Joining An International Dialogue on Grief

Talking about grief and loss may be uncomfortable for many, but grief affects each of us at some point or another. I wrote the song "Go On" to help a friend heal from the loss of her mother, and it was recorded and published in Canada in 2012. 

Friends offer up their kindness.                                                                                               

But all you hear is silence.                                                                                            

You're trapped within a world without.

This year, "Go On" was chosen as the theme song for The Grief Dialogues, a multimedia gathering of voices that offers a new conversation about dying, death and grief. The piece includes a short film, theatrical works and music and is slated for a full production in Seattle in September 2017.

You're standing two years later.                                                                                                     

Your life's been good on paper,                                                                                                       

But there are days you just can't breathe.

The song's message is that grief comes in waves, and we each grieve in our own way and our own time. And most importantly, any way you choose to process your emotions is completely fine. I'm honored that Elizabeth Coplan, founder of The Grief Dialogues and a published playwright, connected with the music and lyrics in "Go On" and invited me to be part of the piece. I'm also honored to be serving on the show's Advisory Council

Songs about grieving and loss are moving to the forefront, and perhaps the most prominent album of late is Liv On, combining the talents of singer-songwriters Olivia Newton-John, Beth Nielsen Chapman and my friend and collaborator Amy Sky

Listen to the song demo below, and visit the show's site to share your story.

Talking Story & Score with Top Librettists

Having lived in NY for 14 years, I knew my next move would need to be a city with a strong theatre scene. I found that in Seattle, where theatre — and musical theatre, in particular — is thriving. 

I had heard about the 5th Avenue Theatre's planned production of PAINT YOUR WAGON and was instantly intrigued by the idea of rewriting the book to a classic musical with a memorable score. While speaking to 5th Avenue Artistic Director David Armstrong, I got an idea to interview the production's librettist, Jon Marans, and pitched it later that day to The Dramatist Editor Joey Stocks via Twitter. Joey had the brilliant idea to make it a panel and bring Craig Lucas (AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA) on board. Then a colleague suggested I add GOOD NEWS! librettist Jeremy Desmon to the mix, and the panel was set. 

It was sheer joy talking shop with these brilliant writers and hearing their amusing and insightful anecdotes. Due to space, the magazine couldn't print the entire interview, but members of the Dramatists Guild can read the expanded version online. If you're not a member and you live in NYC, you can pick up a copy at Drama Book Shop; if you live in Boston, you can get it at Trident Booksellers and Cafe. You can also call the Guild to order a copy.

Chatting with some seriously funny storytellers.

Chatting with some seriously funny storytellers.

New Production of IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU Opens in Seattle

It's Opening Night!

The musical IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU, which started out in the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop eight years ago, is now opening its second full production, at the Village Theatre in Issaquah, Washington. The show is directed by Jon Kretzu.

The show is written by composer/creator Barbara Anselmi and lyricist/librettist Brian Hargrove, with a handful of additional lyricists on the show. Barbara and I wrote a song called “Perfect,” which has been rewritten almost in its entirety  for this production. After many meetings between Barbara, Brian, myself and the director of the show's world premiere, David Hyde Pierce, I think we've made the song serve the scene even better!

While I won't be able to attend the Seattle production, I'm told the cast is fabulous and that the preview last night went wonderfully! I also had a chance to see a musical at the Village Theatre over the holidays and I was super impressed with the production values and the level of talent. For more information or for tickets, visit the Village Theatre website.

The world premiere of IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU took place last fall at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J., a sold-out production starring Tyne Daly and helmed by Pierce.

Head over to YouTube to hear “Perfect” in its original form (as a solo sung by Mamie Parris). If you're a performer interested in singing the piece, please contact me to purchase the sheet music.

Break a leg, Village Theatre cast and crew!

Love and music,

Carla

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