Monday, April 08, 2024

Long ago and far away

I purchased my Real Book in an alley near the Berklee School of Music in 1977 and I've been playing the charts ever since. A few years back I decided to learn to play accordion and found the instrument to be a natural fit for playing jazz standards. The stradella bass system is powerful and I decided to go through the charts and add some songs to the YouTube Channel @accompanists.

Long Ago (and Far Away) is a popular song from the 1944 musical film Cover Girl with Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly credits to Kern/Gershwin - Real Book circa 1977.

Thursday, April 04, 2024

Edinburgh shoutout for BANNED the Musical

Things have really started to pick up for the 2024 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Last week outdoor advertising became available and this week they added over 1,300 shows to the festival's online ticketing portal. It was a pretty big announcement and they even had a shoutout to Greenside and BANNED at Riddle's Court. With that many venues and performances on the calendar it's hard to get visibility for your show.

2024 Edinburgh Fringe Shoutout for BANNED!

The Fringe's online ticketing system has lots of options and the Fringe organization has been super helpful with explaining all the ins and outs. Our venue is Riddle's Court and the theater is Willow Studio. It has a three quarter thrust stage and roughly 60 seats. We've tried to set the ticket prices at a reasonable price to accommodate everyone who wants to see our show. During the preview week we have all sorts of specials, the weekdays have some special offers too and of course the weekends are crazy. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 28, 2024

BANNED Poster Concept

We've been putting the final touches on our marketing plan for BANNED. The process all starts with the creative strategy document, but it sure doesn't stop there. It's important for any campaign to have some sort of basic marketing manifesto, but you still need to be flexible in the tactics. Here are several high level assumptions we made early on:
  • Find an abstract artistic treatment that captures the spectrum of gender, include the use of electronic gadgets and create a modern genderless world.
  • Find a background element that shows gender diversity in the public space and can be reused.
  • Provide elements that show the broad spectrum and various dimensions of gender and speaks candidly to an audience of all ages.
BANNED Poster in four colors
BANNED Poster in four colors
At some point we realized that using color might be a compelling way to individualize each character while maintaining the sense that there is a group of individuals in society that are being marginalized for not abiding by traditional gender norms. We're planning to print and distribute the posters in four different background colors using the original artwork created for the logo. We'll hang them around Edinburgh, the venue and provide signed copies to our donors, friends and family.
BANNED rail board for the 2024 Edinburgh Fringe Festival
BANNED Rail Board Concept
The overall concept worked nicely with our outdoor advertising campaign too. One of the first advertising milestones for the Edinburgh Festival is when outside advertising products become available to the public and this year we were able to snag several rail boards in prominent areas around Edinburgh this year. More to come!

Saturday, February 24, 2024

"When it Rains it Pours" says BANNED Finale

I wrote the single "When it Rains it Pours" (WIRIP) way back in 1985. I always liked the hook and knew one day it would end up in one of my music theatre shows. It's funny how songs you may have written years earlier can fit so well in your newer shows. This song was a perfect fit for the closing song in BANNED the Musical, after all, I was looking for an upbeat song with a great hook. You see in the the closing scene the "Organized Confusions" are reinstated as one of the Musical acts at the "New Horizons" theatre festival and the whole community celebrates that the ban has been lifted on the new groups' show.

It's sort of a toss up how people interrupt the saying "When it Rains it Pours" as a metaphor these days. In our Musical BANNED it's used for bad news and good news, but you'll have to see the show to learn more. 😀

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

BANNED the Musical to debut at Edinburgh Fringe

I enjoy participating in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and it seems like I always find a great team to share the experience with. This year I'm taking the show BANNED and I'm sure it'll all start coming together in May and June. We're staying at the University again and Kelly McAllister is directing the show, he did such a great job with Eigg! You know he won "Best Director of a Musical" from Broadway World for his effort last year. He's planning to start some preliminary readings, choral work, blocking and choreography soon. Creating theatre is truly a godsend and I'm particularly proud of this work. Here's a link to the official BANNED press release.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Eigg wins "BEST MUSICAL" of 2023

Eigg the Musical recently won four 2023 BroadwayWorld Denver Awards. The annual BWW announcement represents the best in regional productions, touring shows and more. Eigg wins included "Best Musical", "Best New Musical", "Best Director of a Musical" and "Best Supporting Performer in a Musical." BroadwayWorld entries come from regional performances between Oct. 1, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023. Audiences members and their friends make their selections on an online portal for the best in each category through December 31, 2023. Winners were announced on January 9th, 2024.

“I’m ecstatic and very proud of the work that the cast & crew have done and proud of the show too,” said April Alsup, producer and composer of the new Musical. “The amount of time and effort that goes into a production like this is unreal. To see those efforts acknowledged in a regional and statewide way is really fabulous."

2023 Regional BroadwayWorld Awards 
"The people voting validate that the work we’re doing is high caliber and at an elite level. It acknowledges the hard work that the leadership team have put into developing the show and the performances of the actors.” BroadwayWorld is an international organization that’s broken down in different regions across America, Canada, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. “This is a peoples' choice award and it's really the only theatre award like it in our area, so it’s a big deal,” Alsup said.
Eigg performance at Vintage Theater 
Eigg the Musical was performed at the Vintage Theatre in July 2023. Situated in Scotland's Inner Hebrides, the Isle of Eigg has a fascinating history of sovereignty. Not long ago, the inhabitants of Eigg faced a different type of invader; a celebrity Laird looking to create his Gaelic island utopia. The transfer to community ownership hatched on Eigg is arguably the most captivating example of Scottish land reform. "Our shows were packed at Vintage and it's a good feeling to have your theatre friends support and vote for you," Alsup said.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Bold Journey magazine interview

Here's a link to an online interview I had with Bold Journey Magazine. They ask me about optimism and said that they believe it is the invisible ingredient that powers so much of the incredible progress in society from entrepreneurs and investors to artists and creatives who believe in something and are optimistic enough to risk their time, money, and reputation. I told them; "if you don't have something good to say just don't say it." I think the publication believes we can all learn from each other and they look for stories that will inspire their readers.

Click HERE to learn more.