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Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber: Masquerade!

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Posted November 22, 2018 | Beth Wilson

Ovation! Presents The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber: Masquerade!

The Musical Company has recently released a list of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs that can be licensed for shows, and Ovation! Performing Arts Northwest is on board with 20 songs chosen by Production Manager Marijane Milton and others. This is your chance to hear music on the stage that you may not be able to hear live anywhere else.

Marijane explains. “We are especially excited about being able to share music from The Phantom of the Opera, which is restricted - that means no group can produce the show as long it’s on Broadway and/or touring. So Phantom has been part of the musical theatre canon for decades, but no one has ever been able to share it in their community.”

The music selected from Phantom is just a part of what will be performed at Ovation!’s show. There are also songs from Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, and other well-known productions.

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Image by Keith Brofsky of Tina Kirkpatrick and Mino Christante.

“We selected the show for many reasons, but primarily because we love the music so much,” Marijane tells me.

Tim Davidson will be directing the show. According to Marijane, he’s a local legend, acting and directing in a variety of productions in the area. When Ron Milton, Ovation!’s resident stage director, retired this past summer, he personally chose Tim for this production. “He brings a sophistication and love for the art form,” Marijane explains, “as well as his wonderful way of bringing artists together of all ages and experience levels to create magic.”

And Tim’s show will be Andrew Lloyd Webber like you’ve never heard him before…even if you love to play his hits on shuffle. In this case, Tim Davidson is directing the shuffle.

He’s not actually shuffling the music, of course. Even though the songs are lifted out of their stories, Marijane says, “it’s much, much, more than a concert. Tim has created a beautiful concept for the show.”

The job was offered to Tim on June 14, and since that day, he’s been developing his concept of the production. “I don’t think I’ve ever worked on a show and thought about that show for that long a period of time,” Tim tells me. “I think about it pretty much all the time.”

With this show, he gets to exercise a great amount of artistic freedom. “You get the songs, and it’s up to you, what you do with them. You have to shape them into the order you want to put them in to create the kind of show you want it to be.” Some directors may choose to do a retrospective about Andrew Lloyd Webber. Others have done a cocktail party kind of performance. Neither of these is a part of Tim’s plan.

So what is his goal with Masquerade!? “I want the concept to be a surprise,” he tells me. “If people come in knowing too much, it ruins the experience.” No spoilers, then! Here’s what he will tell us: “I take the songs out of the context of the shows they’re from so you can re-hear them.”

What else do we know? Naturally, the show is mostly music, with a talented cast that includes featured soloists Tina Kirkpatrick as Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard) and Micaela Slaeker as Eva Peron (Evita). Rosemary Hamington, Bella Hyde, Charlie Phillips, and Callie Turner are also soloists.

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Image by Keith Brofsky of Tina Kirkpatrick in Sunset Boulevard.

In a happy twist of fate, Mino Christante performs as the Phantom. He brought his daughter Lilyane to audition, never intending to join the cast himself. With a little prompting, he was convinced to audition. The music director played “Music of the Night” on the piano, and Tim pulled up the lyrics on his phone for Mino to refer to. “He’s got a great voice,” Tim tells me. Lilyane also became a member of the cast as a featured dancer.

Will Sanders directs the music, and Scott Breitbarth is directing the choreography for the numbers that include dancing. The songs run a wide range of musical styles, from the classical sounds of The Phantom of the Opera to the modern sounds of Song & Dance.

Dawn Janow, the costume designer, is creating costumes that may be frilly or ornate, as if they were taken right from the show they were originally designed for. On the other hand, they may be down-to-earth or everyday outfits designed for a song that has become a private moment for the character rather than a piece of a larger plot.

To learn more about this completely unique production, you’ll just have to experience for yourself. The show runs from November 30 through December 16, so your first opportunity to enjoy The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber is coming up soon. Tickets are available now!

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