Sunday, 11 October 2015

Back to School

One of the major purposes behind my decision to get my MA in Musical Theatre was the notion that I could teach musical theatre history. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to do just that at a conservatory in West London. One thing I confirmed was that I absolutely loved doing it. I begean with Mozart’s The Magic Flute and worked my way forward with Orpheus in the Underworld, The Pirates of Penzance, Show Boat, Porgy and Bess and Oklahoma!, showing video clips to illustrate each show. They are planning to bring me back to cover post-war musicals up to the present. Best of all, the class all stayed behind to talk to me. There was one from South Africa (who, surprisingly, had never heard of Sarafina!) who was very interested to know more about A Million Miles from Broadway, my book on international musical theatre. There were also students from Australia and France. This may turn into a full teaching position if this school is able to receive accreditation for a diploma program next year.

The other part of my MA that I am hard at work on is The Last Queen of Paradise, a musical about the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i. It will be showcased at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London in September of next year.

My new book Breaking Into Song is also available from Lulu as well as Amazon Kindle. I look forward to letting you know of future developments.

Mel Atkey
To purchase A Million Miles from Broadway:
A Million Miles from Broadway
To purchase Breaking into Song:
Breaking into Song

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Breaking into Song -- new book by Mel Atkey now available


As you may know, for the past year I have been working on my MA in Musical Theatre at Goldsmiths in London.  This is partly so that I can put the work I did on writing Broadway North and  A Million Miles from Broadway to more effective use as a teacher and lecturer, although my main project will be The Last Queen of Paradise, a musical about the American takeover of Hawaii.

In the meantime, I have just published a small volume of my articles, essays and interviews from the past 35 years.  Breaking Into Song begins with my first ever interview for what was then a syndicated radio series called Broadway Melodies back in 1980.  Stephen Schwartz was then working on turning The Magic Show into a movie.  This was to be the beginning of a correspondence that lasted a couple of decades in which he offered me encouragement as a writer of musicals, long before he began doing it on a grander scale through ASCAP.

It also features a fascinating interview with Reid Shelton, Annie’s original Daddy Warbucks recalling the development process that show went through, and the lengths to which the Kennedy Centre’s Roger Stevens went to keep the costs (and the ticket prices) down (eg. Opening night in Washington DC, the scenery was not painted, as he didn’t want to spend the money until he knew the show was a hit.).  Those are just two of the seven essays collected in this book, which can be ordered by clicking here.  (There is a 20% discount if you order before it goes on wider sale, which will be in 4-6 weeks.)

A Million Miles from Broadway – Musical Theatre Beyond New York and London can also be ordered here.


I hope you enjoy them!


Mel Atkey