Well, folks. For me, summer has now officially arrived!
I am now settled into Naples, NY for a three-show contract that will take most of my summer between June 1st-September 1st! (There will also be a little vacation and a week-long teaching contract thrown in the middle there as well!) And it’s all going to be super fun and not crazy or exhausting at all!
Well, not quite. It’s all extremely exciting, but it will be incredibly busy as well!
So let me tell you a little about the exciting parts while I have your attention! :-D
Naples Is *Magical*
If you’ve ever seen Brigadoon, then yeah…it’s a little bit like that.
Naples, NY is this beautiful vacation town that emerges from the snows of winter each spring to provide the Finger Lakes Area with breath-taking beauty, fantastic theatre, delicious wine, excellent local food, festivals, art, music, lakes, nature, parks, and pie! Yes, pie gets it’s own listing here. Come visit and you’ll see why!
The town is nestled in a valley at the south end of Canandaigua Lake, which is one of the most gorgeous lakes in the entire country - backed up by the fact that it has the most expensive lake-front property in the US.
It’s also a short jaunt to Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake, Canadice Lake, Seneca Lake…are you getting the picture? Hills and lakes and trees and gorgeousness.
The Finger Lakes Region is also one of the top Wine Regions in the country (voted #1 the past two years!).
Every larger lake is surrounded with wineries that provide incredible wine trails for some of the most fun summer days I’ve ever had. And for those of you who don’t like wine, there are now a multitude of Micro-Breweries, Distilleries, and Cideries along these trails as well!
Oh, also, Naples has two wineries right on the Main Street of town…so you don’t have to go far!
As for accommodations, there are plenty around! There are delightful Bed & Breakfasts both in town and nearby (with some insane views), and AirBnB exists all over. Plus the Naples Hotel is right in town, totally haunted, has two bars and a restaurant, and is worth a stay…if you’re daring.
(Pie. So much pie.)
And then the Bristol Valley Theater, which is what ultimately brings me back to Naples this summer!
Bristol Valley Theater - or BVT - is a brilliant and wonderful gem of a non-equity regional theater in Western NY. The people are some of the best I have ever met, the work is fantastic (far above what should be achievable at its size) and fulfilling, the audiences are enthusiastic and grateful, and the respect shown to the employees across the board is virtually unheard of for a theater this size.
It’s a delight and honor to work there, and I’m stoked to be heading back!
“What are you doing there this summer, Michael?”
Excellent question, dear reader!
So Happy Together
The first show on which I will be endeavoring (beginning tomorrow morning) is a 1960s musical revue called So Happy Together.
For this show I will be acting as the Musical Director, which is going to be incredibly fun!
We have a cast of 4 performers who will, with myself and the director, be putting together a show that covers the musical genres and cultural topics of the 1960s. We’ll be covering genres like: Rock, the British Invasion, Protest, Motown, and more!
It’s a little bit of a hectic process - as we only have a week to create, learn, and stage the show - but isn’t that what makes summer stock theatre fun? I think so!
I’m not yet certain what the final result will yield as far as actual content, but I have done a little pre-work as the MD. For instance, I know for certain there will be a medley of 10 Beatles songs (‘cause duh!), an a cappella section, and a medley of the major dances of the era. So at least a small amount of the music is prepped and ready in advance!
Basically, if you enjoy the music of the 1960s (and who doesn’t?) you’ll enjoy So Happy Together!
Murder For Two
Okay, if you don’t know this show then you have been missing out!
When I saw Murder For Two Off-Broadway in 2013, it was one of my all-time favorite theatrical experiences. And you know what? It still is.
For those of you who don’t know the show, here’s the premise:
It’s a musical. There’s a murder. There’s only two people onstage. One person plays all 9 suspects, and the other plays the naive cop. What’s the catch? Both performers also play piano…for themselves, for one another, and sometimes at the same time on the same keyboard.
It’s absolute zany and delightful fun!
It’s incredibly tricky, since both performers have to be excellent pianists/accompanists, singers, and actors. I’m itching to get started! Though I’ve been practicing the music for a while now, it’s a totally different beast once both performers are working in the same space.
It’s going to be excellent!
The King’s Legacy
As I’m sure you all know by this point, my original musical The King’s Legacy will be receiving its premiere production this August!!!
I’ve been in preparation for this production since the fall: Meeting with the Director, Rewriting, Orchestrating, Preparing the Materials, doing Readings, Rewriting even more…you know, all the things!
So, to say that I cannot wait for this process to begin would be a severe understatement bordering on a crime!
“What is this show?”
Thank you for the question, clearly new reader to my blog!
Bristol Valley Theater’s website quotes:
And the website for the musical writes:
The show includes:
1 young girl
6 queens consort
1 queen regnant
And so much more!
And in addition to all of my duties on this show, I will also be doing some extra talks surrounding the writing and production at local libraries and events!
It’s going to be a brilliant end to the summer!! :-D
The King’s Legacy runs August 22nd-September 1st!
Well, Maybe The Livin’s Not That Easy
Summer stock theatre - and particularly 3 shows across 3 months - will mean a large amount of work and lots of crazy business.
Rehearsals are long yet compact, tech is short, and runs are a total of 10 performances. It’s certainly a whirlwind each and every time!
Therefore, dear reader, I will be cutting back my weekly blog over the summer months. A sad prospect, I know. However, you will all also be busy and having fantastic times of your own!
I will still put out a post at least every two weeks, so don’t you fret! I’ll do what I can when I can!
And in the meantime, plan yourselves a trip to Naples, NY for this summer to see one of these wonderful shows!!! (*cough* especially The King’s Legacy *cough*)
I hope to see your shining faces in the BVT lobby sometime this summer!!! Cheers!