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What musicals would you absolutely want to play in the pit orchestra for?

Discussion in 'Pit Orchestra Stories' started by snakeman5001, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    Hey guys! This here is a pit orchestra-related question: what musicals would you absolutely want to play in the pit for, even if the musical hasn't been made available for licensing yet? Here are my top ten (in no particular order):

    1) You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
    2) Hairspray
    3) Avenue Q
    4) Footloose
    5) Ragtime
    6) Jersey Boys
    7) Wicked
    8) Crazy For You
    9) Bye Bye Birdie
    10) A Chorus Line
     
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  2. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Depends on who is doing the production. There are some companies you couldn't pay me enough to be involved with regardless of what the show is.

    I can't really think of any show I'd that I'd get that excited about playing. Much of it depends on what part/parts I'd be playing and the time commitment with rehearsal expectations and commuting time/expense.
     
  3. pete

    pete Brassica Oleracea Staff Member Administrator

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    West Side Story, of course. Provided they give me a bass sax to play. (And provided I could still play, that is.)

    There are a whole lot of musicals I wouldn't mind singing for -- again, provided I could walk around the stage for the entire show without keeling over -- but I've not really known too many musicals that have an excellent score that are just wonderful to play. It's mainly just good accompaniment for the singers. Just an observation.

    EDIT: you mention Avenue Q. A lot of good songs in that one.
     
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    I'm up for playing just about anything orchestrated by Jonathon Tunick. Most of Sondheim's shows fall into this category.

    This is of course, based on the assumption that the full orchestration is used.

    I don't want to play an emasculated version of any musical. You'd have to pay me a lot for that.
     
  5. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    Thinking about it, I wouldn't mind playing some Sondheim, preferably Into the Woods and West Side Story. If I could play Andrew Lloyd Webber, my preference would be his earlier works and not his later orchestral ones like Phantom. I'd play Wizard of Oz again too. That was some great music
     
  6. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    One of my spring shows...

    ...is going to be Into The Woods. I haven't heard about the other two options yet - last year all three were scheduled on the same weekend, a real bummer.

    In a good year, I play all three of them - tight scheduling when you are working full time, but easy as pie now that I am retired.

    One of the problems that I face with shows is that all of my current contacts are at Lutheran high schools, made through the sidemen in my band. Unfortunately, the religious nature of these schools cuts out a lot of Broadway stuff - no 3¢ Opera (whores and extramarital sex), no Assassins (assassination) no Cabaret (whores and an abortion), no Evita (a whore turned politician), no Company (dope smoking, on stage sex scene), no Mame (extra marital sex, unwed mother) and so forth. It really cuts down the available field.

    Whereas some of the schools here in town (the Episcopalian one, for example) do the shows seen above, my Lutheran friends are way too straight laced. Hell, the show doctor at one school cut the hinting at philandering union rep out of most of the scenes in The Pajama Game - too risque for those Lutheran elders...)

    When I was young and working ten hour days with Uncle Sam, I used to spend my winter evenings playing shows at the American Theater and with the St. Louis Repertory Theater in Saint Louis. That's where I amassed most of my experience. Imagine 3¢ Opera with hot chicks from the 1960s in the female roles...

    The pay was better too.

    Ah, youth...
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Content Expert/Moderator Staff Member CE/Moderator

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    Into the Woods would be fun too.

    As for WSS - it's only Sondheim lyrics in that one. Bernstein wrote the tunes.
     
  8. kevgermany

    kevgermany

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    Hair - as long as I get the harpsichord part.
     
  9. hakukani

    hakukani

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    I'd much rather see the show than be in the pit these days....
     
  10. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

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    Sometimes the best view is from the pit. I remember doing Sweet Charity with the bar for the dancers across the front of the stage. It was a happy pit, and we were glad to be there too.
     
  11. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I liked the "Anything Goes" book a lot, especially the soprano sax solo and jazzy stuff. But then I haven' t played a lot of theater gigs.
     
  12. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    I'd also like to try Legally Blonde in the pit. My high school is doing this show for our spring musical, but I'll be on stage for that. I'd do Legally Blonde any other time though (in the pit of course)
     
  13. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    There are a lot of great songs in Avenue Q. There's a lot of good songs in musicals! You Can't Stop the Beat (Hairspray), Happiness (You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown), Purpose (Avenue Q), Make Them Hear You (Ragtime), and tons more! I would love to play these songs in the pit!
     
  14. JohnnyV

    JohnnyV

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    I usually know I'm going to enjoy playing a show if it's orchestrated by any of my favorites:
    Ralph Burns
    Jonathan Tunick
    Robert Ginzler
    Everything they touch is golden.
     
  15. Pierre

    Pierre

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    I must say that since I've listened to the 2nd revival of How to succeed, this might just have ranked as my 1st choice in this list.

    The new arrangements sound really fun, plus, their lead alto has such intonation !

    But I guess these new arrangements will never make it to MTI and we might never have a chance to play them...

    Still, the original version is very high on my list :D
     
  16. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

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    The pits I would love to play for would have to You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Hairspray, and Wicked. I love the music to all of these. I would preferably play woodwinds for these three
     
  17. CHasR

    CHasR

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    Brigadoon. I'd much rather be in the pit in a pair of pants than onstage in that goshdarned kilt getup.
     
  18. Old Dick

    Old Dick

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    As a geezer, and still a music student (taking bass clarinet lessons at present), I would like to play in almost anything.

    But, having been an opera fan since I was but a tad - I was converted by hearing Callas on a Saturday MET radio broadcast in the early 1950s - and since then have always dreamed of being in the Metropolitan "pit band." There's no chance of that of course, but I do buy opera scores and 'arrange' arias/etc for my saxophones (range appropriate, of course, from sopranino through bass) and inflict them on unsuspecting friends who, for whatever reason, seem to be fewer and fewer in number these days. I have been encouraged by listening to Joe Lovano's "Viva Caruso" and a number of Branford's classics - although they are in no way to blame for my efforts.

    As to operas in which I'd give an eye tooth to play for - too many to list, but Magic Flute, La Fille du Regiment, Barber of Seville, and Il Trovatore for sure.
     
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