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Anyone produced the following musicals?

  • 1.  Anyone produced the following musicals?

    Posted 29 days ago
    Hi Theatre Minds! We are narrowing down our search for musicals for the spring. Has anyone had experience producing either "Moby Dick! The Musical" or "The Spitfire Grill" with high school students? These are two that I'm only know getting to know. Any/all insight is welcome! Thank you in advance!

    Jane Dewey
    Director of Arts Education
    Danville Independent Schools
    Danville, KY

  • 2.  RE: Anyone produced the following musicals?

    Posted 28 days ago
    I LOVE Spitfire Grill and we did it about 6 years ago.  My recollection is that the harmonies are challenging and the tracks I found were workable, but not easy to work with--no measure markings.  My Stage manager wrote the time markings from the track into her score so when we were working we could go to specific spots in the music.  Also, a lack of a reference recording made it difficult for some students.   If you search for a reference recording, you will get the soundtrack from a movie version--but it is the underscoring music from the movie--not the soundtrack from a musical.   That being said, it was one of the most rewarding pieces I've worked with.   So much depth, and the challenges that the students overcame in tackling the music in telling the sad and kind of dark story gave them so much confidence.


    Holly Thompson
    Worthington Kilbourne High School

  • 3.  RE: Anyone produced the following musicals?

    Posted 28 days ago
    Hey there Jane!

    I'll start by saying I have not produced either of these with high school students, however, Moby Dick has been on my radar for years. I was planning to do it this year, but then COVID put a stop to it. I will say that as much as I love it, I find the song "Primitive" to be quite problematic. I have a friend who worked on the original US production in Florida, and he knows one of the guys who wrote it and said it may be worth talking to them (through MTI) about a way to cut it or alter it to make it work. The cultural appropriation of the song is staggering.

    As far as Spitfire Grill, I worked on it in college and agree with Holly - the harmonies are tough and there really isn't room for expanding the cast other than adding a few unnamed patrons in the grill. I want to do this one soon as well, but will probably have to double cast most of the show (which I hate doing) just to make sure I have enough roles for the kids. Also - the cast album is on Amazon and is free to listen to there, and it can also be found on YouTube. The show is gorgeous but you need some STRONG female singers - Percy has quite the anthem in the 2nd act and Shelby sings a lot of tight harmonies. Joe can also be tough, it's a higher tenor role.

    One last thing :) If you do it with a live band, you NEED the cello. It is SO moving and really helps with the music.

    I love both of the shows, so if you need anything - please let me know.

    Derek T. Pickens, MFA
    Theatre Teacher
    Charleston County School of the Arts
    North Charleston, SC

  • 4.  RE: Anyone produced the following musicals?

    Posted 27 days ago
    I have produced Moby Dick! the musical.
    It is fun, smart, edgy, and all around delightful.
    You can do it with as large as cast as you like. The chorus is easily expandable. The music isn't particularly difficult. All you really need is an ensemble of students who are willing to try anything.

    Billy Houck
    Theatre Teacher, retired
    Carmichael, CA