I’ve worked with show business veterans Roy and Eileen Rogosin over the years on a variety of projects, including arranging and orchestrating Another Summer, a musical version of On Golden Pond for Roy and his collaborator Ernest Thompson back in the 1990s. Since then, I’ve continued working with Roy while he was artistic director of the Seacoast Repertory Theatre on such shows as Minding the Store and Field of Dreams. I also musically directed Grease for Roy at Maine’s esteemed Ogunquit Playhouse.
So last year when the Rogosins launched the Santa Fe Musical Theatre Festival, they invited me to musically direct To Dance in collaboration with Broadway director and choreographer Pat Birch.
This year we tackled A Carol of Christmas, a new show composed by Roy with book and lyrics by his Boston collaborator, Juliana Jones. The piece is a holiday comedy about hope, optimism and growing up and built around beloved characters from children’s literature such as Christopher Robin, Peter Pan, Alice (from Alice in Wonderland), and Dorothy (from The Wizard of Oz). Now as mature adults the characters look back on their lives as they are challenged by a trio of villains—Scrooge, Captain Hook and Rumpelstiltskin.
In addition to musically directing the show, I provided the score. It’s a big job listening to and transcribing recordings, creating suitable accompaniments and customizing arrangements to the needs of the cast.
This season I had the pleasure of collaborating with Jonathan Cerullo, a renowned New York choreographer, director and producer. Together, we redeveloped and enhanced the script and score, working closely with Roy and Juliana. Pooch and Better Than Dreaming were two other musicals showcased and workshopped at the festival.
Roy and Eileen flew me to Santa Fe for 13 days and put me up at the Eldorado Hotel and Spa, located just a block away from the Lensic Theatre in downtown Santa Fe.
My husband Mark joined me for the second week and enjoyed sightseeing in picturesque and historic Santa Fe while I slaved away in the rehearsal studio! Kidding aside, we were fortunate enough to enjoy several wonderful dinners with each other and colleagues from the festival at such places as Joseph’s, Bouche, La Fonda, Tia Sophia, and The Plaza.
The Festival went off without a hitch. Performances were well-received. It’s really gratifying to collaborate with other artists and see work come to life in front of an appreciative audience. I’m looking forward to doing this again next year!