This month was PlayGround’s annual musical theatre night. This year we were given a list of ten songs by Misner and Smith, and allowed to pick one song to play with. Which of course led to a whole desperate mathematics of trying not to pick the song everyone else was picking.
But I listened to the songs. All of them. Over and over again, taking notes on paper taped to the cabinets as I went through my day. Songs went up and down in likelihood as I thought about whether each song had enough hooks for me to grab, whether it over specified (and whether I felt I had anything to bring to the story). And then eventually I started writing. And writing some more and tweaking and editing.
And this month I was lucky enough to be picked.
(Trigger more editing and tweaking)
And then I got the experience of being in the room with Misner and Smith, who transposed the song, and were wonderfully game to participate in the song any way that worked. One of the things I love about theatre is working with people who have completely different skillets than mine. And adding people who can effortlessly transpose a song, or harmonize on the fly to the mix makes for an incredible rehearsal. I could work on musicals every day.
My actors were terrific, and I loved getting to see how everyone else interpreted other songs. And we experienced, even more than happens in a normal month, the pain that is not having enough time to rehearse.
But I can’t wait to write my next musical.