Theater Bassist Dave D'aranjo Makes Debut As Bandleader In New Show
Broadway's pit orchestra musicians are some of the most passionate, hardworking, and talented people around! In his first NYC show as band leader this Saturday, April 27th, bassist Dave D'aranjo will curate a high-energy, groovy evening of Contemporary Musical Theater at The Green Room 42, featuring fourteen incredible performers; rising stars from both on - and below - the stage.
Hosted by Jake McKenna, "Open This Pit Up!" will feature the incredible vocal talents of Tyla Collier (Sistas, The Musical), Julian Diaz-Granados (Ruben and Clay's Christmas Spectacular Reunion Show), Terrell Foster-James, Georgia Sackler, Kristin Dausch, and Beda Spindola (Revelation: The Musical; Undercover Boss Celebrity Edition w/ Idina Menzel). With music direction by Lena Gabrielle, the band also features James Rushin, Ethan Hack-Chabot, David Mayers, Noah Hadland (A Chorus Line International Tour), and Elena Bonomo (Waitress 1st National Tour).
Tickets range from $20 - $50 and can be purchased at www.greenroom42.com
Originally from Singapore, Dave D'aranjo is a bassist, producer, and graduate of Boston's renowned Berklee College of Music. He was the bassist for the 50th Anniversary celebration of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical at the historic LaMaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City ("Coffeehouse Chronicles #139"), and has also played in countless regional theater productions of In the Heights, Spring Awakening, Legally Blonde, AIDA, The Wiz, Next to Normal, Avenue Q, Cabaret, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Rocky Horror Show, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Disney's The Little Mermaid, The Last Five Years, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Songs for a New World, Dreamgirls, Pippin, Mamma Mia, and many more.
Though he is usually a sideman on bass, Saturday's 9:30pm show - titled "Open This Pit Up!" will mark D'aranjo's first gig as bandleader. "It's really exciting," D'aranjo says. "I just love the process of learning a show; of playing a book down accurately, and the general down-to-earth but still ridiculously talented vibe of the pit musician colleagues I've met over the years. But oftentimes, these incredible musicians just do their job, unsung, under the stage - or even in completely other rooms of the theater during the show! So I wanted to put together a concert where an audience can really see, hear, and interact with these performers. To put them on a level stage with some incredible Broadway singers, and give the contemporary musical theater repertoire a rock show vibe. As a musician, on-stage shows such as Hedwig & the Angry Inch and City Center's recent production of Songs For A New World deeply affect me in a completely different way. And so I have chosen an incredible team - 7 singers and 7 musicians - to sing 16 of my favorite contemporary Broadway songs. This is music that I have really connected with emotionally over the years - often to the point of tears - while playing bass!"
Saturday's concert at the beautiful Green Room 42 will feature selections from the following musicals: Memphis, Jesus Christ Superstar, HAIR, Next to Normal, In The Heights, Songs For A New World, Spring Awakening, On Your Feet, Hairspray, Waitress, Little Shop of Horrors, The Rocky Horror Show, and the Once On This Island revival. In addition, the band will perform a song from Michael Wartofsky's musical The Man In My Head (recently recorded by Darius de Haas on the CD "All The Possibilities: Broadway Sings Wartofsky") as well as material from a brand-new musical titled Medusa, composed by Rachel Dean and Wes Braver.