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Category Archives: Lessons from Musicals

Hamilton: What comes next?

This is the fifth and final installment of a series, Lessons from Musicals. Why am I bothering to talk about musicals I performed in 40 years ago? Aren’t there more pressing things to deal with in the present? I’ll answer by looking at a musical created by someone who hadn’t even been born yet when I …

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Pippin: How to grow up

This is the fourth installment of a series, Learning from Musicals. I learned other important teenage lessons from Pippin. The first is not to listen to songs from musicals out of context. We performed a few songs from Pippin as one of the opening acts before Dames at Sea in 1978. We couldn’t do the musical …

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Plain and Fancy: Talent really is a thing

This is the third installment of a series, Lessons from Musicals. It wonders me how I was able to land a spot in Reseda High School’s prestigious Vocal Ensemble. Although I could read music, stay in tune (well, most of the time), and hold my own in harmonies, I clearly wasn’t a star. You could pick me …

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Dames at Sea: The heartbreak behind camp

This is the second installment of a series, Lessons from Musicals. Of my performances in high school, my role as Hennesey in Dames at Sea was the most memorable. Even though I was sheltered and naïve in high school, I sensed there was something somewhat off about Dames. A musical we performed in the 1970s that …

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Lessons from Musicals: Overture

This is the first installment of a series, Lessons from Musicals. Forty years ago, I performed in my first high school musical. Actually, we did excerpts from several musicals including Oliver and Plain and Fancy. I went from Mr. Bumble to Papa Yoder and experienced stage makeup for the first time (and the massive amounts …

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