New Spring Musicals to premiere

Today I trav­eled to East Hanover, NJ to par­tic­i­pate in rehearsals for two new musi­cals. I’ve writ­ten the music and my col­lab­o­ra­tor Emily Thomp­son Schweer is the lyri­cist and book writer. (And direc­tor, to boot!)

We’ve writ­ten a num­ber of shows together, typ­i­cally for 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, but this year, for the first time, we’ve added a 2nd grade show.

The sec­ond grade show is “It Takes a Rain­bow” which tells the story of young, brown lizards who feel safe at home and never want to travel. Even­tu­ally they leave move on and explore, dis­cov­er­ing col­ored frogs and learn­ing the value of a multi-hued world. I’ll post pic­tures of the pre­miere per­for­mance, which will be this Thurs­day, May 9.

At the same time, rehearsals are under way for “The Win­ner Takes All.” This is an adap­ta­tion of Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” set in a mod­ern day mid­dle school. Much like Shakespeare’s orig­i­nal, there’s a real sense of rivalry between the boys and girls, so this is a fun show. How­ever, I still have so much music to write! The chil­dren are rehears­ing their dia­logue, and are await­ing my score, which is only about 75% done. This show will pre­miere on June 6, so I’ve got some catch­ing up to do.

(You should be able to click the images for a larger view.)

Emily Clare Thompson directs "It Takes a Rainbow"

Emily Clare Thomp­son directs the finale. (The group at left is the choir.)

Emily Clare Thompson directs "It Takes a Rainbow"

Emily Clare Thomp­son directs “It Takes a Rainbow”

The boys do a reading of "The Winner Takes All"

The boys do a read­ing of “The Win­ner Takes All”

About Richard D. Russell

This was written by Richard D. Russell, New York City based composer of fine music.