What are some of the shows(and the books in them) everybody has played?

Discussion in 'Pit Orchestra Stories' started by tenorsaxman90, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. Al Stevens

    Al Stevens

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    495
    Likes Received:
    0
    Taken literally, the question posed circumscribes a lot more than Broadway shows. I've done only a few of those, the most recent being Brigadoon as a sub for two performances.

    My show experience is a bit different. I've worked a lot of cabaret acts who bring their books with them for the house band. Some books are complete scores. Others are only folders of lead sheets. I prefer the latter when the house band is only a trio. It's not easy downsizing an orchestral score in real time.

    I worked for several years in the Rosie O'Grady's Goodtime Jazz Band in Orlando at Church Street Station. Four shows a night with various red hot mamas, song and dance men, Charleston dancers, tap and soft shoe dancers, can-can dancers, patriotic medleys, etc. Each show was unique, and you had to pull it in advance because the end of each number was followed immediately by the countoff for the next. We had a book of dixieland tunes, the basic show book, and books for each of the front acts, of which there were usually three different ones a night.

    These kinds of shows are a lot more grueling than working in a pit. An hour each of high-energy, fast-paced entertainment. Four different shows a night.

    Oh yeah, the band kicked off each set by sliding down a brass fire pole onto the stage. Never do that wearing polyester trousers.
     
  2. saxplayer1004

    saxplayer1004

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let's see if I can remember, not quite as many as some, but still quite a few.
    Acting-
    Gaston-Beauty and the Beast
    Javert-Les Miserables
    Lee Collins-Floyd Collins
    Chief Sitting Bull-Annie Get your Gun
    Jacob-Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
    Father-Ragtime
    Myles Gloriosus- Forum

    Pit
    Guys and Dolls-Reed 2, Reed 4
    Grease-Tenor 1/2
    Hairspray-Reed 2
    Bye Bye Birdie-Reed 1
    Oklahoma-Reed 1
    Beauty and the Beast-Reed 2
    Wizard of Oz
    The Wiz-Reed 2
    Producers
    West Side Story-Reed 1, Reed 4
    Music Man-Reed 3? I played bass sax so it may have been 4, it's been a couple of years
    Sound of Music-Reed 1

    Funny story on the plug getting pulled. I was doing Grease 3 years ago at a local university. The set was 2 stories and the pit was center stage on the second story. We were in a black box theatre so we had to run an extension cord to the bag wall for the rhythm section. About 15 or so bars into Stranded at the Drive, one of the tech's tripped on the cord and didn't realize it was pulled out of the wall. Huge pop and our pit lights go out and there was no more rhythm section. It ended up a tenor sax and Danny duet. Was one of the scarier moments in my pit career.
     
  3. Tammi

    Tammi Private woodwind instructor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    2
    I've had the Reed 3 book for Beauty and the Beast for about a week and a half. So far it seems ok.
    There's no way I can pull off the flute part, but it's not necessary that I cover it.
    I like the fact that I'll be able to play bass clari this time. It gave me an excuse to get my own mouthpiece to use on those nasty borrowed school horns. The hard part will be finding a bass that isn't being used that will actually play.
     
  4. bari_sax_diva

    bari_sax_diva

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm also a relative novice at this.

    You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Reed, um... 1? flute, picc, cl, alto/sop sax - my first show EVER, no rehearsal, and it was downright terrifying)
    Baby (a cut-and-paste reduction that included fl, cl, alto/bari sax, bass clar)
    Oliver (Reed 4: bassoon, which I covered on bass and EEb contra-alto clarinets)
    Chicago (reed 3: bari, tenor, sop, bass cl)
    Once Upon a Mattress (reed 4: bass clar)
    Nine (Reed 3: Fl, picc, clar, alto sax)
    Drood (reed 1: picc, fl, cl)

    Music Man (a reduction with clarinet/bass cl) and The Wizard of Oz (reed 4) are both coming up, so I'm spending more time working clarinet these days. Since I'm so new at this, I'm keeping a file of the challenging stuff I run into and continuing to work it over. I'd love to get a call to do Charlie Brown again--I'd do a MUCH better job. Almost makes me want to rent these books myself to learn them... I've actually turned down West Side Story because I knew I didn't have the chops for it. :-(
     
  5. RCNELSON

    RCNELSON

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1
    Add CITY OF ANGELS for me coming up, 3 weekends in March. Will be the only reed player. Will play out of book 1 primarily with pieces of 2 and 3. Flute, Clarinet, Alto and Tenor will be the instruments.
     
  6. hakukani

    hakukani

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let's see hmmm...
    In the Pit:
    Man of La Mancha- Oboe
    Amahl and the Night Visitors-Oboe
    The Apple Tree- Reed 2 (I think)
    Sweet Charity (I got a call during intermission of dress rehearsal, read the second act, then read the first Act opening night)
    Grease
    Anything Goes (I was the only reed, and I covered the two parts in the cut down version-clar, flute, alto, tenor, sop[oboe], would have played bari, but there wasn't room on the 'ship')

    Sound:
    Anything Goes
    Man of la Mancha
    Sound of Mucus
    South Pacific
    Music Man
    Hello Dolly
    West Side Story
    Unspeakable Molly Brown
    My Fair Lady
    My One and Only
    Kismet
    Wizard of Oz
    Brigadoon
    Fiddler on the Roof
    Secret Garden
    Evita
    Joseph ahaTD
    Crazy for You
    Meet Me in St. Louis
    Most Happy Fella
    Oliver!
    A Little Night Music
    Candide
    Assassins
    42nd Street
    Silver Dollar (never made it to the Big Time, but had some great music)
    Rags
    Will Rogers Follies
    Seven Brides for Seven Bros
    Guys and Dolls
    Sweeney Todd
    Destry Rides Again (a REAL stinker)
    On the Town
    Once on this Island
    State Fair
    Where's Charley?
    Ain't Misbehavin'
    Children of Eden
    My One and Only
    Singin' in the Rain
    Three Penny Opera
    Seven Deadly Sins
    Showboat

    There's some more, but that's all I remember right now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  7. metbysax

    metbysax

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    2
    Let's see I have directed:

    South Pacific
    Little Shop of Horrors
    Pirates of Penzance
    The Boyfriend
    Man of LaMancha
    Pippin
    Jesus Christ Superstar
    How to Succeed
    Godspell
    Tommy
    Children of Eden
    Sound of Music
    Secret Garden
    Oliver
    Cabaret
    Footloose
    Jekyll and Hyde
    Is There Life After High School

    I have played:

    Pirates of Penzance (clarinet)
    Chicago (reed 1)
    Company (reed 2)
    Sweet Charity (reed 2)
    Anything Goes (reed 2)
    Kiss Me Kate (reed 3)
    Bye By Birdie (reed 2)
    Pajama Game (reed 3)
    West Side Story (reed 4)
    The Rocky Horror Show (tenor sax)
    Crazy for You (reed 2 on one production, reed 4 on another, reed 5 on another yet)
    Seussical (reed 3)
    How to Succeed... (reed 4)
    Forum (reed 2)
    Guys and Dolls (reed 2)
    Hello Dolly (reed 4)
    The Boyfriend (reed 1)
    Sugar (reed 2)
    Once Upon a Mattress (flute on one performance, clarinet on another on the same production)
    Will be doing reed 5 on 42nd street in May.

    I bet I am missing a few.....

    My favorite to play is Crazy for You, West Side Story and Seussical. Least favorite has been Forum and How to Succeed.
     
  8. eddierich

    eddierich

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Annie - Reed 2
    Cats (10-piece orch.) - Reed 1
    You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown - Reed 1
    Hello Dolly - Reed 2
    Company - Reed 2 or 3, can't remember
    It's a Grand Night For Singing - Reed 1
    How to Succeed in Business - Reed 4
    42nd Street - Reed 1
    Jersey Boys - Reed 2
     
  9. RCNELSON

    RCNELSON

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1
    Add Reed 1 of Li'l Abner.
     
  10. saxdisciple

    saxdisciple

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cabaret (Reed II) flute/clarinet/tenor sax

    Pal Joey (Reed I) flute/clarinet/alto sax/tenor sax

    Thouroghly Modern Millie (Reed I) piccolo/flute/clarinet/alto sax/soprano
    sax

    Swing! (Reed I) flute/soprano sax/alto sax/baritone sax

    Man of La Mancha (Reed I) piccola/flute/oboe/clarinet/soprano sax
     
  11. saxplayer1004

    saxplayer1004

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    371
    Likes Received:
    0
    add reed 1/reed 3 of Music Man to my list. Miserable show run, lots of notes of "switch to other book on picc" then 4 bars later "back to other book on Eefer"
    A lot of "read other book here" in there as well when I couldn't switch. Fun mental hurtles to jump, but mildly frustrating
     
  12. DavidW

    DavidW

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    High School Musical 2 alto and bari (reed 2)
    All Shook Up bari and bass clarinet (reed 3)
    Music Man bari, bass clarinet, clarinet (reed 4 and 5 combination) I had to transpose the bassoon parts to bari, since I can't play bassoon.
     
  13. tenorsaxman90

    tenorsaxman90

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just finished a three week run of You're a Good Man Charlie Brown this past evening( soprano recorder, piccolo, flute, clarinet, soprano and alto saxophones). It's a short, but memorable musical to be honest.
     
  14. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,535
    Likes Received:
    141
    What was your fav solo and on what instrument?
     
  15. tenorsaxman90

    tenorsaxman90

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    0
    Personally, I think that the soprano recorder(and soprano sax which follows) solo(s) in Snoopy was the best soloistic part of the show. Otherwise, to me, it seemed pretty straight foward. We also had our pianist, drummer, and bassist play kazoos in that number.
     
  16. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys. I'm new here and I'm new to pit orchestras. So far, I've been in 2 pit productions. The first was last year when I was a junior in high school for our production of Footloose. I had clarinet/tsax. I like to call it "partial pit orchestra" because I was also on stage as Uncle Wes, but since Wes is barely on stage most of the time, this worked pretty well.

    The second was this summer for a community theater production of Wizard of Oz (my first pit orchestra gig!). It was clarinet/bass clarinet/bari sax. The musical director kinda did some flip-flopping on the woodwind instrumentation for that. Hope to do this this upcoming summer and throughout college and maybe professionally if the chance comes up. :smile:
     
  17. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    22
    If you like doing them...

    ...(and I like doing them as well), you will learn to be versatile. Filling in on stage is all well and good in school productions, but sooner or later you'll learn that it's best to stick with the music.

    (I've understudied a couple of G & S roles in college, plus I've played the on-stage tenor player (in drag, no less) for Cabaret once, in a fit of momentary insanity. (A short dress and roll above the knees 1930s hosiery do not make for a comfortable costume for a guy, I tells ya.) These days, I limit my acting to turning out the comic male vocal role in Love Shack.)

    And, slicing and dicing the books is pretty much standard procedure for all but the full bore union jobs. Usually, there are plenty of flute players but none who can play sax; ditto for double reed folks.

    If you learn the bass clarinet/bassoon/baritone combination well enough, you will be in great demand. At a bare minimum, I'd aim at alto/tenor/baritone, clarinet and bass clarinet - some combination of those five horns is including in most standard shows.

    The real epitome of doubling is being able to both provide and play a bass sax.
     
  18. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    It seems like I'm already on a good start because I do in fact play clarinet, bass clarinet, and alto, tenor, and baritone sax! I'll also hopefully be learning to play flute and oboe in the near future.
     
  19. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    14
    Playing them is a good start, next step is to own functional models of each of these instruments and eventually to own and be worthy of professional level instruments.

    Beyond that you need to be aware of everything around you. If a line gets dropped or a verse forgotten you need to be able to musically move like 4 bars ago - now is too late! If the conductor says "twohundredthirtytwo, 3,4, " you had better be there. Mind reading is a good ability to have in live theater as well so you know if the conductor has an itch or twitch or is giving you the Q.

    Transposition at sight is always a plus. If the oboe or some other instrument (electric keyboard) has a failure of some sort and the book is thrust at you to cover the impending solo, you had better be able to read it down on whatever you can get your hands on. No huge biggie if you can't , but major points if you can - major.

    Being where you are, I hope you are studying with Tom Barry. Heck of a nice guy and monster musician. I miss working with him.
     

Share This Page

Our staff's websites:


Loading...