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RESIDENCY SETLIST: DeBOSE & NIEMIETZ 10/14/19

10/29/19

Audition story #1: On January 9, 2006, we had our first auditions for a workshop production of 13 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. A girl named Sara Niemietz came in – I had previously seen her on Broadway as a young Carol Burnett in a play that Hal Prince had directed called Hollywood Arms – and she opened her mouth to sing and knocked us all out with her voice. When she read the sides, she brought a real empathy and extraordinary warmth to the character. We loved her, we cast her, she played the role ofRead More »

RESIDENCY SET LIST: JENN COLELLA & CHILINA KENNEDY 9/9/19

9/16/19

In the summer of 1984, I signed up to be in the Rock Band program at French Woods. Every other kid in Rock Band that summer was a guitarist or a drummer; no one ever knew what to do with a keyboard player. (And in those pre-DX7 days, a keyboard was generally an unmiked upright piano off to the side of the rehearsal room.) The repertoire, therefore, leaned heavily towards the kind of things teenage guitar players and drummers like – loud, mid-tempo, no more than four chords. I had been hoping for the Beatles, maybe Queen, or at worstRead More »

RESIDENCY SET LIST: LA PASIÓN DE ESPARZA 8/9/19

8/19/19

It feels like a cliché to write about a performer’s “passion,” such an overused word, and yet I can’t think of any other way to discuss the experience of putting this show together with Raúl Esparza. What was evident from the outset was his incredible passion – passion for telling stories, passion for doing the work at its highest level, passion for the music of Cuba, passion for singing. It is rare for any of my guests to do more than four or five songs, but Raúl’s passion was so insistent, so defining, that he kept asking to do more,Read More »

THE PRINCE OF BROADWAY

7/31/19

RECOMMENDATION: GRACE McLEAN’S “IN THE GREEN”

7/29/19

Last night I went to Lincoln Center to see Grace McLean‘s thrilling musical, “In The Green.” I have been a fan of Grace’s for years, and she was my guest at a particularly wild SubCulture concert two years ago, so I’ve been excited to see this piece ever since Grace first mentioned it to me back then. To see it come to fruition now, in a really visceral production directed by Lee Sunday Evans and cast with five magnificently versatile and emotional singers, is a very special experience. The thing is, I don’t usually find much musical inspiration from theRead More »

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