“A Woman at War” – My Musical Opens Today in Kuala Lumpur

I’m very excited about the 10 minute musical that I wrote which was chosen for production in the Short & Sweet Musical Festival KL 2014. It opens tonight at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre, and will be showing through Saturday along with five other musicals. I’ll be flying down to KL on Friday and will be able to catch the show on Friday and Saturday nights. I’ll make sure to take pictures and post the exciting glitz and glamour from the event.

Ten minute musicals are fun to write, but they have their unique challenges. They are short, so they have to be focused. I wrote one last year called “Captured in Time and Space” which was much more of a thematic piece – not a linear narration.

This year I wanted to tell a story by music in ten minutes. I wanted it to be an emotionally gripping story. Yes, I wanted tears in the audience. (We’ll see if that happens or not.)

So I came up with the concept of a war bride of WWII, saying goodbye to her new husband who is off to war. But in a very real sense, those brides who stayed behind had to fight their own wars. Wars of extreme emotion and confusion. Wars of worry. Wars of rationing. Wars of longing for everything to go back to normal.

So I wrote a three-part musical. Part I is called The Wedding and all the hopes, worries and desires that go into it. Then they part. Part II is the war where our heroine grows victory gardens, rations food, and works in a factory – all the while thinking and worrying about her lost love whom she fears will never come home.

Then the bells of victory sound and she anticipates his return, only to find her husband return as an invalid and broken man, in shell-shock, completely unresponsive.

This woman at war has to decide what she will do with her “selfish thoughts” since “he’s not the same man that I once knew”.

She’s still warring with herself, even though the war is over.

The point being – war is never over.

I’m real happy with how the lyrics turned out. I created the melodies for the different tunes in the musical, then I passed them on to my colleague and co-composer Laura Danneker who took them and created a lot of cool music to go with my melodies.

The resulting piece is a powerful piece of dramatic musical theatre.

I have not been connected at all with the production. I’ve met the director once and have communicated back and forth, but I have no idea which creative direction that they took the piece. It should be fun to discover.

“A Woman at War” – KLPAC Sept 23-26, 2014.

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“Almighty Might” – How short & sweet it is!

I’ve had the distinct privilege of watching my short play “Almighty Might” being performed at the Short & Sweet Festival KL under the very capable direction of actor and director Colin Kirton. Here are my thoughts:

Wow! What an amazing job they did! With three actors and a director’s vision, they brought down the entire regime of Antoine by simply having a courageous man stand and stare at the presidential palace.

The direction really was superb. I think Colin has an excellent chance to win the best director’s award. What was done extremely well was the narration. There is quite a bit of narration in my piece and it was divided up evenly between the various actors – and the narration was fast-paced – extremely fast paced – but very clear and easy to follow. The actors went in and out of various characters and moved around the stage freely, using lighting and movement to energize the staging and make it seem like there were a whole force of individuals who had come out to the square to “wait for the revolution.”

Unfortunately, I have to leave on Saturday and so won’t be there for the final performance. Hopefully, we will make it to the special GALA night which is Sunday evening – where the awards will be given out. I won’t personally be there, but I’m hoping the production and script will be up for several awards. Here’s keeping our fingers crossed!

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almighty might