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Showing posts from September, 2012

THE GIVER

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So I went and saw a production of Lois Lowry's The Giver last night at the Denver Center Theatre Company, and I am so glad I did. This is a fantastic production, from top to bottom. Story, direction, acting, design- it's damn near flawless.



The story is your classic Sci-Fi, in the vein of such cautionary classics as Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, and The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guinn. In the story, set in the distant future, the world has become very safe,  very easy-going, and a little bit creepy. There are no colors in this world, no hard decisions to be made- nothing that could possibly cause strife. Not even music exists. Everything you do- including what family you live with and what career you follow- is pretty much chosen for you by a set of rules made long ago, and that's the way it is. What is supposed to be Utopian turns out, of course, to be Dystopian. The story follows a young boy named Jonas, who is chosen for a v…

MAKING A MUSICAL, part 1

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I think I'll use this blog to chronicle the birth of my new musical, ROSE RED. Seems that my writing about how I write might be of interest to some folks.



So, late last spring, Kari Kraakevik- who has been teaching with me at Actor's Academy for the Performing Arts up in Boulder for the past few years- told me that I should write a musical with her- a musical either for, or to be performed by, young people. Something that would appeal to the kind of audience who likes Wicked.

For those who know me only by my plays, this might sound a little strange. My plays, by and large, deal with lost, crazy, and/or angry people who drink to excess, get high, and swear with authority.  My first play, LAST CALL, had two guys run around naked for about ten minutes of the show, and I used the F word so much that we seriously considered putting the catch phrase "a f#$@ a minute" on the posters. I don't set out to write plays with so much "adult" material- but that seems …

RED AND WHITE

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So I'm working on a new musical based on the Grimm fairy tale Rose Red and Snow White. And no, it's not that Snow White. Same name, different girl. I'm doing book and lyrics, and Kari Kraakevik is doing the music.



It's sort of a full circle thing for me, to be writing the book and lyrics for a musical based on a classic of children's literature. The first thing I ever got paid to write was the book for a musical based on Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen. This was long ago, before I considered myself a "real writer"- I've always written things, but only in the past ten years have answered the question "what do you do?" with "I'm a writer". The Snow Queen that I worked on was a musical, composed by John Jay Espino in the early 1990s for The Childrens Theatre Workhop in Pleasanton, CA. The music is awesome, it was a blast to work on- and I don't even have a copy of it. I suppose I should hunt it down.



Anyhow, the n…