Tell us about the moment you said, I JUST HAVE TO DO THIS!!
Beck Hansen released an album to the public that he said “was open to artist interpretation.” With the visual art and music within the Song Reader book, there was a concept album waiting to happen. We were actually shocked that no one had put the idea into the works before us, especially since Rolling Stone Magazine named Song Reader one of the top 50 albums of 2013!
Tons of artists have performed the songs, but never before has the album been put into a story. We reached out to Beck’s management team and they gave us the go ahead to perform the songs in a rock-opera. It’s insanely cool to write a libretto circling around the music of a Grammy Award Winning Artist!
Why this play now?
We all live in parallel universes and everyone’s story is unique. In Song Reader, the musical touches on how people from totally different walks of life can experience major life trauma, yet overcome the pain with love and acceptance. Society may be changing, but as Lin Manuel [Miranda] recently said, “Love cannot be killed or swept aside!”
The story centers around a sheltered army recruit and a jaded exotic dancer who meet just before his first deployment. I don’t want to give it all away, but let’s just say they both go through some crazy life changes, and despite the drama, there are several hilarious routines that will bring light to some of the darker moments.
There are strippers and fight scenes – what more could you want!?
What have you been learning about yourself during rehearsals?
You know, working on an original musical is always a challenge, but I am constantly blown away by the performers, musicians, and production team members who are helping bring Song Reader to life. We have rehearsed in, I think, 6 different locations and everyone has been incredible and flexible. I am also beyond excited to introduce some new talent to the DC area!
If you won a Tony for this show, who would you like to thank?
I would start by thanking Beck Hansen for letting me use his music to create the rock opera.
When the performance is over, what do you want the audience feeling or thinking about?
I’d want them to say, “Man! That was awesome!!!!” We have a really fierce band who will be rocking out the tunes, and we want to audience to just enjoy taking the journey with us.
Harvey Droke: Song Reader is his second original musical and he has produced 18 different shows in the D.C. Metropolitan area and Orlando, Florida. Harvey also writes compositions for various music groups in Washington D.C. but his true passion is animating cartoons.
Song Reader: The Musical
July 10 — July 23, 2016
The Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H. St NE
Washington D.C. 20002
Show details and tickets