Back in the Studio

After a short hiatus where we were working on updating the orchestrations, we spent several days in November in the studio, recording the remainder of the songs. Thanks to the exceptionally talented Berlayne Smith (who reprised her role as Esther), Manuele Adrian Mizzi (as Mr. Verious), Justin Welsh (Uncle Mo), Cara Adams (Vashti and Contestant Two), Erin Humphry (Contestant One), … Read More

Vocal Percussion

During the creation of Sing With Esther, our global program for choirs, we made the decision to enhance the arrangement with the addition of vocal percussion, aka “Beatboxing”. While there is a ton of information, and plenty of examples on the internet (here’s Wikipedia), we thought that we would highlight the work of OUR beatboxer, the very talented Jon Jon … Read More

Sing with Esther – musical preview

[Update: The Sing With Esther program is now in a second phase: we’re no longer putting together a virtual choir of our own, but the music remains available for any choirs that are interested in adding (one) or both of these songs to their repertoire – at no cost. Either sign up on the website, or reach out directly.] Putting … Read More

Sing with Esther – the plan

OK, COVID hasn’t been kind. But when one door closes, another opens! During the last number of months, the Musical Esther [Update: now Who is Esther] team has been hard at work on a virtual choir project… Sing with Esther. Since we couldn’t workshop the music directly, we thought we’d take a stab at crowdsourcing the music, through the choir … Read More

Time for a rewrite? (yes, again)

I had the exceptional good fortune to meet Rob Corbett recently. Beyond teaching acting at several colleges and being a playwright in his own right, he is a most insightful script reader. And a pleasure to work with. One of the challenges of a first-time script writer (that’s me), is that you don’t know what you don’t know. Yes, there … Read More

COVID? Really?

After months of networking, meeting exceptionally talented people, and learning more about the details of the business of musical theater, I hit an unexpected wall. Or rather, the entire industry did. While normally, one would expect to do a series of workshops with a new play, what is happening now is appalling: the entire arts community has effectively shut down. … Read More

Musical Preview event

A very proud evening for me and all who have been involved to date. After much work, we hosted a “Musical Preview”, with about 100 people in attendance. The goal was to reveal the music, provide background on the project, and start to build some “buzz” around Esther. After I described each scene, the scene’s music was played, accompanied with … Read More

The Power of Diversity: Feedback and Perspective

After two years of research, 100’s of hours in front of the computer writing and rewriting, playing music for hundreds of hours to get everything just right, 89 recording sessions, editing sessions, mixing sessions, mastering… it was done. And then, it wasn’t.   When I wrote my first (non-theatrical) book in the 1990’s, I felt the same: the masterpiece was … Read More

Research – About Musical Theater

There always seems to be a trade-off between innovation and learning from those who have come before. I have always been an avid fan of musical theater; my wife and I have been sitting in audiences for decades. But I have never thought through how musical theater actually works, from the inside. So what to do? On one hand, before … Read More

Composition? Arranging?

Yes, these are actually skills that people spend years studying to get good at. In my case, beyond the basics of composition and music theory, I didn’t have a music degree or a lifetime of music arranging experience. But I did have time. After I decided to write the musical, I spent this time ordering books from Amazon, combing through … Read More