“I’m Gone” Delights at San Diego Screening of JUST PRETEND

In honor of Giving Tuesday, here’s a new video just released from the most recent production at Youth Sing Praise–an organization near and dear to us here at 7 1/2 Cents.

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Lyricist and Book Writer Bradley J. Behrmann welcomes guests to the San Diego screening of ‘Just Pretend.’ In attendance was long-time choreographer Peggy Quinn.

Just Pretend–the new musical that premiered at Youth Sing Praise last June–recently  screened in San Diego.  The audience listened attentively throughout the opening sequence as they met the key players of both Esther and Ella’s story.  But it wasn’t until the second number–“I’m Gone”–that they started moving.  By the time Queen Vashti started her first chorus, everyone was grooving in their chairs.  Stay tuned for more videos from Just Pretend and expect rights to be available in early 2016.

‘Just Pretend’: This Is Happening

I will take a page from Orin’s book and reflect for just a moment on the nearly two-year collaboration that will culminate tonight at 7pm with the first staged performance of Just Pretend, our new musical.  When Orin and I embarked on writing a musical, we batted around a number of scenarios, but the story of Esther—a young woman of faith—most appealed to us.  We were hopeful her story of struggling with when and how to reveal her faith to others would appeal to YSP participants as well.

I have to thank Orin who has been an incredible collaborator.  His music is smart even when it’s funny.  It’s cerebral, soulful, and even a bit sly.  The most fun I have had on this project are the times when we’ve both been in the same room crafting a song together, but the tunes I find myself humming while doing the dishes are all his.

I have to thank my dear friend Amanda who agreed to direct the project and who offered massive amounts of feedback following the January reading.  The number of friends and family who have lined up to help two novices put on their first show has been humbling.  Many thanks.

Though neither Orin nor I have children, we are proud parents nonetheless.  I have been able to witness the final stages of rehearsals this week, and just like a parent, we’ve watched these 45 participants help our baby to its feet.  I have a few nerves putting my child on display for everyone tonight, but like a parent I have to say, “It’s not perfect, but it’s ours.”

The character I most connect with in our show is Mordechai.  He gives Esther a “little nudge” towards expressing her faith more fully.  I hope our show is able to nudge these YSP participants and their audience towards a more full expression of faith.  And in conclusion, I nudge you (one more time) towards attending the show.  If you are able to join us tonight at 7pm at the OLS Shrine, we would be honored with your presence.

“Know you have faith enough.

Know you are strong and true

And that God’s love, always,

Like mine, will follow you.”

I mean, sure, we’ve been working on this musical for thirteen months now, but it’s hard to say, “I’m writing a musical,” and have anyone take you seriously unless you have a logo.  So here you go, world:  our new logo.  Many thanks to the incredibly talented–and new father–Mr. Alex Matthews.

Orin and I are gearing up for a workshop performance of the show next weekend.  We are excited–and terrified–to have a number of St. Louis theatre professionals, Youth Sing Praise Board-types, and loved ones see and respond to our work.  Loads more to come from this part of the process.

We also have some social media to unveil.  So connect with us:

Esther on Twitter!

Esther on Facebook!

Esther on Google+!

And as I stated in my last post, here is the Just Pretend website!

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