Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Christmas Carol - My First Musical

Last night marked another rehearsal on the way to performing in my first musical theater production. It went well --three hours of work with the ensemble. I'll do a dress rehearsal on Thursday night and then, Friday is opening night!

It's a little different doing musicals, because you're not the main attraction, like you are in an orchestral concert. Actually, we'll be in the "pit," hidden from view, playing when it suits the actors/singers above us. I'm guessing that my 8th performance will be better than the first one.

As usual, I'm the only bass player, but we have a nice selection of other instruments, including a piano, a horn section, violins, flute and even a bass saxophone. The drummer arrived tonight, and he, a hirsute and mature 17-year-old, played directly behind me--and he was right on the beat. We talked music a little bit, too; it's fun to share something with someone who's less than a third of your age. The years melted away when we discussed our musical passion.

A Christmas Carol plays December 16, 17, 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. and December 18 and 24 at a 2 p.m. matinee. It's the same great story you know about Mr. Scrooge learning the spirit of Christmas by seeing the past, present and future. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, feel free to order tickets here.

Our leader is Jon Siapno, an energetic young man who has a light touch while keeping us moving. He's also a high school teacher, and I'll bet his class is the fun one of the day. It's been great working with him so far, and when we're all playing in the pit these next couple weeks I'm sure we'll get to know him even better. I'll bet there will be more opportunities like this one.

A year ago I got my upright and electric basses tattooed on my arm. Along with making that kind of commitment, I now end the year with a CD and some gigs with my band, another successful year of orchestra concerts, several chamber music workshop weekends, a freelance gig at a church, and now this opportunity. It's wonderful.

The new year will start out with the CD Release Party for Red Paint on Saturday, January 21 at the High Street Station in Alameda, California. You should come.

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