Monday, March 8, 2010

Richard and Oscar!

I jumped into "Some Enchanted Evening" as I do most all shows, with a basis of research to serve as the foundation for the creative process. I especially took a concerted effort in this process for "Some Enchanted Evening", as some might know I believe Rodgers and Hammerstein to have gotten a bit dusty over time, however, during my period of research these thoughts would soon change and I would find my admiration and respect for these two iconic figures in music theatre begin to grow once more. -- I made an incredible realization. The reason my feelings for Rogers and Hammerstein began to decline was due to the stagnation of their shows by no fault of there own but rather a lack of creativity and ability to take a risk on the part of the director's and production staff.

I felt that no matter where I saw a certain show I was seeing the same show I had seen before just with a different leading man singing the same notes and an ensemble moving to different locations on the stage. This is what bored my brain. After all, TO ME, why see something you have seen before. I want to see another director's vision of a certain world--which is creative, strong and takes risks, of course justified in research, and not a recreation of someone else's creative world. During my research I found a series of interviews with Rodgers and Hammerstein that I found quite interesting. The part of the interview that triggered a bolt of creativity was when Richard Rodgers said, “If somebody wants to take a 20-year old song and do his own version of it, I encourage it. I think this is one way of keeping the 20-year old song alive. I think if it were possible, which it isn’t, to force performers and orchestra’s to stick rigidly to the way the song was written, the song would be dead in three months. It would become so tiresome, so monotonous.” To me this was a magical way of Richard Rodgers himself giving me permission to do my own version of this review. In fact he was asking me to do so in order to prolong the life of his music.

As soon as I received permission from Richard, (by now we were close friends you see), my mind became entirely free and this show began to present itself in a new way. I began to see the timeless nature of their music was buried in the presentation. We could effectively speak to today’s audience and touch them in a new and fresh way while maintaining the integrity of these two musical theatre icons. With the metaphorical box many people usually think within destroyed "Some Enchanted Evening" became truly enchanted.

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