Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Work In Progress: DOG AND PONY

An interview with Barry Edelstein, Artistic Director of The Old Globe, about their upcoming premiere of Dog and Pony with a book by Rick Elice and music and lyrics by Michael Patrick Walker.

Mags and Andy are a screenwriting team with a track record of hits and a professional relationship that’s firing on all cylinders. But when Andy’s marriage hits the rocks, forever single Mags finds she wants something more. Will romance ruin their perfect relationship? A witty and irreverent look at what women want and whether men fit the bill...or don’t. 
How did Dog and Pony find its way to The Old Globe? 
The first thing I did when I was appointed Artistic Director was call a bunch of talented people I’m fortunate to count as friends. I asked them what they had cooking that might be in need of a home. One of the wonderful artists I called was the great Rick Elice. He told me about this musical he was writing with Michael Patrick Walker, a funny, witty and urbane piece about two screenwriters whose professional relationship is buffeted when romance enters the picture. I read it and listened to the score and was just beguiled by it. Another person I called was Roger Rees. I asked him what he had up his sleeve to direct, and he said, “Rick’s musical!” So the piece’s charms, plus the considerable charms of Rick and Roger, made me say, “I’m in!”
What about the show did you see as a good fit for The Old Globe and your audiences? 
I was looking for a small-scale musical for our Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, a 250-seat theatre in the round. San Diego has an incredible musical theatre audience, of course because of the reputations of the Globe and the La Jolla Playhouse for premiering these works, but also because the small theatre scene in town is rich in musical theatre talent. So Dog and Pony had it all: the right size and scope we were seeking, a winning tone, really terrific score and a group of artists who are top flight.
This is the first production for the show. What are some of the challenges for the team as they prepare to bring this show from the page to the stage?

Festival Show Update: ANALOG AND VINYL

Festival 2013 show Analog and Vinyl is jumping up to Vermont's Weston Playhouse this summer for its world premiere. This month we check in with the show's writer Paul Gordon about preparing for the musical's first production.  

Harrison is obsessed with LPs from the sixties and the superior quality of analog. Rodeo Girl, a quirky Silver Lake hipster, is obsessed with Harrison but he barely notices. With his vintage record store about to go under, Harrison and Rodeo Girl are visited by a mysterious customer who makes them a devilish offer they can't refuse.

What did you learn about Analog and Vinyl while preparing it for the Festival? 
Preparing for the Festival wasn't as much a learning experience as it was an "inspiring" experience. Once you know your show is going to be seen by an industry audience, it does strange things to the creative process. You start looking at the material with more fluid eyes. You start questioning and examining the material (all while trying to create a 45-minute presentation), and suddenly you begin asking yourself the serious dramaturgical questions of theme and character (that you had previously avoided) that are vital to the developmental process. One of the great gifts that came out of my preparation for the Festival was that I felt incentivized to write a new song for the lead character that helped to transform the show.

Your show only had readings leading up to the Festival and now is preparing for a world premiere this summer at Weston Playhouse. What has it been like to jump from reading to production without a workshop in between?