Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Sing Us a Song, You're the Piano Man

One Thursday evening early in August I attended a session at the Ojai Playwrights Conference.  This is the second year I've attended and both events have been both fascinating and charming.  (Last summer I attended a staged reading of Terrence McNally's "And Away We Go.")

The conference mainly focuses on the development of new plays but this year they offered an interesting twist: "Breathing Life into Musical Theatre: An Evening of Performance and Exploration."

How could I not go?

Moderated by Chris Montan, President of Walt Disney Music, the evening featured several different musical theater composers performing some of their music (including numbers that had been cut from their intended show or movie) followed by a discussion of their process and the challenges of musical theater.

The composers -- in different stages of their careers -- included the veteran Dean Pitchford (who won an Academy Award and Golden Globe for the song Fame), Laurence O'Keefe who wrote the music and lyrics for Legally Blonde and Brendan Milburn who is responsible for music for the Tinker Bell movies.

As someone without an ounce of musical talent but an appreciation of musical theater, it was a lovely evening.

And, of course, any excuse to go to Ojai is welcome.  Such a lovely town.

And no trip to Ojai would be complete without a stop at the Ojai Ice Cream Company.

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