Monday, January 03, 2011


Well, tonight at 7pm, John Nugent and I start all of this again. A brand new opening rehearsal for a brand new musical. This time it's called "THE BREMEN TOWN BOYS". Now trust me, sometimes plays and musicals seem to write themselves. This project all started out as an attempt to musicalize the famous Brothers Grimm story called "The Four Musicians of Bremen Town". Now as admirable as all of that sounds, I have taken a few whacks at musicalizing fairy tales. All of my stage musicals all started with writing a brand new "Wizard Of Oz" for the Gallery Theatre in Ontario, Ca way back in 1980. That's over thirty years ago. I followed with"The Return Of The Wizard Of Oz" and John Nugent and I have adapted "The Wild Swans" and dear Tim Doran and I made a really wonderful adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Traveling Companion". But with this show, I almost stopped in the middle of because it just wasn't grabbing me. That is until the day I decided to make it a musical spoof of actors, directors, producers, divas and of course all the little things that they all demand. You know: "what's my motivation?". "what's the complication?" and of course the world famous "what's the agenda?" So now, by the end of Act One, this whole musical story gets turned on its head. Now we have writers fighting with producers, actors fighting with songwriters etc. So tonight at 7:00pm, our director Cat Deobler takes the reigns of our newest show. Friends David Marc and Bob Weiner are in the show. David plays a farmer and a deadpan sheriff. Bob plays the Mayor who turns out to be the greedy producer, Jeffrey Gardner plays the clever Herald. Michael Liles plays the handsome Christofer. Great find Andrew George plays Matthias, the musician and the amazing Julie Rothman plays the diva, Princess Marta. The show is fun and music wise style, John Nugent and I have gone with the styles of Jerry Herman, Cy Coleman and of course our dear friends, The Sherman Brothers. Robert Sherman turned eighty-five years young last December 19th. He still lives in London and he and his amazing brother Richard are still trying to their newest musical "The Merry Go Round" off the ground. John and I are the ultimate fans, if you're not counting family! They have inspired both of us so much. In our musical score for BREMEN TOWN BOYS" John and I are very proud of the songs "Gaining Wisdom" and "Somebody Had To Love Her" You can't believe hoe many people we had to audition to get our sixteen member cast. Why do actors take a role, give their word in commitment to it and then break their promise because suddenly "they are just too busy" or "they have a family emergency" "or "they can't take a role without checking with their manager?" or the big one is when they accept a role that pays 33% of each guest they sell to refer to us, (and without being in Equity) they demand $75.00 a night minimum guaranteed. We are a dinner theatre show. Equity dinner theatre does eight shows a week and pays $525.00 a week including twelve hour rehearsal days (times five brutal days) in tech week. Divide eight shows into $525 and you get $65 a night, We are asking for four shows, two on one day (Sunday)
Well, I have a great memory. I will remember those actors who have broken their word without great reason. We open in Van Nuys on February 11th at 8:00pm and run Friday Nights, Saturday matinees and two shows on Sunday. Thanks again to the Sherman Oaks Fashion Square Mall for the free use of the rehearsal space.

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