Photo: Rob Bowman, Myself and my daughter Hollly
8“Un-Block The Music” has had a stand-out year! While I have been a music journalist for many years, this blog has taken on a character I hadn’t thought it would. I was always interested in talking to the geniuses behind the scenes such as pop/rock songwriters and producers, however, “Un-Block The Music” has expanded my view and I have most certainly found a theater niche as well. This week, “Un-Block The Music,’ had the great pleasure of meeting Rob Bowman, the musical director of “Chicago.” He is as warm and wonderful as he is talented.
Admittedly, I decided to approach Rob after watching the amazing television mini series. “Fosse/Verdon” on FX earlier this year. I never realized how hard Gwen Verdon fought to bring “Chicago” to the stage. It was so….worth the fight.
Rob retuned to “Chicago” after serving as music director/conductor for the U.S,. Tour, Broadway production and tours all over the world. Rob is also known for his 15-year partnership with American Theater Hall of Famer, Elaine Stritch. I don’t want to run the interview with Rob until the beginning of January to be sure that all of my followers will read it and see why “Chicago” is a New York theater must see. (If you follow this blog, you will get an email when the story runs.)
I first saw “Chicago” in 1996 with my mom. Although she was a magnificent stay at home mom, I knew she was a frustrated Fosse dancer at heart. The night before we were heading to the show, my mom twisted her ankle. I thought we would never make it to the show, but with lots of ice and determination, we were there watching Bebe Neuwirth, Ann Reinking and Joel Gray. Here in 2019, I enjoyed watching Charlotte d’Amboise, Tom Hewitt and the Broadway debut of Raena White. I watched the show, not only as a journalist, but through the eyes of my actress daughter (who ironically does publicity for “Chicago” on the streets of NYC for theatreMAMA Media Agency). I have to be sure to ask Rob if the musical director always conducted from the stage. I don’t remember that from the first time I saw the show, but I certainly found it exhilarating to watch Rob’s performance on Monday. He really looked like he was having a blast, and so did I!!
On another note….also going on this week…“Un-Block The Music” is honored to be attending the industry reading of a new musical, “The Tin Woman” with music written by Anne and Ian Eisendrath. As you know, I saw “Come From Away” this past September and have been trying hard to catch up with Ian, the musical director, for an interview, so I am so excited to see this show and hopefully set up that interview! Additionally, at the reading will be Larry Lelli who is “Come From Away’s” drummer. Even though he won’t be performing, I will finally meet him face to face. Check out the interview I did with him earlier this year. https://unblockthemusic.blog/2019/09/18/come-from-aways-drummer-larry-lelli-offers-a-glimpse-of-his-career-what-makes-this-9-11-musical-so-special/
Other collaborators on this show are book writer, Sean Grennan (who also co-wrote the lyrics with Anne) and Amy Corcoran, director. I am also thrilled to see Jenn Colella perform once again.
“Un-Block The Music” has a lot of goals for 2020. I want this blog to become the “go to” for anybody interested in what makes musical theater happen. So, please, if you are a fan, follow me on the blog and on Social Media. I’d also love to hear from you with ideas for articles. While I can’t always guarantee they will happen, you can bet I break down a lot of doors trying to get a story. Got those journalist chops working on the newspaper as a kid. And, if you are a public relations specialist, reach out to me, I want to discover knew writers, producers, actors, etc…
Before signing off for the year, “Un-Block The Music” will let you know what to expect from the “The Tin Woman” after seeing it on Friday.
Til then…enjoy trimming your tree, drinking eggnog, and most importantly singing Christmas Carols.