How does a girl born in Israel with a successful pop music career make her way to the New York City stage? Sharona Pick, whose show, Swan Lake Rock Opera, is running every Thursday night through December 30 says life to her is about “composing. Even though I was a pop singer, it is not the only genre of music! I also love classical, rock and folk. If it’s good I like it,” she told “Un-Block The Music”. (Where have I heard that before? That’s why I created “Un-Block The Music.) While the musical is based on Tchaikovsky’s ballet, Mirit Shem Or wrote the musical’s book and lyrics while Sharona wrote additional music.
It’s no wonder Sharona is a musical talent. Mirit Shem Or is her mom and Svika Pick is her dad. If you are American, those names might not be immediately recognizable, but if you are Israeli, you know that her dad is one of the most successful pop stars in Israel and her mom is a popular lyricist (who BTW also wrote seven novels!). “My dad and mom met when he played Claude in Hair. My mom was a reporter who went to see the show. So, Hair was always a big thing in our house. It is my favorite musical of all time!” Sharona proudly proclaims.
“Having said that. I never planned to be a singer or composer. I had a normal, laid-back childhood.” However, Sharona and her sister Daniella (who on a sidenote is Quentin Tarantino’s wife) became a successful pop duo with one of their most famous songs being Hello, Hello. “It was a spontaneous decision for my sister and I. We worked on songs as a hobby.” Finally, they realized how good the songs were and put them out there. The public agreed. While the two have not performed or written together recently, Sharona says the idea is never off the table. “We are sisters!” They can create together at any time!
Although musical theater as a career was not in her conscious mind, Sharona says, it was always something she loved; recalling how many times she watched Grease and The Sound Of Music. Although she went to a business college for one year, it really was to buy time until she figured out what she really wanted to do. “I guess I wanted this career way deep down!” After a couple of years as a successful pop artist, “I felt that I wanted to do more composing. I fell in love with creation and working in the studio. From the career that I had, that was the part that I cherished the most. I started writing songs for other artists.” Then she was presented with the idea for Swan Lake Rock Opera.
“It wasn’t my idea, but when I heard of it, I was so excited.” It was a dream to combine two of her music passions. “I know Swan Lake by heart. My dad used to play it for us.” Sharona chose the highlights from the classical score; parts that she particularly loved. “Some parts won’t work as a song. I had to play with it. While I added more music, I still tried to keep it in tact.”
The story goes like this…The evening before his engagement ball, Crown Prince “Ziggy” Siegfried, is having a bachelor party at the Swan Lake Mansion. He is depressed because he liked his status as a royal playboy and now he is getting married!!!
Sharona says, “My hope is that people who love classical music and the ballet will appreciate this show in a different way. And people who love pop music will learn to love classical music as well.” It’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Tsedi Sarfati is co-creator of the show and he directs as well. “We did the workshop about 2 years ago. It has been on stage in a small venue, but it was mostly for friends and family of the cast. It was low key. We got good reviews from the audience and were supposed to open off Broadway in April 2020, then came shutdown.” The show finally has its chance every Thursday through December at Actor’s Temple Theatre on West 47th St. For tickets go to https://www.swanlakerockopera.com/