Yesterday was opening night for The Drowsy Chaperone at Newton South Stage. I’m playing Keyboard 2 for the production, and it’s a really fun show to play. I think high school theatre is a beautiful thing. There’s something heartwarming about putting on a production without an astronomical budget in an environment where everyone (for the most part) loves each other. It’s definitely in the atmosphere because I feel it every time I do a high school or community theatre production. Broadway, on other hand, trades this “personal touch” for commercialization and perfection. Neither is better, just different.
This group of kids at Newton South High School are REALLY talented…like SERIOUSLY REALLY TALENTED. I initially thought everyone in the cast were from different schools, but it turns out that’s not the case. Newton is a lucky town. So much singing and acting talent at a public school isn’t exactly a common thing. In fact, this production of The Drowsy Chaperone exceeded many college-level productions I’ve seen and been part of. I’m so impressed by these kids.
I played the show on a Yamaha CP33 with a mix of onboard sounds and virtual instruments in Mainstage. The orchestra didn’t go through the house, so I used a pair of QSC K12s connected to a MOTU UltraLite MK3 audio interface. Feel free to contact me if you want to use my keyboard programming. There aren’t any external samples not included with Mainstage, and the CP33 sounds can easily be replaced by Mainstage’s acoustic piano sounds.
Today and tomorrow’s performances were cancelled due to a snowstorm, but there will be two shows on Sunday. Starting next Monday, I’ll be playing in a production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Busy, busy, busy.