Happy to be back at the Winspear Opera House with everyone's favorite retractable chandelier! I'm here subbing for the esteemed Jeff Fernandes on The Lightning Thief tour. Bring on the monsters!
Timothy Huang’s American Morning opened last night at ART/New York Theatres. The show runs for the next two weeks and is presented by Prospect Theater Company. It has been fun, challenging, and rewarding to develop this drum book. Special thanks to our fearless MD, Julianne Merrill, for her patience and guidance!
What a journey the last seven months have been. I’ve played Hundred Days 120+ times and I would be happy to double that number! This show and the people in it have changed my life in ways that I'm just beginning to process. Thank you especially to The Bengsons for embracing me and bringing me into their family. And thanks to the AMAZING all-female/POC crew at the Arsht Center for this spectacular chalk drawing!
Here’s a little clip of the drum part from the song “Hundred Days.” It cooks! It’s one of my favorite moments of the show to play.
Last night I played my 100th show of Hundred Days! It’s been a pleasure to work with such an awesome group of people on and off the stage. Special shoutouts to acupuncture, Zicam, Kick Ass, CBD, Biofreeze, and Advil for keeping me going. That said, I’m looking forward to not hitting drums for two weeks before we take our talents to South Beach.
I recently reunited with one of my cabin-mates at Interlochen from NINETEEN YEARS AGO! We haven’t seen each other since that amazing summer, but I still feel like we are and will continue to be lifelong friends. Here’s what Andrea — an outstanding horn player and music teacher — had to say:
This is a little late, but on Valentine’s, Ryan Vella and I went to see “Hamilton” at the Straz in Tampa. And if you know me, you know how much I love it, but that’s not why I’m writing this post. The best part of the night was when I first opened the playbill, and to my complete surprise, it flipped open to a photo of one of my cabin-mates from Interlochen Arts Camp ‘00, Ashley Baier who is performing in “Hundred Days,” which is running next door to “Hamilton.” So, after 19 years (seriously, how has it been that long!?) and yet again, thank you to Victoria Guyre, we got to see Ashley’s performance last Friday. Even though we could only chat for a little afterwards, it was wonderful and surreal to see you, and like you said, I hope we don’t wait another 2 decades until we see each other again! Congratulations on a beautiful performance - you all certainly give the Hamilton casts in Tampa (and NYC) a run for their money. If you’re reading this and in the Tampa Bay area, go see “Hundred Days!” They’ll be there until the end of March. ❤️
Here are some pics Andera shared as well:
The latest version of Hundred Days is up and running at the Straz in Tampa. We had two days of tech and open Tuesday. My friend from college, Scott Crawford, provided the rental — a beautiful, brand new Pearl Session Studio Classic kit. It sounds great! Scott is a fantastic percussionist and all-around great guy. It was a dream come true to have him tech for me on Sunday. I can’t wait to hang with him some more on this 2.5 month stint in Tampa.
I just finished my third tour with The Grinch! We played 57 shows this year. I put together a little highlight reel from one of our recent shows in Philadelphia. Enjoy!
Here is one of my highlights of the Grinch. “Down the Mountain” starts and ends on timpani and has a rockin’ tom part. This scores the scene in which the Grinch sleds down Mount Crumpit, cracking the whip (as played by Key 2) at his dog, Max. It is always a thrill to play.
The Grinch is off to a good start here in Green Bay. Let’s take a look at my setup for this season:
This year I’m playing a Champagne Sparkle DW kit It sounds great for this particular show. Beefy toms! I’m using a variety of Zildjian cymbals.
Using the always trusty Roland SPD-SX with 9 different kits programmed (woodblocks, gong, tambourine, bass drum, chimes, glock, sleigh bells, triangle, finger cymbal, ratchet, and one timpani patch are all programmed). Two Adams timpani (29” and 26”). I also have an acoustic cowbell and Jam Block, but they didn’t make the pictures.
Mmmm… I love a good metal station. Mark tree, two triangles, one finger cymbal, and three Miller Machines.
Delvcam mounted on my music stand so I can see the conductor when I’m reading the music.
Stick tray with a variety of multi-sticks, timpani mallets, brushes, triangle beater, sus mallets, and two caxixi.
And finally, Aviom land. Each band member has their own channel in addition to a conductor mic and onstage mic.
My time performing in Hundred Days at La Jolla Playhouse was a dream come true. It was a pleasure to get to work each day with some of the most artistic, compassionate, and talented people I've ever met. I can't wait to start up the show again in Tampa in January. Until then, I'll be walking, I'll be walking.
📸: Lindsey Augusta Mercer
Hello from Day 2 of rehearsals for Hundred Days. Things are going along swimmingly! I’m an actor now! In addition to drumming for the show, I do some singing and choreography. Pray for me! Here’s a pic of my rehearsal setup. The midi keyboard is not part of my track, it’s just to help me with the vocals, as I’m singing on stage for the first time since singing a song from Annie at my seventh grade choir concert. Yikes.
The music is wonderful and the story is one that is close to my heart, to say the least. Please contribute to the Kickstarter if you can and I hope to see you at one of the shows! #RepresentationMatters
Thanks for having me, SOOP Theatre Company!
From left to right: Brian Levels, reeds; Wendy Feaver, MD/keys; Yours Truly; Kurt Marcum, trumpet; Magda Kress, bass
We opened The Drowsy Chaperone at Pace last night. This show has been a fun one to work on: it's funny, it's short, and it swings!
I had the pleasure of playing the drum book for In The Heights at Mepham High School on Long Island. My good friend and former PitchBlak band mate, Brian Lotze, is the band director there. He put together a pit consisting of both pros and some extremely talented high school students.
When I was in high school, I played in the pit for every high school musical. I also played professionally in the local summer stock, Cumberland Theatre. While I think I would've been able to stumble through the book for ItH, I really doubt I would've been able to do it justice. It is extremely demanding but very well written (no slashes!). I am thankful for the years I played in the Latin ensemble in college and for all the setup pics in the Musical Theater Facebook group! I really hope to play the show again, sooner than later so these Latin chops don't wear off 🤣