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IN MEMORY OF BRENT CARVER

8/6/20

I only ever saw Brent Carver play two roles, both of them men unjustly imprisoned. His Molina in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” was flamboyant, relentless, emotions splaying like a pinwheel. I was working as a rehearsal pianist on that show, so I saw it probably thirty or forty times. Every time I saw it, he seemed to be experiencing it completely anew. He was surrounded by hardcore Broadway types who knew how to hit their marks and slam it to the back wall night after night, but Brent was doing something different, something much more slippery and dangerous; heRead More »

IN PERFORMANCE: FROM THE 2020 INTERNATIONAL THESPIAN FESTIVAL

6/28/20

Ordinarily, the International Thespian Festival is a gathering of thousands of theater teens converging on a college campus in the Midwest to geek out about plays and musicals and connect with the rest of the theatrical community in a crazy immersive week of workshops, performances, classes, exhibitions and the occasional unsanctioned midnight Hedwig sing-along. Such fraternization and festivity was, alas, not a possibility this year, but the show does go on, as we say, and so a Virtual Festival was curated, and I was asked to address the assembled masses. So now, thanks to the magic of the Internet andRead More »

IN THE TIME OF…, a new song

5/13/20

I’ve found it punishingly hard to write music during these last nine weeks (nine weeks!), but I did manage to do this, a tribute to the great Bucky Pizzarelli and all the extraordinary jazz musicians lost to the coronavirus. Many thanks to the folks at Local 802 for asking me to create something, and to Pete Donovan for putting the video together (and beautifully laying down the bass), as well as all the musicians who contributed: Jamie Eblen (drums), Monica Davis (violin and viola), Janet Axelrod (flute), Lynne Cohen (English horn), Elise Frawley (viola), Kyle Hoyt (French horn), Morris KainumaRead More »

RESIDENCY CONCERT #58: GRANDE, BEAN & SOCIAL DISTANCE

5/1/20

First we canceled the March show. We had planned a really beautiful show with Ashley Perez Flanagan, Zonya Love Johnson and Marcus Paul James for March 16, but then the social distancing order came down and all the performing spaces had to close. And we knew that, for the foreseeable future, that was the end of that. There wasn’t much time to dwell on it, really – Georgia and I were too busy getting the girls’ distance-learning set up and making sure we had the groceries and supplies we needed, figuring out what we had in the bank and whetherRead More »

UNINVITED COLLABORATIONS, Vol. 1: SHAWN COLVIN

4/30/20

I’m a huge fan of Shawn Colvin, she’s an amazing singer, distinctive and exquisitely musical down to every inhale, and she’s a monster guitar player with the best right hand on the circuit, not to mention that she’s a fantastic writer. I’ve never met her, but I’ve always hoped that if I mentioned her in enough interviews, I’d one day get a phone call from a number in Austin TX and a voice would say, “Hey man, want to collaborate on an album?” SINCE THAT HASN’T HAPPENED, I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. Ms. Colvin has beenRead More »

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