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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

September 3, 2010

From the Pit, by Musical Director Amanda Wansa

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 11:23 am

Opening the Dock with Hairspray is a very exciting experience for all of us on staff at Charleston Stage, as well as for audiences!  I have had the fortunate opportunity to add live musicians to this show, and there are some excellent musicians in this town to choose from.

Like the story, set, costumes, and dancing, the score to Hairspray is loud, entertaining, and very colorful.  I have hired a band of nine talented local musicians of all ages and musical backgrounds.  The pit will feature 2 keyboards, trumpet, trombone, drums/percussion, bass, guitar (electric!), and 2 reed players who will play 4 instruments each!  This means we will have 3 different saxophones, flutes, and clarinets.  My musicians are Jordan Alexander (piano), John Kennedy (bass), John Durham (guitar), Brian Widlowski (drums), William McSweeney (trombone), Dan Bellack (trumpet), Jack Pettit (Alto sax, tenor, clarinet, flute), Jason Bellack (tenor sax, alto sax, bari sax, flute), and myself on synthesizer.

I really have to tip my hat to these musicians.  They get TWO orchestra rehearsals (that’s a total of 8 hours) to rehearse together before we hit the pit in tech rehearsals with the cast.  We then get 4 technical rehearsal runs to get all the music right!  And we have!

The audience is in for a real treat with these brassy horns, groovin’ rhythm section, and cast of beltin’ and shakin’ singers!

The Cast of Hairspray perform “You Can’t Stop the Beat”


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