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Member Name: trentsketch
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Birthday: 9 - 27
Gender: Male
Location: NJ
Occupation: Music Director/Writer
Profile: I work as a music director for educational and non-profit theater and as a freelance writer. My main webhub is my entertainment media blog Cue the Media.

Favorite Show(s):

Favorite Performer(s):

Most Recent Message Board Posts:
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber to Waive SCHOOL OF ROCK Fees for Schools Producing the Musical  Dec 13 2016, 10:54:17 AM

    As another theater educator, I have to back up dramamama here. It's wonderful that ALW is going to waive performance fees for a contemporary show. It's wonderful that schools are even allowed to license the show while it's playing on Broadway.

    Do not confuse availability with feasibility. There are vocally taxing parts in School of Rock that already make it difficult to cast K-12 students in those roles. Add on the requirement that the instruments must be played by the

  • Parade Ending Question (Possible Spoilers)  Oct 4 2016, 11:03:05 AM

    The libretto is very open in the lynching scene. It mentions the noose, the bag, and the wedding band and that's about it. I was in a production that used historical images projected on the set that had the hangmen recreate one of the infamous postcards of local people posing in front of Leo Frank's hanging body when the noose went around his neck. I've seen the KKK robes and confederate flags done, as well. The scene needs a big statement leading into the final number t

  • Is Once a Musical?  Oct 4 2016, 06:54:41 AM

    I've heard the argument both ways. I personally consider it a musical, albeit an unconventional one.

    Even when the film came out, there were critics who struggled to reconcile it with their notions of a musical. I always described it as a musical where the characters sings songs they don't even realize are a reflection of what they are going through in the moment. The characters are performing or writing songs in their story. Their goal is to perform/write good songs. That they

  • Keyboard Patch Program?  Sep 30 2016, 08:19:22 AM

    And I'll apologize right now. I didn't realize how many extra little sounds there were for Spelling Bee in the keyboard part. Yes, try to convince your company to pay for the Keyboard Patch Solutions. It's a really good bargain for what you get. You should not be doing that much programming for free. You could get by without it, but if the book is straight up called a Synthesizer part, you're going to want all the help you can get. 

  • Keyboard Patch Program?  Sep 29 2016, 09:02:09 AM

    trpguyy has it right. Forte is the way to go for Windows. It's more work than renting the MTI package, but you have a lot more customization.

    I will say I've had very good results renting the Keyboard Patch Solutions from MTI in the past. They do a nice job on shows that have very weird sound descriptions in the books. I'm talking things like Seussical or Aida where there's no rhyme and reason beyond the original MD's own MIDI setup. You can pretty easily program yo

  • Performers on Singing Competions  Sep 8 2016, 06:14:09 PM

    All of these shows edit the story lines and coach you on what you can and cannot discuss. As someone who made it far on Idol oh so many years ago, I was specifically told not to mention any of my work in theater or classical music because I was slid into a more rock/pop track by the producers than the standards track I thought they'd want me to go. My first callback was a good 25 minutes of "what else you got? Know any R&B? Rock? Jazz? Classics? Punk? Pop? This artist? That

  • re: What's the deal with 'Amour'?  Sep 2 2016, 09:11:33 AM

    I also saw the original production and fell in love. I'm so happy the rights are available now. Time to start convincing all the local theater people I know that Amour is a great choice for their next season. I dream of MDing that show. The score is just magnificent.

  • What Broadway  Jul 31 2016, 04:57:29 PM

    I'd love to see Amour come back.

    More realistically, Caroline, or Change.

  • Will any of the original Principals be in Hamilton after July 9th?  Jun 13 2016, 05:19:03 PM

    A few film sites have posted that Phillipa Soo is going to have a part in Moana. I know a voice acting job isn't going to last forever, but she must have some reason for leaving Hamilton. Who knows what else she has lined up or in the works?

  • Theatre pet peeves - from the stage!  Jun 5 2016, 04:27:10 PM

    If I'm allowed to, I do keep a bottle of water with me at a show. It is for medical reasons. I drink if I have to and hold the bottle between my feet so I know where it is at all times. When I used to act, I'd have to have water set in both wings and backstage to counteract the dehydration effect of all my prescription medications.

    If I'm not allowed to keep water with me at a show, I load up at the water fountain before the show, at intermission, and after the show. Not id

  • FROZEN to Officially Hit Broadway  May 28 2016, 11:12:41 AM

    It's cute for a theme park show, for sure. The Let It Go staging works for that space. The Olaf puppet is adorable. 

    The Broadway version is obviously going to aim for something bigger. It also, at most, needs to run two times in one day, rather than a theme park show that runs a whole lot more than that. I could see them going in that direction for Let It Go, but Elsa's choreography will have more actual set pieces pop up from the stage and fly in. 


  • Best theatre magic?  May 11 2016, 10:07:59 AM

    I'm a big fan of onstage transformation. One of my favorites with tech was Alan Cumming's Macbeth, where he turned upstage and the three tv screens above the stage became the three witches with three camera feeds. Simple and effective.

    Even simpler (but much harder for the actor) was Jefferson Mays' performance in I Am My Own Wife. To craft so many distinct characters with small costume/prop adjustments, physicality, and vocal inflection was mesmerizing.

    On the tech

  • Can someone tell me the reason why the cats in Cats are played by humans and not cats?  Mar 31 2016, 11:34:11 AM

    The real question is why Cats are the only ones represented in the musical Cats. There is no reason that a qualified dog or actor dressed as a dog could not play Grizzabella or Rum Tum Tugger. 

  • What makes for an effective revival?  Mar 29 2016, 11:55:54 AM

    An effective revival is like any other effective stage production. There needs to be a clear concept based in the script and music. It all comes down to finding an engaging way to connect the audience with the material. No production is ever going to work for everyone, and a revival has the added baggage of living up to expectations of previous successful or well-remembered productions.

    The Color Purple revival is effective because of its relative simplicity. The set and costumes force

  • Wildhorn's WONDERLAND musical to tour UK  Mar 19 2016, 01:41:07 PM

    If they fixed the book, the show could work. Act II on Broadway was a plotless mess with a couple good songs. 

  • That Tyler Perry Jesus Musical is still happening  Mar 17 2016, 09:20:48 AM

    Hulu's been airing ads on every commercial break for this. All I learned is there's a giant white cross and Katy Perry's "Unconditional" is actually about God. 

  • DISASTER! Reviews  Mar 9 2016, 09:52:24 AM

    This was always going to be totally hit or miss with the critics. They lucked out in having 4 critics who really enjoyed the show in spite of its flaws. That's enough positive PR to keep the limited run going to its planned closing date. A couple new commercials with positive pulls from the Times emphasizing how funny the show is should keep it afloat.

  • Call me odd... most disturbing plays?  Mar 3 2016, 10:51:09 AM

    Neil Labute's Autobahn collection is really disturbing, too. One of the plays is about a woman trying to remember the details of her rape. Another involves a young man who suddenly grows to fear her girlfriend when she reveals all the horrible things she did to the last man who tried to break up with her. Wild stuff.

  • The Crucible previews  Mar 2 2016, 06:44:44 AM

    Yeah, Abigail Williams is an important part of the play, and a memorable one, but it's not a particularly large part. The popular film version used the character more.

  • Call me odd... most disturbing plays?  Mar 2 2016, 06:39:33 AM

    If you count musicals, as well, Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

    I'm also throwing my hat behind The Pillowman.