Sunday, September 9, 2012


When you play a show for a long run like we are doing with Sweeney Todd, you can’t help but have some of the tunes linger on in your memory. Sometimes the lingering turns into outright fixation. That is what is happening on and off with certain tunes from the show. Right now, By the Sea is so catchy that it is becoming the soundtrack to my day off.

If it’s not a tune, sometimes it’s a concept that sticks in my mind. Like the way that a stylized version of the Westminster chimes begin each scene, or the way the beggarwoman has her own little thematic material- a kvetchy little tune, oy! An element that gives the show a timeless quality is the organ that signals that a life is about to end. To boost the bass, cellos and basses double the organ pedal notes in these passages, there not being any room for an organ with pedals. If I close my eyes, I can almost picture myself in a dark, smoky movie theater (the Tennessee?) with an organist accompanying Nosferatu back in the day. Except it’s really not a good idea to close my eyes during a show, for very long anyway, so I will leave that experiment up to theater-goers.

Our principal second violinist, Edward Pulgar, has achieved a status that makes us all very thankful. On August 29th, he took the oath of allegiance and is now a US citizen! We are very lucky to have him here. He can be found on Wikipedia lists of musicians AND conductors of Venezuelan heritage. Last night at Stacy Miller’s party facility, we feted Edward and the theme was... Pies! Someone actually made the chicken and beef pies and, to paraphrase Mrs. Lovett’s customers, “Dang, they were good!”

Congratulations, Edward!!

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