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Topic: OT - Just finished a production of "I Do, I Do"

  1. #1

    Smile OT - Just finished a production of "I Do, I Do"

    Yesterday was the last performance of a 3 week-end run of "I Do, I Do" for a local stock theater. I had the pleasure of working with my wife, Amy, who was one of the main performers of this show. (Note: "I Do, I Do" is an old Broadway musical comedy about a couple as they experience 50 years of the "ups and downs" of marriage <no pun intended>. There are only two characters throughout the entire show.) I was the hired musical-director & keyboard player. We worked with our friend, Robert, who played the husband. Another friend of ours played the piano.

    I haven't been a part of such a project since. . . well. . . since we did "I Do, I Do" in 2000 (or was it 2001???? I honestly don't remember. ). There were the usual "lots of rehearsals", creative disagreements with the Director (who cut 40+ pages and a couple of musical numbers from the show), technical problems to overcome, "DIVA" egos (our friend, Robert, is a wonderful guy with a huge talent and ego to match), and the long 35+ mile commute one-way to the theater. And I LOVED every minute of the experience!!!

    I guess I'm suffering from post-production blues. I miss doing these type of projects. Amy and I have our little "Too Live Nurse" production company which is a wonderful creative outlet. It keeps us busy and we have fun with the TLN troupe! But being part of a 2 act musical comedy production is also a lot of fun and provides a different and pleasant creative outlet. I like the music to "I Do, I Do". Amy and Robert did "standing ovation" performances! (We had a "Standing 'O' " for almost every performance!) The music is cute, too. The melodies are quite memorable to my simple ear. I LOVE "Roll Up the Ribbons" and the show's finale song (don't remember the name). I got the melodies running through my head like reverb with a long decay.

    Obviously, I don't do projects like this often. It will probably be some time before I have an offer or the time to do another project like this one again. But I enjoyed being a part of this production while it lasted. Working with Amy is a pleasure, too. I really enjoy watching her on stage. She's a great singer and performer who gives the audience a lot of talent and energy. The same is also true for our friend, Robert. His voice, especially, is golden!

    Do any of you get involved with musicals in some fashion (as a musician, or performer, musical director, sound engineer, etc)?? If so, please share your experience(s). I'd love to read them. What were your favorite musicals that you were a part of?? My favorite was a production of "Into the Woods". It was a challange, but we put on a great show (back in 1993!! ).

    Here's to musicals and musical comedies!


    (By the way!!! Most of the instrumental sounds used for "I Do, I Do" were from GPO and JABB via a Receptor!! It was the first time that I used GPO/JABB via the Receptor for live performances!! It all worked and sounded GREAT, However, I accidentally unpluged the electrical cord to the keyboard attached to the Receptor. THAT happened during the middle of one song last weekend! UGH!! Got everything up and running again, real quick, thank goodness! The audience didn't even know what happened. I tinkled my pants, though! LOL! )
    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Thumbs up Re: OT - Just finished a production of "I Do, I Do"

    First, let me Congratulate you on your successful run!

    I understand how you feel after a musical has ended. I was musical director for a local youth theatre for fifteen years (two of which I was director / producer / musical director / and choreographer). I was pretty much alone even though I had a choreographer on staff. She was never repaired and finally decided she wasn't going to help. So, I fired her ace!

    It's nice to hear about your experience. I have to admit I'm not familiar with "I do, I do". I guess you can say "I dunt"! What's the chance of hearing some of your music production? Say, like a few snippets from the show?

    About post production blues. It subsides sooner or later but I can relate. After leaving fifteen years with the youth theatre, I felt empty. I can't say I would go back to it anytime soon but there's always the chance if the right people asked.

    My favorite musical out of the fifteen years? Hmm, there were a few but if I were to pick just one it would be Annie. To follow as second would be The Wizard of Oz, third - Little Shop of Horror's, and forth - Le Mis, and last and the hardest - West Side Story. All were exciting and filled with their respective ups and downs. I had fun and that's all that mattered.

    Post some music and pictures if you can.

  3. #3

    Re: OT - Just finished a production of "I Do, I Do"

    Ted, this is great to hear about the production of "I Do, I Do" you and your wife worked on together. That's a really good show, first done on Broadway with Robert Preston ("The Music Man" himself) and Mary Martin ("Peter Pan)--if I recall correctly.

    AAaaah theeahtaah! You know me, it's in my blood. Ever since I first stepped on stage in 7th grade.

    And Styxx!--Thanks for adding your fond recollections of being the musical director for the youth theatre. What a great gig!

    You both talked about "post show blues" - Happens every time. Theatre is a transitory art form - The production goes up, it's a solid and real thing only for the length of its run, then the set is dismantled, the costumes go into storage, the cast and crew go home - the thing that existed during that brief period of time, the production, doesn't exist anymore.

    Videotape? Sure, you can archive a production that way, but even an absolutely top-notch video can Never come close to capturing what a live theatre performance is about. There's the script which still exists - but that's not theatre. That's a blue print for an event - Theatre doesn't really exist until it's performed.

    TED! - Quite awhile back there was a thread or two about theatre production and the various potentially dangerous ways that people routinely break their contracts with publishers. If you saw those posts earlier this year, you may recall that I was a bit of a lone voice, trying to pass on the fact that severe penalties really are enforced when publishers are alerted to breeches in contracts.

    Most people said, --Styxx, you may have been on one of those threads? - that they've used synths and/or recordings for theatre productions for years without any problems. It's true the majority of people never have problems - But here in Salem, the publishers for various reasons really monitor what theatres do here. NO synths allowed in pits playing parts written for traditional instruments. NO use of recordings, unless its public domain material. Productions have been fined, close to being shut down - It can be very rough, dealing with angry publishers who are enforcing their contracts and the copyright laws.

    AND - here's something along those lines, Ted--You said:

    "...creative disagreements with the Director (who cut 40+ pages and a couple of musical numbers from the show)..."

    Oh my. That can be the Quickest way to incur the wrath of the publishers, and in my opinion, it SHould incur their wrath. Quite bluntly, directors have NO business acting as co-authors of a play or musical. That's why they sign a contract which strictly forbids the cutting of a single word from a script or libretto. To re-write material that way shows not only incredible hubris but, in my opinion, a complete disregard for the rights of the authors, and a misunderstanding of what their function as a director actually is.

    Try doing "Our Town" with the long speeches of the Stage Manager character cut down - Thorton Wilder's estate is Very vigilant in demanding that every production be a true representation of what Wilder wrote. And - that's as it should be.

    --Thank you--had to get on my soap box for a moment, because I do have strong feelings on these subjects!

    I have some favorite experiences in musical theatre to talk about - More on that later.

    Meanwhile, thank you both again for talking about the very special world of musical theatre. There's nothing else quite like it!

    Randy B.

  4. #4

    Re: OT - Just finished a production of "I Do, I Do"

    Randy - You raise some interesting points. I wasn't involved when the "I Do, I Do" contract was signed for our production's use. The director signed the contract. (I wonder if he knew what he signed!) I agree with you with regards to cutting lines, in effect, "co-writing" a pre-existing show. It shouldn't happen and, in this case, I sorely wish it didn't. Scenes important to character development and a couple of great songs were cut. (Talk about re-writing a show!! ) The sad fact of this whole situation is that the director really should know better! He's a writer!! He writes shows and musicals!! And they are performed by other theater companies in the U.S. and Canada!!! At one point during the rehearsal process, I asked him how he felt if/when one of HIS musicals were shortened. He answered honestly. He said that it used to anger him when a director would cut lines from his musicals. He added, however, that he's since developed the attitude that those lines "are just words" and that he's no longer bothered by them being cut by other directors. (Randy, I have to wonder if he said that because he knew I was bother by all of the cuts from the script that he made.) Thankfully, the performers (Amy and Robert) faught hard to re-institute much of the cut lines and music. They won for a number of scenes. Still, others remained cut. The director argued that he wanted the show to be "short, light-natured and snappy". My point of view??? The director "co-wrote" a musical when he had not right in doing so; his name is not listed as a writer. ("I Do, I Do" was written in the mid-1960's, for gosh-sakes! It won Tony awards back then! Why even attempt to fix something that's really not broken to begin with??!!??)

    With regards to using synthesizers during the production of the show. I have to plead ignorance on this one. In retrospect, I probably should have asked to read the sign contract. In the future, I'll be more careful with the use of synthesizers if they weren't intended to be used. Actually, I didn't use a synth. I used the sound libraries from GPO and JABB during the production. Still, real musicians were not utilized. And, believe it or not, I do hold the belief that real musicians are preferable over synths and computer-based orchestral sound libraries under similar circumstances. Although no money was budgeted for more than two pit-players, I might have sought help from high-school students hungry for pit-orchestra experience! A small stipend might have been made available for them. That's all I got, actually. Basically, I was paid enough money for gas reimbursement to cover the 34-mile one way commute to the theater.

    Styxx - I appreciate and respect your experience in theater. I am sure you hold a lot of wonderful (and probably not-so-wonder) experiences during your 15 years as "director / producer / musical director / and choreographer". I am also certain that you were a positive force in making theater come alive for a lot of young actors/actresses!

    Like I said, with the exception of our happy little Too Live Nurse productions, the last time I helped out with a Broadway-style musical was several years ago. It's probably going to be a while before I involve myself, again, in another similar project. That doesn't help my post-production blues. I really love doing this stuff. It's a wonderful creative outlet! (Sigh. . . )

    I did video-tape one show just for the sake of archiving the performance. Tha video quality leaves much to be desired. The audio, on the other hand, is pretty good. I'll post a link or two to the video or pictures obtained from the video later this week.

    An aside. . .

    There's a new musical that I had the opportunity and priviledge to watch last year. It is titled, "The Burnt Part Boys". It was still in "work-shop" mode when I saw it. The music and the performance was nothing short of breath-taking!!! I hope that it is produced again. There was a rumor that it might be produced on one of the Off-Broadway theaters in NYC. It was the Vineyard Theater, to be exact! Sadly, it's not on its 2007-2008 list. This show MUST be produced again! I know that this might sound crazy. I am, after all, a full-time ICU/CCU nurse. But I would consider being a part of a production team to help bring "The Burnt Part Boys" back to the public! It's that good!


    Music and humor are healthy for the soul.

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