Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

hollywood high

First scene...disney cruise, july...Second day on the boat my son wants to go to the swimming pool on the ninthe deck...We wander up,and realize that the water slide dumps into a quarter inch of water. He does that once,and we wander over to the bigger pool....to find it packed...and the forty foot screen is playing Disney's cultural phenom High School Musical. You haven't lived until you have seen two hundred kids splashing to "Stick to the Status Quo"...
Scene 2......Disney Cruise,Miles is at the kids club,and E and I are wandering the huge ship. Wewalk by the theatre(First run movies....because we own them all) and we see they are playing Camp Rock...Camp Rock starring the Jonas Brothers...We sit and watch it,and I realize that it is High School Musical at camp. Suddenly a plan takes place. I am gonna write a high school musical satire.
a satire of the squeaky clean disney image...no drugs,no sex, an alternative teen universe

So I just realized that I had already posted this, whereas usually I keep drafting. But hey, it's all experimental anyway. So, I take this concept to the typewriter..a computer actually, and I start to work it. I have 15 kids and a director, My ex student Lexie Papedo. I could blog about her for days. She's that cool. And so I write. Yes, I sit at the computer and I start to get the whole thing going.
Now, writing for me these days is a series of stops and starts. I can get going enthusiastically and then just fizzle(see 12 blogs and then none, for instance) but things start to move pretty fast. I look at HSM with that parodic(should be a word) eye and I am given all kinds of possibilities. I see big hats at the beginning, I want to create some absurd sport for the stud to play...it becomes badminton. and the songs start to flow. I want the show to stand on it's own, so I am going to write a few anthems that we will repeat. I always want songs to get stuck in peoples heads. It has always been that way with my shows. I always think I would be a good jingle writer. I bang out the first 16 pages...and then we get to work.
From a producer's standpoint this is box office poison. 15 kids don't bring in a lot of revenue, and we ,welcome to the world at the end of the Bush Admin, are hurting big time. But the show is gonna be fun, right?
We get the rest of the script nailed down and then we just work. 6 dance numbers,12 musical numbers in all. Lexie, Choreographer/actor Lily Housh and I just chipping away.
And the show is ready to open. Kids don't know all their lines quite, but we are getting there. Lexie and I are sure we will have 35 non laughing people. Our theatre opens and we go people start coming in....130 people later, we start. Great house for a tuesday night....and people love it. The strangest part of it is the show kinda takes a life of it's own. It is not a rip job on High School Musical, but rather a really funny high school of it's own....People who loved HSM loved it, people who Hated HSM<...loved it.
And I realize that the world of high school musical, somewhat sanitized, is not a bad place to dwell. The world of musicals brings people to a happy place. It represents an optomistic view that we maybe need at this moment in time.
And the small crowds? We sold out two nights of four.

Friday, November 21, 2008

another run through the ipod

connectivity is a skill.  
I enjoy listening to the ipod and trying to figure out why the music 
is there.
PAPERBACK WRITER THE BEATLES.....There is not a beatles song that exists that I don't remember when I first heard it.  Usually ti was my brother's room.  I love this tune.  If I had the rights to create a Beatles Musical this would be one of the opening numbers.  God, then I would have to have some young writer named Jude

the impression that i get the mighty mighty bosstones.
I had never heard this until two years ago when I downloaded a ska thing.  This is one of my favorite tunes.  Never had to knock on wood and I"m glad I haven't yet cause I am sure it isnt good,  That's the impression that I get.

I used to think dylan was just weird for the sake of being weird....And then I saw the scorcese doc NO DIRECTION HOME...and I realized what an amazing artist he is...chameleonic, ever bucking the trend,never one to get on a bandwagon,a pulse for so many years.
I realized how genius he was when trying to write Dylanesque songs for my Dylan Doppleganger, Levi Poe, in the rock club musical Aurora Blue.  And Like a rolling stone was one of his first forays into electric music,a journey that led him to many controversies and triumphs.  The besy story of this tune is that the famous organ part was created by Al Kooper,on the spot.  He had never played organ before.
The royal Grove is the greatest hotel in Waikiki.  Family owned by the Fongs, the small pink hotel lies two minutes from the beach...Nothing fancy,this is where locals stay...On wednesday nights they have a jam session in the sitting room.  Lots of beautiful voiced hawaiian men sitting around singing songs of their youth.  This song reminds me so much of the vibe of The Royal Grove...old school,non touristy hawaii.   A place where one woman came for a week and stayed for three months....and where the desk clerk came for a month and stayed for 20 years.
One of my most profound tv watching experiences came one day when I was watching MTV and they had a new video...a work by a woman named tori amos called silent all these years.  Here was a perfect example of some profound song that I had never heard...and she in her electric,oddly appealing glory(I have a thing for noses).  And it was a profound song...one that dictated me to write a play called outside the castle.  This is a cover of Nirvana.  I love covers.
LOVE ME DO THE BEATLES...Ok, so the beatles phenom......There is this book called twilight,and it has caused crazy girls to pass out and whatever.  One of my students said..It's no different than the beatles.....Ok,you tell me where Twilight will be in forty five years...Just saying.Just saying