Meet the Composers of MURDEROUS MUSICAL MONDAYS- Spotlight on Alexander Sage Oyen
The cast and creative team of the hit Off-Broadway musical Murder for Two are teaming up with some of New York's brightest up and coming composers and BroadwayWorld.com every Monday night for their spring concert series, Murderous Musical Mondays. Composers Brett Ryback and Alexander Sage Oyen contine the series on Monday, April 7, 2014, immediately following the 7pm performance of Murder for Two at New World Stages (Stage 5 - 340 West 50th Street).
Performers will include Kate Bailey, Todd Buonopane (Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella), James Crichton (Jasper in Deadland), Jeremiah Ginn (Murder For Two), Sarah Girard, Jason Gotay (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Janet Krupin (If/Then), Lesli Margherita (Matilda), Julia Mattison (Godspell), Michael McCorry Rose (Wicked), Preston Sadleir (Next to Normal, US Tour), Justin Matthew Sargent (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Taylor Trensch (Matilda), Emily Walton (The Shaggs), and Elanna White.
Below, Oyen shares some details on the upcoming concert!
What can you share about your Murderous Musical Mondays concert (without giving anything away of course)?
Well, it's going to be super fun and super short! I'm sharing the evening with the incredible Brett Ryback (who is also one of the stars of Murder for Two) and I couldn't be more ecstatic to be sharing the evening with someone who writes wonderful music. I've got some amazing singers- Janet Krupin (If/Then, Bring It On), Elanna White, Michael McCorry Rose (Wicked), Jason Gotay (Spider-man, Turn Off The Dark, Bring It On) and I'll be singing a tune or two. I'll be sharing selections from my shows Moment by Moment and one of my upcoming shows, Outlaws which I wrote with James Presson and is being directed by Noah Himmelstein. I also might be premiering a song or two so, who even knows at this point?! It's all a mystery.
Who/what were some of your early musical influences?
There are a few answers to this question because I have great parents who forced me to listen to a lot of different things growing up. My mom was the first person to ever sing A Catered Affair composer John Bucchino's music and I grew up listening to demos that they made together in the late 80's. When I was young I was a huge N*Sync fan (and of course I'm still a gigantic J.T. fan). Also, of course, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Then I kind of found myself liking some of the more visceral stuff through high school- a lot of Say Anything, Ben Folds (with the Five and without them) and Taking Back Sunday. Pepper some Sondheim throughout all of that and you've got the strange concoction that is me.
When did you realize that writing was for you?
I was on a reality television show when I was twelve (In Search of the Partridge Family- don't look it up, the only footage that exists is on my iPhone). I was kind of in between wanting to be John Mayer and wanting to be an actor. Then for my thirteenth birthday my mom bought my family tickets to Wicked and I fell in love. I wanted to be responsible for something as remarkable as that show. So I decided to use my slight, albeit persisting talents for good instead of evil.
Are there any other theatre composers whose work you admire/have impacted your writing style?
Absolutely. Stephen Schwartz, John Bucchino and Adam Guettel have been incredible mentors to me and helped me in so many ways that they probably don't even know (and I probably haven't even recognized yet). I think it goes without saying that Stephen Sondheim is instrumental to any modern musical theatre composer's work. I'm stunned by the work of Michael John LaChiusa. I'm transported by Andrew Lippa. I'm a huge Joe Iconis fan. I think that Ryan Scott Oliver's work is definitely the real deal. Sam Salmond is so good that it makes me really self conscious- I can't deal with how great he is. Also Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair who wrote Murder for Two- I really admire the amazing work those guys have done and are continuing to do.
Who in the theatrical/music community would you kill to work with?
So many people. I have such a list that honestly, it's pretty much everyone.
I love to work with really earthy actors- I went to classical acting school in Minneapolis at the Guthrie and I'm really picky about my actors that I work with. I really love Caissie Levy- she and I have been trying to do work together but I hear she's doing something cool over at the Imperial so... that's taking up most of her schedule nowadays. There are just so many actors that I want to get an opportunity to work with that I could fill a novel with all of my feelings.
I just want to work with all the people. Ever.
Do you have any new projects in the works?
Yes I do! My musical Outlaws is being presented at the ASCAP Workshop at the beginning of April and we just had an industry reading back in January. We're deciding what we're going to do with that. Also I'm working on a new project based on a novel by KL Going (which was actually made into a movie as well) called Fat Kid Rules The World. I'm really excited about that one. Both of those projects will have music and lyrics by me and a book by one of my favorite playwrights, James Presson. I'm also writing another thing that's based on a real life event that I can't really talk about quite yet, but it's a really important one to me. I might even debut a song from it on April 7th.
What are you most looking forward to in being a part of this concert series?
I'm most looking forward to hearing Brett's work and getting an opportunity to make some moments up on a stage myself with some of my favorite actors.. It's all I can ask for- it's all I want to do.