Snag the Lemons: Following the new musical ‘On the Eve’

What happens when the music of an indie rock band collides with a story about Marie Antoinette and a time traveling hot air balloon?  A musical?  You can’t be serious.  Believe it. 

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Over the course of the following week, 7½ Cents will be guiding readers through an in-depth look at the new musical On the Eve and its road to San Diego State University (SDSU) where it will receive a reading on November 19, 2015 in conjunction with La Jolla Playhouse.  With music and lyrics by Seth Magill and Shawn Magill and book by Michael Federico, this quirky show gleefully bends the rules of musical theatre.

Today’s post includes the 411.  Creators Seth and Shawn Magill are a husband and wife duo who front the Dallas-based band Home By Hovercraft.  The sound of the show is a direct reflection of the band’s indie rock sound, and this is precisely why On the Eve has generated such buzz around it at both the 2014 Dallas production and the very recent reading at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) conference in Oct. 2015.  Click the links throughout the post to direct you to more information.

Though the score is partly interpolation of previously written songs, partly new songs for the piece, and partly brand-new material since the NAMT reading, much of the On the Eve score can be heard on Home By Hovercraft’s LP Are We Chameleons?  At first blush, Home By Hovercraft has a sound akin to Vampire Weekend with repetitive musical patterns, clever instrumentation, and poetic—if non-linear, non-storytelling—lyrics.  The opening number serves as a good taste of On the Eve.  It also features step dancing by Seth’s sister Abbey Magill, a sound which represents the coming of the revolution.

Future posts will include a thorough look at the musical score, a recap of the first week of staging rehearsals of the SDSU reading, a discussion on the tightly wrapped metaphors around Michael Federico’s book, and a glimpse into the potential future of the piece.  Readers should feel free to send questions or comment below, as updates will be happening daily.

In the meantime, have a gander at the Home By Hovercraft homepage or browse the official website for On the Eve.

Read PART 2 in the series exploring the music On the Eve here.


ON THE EVE SDSU Workshop

Director—Stephen Brotebeck

Musical Director—Robert Meffe
Talking Man/Captain Boulder—Randall Eames

Antoinette/Marie—Courtney Kattengell

Louis/HAMOTCB—Jacob Brent

Joseph—Bradley J. Behrmann

Simone/Caroline—Jessica Humphrey

Chase Spacegrove—Kikau Alvaro

Statue/Clio—Liv Stevns Petersen

Bureaucrat/Dr. Scientist/Mother—Julia Cuppy

Young Marie/Young Antoinette—Amy Perkins

Etienne/Pundit—Sean Boyd

Stage Manager—Stephanie Kwik

Assistant Stage Manager—Aimee Holland

Lighting Desiger—Walter Lopez

Dramaturg—Rachel Mink

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Musical Theatre Nerd Alert–Ep. 5

“Randall!”  Though the Nerd Alert series is littered with inside jokes, one that didn’t make it is the now iconic way our class pronounces the name “Randall.”  One day, our dearest Randall offered a snide remark at some situation, and Liv retorted with a look and a delivery of his name that was one half chastising, one half exasperated, and one pinch Danish.

When it comes to names in musical theatre, the layman might not recognize the name Harold Arlen, and yet his songs are among the most recognizable of the 20th Century.  Most notably, he wrote “Over the Rainbow” and other numbers for The Wizard of Oz.  His massive contributions to the Great American Songbook include “I’ve Got the World on a String,” “Get Happy,” and “Stormy Weather.”  Undoubtedly, most Americans know his songs even if they don’t know his name.

The ladies of #sdsumtmfa16 did a great job starting off the series, but now it’s the guys’ turn.  After Randall, Kikau will be sharing all the ways that Loesser is greater.  I’ll be wrapping up the series with the incomparable Jule Styne.  Then, season two?  We’ll see.

PREVIOUSLY:  Episode 4–Julia on Rodgers and Hart

UP NEXT:  Episode 6–Kikau on Frank Loesser

Musical Theatre Nerd Alert–Ep. 4

Hey, nerds!

Before there was Rodgers and Hammerstein, there was a different “R&H”:  Rodgers and Hart.  Today, we meet “Dick and Larry”, as well as yet another fabulous member of the MFA class, Julia Cuppy.  Aside from being a terrific carpool buddy and fellow former high school teacher, you also might be interested to know that she is the Executive Producer of Libretto Media, who produced our web series.  Musical Theatre Nerd Alert is the first project for this fledgling company, and it really wouldn’t have taken off had it not been for Julia.

Back to our duo du jour, Rodgers and Hart had a difficult partnership at times, but it was one that produced some remarkable songs.  Dick’s completely hummable melodies combined with Larry’s clever lyrics made them an impressive team.  Enjoy episode three!

PREVIOUSLY:  Episode 3–Courtney on Oscar Hammerstein II

UP NEXT:  Episode 5–Randall on Harold Arlen

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