Yesterday, Stephen Schwartz composed a new harmony, just for me. Then, I promptly laid it down on a new track for his next album. And what were you doing, again?
…Okay. I’m embellishing. Or lying. Whichever. Mr. Schwartz was actually composing that harmony for a crowd of several hundred Pippin fans, all of whom sang together, live, for the Broadway Revival’s forthcoming cast recording. It was pretty badass. Even if it wasn’t a special treat just for me.
To set the scene–yesterday afternoon approximately 600 contest-winning Pippin fans piled into the pews at the Ethical Culture Center on the Upper West Side. We were all there to join Andrea Martin in a sing-along of her show-stopping number “No Time at All.”
When I arrived someone mentioned offhand that they would be teaching us harmonies. I laughed out loud. “Sure, that’ll last for about two seconds, then we’ll all be singing in unison again.” Because… 600 people? 30 minutes of practice? I mean. I had personal friends spread throughout the room who had personally told me they could not sing. No way would this crowd just learn a harmony by ear and then get it right enough to put it on a professionally recorded and released record. No. Fucking. Way.
That’s the last time I underestimate a crowd of theater lovers. Or Charlie Alterman and Stephen Schwartz. But mostly, Charlie Alterman. In case you didn’t know, Charlie is Pippin‘s Musical Director and our fearless leader for the afternoon. He’s also the cutest, and whether he knows/likes it or not, my future husband. Charlie’s enthusiastic teaching really was the key to our success.
In fact, we were so successful learning/laying down a harmony for the main chorus, that Stephen and Charlie made the impromptu decision to compose us a new harmony to add under Andrea’s voice on the final notes of the track.
That we’d been so good we were gonna get a new harmony seemed pretty freaking cool on it’s own. And then, Andrea Martin stopped everything for a second to point out that this was kind of historic. Stephen Schwartz was actually composing something new just for us, right in that moment. And suddenly, everything seemed ten million times cooler.
Now I can’t wait to get my hands on that record. Not just because I know I’m on it, but also because, we were good. To quote Andrea Martin again: “Are there any Mormons out there? Because literally you sound like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.”
Or, you know, Pippin‘s biggest fans.