Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sondheim in September

For the last few months, I've been working on a concert series, Sondheim in September. It's been a fun experience and it's very different from the work I usually do.

Yes, the producing principles are the same and that's why I was brought on to the project. But sitting in the rehearsal hall, listening to the work that's being done, I've felt way out of my comfort zone. I get most of the language but I wouldn't say that I can speak it. I'd like to.

It makes me wonder what my life would be like if I had decided as a teenager to explore singing and dancing seriously. It never occurred to me to consider it then. Yet now I use social dance and karaoke to feed the musician inside myself and I still hope to learn the piano one day. But hearing the wonderful Sondheim music I desire to sing it, and sing it well. Peter (the director) seems to think I can. But that music requires such technique that I don't feel up to it and for all I know, Peter is just humouring me.

Peter has such a clear vision of what he wants, which is great for everyone involved. I knew going in that while I would be credited with assistant directing I wouldn't get much opportunity to direct. However, what's been interesting to watch is Warren (the person who is spearheading the project) step into that role. He should have the credit, not me.

But don't think this is a downer by any means. It's been good to be involved with a whole different group of people that my normal collaborators. I've loved working with Warren and it's developed into a friendship I greatly treasure. I'm still getting to know Peter but I'm impressed with his energy and drive. It's been nice to be an important part of such a large project. And I got to play in the social media world, which is something I've come to love.

After months of work, this project is ready to be shared. It's three concerts over consecutive Monday nights, starting this Monday. Music from all of Sondheim's shows will be performed over the three nights in chronological order. (Except for Bounce - I suspect the music wasn't available because the show is still being developed.) It's a charity event with the proceeds going to the Actor's Fund of Canada, a worthy cause.

It would be great to have a huge house to start things off right. We have a huge ensemble of 50-odd people, as well as some fantastic soloists. Having heard most of the music for the first concert, I can tell you it's going to be an amazing event you won't want to miss. Hope to see you there!

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