Sunday, January 16, 2011

We Go to 11

This post is overdue, but last Wednesday I had the extreme pleasure of hearing five 11-minute musicals written by BMI Musical Theatre Workshop writers at Don't Tell Mama as a part of We Go to 11.

Timothy Huang, who I interview in my last blog entry, had his fantastic piece A Relative Relationship, which told the story of a step brother and sister who struggle to accept each other and their respective parents' separations (performed below by Jennifer Blood and Timothy Huang).

Noah Aronson and Patrick Gallagher wrote the beautiful piece I'm Listening, which tells the story of a suicide hotline operator who helps other people find connection but has trouble connecting himself when faced with the idea of meeting his online girlfriend in person for the first time.

Michael Dexter and Kevin Hammonds' Smokey Topaz was a swift and hilarious cautionary tale of a man who refuses to grow up and is consequently pushed out of his own life by his childhood imaginary friend.

Eric Kubo and William TN Hall's On the Lawn was an all too familiar character study of two friends post-house party hungover, trying to sort out their feeling for each other in the harsh morning light.

And Lauren Cregor Devine and Emmy Laybourne closed out the night with the rousing The Chorus, a story of a girl being followed by a Chorus that refuses to leave until she solves a riddle that reveals what is missing from her very controlled life.

It was a very fun night, and I walked away really inspired with the performances. Though there were no real sets, the pieces were really transformative and the energy was palpable amongst the cast (which some of the writers were a part of). Perhaps the thing that really got to me though was how deftly the short musical format was handled in all instances -- really taking a limited amount of space and filling it with characters who told compelling stories. The craft of structuring such a thing seems daunting, but even the way music was incorporated made everything seem so organic, as though the need to express a small but important moment in song could never be incidental. It was a great thing to witness, and I look forward to seeing much more from these writers in the future.


Patrick said...

Hey Kim! Thanks for giving us a mention. Much obliged for the kind words about our show.

I look forward to giving you more to see in the not too distant future!


Kim said...

Aw thanks, Patrick. I had a really good time and was so impressed by the shows (and the performances!). Looking forward to whatever you have coming down the pipeline!