SPOTLIGHT: Ovation and LADCC Award-winning Director Richard Israel Gives Audiences an Evening of Musical Theatre Delight with the Songs of Kander and Ebb

SPOTLIGHT:  Ovation and LADCC Award-winning Director Richard Israel Gives Audiences an Evening of Musical Theatre Delight with the Songs of Kander and Ebb

Q:  TELL US ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS A DIRECTOR AND WHAT CAPTIVATED YOU TO DIRECT THIS PRODUCTION.

 

RI:  As the director of the show, it’s my responsibility to make sure that all of the elements of the show – performers, music director, choreographer and design team – are aligned on a clear vision of what we are communicating to the audience. I am a huge fan of the music of Kander & Ebb – I think they articulate the trials and triumphs of being human in a beautiful way, and I consider myself fortunate to be able to direct such a joyful celebration of their music.

Q:  SHARE WITH US HOW THE PROCESS OF REHEARSING FOR A REPRISE 2.0 PRODUCTION MAY DIFFER FROM OTHER PRODUCTIONS YOU HAVE DIRECTED.

 

RI:  REPRISE 2.0 is on a very short rehearsal schedule, so we had to approach this as a bit of a military operation. Jerry (musical director Gerald Sternbach), John (choreographer John Todd) and I worked closely together to make sure that we worked efficiently, but also allowed some breathing room for the actors to discover and collaborate. But it’s definitely a quick process!

 

Q:  AS A DIRECTOR YOU HAVE HAD A LOT OF EXCITING EXPERIENCE IN THE WORLD OF THEATRE AND PRODUCTIONS, EVEN WINNING THE LA STAGE ALLIANCE OVATION AWARD FOR BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL. IN WHAT WAY DO YOU BELIEVE THESE EXPERIENCES HAVE HELPED SHAPE YOUR IDEAS AND CREATIVITY IN YOUR CAREER?

RI:  I think we’re all the sum total of our experiences, and directing is no different.  As I’ve built my directing resume, I’ve been able to build a viewpoint and an approach to my work that continues to deepen. I also feel that, the more I direct, the more I’m able to roll with punches and take things in stride.

 

Q:  TELL US WHY AUDIENCES SHOULD SEE REPRISE 2.0’S THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND.

RI:  The World Goes ‘Round is a joyful celebration of the music of one of America’s most vibrant and creative writing teams.This is a first-class production of a beautiful show, with tour-de-force performances, and a terrific way to leave the real world for a while.

 


Q:  IF YOU COULD BE ANOTHER PROFESSION, WHAT WOULD THAT BE AND WHY?

 

RI:  I would absolutely have been an architect. Theatre is a very inexact science, and it exists in time – once it’s done, it’s done. I think working in a field that blends artistry with math would be interesting, and of course, the product of your work lasts for decades, if not centuries.

 

Q:  WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MUSICAL AND WHY?

RI:  Hands down favorite musical of all time is Merrily We Roll Along. It’s a brilliant examination of how small decisions and small compromises have huge impacts on our lives, and how the tiniest fork in the road can end you up miles away from where you thought you would be.

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