Theatre is life on A Good Reed Review
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This event is going to be big, so big in fact, that the Redwood Symphony’s normal home at Can᷉ada College can’t contain the excitement, or the ensemble. As a result, the San Mateo Performing Arts Center will welcome the expanded orchestra – including far more woodwinds than are usually seen, an extra brass band, two harps, a mandolin, and an organ – combined with vocals from the Masterworks Chorale, the Bay Area Festival Chorus, a renowned children’s chorus, and eight exceptional vocal soloists for one night only on Saturday, 30 July 2016. All told, over 200 musicians will grace the stage for this extravaganza. This musical mob will present Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major, nicknamed the “Symphony of a Thousand”. [Continue reading]
Have you ever watched an animated film and while watching the film thought, “This is great music!” Have you then wondered how that music came to be, and which came first, the animation, or the music? After all, something had to come first. [Continue reading]
As I mentioned in my previous commentary discussing the role of a theatre reviewer, I’ve often been asked if I review professional and amateur productions differently. My short answer then and now remains no, but I started thinking about what defines a professional production. Perhaps my refusal to treat them differently should have been a clue that there is a fuzzy line separating professional from amateur theatre in many circles. For instance, in theatre-rich areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area, one can find high quality productions without regard to whether the company is professional or not. Still, I was curious, so I started digging a little deeper. [Continue reading]
In the fall of 2012, A Good Reed Review published a commentary entitled “The role of the pit musician in musical theatre”. The article discussed the unique role pit musicians play along with some of the challenges they face. Part of that discussion focused on some of the differences between being a pit musician versus a cast member. While I am a pit musician and musical director (normally the reason for periodic breaks from publishing theatre reviews), last fall, a different opportunity presented itself. For a change of pace, I climbed out of the pit and onto the stage as a cast member in West Valley Light Opera’s production of Fiddler on the Roof, an experience which confirmed, amplified and expanded upon much of the discussion in my previous commentary. [Continue reading]
In REMEMBERING MOM AND DAD, I make the jump from analyzing the stories to telling them. The book is a collection of essays and short stories written over time remembering Bayla and Jerry Jacobson. The stories include personal recollections from my experience along with the retelling of numerous events related to me in conversations over the years. Some of the stories included are: “Music in the House”, “The Parenthood Plunge”, “The Jacobson Pet Parade”, “Disney Days of Summer”, and many more. Interested?
Purchase the print edition online on CreateSpace or Amazon or in person at Leigh’s Favorite Books in Sunnyvale, CA or at Village House of Books in Los Gatos.
Purchase a digital copy in Kindle or Nook formats.
Read the full Introduction.