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First Time Musical

Q & A for directors, stage managers, choreographers, costume designers and anyone else involved in putting on a production.

First Time Musical

Postby tonimc75 on Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:22 pm

I've been directing High School Plays for the past 10 years - but have never really ventured into the musical venue. I have a ton of kids begging to do a musical and another teacher willing to do the musical direction - but every show we look at seems pretty intense. Are there any good musicals for a first timer?
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Re: First Time Musical

Postby Annie on Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:16 pm

If you can trust the MD to really handle the music portion and you feel comfortable choreographing or have a good choreographer I really think that the important thing is to do a show you are very familiar with. You're probably aware that a lot of film versions are not the same as the stage shows so it needs to be a show you've seen produced on stage. I'm not saying you need to rip off a production you saw just that having seen a show live may help you see that when brought to life it's not nearly as intense or may give you ideas of what you can and can't do.

Things to think about would be the talent available , do you have a few or a lot of strong singers, dancers and actors? What are their vocal ranges. Costumes for a musical can be more involved since you may have a much bigger turn out at auditions and end up with a huge cast, which may also effect your set design (to accomodate more bodies onstage) and overall budget. How big is your stage?

Are you wanting to do a show where the songs advance the plot? Are more comfortable with directing the drama portion versus the acting while singing? If so stay away from shows like Jekyll & Hyde, Seussical and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. They are either all singing or mostly singing and require large casts.

Currently~ Miss Myrna Thorn in Ruthless! the Musical
Recently~ Emma Carew (Jekyll & Hyde), Sister Mary Leo (Nunsense), Demeter (Cats), Tzeitel (Fiddler on the Roof)
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Re: First Time Musical

Postby britluvvie on Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:51 am

What about The Dracula Spectacula ? Its a riot. Its about this bunch of youths who get into a chase to catch Dracula (a cool dude).

Of course, there's always The Boy Friend by Sandy Wilson - if your kids can tackle the odd English accent. Its a well known musical with lots of recordings available. The music is light and mostly upbeat - vivacious is the word most used - so that might lighten the music burden.

There's an old English musical called Salad Days, which is basically a revue with a silly storyline threaded through it. Spot scenes and musical numbers spread the burden around a largeish cast, although doubling is also possible.

If you have a multi ethnic group what about Once on This Island ?

Whatever you choose, I think you'll be surprised at the dedication young people will bring to the production. Good luck and great singing !
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Re: First Time Musical

Postby Phantom997 on Sat Dec 22, 2007 5:52 pm

I know I suggest this a lot, but what about Godspell? You can do it with as many people as you want, and the acting is fun, since it is a bunch of "skits" The music is pretty easy, too
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Re: First Time Musical

Postby susan? on Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:43 pm

Check out the Junior versions of some of the MTI shows. They come with prerecorded music which is nice when you're tackling a musical for the first time. Plus, they're geared toward schools/settings that might not have the most resources. I've Honk, Godspell, and Into the Woods Juniors with elementary/middle and middle/high school during summer camps and it worked well.

Check it out though, depending on the level and time you plan on putting into it the musicals might be a little too simple for HS kids.
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