Christine and Jeff! Kudos to our wonderful cast, band, Cara and Christine for their usual wonderful work and to James Higgins for leading a flasless sitz. Getting ready for a "Rocket Science" cabaret at the D Lounge on Monday night, September 10. 35 minute sampler of show - mostly songs strung together by set-ups. A great cast and nice way to spend a late summer night. Come and see us.