FALLING FOR EVE Blog: Songs for a New Garden
The York Theatre Company is presenting te World Premiere of FALLING FOR EVE, a new musical with book by two-time Tony Award-nominee (and recent two-time Outer Critics Circle Award-winner) Joe DiPietro (MEMPHIS), music by Bret Simmons ('The Megan Mullally Show') and lyrics by David Howard('Galaxy Quest').
The cast of Falling for Eve features Jennifer Blood (LIKE YOU LIKE IT at the Gallery Players) Krystal Joy Brown(HAIR), Nehal Joshi (LES MISERABLES), Adam Kantor(NEXT TO NORMAL, RENT), Jose Llana (SPELLING BEE, FLOWER DRUM SONG) and Sasha Sloan (RAGTIME, The Kennedy Center).
Please visit www.yorktheatre.org for complete performance schedule.
In this new BWW blog, the cast and creative team will take you behind the scenes of this new production!
Songs for a New Garden or Mr. Simmons' Opus
Falling for Eve Blog by Nehal Joshi
A drum Kit
A few saxophones
A synthesizer (that replicates bass, vibraphone, and an a very important Organ...get your mind out of the gutter)
And a Kat (which replicates xylophone, bells and other things)
These are the instruments that you will hear at a performance of FALLING FOR EVE, a giant show playing at the York Theatre on 54th and Lexington.
They are all played by 4 guys (and sometimes one girl).
Kim Douglas Steiner- Pianist and Music Director
Dave Purcell- Drums/Percussion
Danny Levy- Guitars/Bass
Rob Jacoby- The Woodwind Section.
I started to play the guitar when I was 12. When I finally decided to try to be an actor for a living.... Musical theatre was something I gravitated to because it combined two of my favorite things...music and dance belts (or girls...or girls in dance belts). When I was in high school I sang in a rock band (we were totally sensitive) and I love that feeling of getting out there with a band creating a cacophony of different sounds. So, when they asked me to write a blerg (the Tina Fey pronunciation), I decided to write mine about the band.
Our band is 4 guys, throwing down instruments and picking up others, often in mid-song, like a bunch of mad oompa-loompas making musical chocolate. They occupy a space on the set that is about only 10 ten feet deep behind our white backdrop.
One of my favorite days during the rehearsal process is the Sitzprobe. Many of you know what a sitzprobe is. For those of you who don't; it literally translates from German to something like "Seated Test" which sounds like what many women have to go through at New York City public toilets...Anyway, it is also the day when you finally get to hear the music as it's meant to be. In rehearsal, you can get props, costume and set pieces and get a feel for what the play will look and feel like, but at the Sitzprobe you get to Hear what it's like. All the colors of a score played out like a finishing painting.
In this case, it is Bret Simmons' beautiful and catchy songs. His score moves from Rock to Pop to Gospel to traditional musical theatre as quickly as Tyler Perry movies come out. (I think one just opened.)
We don't use microphones at Falling for Eve. Why? Because after extensive research with Priests, Popes, Rabbis and Taxi Drivers....we realized one simple truth: God doesn't need amplification. We sing with what God gave us...plenty of Mucinex.
The only problem that arises with a rockin' quartet is that sometimes our Music director can't quite hear behind a show drop, drums, guitar/bass and Woodwinds. Why not, you ask? BECAUSE SOMEONE IS PLAYING A GUITAR/BASS, DRUMS, PIANO AND WOODWINDS right next to his head and they've hidden him behind a giant masking sheet like he's a mattress. Pretty bad, right? Well, the cast can't see the Music Director either because we have no space for a monitor on Beowulf Boritt's wonderfully orbital set. Sounds like disaster waiting to happen, right? My answer might surprise you, it totally is. No, I'm kidding... it is a recipe for Faith.
Without being able to hear us, our Music Director Kim Steiner, the band and the cast...Well, we all take a leap of faith together (a well, well rehearsed Leap of Faith) and hope that it all blends out beyond the stage in some magical, ethereal way... to the some 4 feet away where the first audience member is. I've measured (and by measure I mean 4 of my feet which is a size 10). You won't need a listening device, Abe.
We have four guys who make all that magic happen. They orchestrate moments of laughter, heartbreak, yearning and whimsy in our show often times without being able to really hear or see us (they use the monitors to watch Mad Men during the show). Four musicians. The original production of Les Miserables had 25. We have 4 and they are hard dudes who look like they've been in fights.
There are somewhere between 200 to 350 musicians working on Broadway and/or Off-Broadway at any given times according to numbers I've found on the internet (and by internet I mean, made up myself). They are the unsung heroes of the musical Theatre World. They play an integral part in the action without ever getting much acclaim...unless of course you were the dancing fiddle player in the 1999 Revival of Annie Get your Gun or The Fiddler on the Roof or you were in the revival of Company or Sweeney Todd....Oh, Nevermind. Actually, they get a lot of praise...maybe I should've written this blog on Company Managers, the great people who bring us booze on opening nights and paychecks on Thursdays.....
Maybe I should have written this blog about Phil, our publicity guy who I have to send this to now or the many Starbucks employees who keep us caffeinated.
Maybe I should have written this about me.
I kind of, did.
Come see us. We are live.
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