In the spirit of expressing oneself, if you like me playing this, you might like an original song I wrote, called Come Out.
For the record, I did this because the Broadway show was having a “Share Your Xanadu Contest,” in which you could win two tickets to the show by submitting a video of yourself “showing how you XANADU.” I don’t just go posting videos of myself doing this sort of thing for fun. But maybe I should!
Update, December 10, 2007 – I was informed today that I won the contest and that everyone involved enjoyed my piano Xanadu a lot. Hazzah!
The Jazz Singer – 25th Anniversary Edition
Written by Stephen H. Foreman and Herbert Baker; Based on the play by Samson Raphaelson; Based on the short story The Day of Atonement by Samson Raphaelson; Directed by Richard Fleischer
Book and Lyrics by Richard Hack and Mark S. Meritt; Music by Mark S. Meritt
This original musical tells the story of a struggling actor who gets far too involved in a practical joke being perpetrated by two Broadway writers on New York City’s avant garde theatre community. It is a black comedy about art, love, deception, sex, tolerance, food, playing God and opposable thumbs. The piece gained the authors representation with the Farber Literary Agency in New York, NY. The authors are no longer represented by the Farber Literary Agency, and the stageplay remains unproduced.
The demo recording was created as a promotional tool for The Right Circles. “The Game” and “Birth of a Bohemian” were recorded in early 1994, when only Act I Scenes 1-2 had been completed, in order to pursue representation. The Farber Literary Agency signed the authors on the strength of these songs and the accompanying script pages. Once the stageplay and score were completed in Fall 1994, the rest of the demo recording was created.
Non-Ensemble Song Performers
Bill Mann / Roderick Johnson Harding — Richard Hack
Miranda Becker — Maria Licari
Larry Gold — Mark S. Meritt, except in “The Game”: Tom Privatere
Arthur Wilson — Richard Hack, except in “The Game”: Gerard Gretzinger, and “Phone Call #2″: Mark S. Meritt
Root Renoir — Ed Budd
Josephine Fitzgerald — Sharon Faetsch
Maria Pirelli — Sharon Faetsch
Tyler Grant — Richard Hack
Book and Lyrics by Mark S. Meritt, Ed Budd and Todd Stern; Music by Mark S. Meritt; Original Production Orchestrations, Direction and Musical Direction by Mark S. Meritt
This original musical, in which a hip immortal helps college students find love, was developed during the authors’ sophomore and junior years at Roy C. Ketcham Senior High School in Wappingers Falls, NY. The Masque and Mime Society, the school’s drama club, presented it as a full production May 27-29, 1988, near the end of the authors’ senior year.
You can listen to .mp3 samples of each song by following the links below. Except as noted, all are from the original cast recording, of which you can learn more below. The sound quality is low, and the performances are those of earnest high-schoolers, but better some samples than none at all!
The original cast production was recorded on videotape, live during the May 28, 1988, performance in the Roy C. Ketcham High School Auditorium.
View the YouTube Video
The digital video was captured by Allan Meritt in March 2007 and posted by Mark on YouTube on April 23-24, 2007. You can watch the entire video right here by just pressing the Play buttons immediately below — all parts will automatically play in order.
The original cast recording was taken from the original production videotape’s soundtrack. The five songs in which the character of Leslie MacKensie sings a lead part were re-recorded on Friday, June 10, in the chorus room, the custodian’s office, and a classroom of RCK High School with all singers but only piano and saxophone accompaniment. This recording was necessary since Stephanie Velardi, who played Leslie, was ill during the original production. Stephanie did not miss a performance, but Ms. Jodi Becker, the choreographic consultant, dubbed the vocals live each night for most of Leslie’s songs. Stephanie sings all her songs on the original cast recording, while Jodi can be heard on the videotape.
Non-Ensemble Song Performers
Bud, God of Love — Ed Budd
Zachary Yates — John Paul Marr
Leslie MacKensie — Stephanie Velardi
Muffy Sheridan — Cindy Hitchcock
Trudy Ryan — Kristen Lawrence
Harriet Yates — Jennifer McCarthy
George Yates — Christopher Mooney
Susan MacKensie — Maria Licari
Phil MacKensie — Joshua Polenberg
The All-Being — Robert Gianotti
Sobrina, Goddess of Fate — Susan Albright
The Immortal Quartet — Shannon Antonucci, Deedee Hauptfeuhrer, Meghan Murphy, Sharon Zaubi
Keyboard — Mark S. Meritt
Lead Guitar — Matt Herbst
Bass Guitar — Udaya Patnaik
Saxophone — Gordon Sorlini
Drums — Dev Patnaik
Auxiliary Percussion — Jon Nasser
2007, 1988 Mark S. Meritt
During college, Mark first gained access to a multitrack tape recorder. Among his first experiments were new instrumental versions of two songs from Cupid’s Arrow.