Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at 10:36 pm
Wow! It’s been a busy year already! I’ve not updated this page for too long, so here we go.
I’m writing “Mona Lisa” – a musical mystery – with DAVID ARKENSTONE & STEVEN VLASICK. We’ve had two successful readings of the piece and the next step is to demo the music.
“I Know I Came In Here For Something” – a comedy revue about middle-age I wrote with CARL RICHIE is still playing in the Las Vegas area. (This is the Los Angeles Company, but I like the pictures!)
And another called “The Real Desperate Housewives Of Columbia County” – also written with CARL RICHIE – just had a limited run at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in New York.
For the last couple of months I’ve been uber-busy being Musical Director for a new Rock Musical called “Stay On The Line” currently running at Theater 68 In Hollywood – by BRUCE GOODRICH and SCOTT MLODZINSKI with a wonderful new rock score by ROB HARTMANN. It’s set in a Crisis Hotline run by kids barely off the street themselves. It has an amazing cast of talented young people and me, leading a rock band! What fun!
“I Love Lucy: Live On Stage” has been running at the Broadway Theater since last year. I was Music Supervisor, did the original arrangements and wrote special material for the show. They close in March just in time for the national tour. I’m happy to say I’m rejoining the production as Conductor/Musical Arranger for the Washington DC opening June 1st
“That’s Amore” – GILMORE RIZZO’S celebration of Italian/American music and Italian/American food – for which I did all the vocal arrangements – is playing up and down California.
And “Wayne & Brenda” – myself and Brenda Silas Moore – are doing three concerts April 19-21 to benefit the Coachella Valley Repetory Company.
Other than that, I’ve had nothing to do!
Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at 6:54 pm
When I was growing up I loved Variety Shows on television, and I particularly loved what I soon learned was called “special material”: songs written especially for the performers. One name kept showing up in the end credits of all my favorite shows: Billy Barnes.
I was fortunate enough to get to know Billy and to become his friend. I also produced two CDS on Ducy Lee Recordings of his material. The first was an original cast album for “Billy Barnes Revued” a 1999 celebration of the best music from his famous Revues including first recordings of six priceless, funny songs.
I also produced “Billy Barnes’ Divas”. Billy had written special material for a lot of his best girl friends and they call gathered to record them for the first time. Jo Anne Worley, Karen Morrow, Nancy Dussault, Jane A Johnston, Carole Cook, Barbara Sharma and many more sang their hearts out for Billy.
We all did. I miss him already. I can imagine what musical wit he would apply to today’s events, as he did for current events all of his life. It makes me smile. – Wayne
If you want to order either of Billy’s CDs, contact me directly. I don’t offer downloads from this site because I didn’t write the music. No one but Billy Barnes could have.
Friday, July 6th, 2012 at 5:05 pm
This is a new picture of my singing partner Brenda. At ease and happy, the way I like to see her! We’re doing a concert next week in Palm Springs to benefit CVRep, a new theater company in town. That’s Thursday night. Friday night I’m performing “Lucky Me” in Hollywood at the Gardenia. My solo act with 10 guest singers (so it’s not really my “solo” act at all, is it?) including Brenda, members of the cast of “The Next Fairy Tale” and of “I Love Lucy: Live On Stage.”
More “Lucy” news: The Chicago company of the show will open July 12, 2012. Tickets just went on sale. I’m flying there August 6th to start rehearsals. Then it’s back here to L.A. to reopen this company.
I’ve been in the studio with Robert McGarity as we finish the recording of the “lost” Broadway show “Come Summer.” A simply wonderful score to a “flop” musical. I’ll be sure to let you know when we get it done! – Wayne
Saturday, May 26th, 2012 at 5:31 pm
First of all, thank you to everyone who has said such nice things about my new site, both written and in person. It’s good to have it up and running at last.
Currently I’m Musical Director and Vocal Arranger for a fully staged reading of a new musical called “Beggars & Choosers” by Jill Wright and William Ashford and directed by Nancy Gregory. That goes up June 10. I’m back to writing “Genesis” with Chandler Warren and “Mona Lisa” with David Arkenstone and Stephen Vlasik. A “best-of” revue of the material I’ve written for the last three summers with Carl Richie is being produced in June at Copake Lake in upstate New York and our “I Know I Came In Here For Something” is still being done around Las Vegas.
“I Love Lucy: Live On Stage” is about to find its permanent Los Angeles home with me as MD. We should finally know more next week. Meanwhile, director/creator Rick Sparks and I are due to go to Chicago in August to open a company of “Lucy” there.
I sound busy, don’t I? It feels that way, too! Wayne
Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 at 4:50 pm
I’ve added two new videos: On the “There’s No Place Like Hollywood” page I’ve used the beautiful recording Heidi Gott made of “Special” to create a Movie Stars Tribute. And on the “Freeway Dreams” page “The Bette Davis Chorus” (starring the original cast) is a fun celebration of the great Miss Davis.
More content coming. “Chew On This”, Wayne & Brenda videos, Four Friends videos, and “I Love Lucy Live On Stage” news.
Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 2:06 pm
Someone asked me, “What award did you just win?” It was an L.A. Weekly Theater award for Best Musical Director. I received it for the work I did on “I Love Lucy: Live On Stage.” I was in a very hot catagory with wonderful musical directors and really thought I wouldn’t win. But I give myself credit for having gone through an acceptance speech ahead of time and also checking out those steep, rail-less stairs in front of the stage that I would have to maneuver if I did win. And I had imbibed a few by the time I did, so I was glad for the “intel!” The L.A. Weekly Awards are kind of like the Golden Globes for small L.A. Theater. A lot of rowdy drinking and catching up with old friends from other shows. I got there early and saved two rows of seats for the “Lucy” group (nominated for Best Ensemble and they should have won. Yes, I’m biased.) and there were a lot of us! A great time was had by all. I’m most disappointed that our director Rick Sparks didn’t get a trophy because without him none of the show would have worked. But he’s OK with it and the show goes on to it’s next production (first a permanent home in Hollywood then another production in Chicago by the end of the year.) So that’s that. Now I have to figure out where to put the trophy!
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012 at 7:14 pm
The site is almost up. Some nips and tucks left but we’re close enough to call it a webisite! Wayne McDonald has been of invaluable help in working through the (to me) horrifying trails of htlm code that led here. Thanks! I hope you enjoy the site and like the music. I’ll keep posting changes and new information as things happen.
For instance: last night I won the LA Weekly Theater Award for Best Musical Director for “I Love Lucy: Live On Stage.” What a party that was! “Lucy” will be up and running again very soon in our own soundstage/theater.
Monday, April 2nd, 2012 at 2:02 pm
The site is nearly done. I have a few technical difficulties to figure out, and then I’ll publish it. Songwriting is much easier than this!
Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 7:04 pm
… but I’m getting there. Obviously, I was born the wrong kind of Nerd – Show Music not Computer. I’d say the site is 7/8ths done. I’ve one more tech hurdle to go. Wayne
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 at 5:26 pm
I’m starting to build this new website today. Eek! Give me a piano to play any day! I hope to figure this out and have the site up by the end of next week. Lots of good music to put up!