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Drama Desk Panel and Reception, "The Music Is the Message: Musicals on Topical Subjects", at Sardi's
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Drama Desk Panel and Reception, "The Music Is the Message: Musicals on Topical Subjects", at Sardi's

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Drama Desk Panel and Reception
The Music Is the Message: Musicals on Topical Subjects

(Drama Desk Website)
William Wolf, Drama Desk President
Robert R. Blume, Exec. Producer, Drama Desk Awards
Les Schecter, Drama Desk Press and Public Relations

Drama Desk 2010 Board of Directors
William Wolf, Pres.:
Leslie (Hoban) Blake, VP: Contributing Writer,
Charles Wright, Treas. & 2nd VP: A&E Television Networks
Richard Ridge, Sec.: Broadway Beat TV

(Sardi’s Website)

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 18, 2010

(See the 55th Drama Desk Awards Ceremony, Plus Pre- and After-Parties)

Moderator: Scott Siegel, Creator/Writer/Host
Broadway by the Year Series

Christine Andreas, Actress in La Cage aux Folles
Jeffry Denman, Choreographer and Actor in Yank!
Montego Glover, Actress in Memphis
Chad Kimball, Actor in Memphis
Tom Kitt, Composer of Next to Normal
David Thompson, Book Writer, The Scottsboro Boys
David Zellnik, Author and Lyricist, Yank!

(La Cage Aux Folles Review)
(Memphis Review)
(The Scottsboro Boys Review)

Once again, the Drama Desk and its President, William Wolf, invited members to a lunch panel at Sardi’s, this time on “The Music Is the Message: Music on Topical Subjects”. The panel listed above had entertaining and fascinating takes on their own shows and how these shows contributed to contemporary culture and the current Broadway scene. Montego Glover, actress in Memphis, talked about the teaching value of her show and how her role is “exciting and full of flavor and texture”. She said that the art form and history of Rock ‘n Roll are celebrated. Chad Kimball, also acting in Memphis, agreed with Montego and spoke about his own “quirky” character. David Zellnik, author and lyricist of Yank!, talked about his drafts of the show, adding text, lyrics, and character stories. He also spoke of the challenges of putting yourself “deeply into words”. Jeffry Denman, choreographer and actor in Yank!, said that he completely connected to the “delirious character” that David (and Joe) wrote.

The Scottsboro Boys was represented by book writer, David Thompson, who said he used to be a reporter. He said Fred Ebb was way “ahead of us”, and was famous for saying, “you can’t write your own reviews”. Christine Andreas, actress in the current revival of La Cage Aux Folles, talked about playing in revivals, and how Jerry Herman wrote her songs in the Chez Jacqueline scene, with her character going from one to another, with everyone in high gear. She said, “A voice speaks to you”. Tom Kitt, who composed the music for Next to Normal, said he “wrote music appropriate to every dramatic moment”. He discussed the 50-50 rate of writing music or lyrics first, and the importance of collaboration. Tom also commented that artists need support, even from one person they look up to, that, as artists, “we need to hear, ‘what you’re doing means a lot to me’.”

Scott Siegel, Moderator, and
Drama Desk Panel at Sardi's
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Bob Blume, Drama Desk Awards Producer,
Charles Wright, Drama Desk Board
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Richard Ridge, Drama Desk Board,
Barbara Siegel, Chairperson,
Drama Desk Nominating Committee
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Les Schecter, Drama Desk Awards, Public Relations
With Scott Siegel
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Sardi's Famed Celebrity Caricatures
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Drama Desk Panel Guests
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Lillian Wolf and Drama Desk Panel Guests
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

William Wolf, President,
The Drama Desk,
and Lillian Wolf
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Montego Glover, Star of "Memphis"
and Drama Desk Award Winner
Photo Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at