Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Musical Theatre... and beyond

Last night's newmusicaltheatre.com launch concert was like an incredibly tight compilation of six of your favorite band's greatest hits. Pasek and Paul, Adam Gwon, Kerrigan and Lowdermilk, Nick Blaemire, Ryan Scott Oliver, and Joe Iconis all channeled their superb brand of music and lyrics through a slew of awesome performers, creating an impressive soundscape of where young musical theatre is heading. Many of the songs featured on this blog were performed and there were many familiar faces, but the beautiful thing about this concert was the way all the music fit seamlessly together, while still having a distinct voice behind each piece. I watched Matt Doyle move from a romantic drunken piece about an encounter in New York City to inhabiting a seductive vampire preying on Emma Hunton's dreamy idealism of the undead. I smiled at Kelli O'Hara's back and forth with husband Greg Naughton after having been almost moved to tears by her recollection of a romance gone by. The music was transformative-- powerful voices that demand to be heard.

And what is most profound, perhaps, is the whole reason behind the concert. There's something incredibly reassuring about the idea that all of these artists can come together and form an alliance with one another, working towards a common goal. Because while even amongst just the original six songwriters and songwriting teams, each person has a diverse background whether their work has made it to Broadway, won awards, has earned them teaching positions, has toured the country, or has been recorded to CD. All of these voices unite to bring a dialog directly to the fans--to provide those in the community with great songs to be performed and shared, in a forum where these young composers can profit and communicate directly with the customer. I think it's encouraging, and I think that combining all this music only makes the works stronger and shine far brighter.

Many of the songs performed last night have had a video on here before. But here are some highlights that include new songs:

The opening number starring the cast from the night:

"Twisted Teeth" by Ryan Scott Oliver, performed by Emma Hunton and Matt Doyle:

"Fine" by Adam Gwon, performed by Kelli O'Hara and Greg Naughton:

"Ready to Be Loved" by Pasek and Paul, performed by Nikki James:

Also, be sure to check up on the New Musical Theatre website often... word on the street is that a bunch of new composers will be added in the next week or so, including Jeanine Tesori, whose song was the closing number of the night.

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