Best known for the Off-Broadway musicals, "The Last Session," "The Big Voice: God or Merman?" and "New World Waking," a song cycle for peace and justice.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Busy Week Preparing New World Waking.

In response to questions about "how do I get a show produced?"

This past Saturday, director Andy Gale, Jim Brochu and I took the M11 bus down 9th avenue to 30th street and walked east to Urban Stages. If that sounds scary to anyone, you haven't been in New York. This is a thriving, bustling midtown/Chelsea area just a block from Broadway.

I had all these ideas about staging, which I had been dreaming up during my morning piano sessions.

And Andy said no to every single one. And Jim agreed.

It was the best day of my life.

To be in the hands of professionals is the greatest feeling of all. And he was right about every idea. But at least I had some. And yesterday, one of the wackier ones, he loved, so it's going into the show. I tried it out in class yesterday, where we also rehearsed two of the singers, Eileen Tepper and Cindy Marchionda.

This week, also, I wrote up press materials, finalized the casting, rehearsed people at all hours of the day, created the logo (while Jim created the poster), I'm also rewriting the script, rewriting all the arrangements to the songs, promoting the show to all my friends, begging them to come so that we don't face an empty house -- it's happened before -- and am communicating with the tech team and the PR agent (our old pal David Gersten) for the whole Winter Rhythms cabaret and theater festival (of which we are a part),

Oh, how did I get this production? Well, after Jim did so well at Urban Stages with his "Character Man" show, and after I got such great notices for my "Tales from the Bonus Round" show, I had heard about Winter Rhythms, so I told Peter Napolitano I'd take one of the slots this year if he would have me.

And the secret, I suppose, is a deadline.

I could have been working this material over from now until eternity, but it ain't real until it goes onto the stage.

The other aspect, as I've discussed before, was that this was an experiment. Could we fashion a "new musical" without ever needing a big group rehearsal? I've done it before in smaller situations, such as when we did it in Olympia, Washington with their summer theater class.

But this is New York! No just flopping people onto the stage.

Welcome to the glamorous world of how to get a show on.

From the outside, you'd think there would be producers and artists and designers and a press team (and a playwright and composer), all putting on a show. But, in fact, this is a do-it-yourself production, filled with volunteers. And, as creator of this show, who doesn't have a lot of money or "people," I have to do the lion's share of our part.

I'm not complaining. I'm explaining. The reality.

Nobody comes and just whizzes you away and gives you a career. You are the CEO and you have to do it or it doesn't get done.

I suspect this is true, to a large extent for all writers and artists -- at least until they have a fortune and can hire people to do it for you.

No, kids. It's all in your hands. That's the reality.

Stop waiting for someone to give you permission. No, wait.

I now give you permission.

There. Done. Now, go do it.
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