The incomparable Madge Dietrich celebrated a birthday this past weekend. How can one be so lucky to call you a friend Madge, and to make sweet music with you all these many years!? Here's a little ditty from our Billy Joel gig this past July at Summer at Sem Creative Arts, Kirby Center for the Creative Arts.
Talented and ambitious high school and middle school students, applications are now open and I'm proud to officially announce another incredible summer at Sem in our Creative Arts Theatre Program. Highlights include, the return of our main stage musical production with Stephen Schwartz's Pippin, and, a collaboration with our colleagues in dance and music on a celebration of the life and work of Billy Joel on the Kirby Center for Creative Arts stage.
Our knock out roster of 2019 Broadway guest artists include the incomparable Madge Dietrich, just off the First Broadway National Tour of Kinky Boots (who will share this stage with our Sem students!), and master teachers Charlie Gilbert and D'Arcy Webb just before the release of Charlie's book The SAVI Singing Actor! There may very well be a Sem alum or two taking the stage with our students as well.
My last dispatch had me in the city I love, making some new songs with some friends I love, I'm happy to report that much has happened since.
My first summer at the helm of Summer at Sem Creative Arts Theatre Program proved to be a great success, due in large part to my beloved colleagues Spencer Hansen and Cara Palombo (current Western BFA musical theatre student). It was a true joy getting to teach, and make theater, at what is without question a new artistic home. It was especially gratifying bringing my friends and colleagues Ryan Scott Oliver, Nicole Van Giesen and Billy Bustamante to campus to work with our students.
I dusted off my chops and sang some Sinatra on a river boat (but, seriously). And, even got to catch the celebrated revival of Carousel on Broadway, and the electric revival of Smokey Joe's Cafe off-Broadway (both, truly remarkable).
As the summer winds down, I'm happy to announce my return to Farmers Alley Theatre this fall/winter as Music Director for their production of The Marvelous Wonderettes: Dream On, and with some additional work on Beyond The Rainbow: The Judy Garland Musical. Eternally grateful for my continued - always fulfilling - work with this fine company of artists and friends.
Some welcomed changes at Western in our musical theatre program, and very much looking forward to my personal world colliding with my professional world as we welcome the incomparable Brenda Braxton as our Next Stop, Broadway guest artist. Our students have no idea how lucky they are!
Here's to a fine summer, indeed, and an exciting fall around the corner.