Sondheim

Jan. 11th, 2016 08:53 am
ceelove: (serendipity)
(See what I did there?)
Jan 15 - Feb 20, Lyric Stage Company is presenting Sondheim on Sondheim (which played on Broadway), a showcase of his work interspersed with his commentary.

http://www.lyricstage.com/productions/production.cfm?ID=98

Tickets are pricey but less so on weekdays. My ideal showing would be Feb 11, but I could likely manage others. Anyone want to go with?

Hamilton

Oct. 20th, 2015 11:31 am
ceelove: (Default)
A few weeks ago, I encountered Lin-Manuel Miranda's new revolutionary hip-hop musical, Hamilton, and I haven't stopped listening since. Two and a half hours of early American history, the seemingly-stodgy Founding Fathers portrayed by insouciant people of color. I pity any musical going up against its brilliance for the Tony next year.

NPR streamed the whole thing, but now has Spotify links & such
ceelove: (serendipity)
I've seen Chess three times now, starting at 17 when I didn't get it at all but loved the music, even though it was the watered-down American version. It's been rewritten [again, still] and is playing in Needham next month.

So who's up for a bit of a traipse to see what I hear is a cool new production of a perhaps-even-more-intact-than-the-original-British Chess? The only date I can make work is May 10 at 8:00 (and I'd still need to get childcare - this is not a kid-friendly show). Tix are $22.

Moar infoz: http://needhamtheatre.org/showinfo.html

Recommended

Mar. 7th, 2014 09:31 am
ceelove: (serendipity)
Much as I love me some musicals, I rarely feel that there's something worth saying to y'all about them. But I just watched something (by Netflix video) that was such an interesting intersection of cultural icons, I have to recommend it: the 2011 production of Company. It includes Stephen Colbert singing, dancing, and being beat on by a woman, Christina Hendricks (Malcolm Reynolds' "wife" in Firefly), Patti LuPone, and the finest performance of "Being Alive" I have ever heard, by Neil Patrick Harris. The production had both a depth and coherence I've never before encountered, plus the kind of cleverness of staging that you'd expect from that star-studded cast.

Here's to the ladies who...love Sondheim! And now, back to my playmaking.

ETA: Oh hey, it's up on Youtube in its entirety: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8uJ6wlm828
ceelove: (serendipity)
Woot, I am chair-dancing! My revision of Fire and Ice, she is finish! Almost a year after the first take, but I was kind of busy this year. :P

I've never before enjoyed rewriting - when I did it to get a story published at 20, I said that it was like cutting off my baby's arms and sewing them on backwards (not that I would have known). But this! This was fun. I shaved that puppy down from 129 pages to 99 (should be under two hours), tossed out two songs, and now have something that feels manageable instead of lumbering.

And now I must read everything the internet thinks about what I can do to get it produced. Unless you happen to know a theatrical company looking to do a cutting-edge apocalyptic musical with eight principles and six in the ensemble?
ceelove: (serendipity)
Just found out that Legally Blonde the musical is playing in Winchester next month, at a price range I like and one which I would be willing to pay for Sylvana to accompany me. (It's one of her top three obsessions, musical-wise.) Anyone want to join us? I'm most inclined to treat us to a performance on Mother's Day.
ceelove: (Default)
So, absolutely no thanks to me, Fire and Ice is now up on YouTube. Chris Lahey (who performed as Frank) deserves all the credit for cutting it into useable pieces and putting them up.

It is as rough (especially early on) as one would expect from a piece as unrehearsed as this was, but I believe you can still get the gist.

Also understand that I know this to be a work in progress. I've already gotten plenty of useful feedback suggesting where my rewrites will lie: making Frank's character less unlikeable, making Act One less redundant in establishing the characters, stripping back the conversations with Janet and adding in a boyfriend for Madison who is stuck vacationing in Europe, rewriting "Who Can We Blame," and possibly leaving out "Buy Buy Buy." I'm open to hearing your thoughts!
ceelove: (Default)
Just finished the read/sing-through of my musical. I need a drink.

Okay, I have a drink. Now I need a, a...something to stop me from vibrating with excitement for the entire rest of the day.

I kind of can't believe it's already over. Like, it's so long! And it took so much work to have some people read and sing things I wrote in front of other people. Who knew? Oh, right, anyone involved in theater, i.e. not me. But yes, there were plenty of people there to read, sing, play, film, and witness Fire and Ice.

The library closed about two minutes after I finished singing the last note, so nobody could stay and hobnob about it, but I think the majority of the audience took a moment to shake my hand and say something to effect of, "That was awesome." People clapped after the best songs, laughed even more than I expected (yes, it's a tragedy, but it can't be leaden for two and a half hours), and did indeed seem yanked around by the heartstrings, just as I wanted. I'm sure it can use some tweaking (and seven more arrangements, out of nineteen), but I think it's safe to say, it works.

Next stop, Broadway! :P
ceelove: (Default)
A family slogs across post-apocalyptic America. Most of them die. And, perhaps the worst indignity of all, they are characters in a musical, and so they have to warble about the whole damn thing.

It's Fire and Ice, the epic tragedy that I've been crafting for the past two years. Some cohorts and I will be doing a read/sing-through, open to the public, in the conference room of the main Somerville library.

We will start promptly at 2:00 and likely go til about 5:00, with an intermission between acts. Did I mention there are 19 songs? There are 19 songs. If we're lucky, a majority will be accompanied by piano.

Yes, bring your videocamera. Yes, invite your friends, at least those whose tastes run to countercultural musicals. Yes, volunteer to read a part (in which case, I'll email you the script beforehand) and/or sing (in which case, I'll email you song files and coordinate rehearsing beforehand). But mostly, if you've ever wondered what else the writer of Never After might have to say, just show up, because, YES!, it is finally ready for your delectation.

(But no: don't worry that I will be offended if you don't show up. I get that a musical post-apocalyptic Grapes of Wrath isn't for everyone.)
ceelove: (Default)
I want to hold a performance of Fire and Ice on the first weekend of February. I'm hoping for a bigger audience than will fit comfortably into someone's living room, so I'd like to reserve the conference room at the Somerville public library, but it's only open until 5:00 on weekends. I expect the performance will take 2 1/2 hours, plus we should plan for an intermission and a little wriggle room at the end, so I'm thinking 2-5:00.

What works best for you (sorry, can't do a poll)?
a) Saturday, February 2, 2-5:00
b) Sunday, February 3, 2-5:00
c) use a different venue that will allow for a later afternoon/early evening performance

DONE.

Dec. 31st, 2012 12:22 pm
ceelove: (Default)
Told you. :)

It's been over two years that I've been writing Fire and Ice. It took me the first two-thirds of the time to write the first one-third of the script, but then I thankfully found my groove, and since the spring it's felt like I could finish this year. So I did. Including rewrite.

It's 128 pages, about two and a half hours runtime. Nineteen songs, well over an hour of music even before an overture or whatever. Sometimes people have expressed amazement about one person writing the music, lyrics, and libretto, whereas to me it's not amazing, merely a lot of work; what boggles my mind is the idea of trying to mesh talents between multiple people to produce things. (Unsurprisingly, I'm having a hell of a time getting this bugger arranged.)

Congratulate me, people. This was the longest, most intentional, epic, demanding thing I've ever written. I believed that Never After was good, and many hundreds of people apparently agreed. I'm telling you that this is better. It may not necessarily be to your tastes, but it is a damn fine work.

wow.

Feb. 21st, 2012 11:48 pm
ceelove: (Default)
So I'm still adrenaliney, hours after the fact. In other words, that worked.

Twenty people showed up to hear a cold reading and songs from the first act of Fire and Ice. Twenty! I feel all supported and heard and stuff. And then they workshopped it! Even better than when that happened piecemeal about Never After: I can incorporate changes before putting it in front of hundreds of people. (Assuming that I have the chance to put it before hundreds of people.)

Overall, I think it was quite well received, with enough positive commentary that I think this is on the right path to be a great play and enough criticism that I know people weren't blowing sunshine up my ass. I came home with a boatload of suggestions, a head percolating with ideas, and a 60-watt smile.

Thanks, y'all. Now, how the heck do I calm down enough to sleep? I know, I'll jump back into working on Act Two!
ceelove: (Default)
"Fire and Ice", Act One, in narrated house-concert (reading by some of y'all, songs by me & Mary Casiello)
February 21, 8:00
First floor of left-hand side of And/Or, 35/37 Kidder Ave, Somerville

Be there or be bereft of the first act of a completely unknown apocalyptic stage musical.
ceelove: (Default)
So what are you doing next April? On Saturday the 14th, at 11 a.m., I'll be attending the single public performance of Seussical at the North Shore Music Theatre. Same amazing theater-in-the-round, but a quarter to a third of the price of the fabulous Legally Blonde seen there this past few weeks. This is one of a handful of musicals that Sylvana has cottoned to thus far, so I'm looking forward to sharing it with her at least as much as I did The Secret Garden.

Let me know how many tickets to pick up for your kids and you. The best seats in the house are absolute steal at $14 plus fees. It's a longish drive up, and getting out of the parking lot is all but a military maneuver, but it'll be worth it.
ceelove: (Default)
So, Legally Blonde the movie was, y'know, cute. Legally Blonde the musical, though, is inspired, at times verging on genius.

And it's playing at The North Shore Music Theatre (in Beverly), 11/1 to 11/13, every evening but Mondays. It is, unlike most of what I rave about, a fairly big, expensive show, with tickets ranging from $40 to $55.

Who's with me? I'll buy tickets upfront, if we can agree on a date. Weekend evenings are more expensive (and full of parties anyway), so I'd prefer to do a weekend matinee or T/W/Th evening.

huh.

May. 31st, 2011 03:10 pm
ceelove: (Default)
So, you know how we had that ridiculously early, warm spring last year? And how we had this chilly, raw, gray "spring" this year?

Last year, first backyard peas picked on 5/28.
This year, first backyard peas picked on 5/31.

Last year, however, I was not handing out bags of salad greens in mid-April, nor bags of lettuces and Asian greens in late May. All hail the cold frame and the polyculture! (Which might suggest something different to many of you than the massively-productive gardening idea from within permaculture.)

In other news, Sleeping Beauty Wakes was just as awesome as it needed to be, to merit trekking down to NJ for it. I laughed and cried and goggled at their set & videography. For those of you still following along at home, it's very different from the demo recording that Groovelily made. Almost half of the original songs were gone or folded into other songs, which rather changed the story arc. As an appreciator of musicals and storytelling, I could understand the reasoning beyond their choices, but I still missed the songs. As a writer of musicals, I found the process fascinating. And as a big ole fangirl, I left a copy of Never After with the cast and crew and hope some of them enjoy it in return.
ceelove: (Default)
The Longwood Players, one of my favorite companies, will be putting on The Secret Garden in May. It runs from the 6th to the 14th. I am most interested in going to the matinee on the 14th, because then Sylvana could go too. She won't understand all of it, but I love the idea of attending a musical with her. (No, really, cee?)

General admission is $16, kids are $10 (plus, y'know, some handling fee or other). This is a play with and about children, but not specifically targeted at them. Interest in joining us? I'll buy tix in a few days.
ceelove: (Default)
Move along, folks, nothing to see here. Unless you care to giggle at my ravings about musicals. )
ceelove: (Default)
I have a staunch, unyielding love of musicals. It's probably the longest-running hobby of my life, with "Man of La Mancha" having made a big impression on me when I was twelve.

In April, the Longood Players are putting on the musical I've wanted longest to see, She Loves Me. It's a intimate-feeling space at the YMCA Theatre in Central Square, and I really liked their production of "La Cage Aux Folles," so I'm quite jazzed.

If there's anything I like better than musicals, it's seeing them with other people. I could see it the 10th, 11th, or 12th (at 2:00 or 8:00). You? Tickets are $19 for general admission, $25 for seating at a table close to the stage.

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