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Showing posts from October, 2012

A FIGURE OF SPEECH

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So we decide on some knights for comic relief in ROSE RED. We  being Kari Kraakevik and myself, Rose Red being the new musical we are creating based on the fairy tale Rose Red and Snow White. Kari and I have sat down, and I've come up with a basic plot- which will no doubt change during the creative process (and already has). In the plot, there's a lost prince who has been turned into a wolf by Endorra Belle, a powerful enchantress who has turned bad ever since her ruby heart was broken into pieces. In the notes, I have "a trio of knights enter, looking for the prince, sing funny song".



Okay. Now I'm writing the script based on my notes. Funny knights. Hmmm. When I think funny knights, I think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Silly, absurd, over the top. And maybe they can use language in a way that's amusing. Maybe they can have goofy names. Somehow, I decide to name them Sir Lost, Sir And, & Sir Found. This makes me laugh. So I keep it. And I figure, …

THE LEAR OF MUSICAL THEATRE

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I have seen the best stage version of the musical Gypsy I've ever seen. I saw it Saturday. It was directed by Scott RC Levy. It was at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. It was epic. It was funny. It was full of spectacle, but also intensely intimate. I don't say this lightly. I don't say this off the cuff. This show was fantastic, and this company is consistently putting up the kind of theatre that reminds you why you go to theatre in the first place: in the hopes that you will be transported to another level of being, where strangers who are hauntingly familiar alternately titillate, endear, enrage, confuse, and ultimately enlighten you a tiny bit on the huge mystery of what it is to be a human being. Again, the company who is doing all this is the theatre at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, where Mr. Levy is the artistic director.



While Gypsy ostensibly about the early days of the girl who would grow up to become the famous stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, it's really…

MORE COWBELLS, WITCHES, AND KNIGHTS

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So I was set to meet with Kari Kraakevik- composer, genius, and friend who I have agreed to write a musical with. The meeting is at Starbucks, and we're going to sit down and I'm going to tell her my basic ideas for the plot. The show is based on Rose Red and Snow White, an old Norske legend immortalized by the Brothers Grimm. We've talked a bit about the basics- two main characters are sisters who are very different. There's a cranky Imp, and a bear who comes in from the cold. We want to make it all about Rose and being different, being something other than what your parents want you to be- in her case, being wild and needing to go out into the world and find whatever she finds. We've talked about making the bear a wolf- a Wolf Prince, and giving him an older brother- a Wolf King. Now we need a basic structure, with places for songs and over 20 characters.


And go!

Okay- let's start by giving the Imp a back story. Why is he so mean? How about: once, the Imp was…

RAISED BY WOLVES

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So as most of you know, I am writing the book and lyrics for a new musical called ROSE RED. It's based on an old Norske legend made famous by the Brothers Grimm. We had a story book of it when I was a kid, and I can still see the illustration of the ungrateful dwarf in the story, struggling to get his beard free from a tree stump in which it had been inexplicably stuck. I never could figure out how his beard got in there. It just didn't make sense. But I digress.



So, it was April, and I had agreed to write a musical with Kari Kraakevik based on Rose Red and Snow White. In short order, I needed to take a short fairy tale with five characters and expand it into a full length play, with at least 20 characters. The original story is pretty short: two sisters, Rose Red, who is sort of wild,  and Snow White, who is very domestic, live with their mother in the woods. One day, they meet a dwarf who is always getting into trouble- like having his beard stuck in a tree trunk- and they a…

ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF DANGER

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Had our first read through of ROSE RED on Saturday, and it was pretty friggin' fantastic to be sitting in a room once again, hearing a new script being read out loud by the people who are going to be performing it. Lots of things to do- scenes to tighten, plots twists to introduce and/or rework, songs to reprise, and of course, things that I don't even realize yet are out there, waiting to help transform this rough gem into a brilliant ruby (I would have said diamond, but it's cliche, and ruby is more appropriate for this show- come see it in December at Actor's Academy for the Performing Arts in Boulder to find out how).  I don't know if I can properly convey how exhilarating it is to hear a play you've written get a full read through. Exhilarating and terrifying and magic. The exhilarating part is when a line or scene comes across as you envisioned it when you wrote it. The terrifying part is when something you think is brilliant falls flat. The magic part is…