The way I see it, one can argue about whether or not a show “works,” but saying a show has craft when it doesn’t is a much harder theory to prove.… Read More Considering the Craft of Contemporary Musicals
David talks about how CMT composers can simplify their scores to make them more readable.… Read More Contemporary Accompaniments, Or Why Do You Dislike Accompanists?
Workshops can be the best and worst thing for your musical.… Read More When Workshops Work. And Don’t.
[This is the second in a four-part series on adapting THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ. Read Part I of this series here.] If you don’t know Mordecai Richler’s novel and/or the subsequent film made of it (with his screenplay, so it tends to track fairly closely), the rest of this contains a number of spoilers. I… Read More MASTERCLASS: From Dark to Somewhat Lighter or: “Why Do They Have to Change the Ending?” (Part II) – By David Spencer
In the business of adapting a source property from one medium to another, there are all kinds of reasons to change an ending—even a classic ending. And especially—especially—if you’re trying to remain faithful to the source material, which is among the biggest ironies. The change tends to go from a place that is unequivocally dark… Read More MASTERCLASS: From Dark to Somewhat Lighter or: “Why Do They Have to Change the Ending?” (Part I) – By David Spencer
I was working with a bright student a while back and they didn’t seem to be technically conquering a song as quickly as I would have liked. They had taken the song apart as I had asked (read this blog post for more information) but hadn’t yet fully incorporated it into their technique. I said,… Read More Practice Makes… Well, You Know…
This blog is a part of The Directory of Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers, found online at www.contemporarymusicaltheatre.com. __________________ It’s hard to believe yet another year has passed and it’s time for me to send my senior musical theatre students graduating from Marymount Manhattan College and Wagner College out into the world. This is always a very… Read More An (Annual) Open Letter to My Graduating Seniors