Thursday, 23 June 2016

Adam and Eve and Dramaturgy: Chandler Warren

LA Fringe Best New Musical Adam and Eve and Steve heads for EdFringe

3rd -  29th August (excl 15th) at C Venues – C (Venue 34), 17.45pm.  1 hour 20 mins.  PG.       
Five-star musical satire Adam and Eve and Steve - a spoof on the timeless tale- comes to the Edinburgh Fringe 2016 directly from the USA, where it won several awards at the LA Fringe including Best New Musical.  The show went on to play a sold out run at the Noho Theatre in LA.

Adam and Eve and Steve takes a mischievous and warm-hearted look at what happens when the Devil interferes and Steve joins Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  

The resulting interplay is both tender and tragic, creating a delicious farce filled with music, laughter and tears.  Songs ranging from Beelzebub’s Empty Hell Blues to Steve’s bittersweet I’ve Found Me  add to the storytelling as Adam, Eve and Steve get tangled and fight to unwind, trying to figure out the many definitions love has to offer. 

What was the inspiration for this performance ?

For a long time now, I have been curious about what might have happened if there had been a third person in the Garden of Eden, and how the three of them – Adam and Eve and Steve – might have interacted and what the outcome might have been.    

The theme is so relevant right now, that I decided to turn the story into a musical which is both funny and deeply sensitive.   Adam and Eve and Steve is the result, and I am hoping that the audiences in Edinburgh will enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed writing it

How did you go about gathering the team for it?

Besides being a writer, I also have a busy law practice in LA.  One of my clients was a composer called Wayne Moore, and the two of us decided to work together on the musical.   I wrote book and lyrics and Wayne wrote and arranged the music.    We presented it at the LA Fringe, and it was named Best New Musical and received fantastic response from audiences and critics alike.   

When I decided to bring it to the UK I spoke to an old colleague of mine, Elva Corrie, who had produced quite widely in the USA but is now living in England.   I also spoke to a young producer from Manchester, Max Unsworth, and the two of them agreed to produce the show together.   They booked a slot at the Edinburgh Fringe.  Max is a graduate of LIPA, and we have put together a delightful creative team who are all highly regarded LIPA graduates.   They love the show and I am thrilled with all of them.

How did you become interested in making performance ?

I had produced four off-Broadway shows and one on Broadway show when I lived in New York, and I also had a 10-year lease on the Orpheum Theatre off-Broadway, so I was familiar with producing !  But I didn’t want to produce my own work, even though I do stay very much involved in every aspect of the process.

Was your process typical of the way you make a performance ?

Adam and Eve and Steve has evolved in the way most new musicals evolve – selecting a creative team, readings, auditions for the cast.  Then the rehearsals when songs are cut, re-written, new songs are added, the book is cut, scenes re-written, actors ideas incorporated.  Really the same growing pains of any new production.  Laughter and tears, despair and euphoria.   All of that.

What do you hope the audience will experience?

My fervent hope is that the audience will experience a very funny, very moving, and very thought provoking show.     This is a story whose time has come, and I very much want the audience to be uplifted by it, challenged by it, entertained by it, and above all to feel that they had an evening of joy and understanding.    

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience ?

The show is a very funny farce, a fable and a moving parable, and I wanted to keep the emphasis on the interaction between the five characters – Adam, Eve, Steve, Beelzebub and God.   The set is clever but uncomplicated – I wanted a magical quality to the show which called for minimalism.   

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?

It’s definitely within the tradition of the American musical comedy, with strong book, beautiful music, lyrics that can be both clever and meaningful, and choreographed dances.   At one point God and Beelzebub break into a soft shoe shuffle !    I guess you could say that the show fuses the best of both worlds – old fashioned musicals and up-to-date themes.    

Written by entertainment lawyer-turned-author Chandler Warren and with music by Wayne Moore,  Adam and Eve and Steve  is produced by Elva Corrie and Max Unsworth for AES Productions.   Max brought the hit show, Shout! The Mod Musical, to Edinburgh in 2015 and Elva pioneered the upcoming Bat Out of Hell musical.

Chandler Warren (Book & lyrics)
Chandler’s first professional production was an adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” with music by Robert Miles at the Orpheum Theatre in New York.  He also wrote an adaptation of “The Elves and the Shoemaker” for the Straight Wharf Theatre in Nantucket, Massachusetts.  

Subsequent work includes lyrics for an original musical “Legend” starring Eartha Kitt and for two original songs for the motion picture “Tropic of Desire”.  He wrote the script for the D. W. Griffith Awards in New York, hosted by Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, with Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Paul Newman and others. He was also the lyricist for four songs on the recording of the English production of “The Secret Garden” starring Barbara Cook and John Collom and co-lyricist on several other songs on the recording. His stage work includes book and lyrics for “The Old Lady Shows Her Medals”, with a staged reading at Musical Theatre Works in New York and the Stella Adler Theatre in Los Angeles.  

For television he wrote over fifty scripts for the NBC soap opera “Texas” and wrote the main song for the series “It’s All Over Town” with music by Robert Miles.  A musical revue “Love Songs and Other Lies”, written with Bob Miles, was performed at Musical Theatre Works in New York.  He is a member of ASCAP and the Writers Guild of America.  

He and Bob Miles have written ten musicals for children. Chandler is a prominent entertainment attorney, with practices in Los Angeles and New York.

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