Marvelous Wonderettes Getting off to a Great Start: Guest post from Resident Music Director Micky York

August 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve never been particularly drawn to music from the 50s or 60s. But I’ve ALWAYS loved girl groups. In fact, my first encounter with “Sincerely”, one of the songs you’ll hear in our show, was on the radio in 1988, performed by a country group called the Forester Sisters, singing in four part harmony. At the time, I didn’t realize the song had been performed by anyone else. (It wasn’t until many years later that I also learned Dolly Parton was not the original performer of “Downtown” or “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, but that’s a whole different story.)

As I researched each song in the show, I found multiple versions of each: recordings of the originals, as well as numerous covers and tributes. And then I realized that although these are all well-known songs (well, most of them, at least), there’s no one right way to perform them.
And this brings us to the question I get asked all the time: “So what exactly does a music director do anyway?” If a director’s job is to interpret the script, then my job is to interpret the music. (Not every music director adopts this philosophy, but you’ll have to figure out what those other guys do in a different blog. Anyway.) We’re not putting on a concert here, so the songs have to fit within the context of the show and have to be something that the characters would sing inside the world our director Lauren Rawitz and the rest of the production team are creating. So you’re not going to hear exact recreations of iconic songs. No, we’re giving you something better: you’re going to experience four amazing actresses who use iconic songs to tell a story. And hopefully you’ll appreciate these songs in a new and exciting way.
We recorded a music rehearsal, just after we finished learning Heatwave. As you can see, there’s more than just singing going on – there are glimpses of each character interwoven in the music.. (There’s also camera shaking, from me laughing. Sorry about that. This show is funny.)

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