I was pleased to see that Andrew Lippa, the composer of Addams Family, Wild Party, and a closet favorite of mine, John and Jen, was awarded a commission by Texas State University, as a result of a gift to the University’s musical theater program from Patti Strickel Harrison.
Andrew is a fantastic talent and deserves the kudos and the cash to create new work (when I was at NYU, and when Andrew was doing the cabaret circuit, I sang an early tune of his called, “Make It Fly”, and I still remember the music and the message).
And a special thanks to Ms. Harrison for creating such a commission.
It did make me wonder . . .
Why doesn’t anyone commission Producers?
There is no better education than doing. I worked in the Broadway arena for 10 years before I produced my first Off-Broadway show, and still, I never learned more than when I actually had my hands in the mud and was doing it on my own.
And since I believe the future of the theater is dependent on both the people that build the ship (writers) as well as those who sail the ship (producers), wouldn’t we all be served if we were able to get up-and-coming Producers’ hands dirty?
So commission the writers, because they are the future.
But there have got to be some institutions and some individuals (including some of my peers that have hit it huge with a show . . . you know who you are) that could afford to commission a young Producer or two.
If we don’t support these sailors, we could end up with a lot of boats that sink before they even leave the harbor.
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Oh . . . Andrew’s bridge went something like this . . .
Make it fly
Make it so that you can touch the sky.
Show the world that you can make the most of what you have.
If you take the ride . . .
It was a good message.
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CORRECTION: The lyrics to “Make It Fly” were written by current Broadway Copy Guru and Spotco Exec. Tom Greenwald (who also co-wrote John & Jen).