4 Composer/Lyricists You Need To Have On Your Radar
I think one of the most exciting things about musical theatre is the endless opportunities there are to find a variety of new music. I love listening to and discovering new creative teams and immersing myself into what they are all about.
As I have previously blogged about, I was involved with a new musical theatre workshop series at Theater Latté Da, Next: Musicals in the Making. I had the chance to see composer/lyricist teams working in rehearsal crafting their songs. The experience jet-started my passion for new musicals. I thought each musical had such compelling music and storytelling and I wanted to dig further into each of their careers.
Here’s what I learned about the composer/lyricists whose work I got to know while working on Next. This list is not in any particular order; they are all amazing and worth listening to.
1. Jonatha Brooke
The first music/lyricist/singer you need to be aware of is the amazing Jonatha Brooke. She not only starred in the workshop production of Lullaby but also did the music and lyrics, paired with bookwriter Michael Elyanow, and led the musical direction. Talk about a talented woman! She has had four major label releases and currently is touring her musical play My Mother Has 4 Noses. Here’s a clip from it that shows how captivating she is as a performer:
2. Jacob Yandura and Rebekah Greer Melocik
The next team of talented folks I met during the workshop was Jacob Yandura and Rebekah Greer Melocik. Their musical with a book by Harrison David Rivers is titled The Last Queen of Canaan. It was a truly captivating story with amazing music. The two of them started working together during their time as musical theater writing MFA students at NYU. They recently made their 54 Below debut this past February and have an exciting variety of music to listen to. One of my favorite songs is from The Last Queen of Canaan and was performed by Kristolyn Lloyd at 54 Below:
The show that concluded the series was Stu for Silverton with the ever talented composer/lyricist Breedlove, also known as Craig Jessup. The music from the show is incredibly catchy and easily gets stuck in your head. Craig was a makeup supervisor for Wicked and he has toured with Lady Gaga, composed an entire musical (Stu for Silverton), and released an album. If you want to know how those dots all connect, make sure to read this Playbill article; it is very compelling. You should watch this performance of “One Day at a Time” from Stu for Silverton. I have high hopes for the future of this musical; I think it will soar.
4. Will Reynolds
For the first rehearsal I was at for Stu for Silverton, I had to pick up the creative team (Peter Duchan, Breedlove, Andrew Russell, and Will Reynolds) from their hotel. As they got in the car, one of them seemed extremely familiar, like I had seen him before, outside of his headshot. Sure enough, as I read through some production emails, I put 2 and 2 together. I had previously written about Will Reynolds in my “10 Male Ballads That Will Make You Swoon” post and he is an NMT writer. It was quite an awesome surreal moment to accidently run into him. He is the arranger and music supervisor for Stu for Silverton and it was a lot of fun to watch him work. Here is one of his amazing songs, “If the World Looked Like You,” sung by the ever talented Jeremy Jordan:
I am so happy to have met all these artists as they are truly talented and wonderful people. I’m excited to see how each of their careers continues and I hope it inspires you to sing and listen to their music!
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