Here's another pit question for you guys

Discussion in 'Pit Orchestra Stories' started by snakeman5001, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    What are your favorite songs you've played in the pit for a certain musical. Right now my favorite song I've played in a pit so far would be The Jitterbug from The Wizard of Oz. It may have been the hardest song in the show, but it was the most fun to play! :)
     
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  2. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    For me, it would be "Side By Side By Side" from the 1970s staple, Company. A second act opener that redefines the love between Bobby, the prototypical swinger, and the five married couples that make up his social orbit, it starts out as a slow ballad, moves through a series of alternating fast and slow sections, and ends up with a rousing tap dance number that leaves Bobby (literally) hanging in the wind.

    Music wise, my part (clarinet/bass clarinet/baritone) started out with a bouncing accompaniment to the muted trombone solo line under the opening vocal. Then, it's a series of horn swaps through the sections dealing with Bobby's problems, ending up in the big tap dance finale.

    One of the clarinet sections was a lead part over the rest of the woodwinds on saxes, so I subbed in a soprano sax on that section with considerable effect.

    All in all, the song had everything - Sondheim lyrics, classic American musical style, a great deal of humor (ending with the spectacle of Bobby's turn in the tap dancing spotlight, when it is suddenly realized by the entire audience that he, alone among the eleven principal cast members, has no partner to finish up the end of his sequence), and a nice bass clarinet line.
     
  3. retread

    retread

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    What I like best about Jitterbug is the last note.
     
  4. JohnnyV

    JohnnyV

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    I conducted a H.S. production of "Company" with a very good pit & cast and "Side By Side" was my favorite number among many I loved. We used it as an encore at the end of our final matinee.
     
  5. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    The sax section in the Jitterbug was awesome! That's the part where I could rock out on the Bari sax!
     
  6. Jim

    Jim

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    It's funny how some of us mention the Jitterbug from Wizard of Oz and Side by Side from Company. I've done both those shows, as well as close to 100 other shows, and those are two numbers I really don't like at all! I don't like Jitterbug because, besides being totally derivative, it doesn't belong in the show--the style is completely different from the rest of the music. And I don't like Side by Side because, again, it's derivative; it sounds just like any other song-and-tap-dance number.
     
  7. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Yeah, but "Side By Side By Side" makes for a parody of the traditional "song and dance" number, in that they are always about symmetry and love for one another and all of that. The same thing is preached throughout the first three quarters of the tune, with Bobby carrying the water in the melody and the couples doing the choruses. Then, in the final stop time section, each of the couples are paired up, until Bobby (who is normally kept in the background during the first portion of the stop-time) comes out to do his tap duet -- alone.

    Can't say anything about the other, though.
     

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