Meanwhile, CGMC is doing not one but two of my songs in their upcoming concert. "Even Gayer at Christmas" (with music by Jake Anthony) opens the show! Come see Naughty or Nice on December 1, 9 and 10



Thursday February 18 - Presentation #2!

Tonight was the longform presentation of '40 is the New 15' for the Disney/ASCAP panel. The performance went off without a hitch, and I was very proud of the actors and the presentation.  The audience... a full (if not overflowing) house... loved the show.  There was extended applause after nearly every song, constant outbursts of laughter, and the many many many effusively positive comments I heard from audience members after the presentation and at the end of the evening were  heartwarming, reassuring, and wonderful.  Clearly we were doing something right, and since my goal going in was to touch and effect some people through theatre, mission accomplished!

The panel, unfortunately, were a bit harsh and their general tone was negative, which was disappointing and off-putting.  Stuart Ross (writer of Forever Plaid) started things off with some statements about the songs in general, which set the tone for the evening.  (I have to say, that when panelists in this situation use words like 'all' or 'none', this is particularly off-putting for me.  Things like: "All the songs do this," or "None of the scenes do that."  Please don't lump all show moments into one and give them the same comment.  Be specific!  Not every song or moment is an accurate example of the particular issue you are discussing!  Some are, in fact, examples to the contrary!)  Despite this annoying trait, his notes included some gems that we will certainly take into account.  And he did appear to really like the scenework, and had some nice things to say about that, so I suppose I should mention that, in the sake of fairness.

Leslie Dixon (writer of Mrs. Doubtfire, among other things) was absolutely wacky, and I loved her.  At times it seemed as much a standup routine as it was a critique, but surprisingly, amongst the hilarity, I actually thought she 'got' the show, and I found quite a few of her comments to be quite useful.   

Stephen did, as he does in this forum, sum up the comments and use the opportunity to discuss an over-arching issue.  In our case, it was subtext; he felt there was too much text in the songs and not enough subtext.  (He felt that the scenework was much more effective in this balance.)  I agree with this note wholeheartedly, certainly there should be more subtext in the lyrics, and I suppose my only defense would be to say... but that's haaaard!  (There are, of course, moments where we do use subtext effectively in the lyrics, so I'll take a moment to celebrate those here!  Hooray for us!)

Anyway, the show clearly isn't perfect, as no show is, and we will continue to craft and refine it as we move forward.  And these notes will definitely help do that.  Meanwhile, I had three different people, none of whom I had met previously, tell me that our presentation brought them to tears.  So there you have it.  It was a success!


Wednesday February 17th - Uganda: Broadway Bound?

I had the rare pleasure of seeing a presentation of a show last night that had some real promise for a big future.  'Witness Uganda', with book, music and lyrics by Griffin Matthews and Matt Gould had its 50-minute presentation last night, and it was riveting.  The music was glorious and the script was powerful and fresh.  The panel raved about the amazing talents of its creators, and had some helpful comments about clarifying plot elements, but made sure that the writers knew they had something truly special on their hands.

Since this is my blog, perhaps you'll indulge me to make this next paragraph about me?  I was jealous.  The writers, with the buzz of their project, were swamped by the crowds; while Cindy and I were invisible.  It was difficult to handle.  As a kid, I was frequently last pick in sports, and it felt a bit like that.  Writing musicals is typically something that I am one of the 'first picked' for.  So, despite my joy at seeing a fantastic new work, I was in a decidedly self-pitying mood.  Yeah, I admit it... I was being a 15-year-old. 

This morning I'm in a much better place.  Tonight we have our presentation, and guess what?  We won't be 'Witness Uganda.'  There will probably not be an overabundance of buzz. and it will likely not be standing room only.  (Who decided to put our show against Figure Skating anyway?  What were they thinking!)  The panelists will likely not call us 'geniuses.'  Nonetheless... Our audience will laugh, hum along, possibly cry, and be entertained.  They will see a finely crafted work, with spectacular acting and singing, and an important message.  Many people will see themselves on the stage, and feel that their story is at last being told.  This is what our show has to offer.  Our show is all about accepting yourself for who you are and embracing what is unique in you.  So that's what we will do tonight!  Here's to the little underdogs who will shine tonight (and to the underdog in us all.) 


Tuesday February 16 - A 'Scary' Night

The Disney/ASCAP workshop continued tonight, with the reading of the first 25 minutes of 'Scary Musical', by Richard Hochberg and Michael Paternostro.  I have to say I was completely entertained by this hysterical farce/parody.  There were so many laugh-out-loud moments and so much great music, that I wished it could have gone on much longer.  The panel was somewhat harsh in their critique; and while I agreed that the lack of a clear plot was an issue, I think in a farce this kind of thing is easily resolved with a few carefully placed 'narrator'-type lines.  I look forward to seeing more of this fun show!


Monday February 15 - Last Rehearsal!

More rehearsal tonight at ANMT for the presentation on the 18th.  We ran the 50 minute segment, stopping a couple of times, and came in at 54 minutes, which seems totally safe.  Jennifer was really solid tonight as Winter... I really like her 2nd Act character and her choices are so clear and beautiful; and 'Confortable in My Skin' is just gorgeous.  Also, she and Kevin have real chemistry together (see the photo above) and I can't wait to see how it plays.  Kevin also made some big strides as Oren tonight, his new song 'Flying By' is going very well and will hopefully be a crowd pleaser.  Tod's new verse of 'Something Wrong with Him' got a bunch of laughs, so we will see if that happens on Thursday as well!

I'm also really liking Angela's energy as Sarah tonight... she seems to be making several new choices in her newly edited 'Higher' that she hadn't made in the previous version and I really like them.  Ed made me choke up tonight too in his monologue following 'Better Left Unsaid', which is hard to do since I've seen the stuff so many times.  All in all, a very solid rehearsal.

Tomorrow it's off to Disney/ASCAP again, this time to see small pieces from two new plays.  Cindy and I are eager to see what the other teams have to offer!  Should be fun!  I'll report back here tomorrow night.


February 11-14 - A Break!

Sorry for the break in my blog for a few days!  My partner came into town, and we spent some quality Valentine's time together while I was between rehearsals.  I'll add some photos here when I get them from him.

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