Next week, we begin previews for a terrific production of Frank Loesser's Pulitzer Prize winning farce, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, at the prestigious 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, WA. I have had the supreme honor and pleasure to serve as music director for this wonderful piece, and for the first time, will be conducting the entire run from the podium – not just bobbing my head from behind a piano. Our 14-piece orchestra had its first rehearsal last night, and they sound fantastic, with brand new orchestrations by Bruce Monroe, and some new arrangements by yours truly.
Happy July 4th! I am so humbled and happy to share that as of June 25th, 2015, I have made my Broadway debut as the 2nd Keyboard player and assistant conductor on Amazing Grace: A New Broadway Musical at the Nederlander Theatre. This marks my third production of this powerful show (Goodspeed and Bank of America Center in Chicago), directed by Gabriel Barre, choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, with music direction, arrangements, and incidental music by the Joseph Church. We are finishing up the second week of previews now with a press opening set for July 16th. Audiences are loving the show so far; please come out and support this moving piece of theatre.
So after three seasons at Goodspeed, Chrissy and I got married in Pennsylvania and moved to Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. Chrissy quickly found a steady job at Gymboree, and I was fortunate enough to line up projects through the rest of the calendar year.
I spent my summer music directing and playing "The Bikinis" — a fun and frothy beach party musical by Ray Roderick and Jim Hindman of Miracle or 2 Productions. We played a month at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT before a two week stint at the Harbor Lights Theater in Staten Island.
New Haven was a great town, with an especially great food scene! If you haven't checked out Louis' Lunch, or gone down to experience their version of Little Italy, you are missing out! In the great Pizza Rivalry of Wooster Street, I vote for Frank Pepe's! Staten Island was great, too. We performed in the historic Snug Harbor Music Hall, and I got lots of miles in on my bike, commuting from Ditmas Park to the Brooklyn Bridge, then south to the Staten Island Ferry. The ride on the ferry was serene (and free!) with a terrific view of Lower Manhattan and Liberty Island. Some eager older gentleman also took out his phone one day and was excitedly tracking our location on Google Maps over the Hugh L. Carey (Brooklyn-Battery) Tunnel. Snug Harbor was picturesque, with lots of beautiful 19th century structures, and large botanical garden, as well. After my final "Bikinis" matinee, I discovered that on the 3rd Sunday of every month, the Folk Music Society of New York meets in Snug Harbor for "The William Main Doerflinger Memorial Sea Shanty Sessions" at the Noble Maritime Collection building. Needless to say, I grabbed my concertina and hopped on over after the matinee was finished! I hope to catch them again soon.
I am now in pre-production for Amazing Grace, which will open this fall at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago. I'm thrilled to be a part of this exciting new musical; Stay tuned for more news on that, as well as some other projects!
Finally, I just want to give a shout out to my friends and colleagues, Eli Bolin, Hunter Bell, and Lee Overtree, who are in rehearsals now for Found: A New Musical at the Atlantic Theater Company. I music-directed their workshop last December, and I'm absolutely in love with the piece. Unfortunately, I could only be in one place at one time. Break legs!
So much has happened since I first put this site together last August. Do you know when you put something off, and then continue to put it off because you're embarrassed by your own negligence? Well, I do, and that's how I have felt in regards to my website. Anyway, here I am again, with this year's top five!
So glad that my site is finally up and running. Please let me know what you think, or just drop me a comment to say "hello". For a long time, people have been asking if I had a website or if I was planning on getting one. I kept dragging my feet and making bad excuses, like "it's too hard to do myself" or "I don't have time to add any more freelance projects to my plate anyway" but no more!
I hope that this site gets my name out, leads to some new collaborations, and kicks up my professional image a notch. No, this business card with my parents' address and my old Yahoo email hasn't really been cutting it –– especially when I'm playing a long bar gig and the person who wants my info isn't even sober enough to even hold a pen!