I’ve been trying to find a musical that I would like to direct. This is much harder than I expected. First I have to rule out all the musicals I’d actually like to sing, as I wouldn’t get to do that if I was directing. This isn’t that many musicals as I’m well aware that I can’t sing male roles or female roles that I’m too old for. People have suggested that I sing male roles but there are strict rules when you get the rights to the show and you can’t just decide to change the gender of a character. I was thrilled to read recently that Stephen Sondheim had agreed to change the gender of the lead character in Company.
Then there are all the musicals I can’t get the rights to do – anything really that’s currently on Broadway or the West End. Then you have to rule out the musicals that are currently playing in Tokyo, as I won’t get the rights to those – ruling out things like West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Rent, and Kinky Boots. And any musical that’s being done by a amateur group or smaller theatre in Japan as there are rules as to often a musical can be played in one region.
Then there all the musicals that are male dominant, as I’m not convinced I would find the cast. It seems that more women are auditioning for the roles in amateur theatre here. I also like female voices, so don’t know if I really want to put on a show like “Newsies” which has something like 24 male roles and only 2 female ones.
Then there is the problem with cast size. I really liked musicals like “Once” – not that the rights are available yet – but if the cast is too small it’s difficult to sell tickets. I really do hope I find inspiration soon.
I am planning on being involved in a production of “Songs for a New World” this year. But I still need to find a theatre and dates before I try to acquire the rights. It’s not easy to book a theatre in Tokyo, as many of them need booked more than a year in advance, but I’m hopeful that one of the smaller ones will be free in June.