To A Muse” premieres

On Feb­ru­ary 16, 2012, my musi­cal col­lab­o­ra­tor Emily Thomp­son and I pre­miered “To A Muse” at the school where she teaches in East Hanover, NJ. We are both very proud of this work and both feel it rep­re­sents some of our strongest mate­r­ial. But it must also be said that this group of young­sters from Cen­tral School in he East Hanover School Dis­trict are so extremely tal­ented. It’s not easy to get up and sing a comic song, a dance song, or a love song in front of one’s par­ents, teach­ers, and friends. This is a very spe­cial, tal­ented group of kids.

In the show, a school class vis­its the museum to fol­low up on some lessons taught in school. The teacher announces that final projects are due soon. Theodore wishes for some inspi­ra­tion and acci­den­tally invokes the nine Muses to his side, each of whom want to inspire him. Theodore is annoyed and wishes them away, but in fact they are not allowed to leave until Theodore IS inspired. Only Theodore can see the Muses, but in due time his sis­ter Thea and his friend Hec­tor also acci­den­tally invoke the Muses. The show is all about find­ing inspi­ra­tion in spite of tra­di­tional edu­ca­tion, while at the same time respect­ing tra­di­tion and find­ing inspi­ra­tion in it. (Indeed, respect­ing tra­di­tion is an insight into Theodore’s ulti­mate cre­ative solu­tion!) And along the way, some really good laughs occur.

Here are sev­eral pic­tures from the show. A DVD has been made and can be ordered by any­one wish­ing to receive a copy.

Before show rehearsal

Theodore sees the Muses for the first time

Thea sings while the boys study the painting

Theodore and Hector

The Muses explain them­selves to Theodore

Cal­liope: “Use Imagination”

Emily Thomp­son direct­ing a scene

It’s All Greek to Me!”

Life Is Bet­ter With A Song”

The final confrontation!

The Com­pany takes bows

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About Richard D. Russell

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