Call this a love letter, call it a valentine, call it what you will. But what I have to say here, I say often enough, but at the same time, never enough. The only difference here is that I'm trying to say it a bit louder. These pages (my Twitter account and my Facebook account) have been filled with pictures and posts lately about Striking 12, the new show we're debuting at Wayside Theatre tonight. It is a magical piece of musical story telling and well worth the journey if you like music, theatre, story telling or just want to sit back and have a good time. But that's the show. The creators of the piece, GrooveLily, have created something remarkable and I'm just thrilled we're finally putting it on after all these years since our musical director, Steve Przybylski brought it to my attention.
Yeah, here comes the valentine part.
Not only did Steve bring this to my attention, but he's been pushing for us to put it on. Once we pulled the trigger on that decision I knew we were in good hands, because Steve and his music truly is the heartbeat behind what we do at Wayside Theatre. We're both surrounded by some talented artists, but Steve ends up taking on more than any of us on any given show. Not only is he music directing Striking 12, he's performing in the show, and responsible for the entire sound design which allows it to be heard. At any given moment on that stage during the show, he's working on about 10 different levels, and yet, you would never know it. His performance (as are those of the other cast members) is transcendent.
Steve has been working with me and with Wayside for 10 seasons now. If this isn't his finest hour, it is only because his next one will probably exceed this one. We've written and adapted shows together, he's created musicians and singers out of those who aren't. He's taken those who are and made them better. And he does it with such style and grace under some very strenuous circumstances that it is astounding to stand along side him and watch it all come to life.
When you watch a show, you aren't supposed to know this stuff. You're just supposed to enjoy and watch it happen. But, as we get ready for opening night tonight, I think Steve deserves more than a pat on the back for his herculean efforts on Striking 12. I, Wayside Theatre, and its audiences have had the distinct privilege of watching this all grow and unfold over the last 10 seasons, and I know that many do pay attention to what Steve brings to our efforts. But many don't and while that's OK, I know I sure pay attention, as do all who get down and dirty with us when we work to bring a show to life. I'm just grateful that I've been able to partner with this amazing artist on the journey's we've taken ourselves and our audiences along these last 10 seasons.