Here is another song from Love Quirks in honor of me going to see tonight’s performance.

While most of the songs from the musical give a humorous slant to the trials and tribulations of dating, In Love is a heartfelt and genuine expression of something that most people want at some moment in their lives; “to be head over heels in love”.

(Source: Spotify)

The Making of a New Musical: A conversation with composer/lyricist Seth Bisen-Hersh about Love Quirks

Over the past couple of months you may have seen my various posts following the progress of a new musical entitled Love Quirks- well, the time is NOW! Love Quirks will be starting previews for a limited NYC run THIS THURSDAY (September 11th)!!!

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Love Quirks, which is the first full musical from the collaboration of composer/lyricist (and my close friend) Seth Bisen-Hersh, bookwriter Mark Childers, and director/co-conceiver Brian Childers has been a long time in the making and I am very excited to see and help promote this very important step in the musical’s evolution.

I sat down with Seth last week to discuss the process of bringing an off-Broadway bound musical to life.

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Theater Geek: To start, tell me a little about the musical.

Seth Bisen-HershLove Quirks centers around four people in their late twenties/early thirties living together in a NYC apartment. They are all emotionally bruised in some fashion and throughout the show we see them navigating various relationships ranging from tolerating one another as roommates to love between friends and romance.

TG: What inspired you to write a musical about people in this stage of their lives?

SBH: A lot of the songs in the show were based on real stories from friends and personal experiences. I have a good ear for listening to people vent the frustrations they are having with their lives. Late 20s/ early 30s is an interesting time in a person’s life, especially if they are single in this city. They had a lot of expectations for what their lives would be like and reality doesn’t always live up to these dreams. They also know more about what they want out of a relationship; the difficult part then becomes finding another person who embodies that.

TG: Finding another person who embodies that and also has the same sexual preferences as you!

SBH: Yes! Two of the characters in the musical struggle with that. (Song: Haven’t You Noticed?)

TG: It has been a long road to get a full production of Love Quirks to the stage, what were the early steps in the conception of the musical?

SBH: I had been writing songs as emotionally therapy for a VERY long time (since I was 13).  I found that I liked, and had a talent for, writing funny songs with a lot of heart. These were developed into song cycles for cabaret performances and eventually, based on audience reaction and performer demand, I realized that the best of these songs were all about the quirks of love and relationships.

TG: And that is where Brian came in?

Seth: Yes, in the fall of 2010, I decided to produce a concert with all of these quirky love songs, hence the title of the musical. Brian Childers was one of the performers that night and after the concert he was the first person to comment that these songs could be made into a good musical.  In 2011, we produced a 4 person concert together and found that there was audience interest in getting to know more about the characters.  Brian then enlisted his brother Mark Childers to write the book.

TG: Was it difficult to trust Mark to do right by your songs?

SBH: Not at all.  Mark is brilliant, and I like collaborating with brilliant people.  He won me over from the moment I met him.  Like Brian, Mark just got IT.  Plus there is no bullshitting between us.  It is important to have collaborators that will tell you if something isn’t working otherwise you are guaranteed to hear it from someone else down the line, and in a much harsher and detrimental way.

TG: You produced a concept album for Love Quirks back in 2011 to garner interest in the musical. What changes can audience members who know the music expect?

SBH: A few of the songs have been dropped and/ or rewritten to fit better into the story arc and pacing of the production.   There have also been a number of book adjustments since our last reading in May. A lot of what Brian calls “potty humor” has been replaced with double entendre and more sophisticated innuendo.

TG: Are you going to miss the potty humor?

SBH: Just a few of the “that’s what she/he said” jokes.  Apparently those are dated but I still enjoy them.

TG: Tell me about the Kickstarter campaign that you ran over the summer.

SBH: Our May reading had caught the interest of an off-broadway theatre manager who offered us space to put up the show for a limited run if we could fund it. Due to scheduling conflicts (thanks to the success of another show running in the theatre) we will be opening in an off-off Broadway space for this run but hopefully we will make enough in ticket sales to afford the step into an off-Broadway space next.  We are incredibly grateful to everyone who donated towards bringing our show to life.

TG: Is there any advice you have for composers and other creators looking to get their projects produced in NYC?

SBH: It takes a LOT more time than you ever expect it will.  You need to devote a lot of your heart (and money) into the project.  And just keep moving forward, never lose hope.

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Love Quirks will run from Thursday Sept 11 until Sunday Sept 28 at Theater 54 (244 West 54th Street).  CLICK HERE to buy tickets. 

 

 

 

 

James Corden To Be Next Host of CBS' The Late Late Show

Very exciting news about James Cordon taking over for Craig Ferguson as the next host of CBS’ The Late Late Show but the real reason I am sharing a link to this article is because of the last line which reports that Alex Timbers will potentially be directing a Broadway revival of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to The Forum!

9/8- It looks like the video was removed. I’ll repost if I can find it again somewhere else.

***SPOILER ALERT to anyone to was living under a rock last spring during the series finale for How I Met Your Mother. ;-)

The alternate ending (really an alternate cut of the ending) for How I Met Your Mother which was promised for the final season DVDs has leaked and I have to say that this version makes me so much happier about my long time investment in the show.

Sure it provides much less of a twist or surprise and maybe I shouldn’t have wanted the ending that was expected for this show, but I REALLY REALLY did.

Especially considering the opportunity the writers gave us to fall in love with the relationship between Cristin Milioti’s Mother and Ted throughout the last season, watching this love story be written off so quickly in the finale in favor of the one we were told in the very first episode NOT to invest in, was jarring to say the least.

I did wonder at the time of the finale if the ending would have upset me as much had The Mother been played by someone other than Cristin Milioti…She was fairly unknown in Hollywood terms before this part so it is possible that most viewers of the show were not overly attached to her, at least not in the way musical theater lovers who knew Milioti from ONCE were.  Perhaps with different casting I would have been rooting for the Ted/Robin romance but as it was I found the “real” ending of the show pretty devastating.

Maybe there is something to the original wrap-up that rings more dramatic but after 9 years of watching Ted struggle with romance, this alternate cut was the beginning I wanted to see at the series end.

RIP Joan Rivers.
I will always remember summer afternoons sitting with my grandfather and  watching you on re-runs of Hollywood Squares.
I feel so privileged that I was able to see you perform live at least once and I will forever appreciate the bluntly honest perspective on fame, success, the entertainment industry, and life in general that you shared with the world.
*Photo credit www.sheknows.com

RIP Joan Rivers.

I will always remember summer afternoons sitting with my grandfather and  watching you on re-runs of Hollywood Squares.

I feel so privileged that I was able to see you perform live at least once and I will forever appreciate the bluntly honest perspective on fame, success, the entertainment industry, and life in general that you shared with the world.

*Photo credit www.sheknows.com

26 Jokes Only Theatre Nerds Will Understand

Love Quirks, a new original musical about the perils of dating (and relationships) in Manhattan with a score by my good friend Seth Bisen-Hersh, made the front page of Playbill.com* today! 

This is a project that has been a long time in the making, from recording and releasing the EP last year, multiple readings, and then a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund an off-Broadway run, is finally making its true debut at Theatre 54 for three weeks in September!

The song above is one of my favorites from the show. Take a listen and then head over to the Love Quirks website to buy tickets! See you there!

*The announcement of Love Quirks’ run also appeared on TheaterMania and BroadwayWorld today.

(Source: Spotify)

Season 8 of #DoctorWho premiered tonight and by some crazy turn of events, I got to attend the taping of the live pre-show and #AfterWho show featuring Alton Brown, Mark Gatiss, wilwheaton, and hosted by Chris Hardwick! (nerdistindustries)

It was an altogether incredible Whovian experience. Thank you so much Marianne for inviting me along!

Olaf remembers his friend and idol, the Genie

In the past 24 hours there has been a huge outpouring of stories recounted about how Robin Williams touched people’s lives.

I found this story, at the link above, written by Josh Gad especially touching.  

There has been much comparison made between Gad and Williams this year as Frozen’s popularity boomed and Olaf became a beloved comedic icon for a new generation of kids, as the Genie was for my generation.  So it was truly wonderful to hear how much Gad was inspired by Robin Williams, both through friendship and his performances.

A must read for Disney lovers and theater fans.

I never thought that I could be so completely devastated over the loss of someone I hadn’t met.

Robin Williams and his comedy was a staple of my childhood; first as Peter Pan and The Genie and later discovering Mork, Mrs. Doubtfire, Armond in The Birdcage (the first R-rated movie I snuck my way into).  He was my introduction to standup comedy, all comedy.

I’ve had the opportunity in my career, 10 years plus internships in the entertainment industry, to meet a number of Robin Williams’ contemporaries and it had always been a dream that I would someday meet and work with him but it hadn’t yet happened.

Event though the meeting never happened, I always felt as though it had.  Through every character Robin Williams portrayed, there was something that filtered through, something that felt completely genuine and true to the real person.

A friend who did have the chance to work with Robin assures me that I was right to feel that way and that I would have loved the real man as much as I loved his characters.

I’ve never battled depression or addiction so after shock, my first reaction to this terrible news is to feel incredibly angry at this genius of a man who took his own life.  It seems like such a waste.  

But now there is nothing to be done to change what has happened and I will try to be more understanding in the future to friends battling similar afflictions.

This incredibly sad moment is not truly mine to own, but I feel a part of it, as I know so many others do.  Robin Williams the character was loved by so many and I only wish that could have been better translated into his life as Robin Williams the man so that he didn’t experience such a need to escape.

The world will be different without his comedic genius.

A preview of “Come to the Fun Home” in honor of the announcement that the musical which premiered at The Public Theater this past fall will be transferring to Broadway for Spring 2015!

Fun Home Sets Dates for Spring Broadway Bow

This is fantastic! I think that Fun Home was truly the best new musical of the 2013-2014 NY theatre season and now it will truly have a chance to shine!

Fun Home, based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel of the same name, features music by composer Jeanine Tesori (Violet, Shrek, Caroline, or Change). The musical is a memory piece in which the main character, Alison, comes to terms with her past growing up in a funeral home with a closeted homosexual father through the illustration of her novel.

Congrats to The Public Theater and good luck for a successful transfer to Broadway!

Ken Davenport's Producer Perspective on Refunds

Broadway producer Ken Davenport posed an interesting point in his Producer’s Perspective blog post today about how the no-refund policies most theaters implement on their ticket sales is an old-fashioned way of doing business.

I thought that his opinion on the matter was refreshing.

Check out his post at the link above.

Anonymous said: Hi! I was wondering how hard it was to meet Leighton Meester or Neil Patrick Harris at the stage doors of their shows? Do they usually take pictures? Do they only sign playbills? Is it necessary to attend the show? Thank you!

Hello :)

I haven’t attempted the stage door for either show so I can’t say from first hand experience in these particular cases.

However, from what I have heard, Leighton Meester hasn’t been coming out to greet the crowds.

The word about NPH is that he does come out and sign A LOT after the last performance of the night. If you go to the 7pm performance on Saturday he won’t come out after the show because there isn’t enough time to greet the crowds and then prepare for the 10pm show.

Pictures…you can snap photos while he is signing but he most likely won’t stop to pose with each person since the crowds have been pretty massive.

Do you need to see the show…possibly not. At both How To Succeed (with Daniel Radcliffe) and Lucky Guy (Tom Hanks) there were barriers put up on either side of the stage door. One side was for people lining up before the show let out and the other was for people coming out of the show. As I remember, Dan & Tom signed the very front row from both barriers and then got into their cars.  If you don’t see the show you will have to get to the theatre pretty early in order to get a good spot on the barrier.

I hope this info helps a bit.

Hurry over and stage door these shows soon because Neil Patrick Harris is leaving Hedwig (to be replaced by Andrew Rannells) on August 17th and Of Mice and Men’s run ends this coming weekend.

The summer between my sophomore and junior years of college I interned at the company that produced Elaine Stritch at Liberty.
I never had the opportunity to meet Elaine Stritch in person but I heard so many stories about her from my co-workers that summer that I felt I had.  And when she won her Tony that year, I remember being so happy for her.
She was a tough lady- knew how to get what she wanted - and a true legend of the theater.
Elaine Stritch you will be missed.

The summer between my sophomore and junior years of college I interned at the company that produced Elaine Stritch at Liberty.

I never had the opportunity to meet Elaine Stritch in person but I heard so many stories about her from my co-workers that summer that I felt I had.  And when she won her Tony that year, I remember being so happy for her.

She was a tough lady- knew how to get what she wanted - and a true legend of the theater.

Elaine Stritch you will be missed.