As the season changes to autumn, “Un-Block The Music” expects we all are quarantine-weary, and we so desperately want live performance back! I have been lucky through this whole ordeal to be talking with Dr. Jeff and Jacob Foy about the development of their musical, Emergency. And, I have to give much thanks to WFYL 1180 AM’s Sgt. Dan McCaughan for having the idea to broadcast their journey on his radio show. Last week, the song. “When You Call Me,” was premiered. While the show has already been staged in New York, this new song was written after the Foys did a ZOOM reading of the show during Pandemic Shutdown! Maybe we can find some sort of silver lining within shutdown???? I am certainly trying.
In Emergency, the character of Kathryn is a young nurse with the great responsibility of raising her little sister after their parents were killed. Kathryn, like all parents, is sad and guilty about not being there for her sister when she gets a “boo boo.” What came to my mind when I heard the song is something that Jacob said to me a while back about COVID quarantine giving him the time to spend with his younger siblings. He said, he never had that time to slow down before. However, now that we are all slowly coming out of quarantine (hopefully for good!), it makes it that much harder to leave younger children and go back to real life. Jacob said, it was harder for him to leave and go back to school this year than it even was going Freshman year (Jacob is a Senior at Indiana University…can you believe his talent and maturity???).
Jeff is an Emergency Room doctor at two hospitals, but had some time off in the summer because he had been scheduled to be in New York for a good part of the summer presenting their other show, One Night Only. Of course that show has been rescheduled to open Summer 2021. Jeff admits, his senses have been heightened during this pandemic as well. The Foys decided to have a ZOOM reading before Jacob went back to school, and what they found was they wanted to further express what Kathryn feels and experiences. Both say, the show will definitely have a different vibe than it did originally as a result of what is happening in the world now.
“Un-Block The Music” wanted to dig a little deeper into how the musical and its characters developed from the start. When Jeff walked into Jacob’s room that first day to talk about writing a musical, the characters of Harold and Betty (“Forever In Your Eyes”), Male Nurse and Bobby (the forgotten patient that was discussed in an earlier episode) were already created in his mind. Jacob said, “having those characters made the beginning process clear. We had the world and generally knew what was going to happen. We just had to create other characters. It was easy to write in Justin and create the entirety of the show.”
It was a different scenario when they wrote their second show, One Night Only. In that case, they had the main character’s journey but had to create the world around the situation. “We didn’t know what anything else was going to be,” Jacob said. (https://www.onenightonlythemusical.com/)
Want to discover the rest of Emergency’s characters and also learn more about One Night Only, tune in every Saturday at noon to “From Bullets To Broadway, Anatomy of A Broadway Show”. This episode was originally aired on September 19, 2020. The rebroadcast is this Saturday, September 26, 2020 at Noon Eastern Time. For past episodes, go to https://www.1180wfyl.com/ and hit “podcasts.”
FYI, Cassia Scagnoli is the singer you hear on “When You Call Me” during the broadcast. To listen to other songs from Emergency, go to: https://www.emergencymusical.com/the-music. For archived blog stories even before the radio show began…just put “Emergency” in the search bar.