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John_Verderber

  • "I Want"-songs (I prefer to call them "establishing songs", because sometimes what the character wants isn't what will happen in the end, or sometimes they don't even KNOW what they want) can be up-tempo tunes, too. Think of "Something's Coming" fro…
  • As I think I've told you, Sarah, Howard wasn't the only great lyricist to use the Clement Wood-- Cole Porter, Sondheim, Sheldon Harnick and other have claimed to live by it. (I use it, too. I probably should just use a computer, but since I write wi…
  • I am now convinced that Santino is the most talented thirty-something musical theatre actor around. He was equally astonishing as John Adams at Encores's 1776 in March, which, despite being three hours long (abnormally long for a "concert staging") …
  • Since so many projects are self-started by writers these days, I don't know if writers are "cast" anymore lately. But I can think of two examples from years past-- 1) Jerry Herman had to audition four songs (which he wrote in one weekend) for David…
  • If the producer is following the Dramatists Guild contract with the author, which he/she HAS TO, the composer/lyricist has 100% approval not just casting, but every aspect of production-- direction, choreography, design, etc. Good luck!
  • How about all of those chunks of the score of FOLLIES being omitted from its original cast album? (It COULD have had a two-LP set, but the record company wasn't totally interested in a show about middle aged ex-showgirls bickering with their stage d…
  • "Under the Sea" might have had the catchier hook and the zestier lyrics. I don't know, honestly. Good question. In any case, they won and that's what matters, I think. I guess I'm surprised that it didn't get a nomination for that song, but maybe th…
  • Oh boy, you've real opened up a can of worms haven't you? Ha! I have no idea how to answer your first question, because I've never written a jukebox musical, and don't intend to, because there's a difference between pre-existing pop songs and theat…
  • Well, there's no reason for Encores! Off-Center NOT to do it, since I'm sure this upcoming LITTLE SHOP concert will make them a nice bit of money. It's only fair... Alan gave a nice little talk the other night. I saw the live stream. As a musician…
  • I think it's out of print, but I'm sure a copy can be found on Amazon Marketplace either used or in very good condition. In fact, I think that's how I got my copy a few years back. In any event, the essay was written in the 1982-1983 season section …
  • Let me put it this way: the "Broadway Musical" is sort of gone. Not entirely, and not musicals on Broadway. But so many of the current crop of writers have to come up from Off-Broadway. (Hell, so many of our legendary writers like John Kander and St…
  • Maybe this is heresy, but I'd rather see Disney put their resources into a musical not adapted from one of their animated properties. It sure can be family friendly and commercially viable, but why not ask Alan Menken or someone of his caliber if th…
  • BTW, Sarah-- It might make you happy to know that upon rereading some reviews and essays Frank Rich collected in that giant tome of his, HOT SEAT, he favorably wrote of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, but mourned the fact that such a funny and wonderful pie…
  • Not related to SMILE, but nonetheless... Another issue RAGS had was the lack of a director out of town. Gene Saks, who just passed away and was best known for directing Neil Simon's plays (and the original production and terrible movie of MAME), cam…
  • The resources MTI provides should help. I wish you, Alan and Bill much luck. The show deserves to be done, and heard.
  • I can't speak for Howard's experience, but many shows by theatrical mainstays like Charles Strouse and Stephen Schwartz (RAGS), John Kander and Fred Ebb (THE RINK) and others didn't do very well during that period. People like to blame the Times cr…
  • Isn't that interesting? Great point, yes. Which goes to show that there are really no rules.
  • Wow! What a hot ticket! When tickets were released to Encores! subscribers (but not full City Center members) the only affordable seats I could find were in the balcony for Wednesday night. Wish I had known about Thursday before I bought, but excite…
  • I had no idea Howard was associated with Circle Rep. Being a Lanford Wilson fan, I've always been fascinated by that theater! Very cool!
  • I'd definitely love to hear about the WPA and that era Off-Broadway. There's a rich history of theaters like Circle Rep and the early days of Playwrights Horizons (and so many other now-defunct theaters) that often goes untold, and the WPA is part o…
  • Well, ideally the first number should set up the ground rules for the show-- tone, atmosphere, setting, musical style. It should set up what kind of evening the show will be. That's why character establishing songs shouldn't happen first, although, …
  • I have not. It's on my long, long, long list of things to read. Now I'll bump it up a few spots since you've reminded me. I do like Patrick Dennis' work though-- aside from AUNTIE MAME, he wrote a really funny Christmas novella.
  • I'll hopefully be there, should tickets remain on Jan. 19th. It's bound to be a "hot ticket!"
  • I did! I was glad to finally see a production, after a while of admiring the score tremendously. I also think it's Cy Coleman's very best, too.
  • I just want to put in a good word for Carolyn Leigh-- a really, really fine, funny lyricist. I wonder if Howard would agree. If you haven't heard the score for LITTLE ME, you're missing out.
  • "Eliot/Sylvia" is the most gorgeous music Alan ever has written. Howard did a masterful job of making prose and lyric combine and condensing a chapter out of Vonegut's original novella into a wonderful theater lyric. It's almost an art song, really.…
  • I think Sarah or Bill could probably answer better than any of us. I have no idea. I'd imagine that "Sheridan Square" probably meant a lot to him due to the affect the AIDS crisis had on him, his friends and colleagues. It's always interesting to kn…
  • I liked A Gentleman's Guide, too, but I thought one of the most entertaining musicals on Broadway last season (and I know I'm in the minority) was Rocky. Aside from the exciting finale and the flashy production, I thought Ahrens and Flaherty did a r…
  • Corporate branding at it's finest. But I don't recall the Baker's Wife sleeping with the Prince. (Kissing passionately, yes.) Are they confusing INTO THE WOODS with another Lapine-Sondheim show?
  • Ah, I see. The way Yeston describes the Workshop in the video is pretty much how it still is. It's wonderful that it was continued after Lehman Engel's death, and that it still continues. It's been helpful to me, and of course, TONS of other people.

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John_Verderber
Joined
April 2011
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Last Active
February 2017
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