September 20, 2009 |
The sky is a clear and light enamel blue, but inside the banquet hall of the El Montecito Presbyterian Church, a light drizzle falls. You can't see the actual drops, of course, because they exist in another realm -- the bountiful imagination of "Wicked" composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz. Schwartz is one of the American musical theater's most successful composer-lyricists, and the scene is a rehearsal for his first opera, "SÃ©ance on a Wet Afternoon," which Opera Santa Barbara will unveil Saturday at the Granada Theatre for the first of three performances.
January 20, 2009 |
It wasn't the night they raided Minsky's, just a Saturday evening at Kendall's Brasserie at the Music Center. Three legends of musical theater -- composer Charles Strouse ("Bye-Bye Birdie," "Annie"), lyricist Susan Birkenhead ("Jelly's Last Jam") and composer-lyricist Stephen Schwartz ("Pippin," "Godspell," "Wicked") -- were discussing their bread and butter over bread and butter. At first, the conversation was about scheduling a moment to dash in to see one another's work. Difficult from a time standpoint, but easy geographically: Rehearsals were going on at the Ahmanson Theatre for the world premiere of the new musical about the world of burlesque, "Minsky's," inspired by the 1968 film "The Night They Raided Minsky's," with music by Strouse and lyrics by Birkenhead.
May 11, 2008 |
BLYTHE MATSUI holds her arm straight out, hand flat, palm up, while rotating her body. Dressed in a white lace tank top cropped above her navel and camouflage cargo pants rolled up to reveal high-heeled leather boots, the dancer-choreographer and former Laker Girl turns to Mike Moh, an extreme martial arts specialist, and says: "Blade open."
June 4, 2006 |
"WICKED" composer Stephen Schwartz will be going from wicked to wickeder when he tackles his first opera, "Seance on a Wet Afternoon," scheduled to premiere in 2009 at Opera Santa Barbara. Based on a 1961 novel by Mark McShane that was adapted for a 1964 film starring Kim Stanley and directed by Bryan Forbes, "Seance" tells the story of a crazed psychic who concocts a kidnapping scheme to gain the celebrity she craves. "It was a wonderful movie," Schwartz said from New York last week.
September 8, 2004 |
American composer Stephen Schwartz, aided by Chinese rock star Cui Jian, will pen part of the score for a new musical about Hans Christian Andersen. The musical will be one of many events marking the 200th birthday of the Danish fairy-tale writer. Called "Mit Eventyr," or "My Fairy Tale" in English, the $3.5-million production will debut in Copenhagen in October 2005. The musical, written in English, will tell the story of Andersen waking up inside the fairy-tale world he created.
November 17, 2002 |
Imagine if you will the delicious and absurd fantasy of the Beverly Hillbillies taking over the Vatican and proselytizing worldwide after striking crude oil. Stranger than fiction but closer to truth is the case of the House of Saud. Unlike the nouveaux riches of the television fable, the House of Saud has for many decades used its wealth to spread the most extreme and fundamentalist interpretations of Islam, intolerant toward all those who do not share its narrow sectarian Wahhabi creed.