Project Blog: December 20, 2010

30 Days of NYMF

Happy endings are frequent in tuners, but rare when writing them.

"Shine!" began life (without the exclamation mark) glamorously in 1980. Yet while speeding to its scheduled Broadway premiere, producers talked, directors balked, movie stars walked, and the authors... Well, that would take more than the 300 words allowed here.

Now, after 30 years, I watch in somewhat hypnotic disbelief as my very young musical self is reconstructed in the studios of Pearl. No movie stars this time, no Tony winning directors or legendary producers arriving in limos and minks. Just a brilliant bunch of loving and talented actors under the watchful eyes of Peter Flynn, Dev Janki and Annbritt duChateau. Some days I wonder what the heck the newbie composer was thinking all those years ago, as a number is being taught or staged. And some days I wander off and cry from the bittersweet joy of it. But as rehearsals continue and admiration grows for this little lost show about an 1876 bootblack, I am gently but constantly told that I am of the "old school" and it takes guts to join this NYMF of new school adventurers. It's a compliment, I think.

Those words in my ear, it's ironic that "Shine!" is about a time in America where everything was on the move, in every sense. Innovation, ambition, community and heart were uniting a country full of diversity. Nothing "old school" about that idea. And even though the score doesn't access rock or pop (or heterophony or dodecaphony for that matter), I hope it might remind the audience with a few good songs and a grand story from our Americana roots, that everything old is new again.

Come see "Shine!" -- You might be surprised what us 'old schoolers' are up to. And, yes, there is a happy ending!

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The above is from my entry into NYMF's daily online diary. The 5-Song Cast Recording can be heard here. An earlier blog on the show is at SHINE: Take 3.


Maybe Today
from Cast Recording
Meggie Cansler