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Table Talk w/Doreen Taylor

Are you ready for a little (or in this shimmering case…lots!) of Off Broadway magic this year? 

If you answered “yes” to that question, then fabulous local chanteuse Doreen Taylor has just what we’re all looking for in her soon-to-shine new artistic adventure, Sincerely, Oscar:The Musical, which will play out as grand salute to the legacy of legendary playwright, Oscar Hammerstein II. 

“Carousel,” “Oklahoma” “State Fair,” (the esteemed list goes on and on) you know them, you love them. 

Kicking off on Broadway’s esteemed Theatre Row with performances on March 27th ahead of an official April 4th opening (tickets right here, folks!), Taylor’s creative blueprint is not only planned to show us her undying love for the art of performance and fight for the Hammerstein legacy (check this out), but it will also show us that she just really, really likes to put on a great show in grand proportions……no matter what it takes…..

……..and that’s just what she is gearing up for and going to do when it comes to Sincerely, Oscar.

Okay, so now, we’re really ready for that Off Broadway magic.

Ms. Taylor was kind enough to take a little time from her insane recording schedule and take a seat at the Philly Mixtape tea table, where her and I broke fine Lennox tea mugs about, life, love for Hammerstein, and just how she keeps it all moving while truly living out her creative dreams. 

Take a seat, take a sip, and get to know this truly extraordinary local superstar. 

First up on our little 2019 spill, how was your holiday season? Were you able to, like, sit down and relax eventually away your busy schedule?  Kind of. I was able to visit my family for some time in Buffalo, NY but I ended up working on my show the majority of the time so I guess I failed at the whole R&R thing! Despite all that, I really enjoyed seeing my family and being able to spend Christmas with them.

So, most important matter of tea…..you’re about-to-stun new show, Sincerely, Oscar, is getting closer and closer to its March 27th opening date….spill for everyone about how…it all..came to be….It has been a really great and very exciting journey! The show organically grew from a concert version called “An Enchanted Evening: A Night With Oscar Hammerstein” that debuted at the Bristol Riverside Theatre in Philadelphia, PA in summer of 2017. It did so well that we literally turned people away and felt we needed to do something bigger. We tweaked the show into a more cabaret style show and ran Off Broadway for a limited engagement in December 2017 at the 777 Theatre and we added Broadway legend Davis Gaines (“Phantom of the Opera”) to the cast as a guest artist. Towards the end of the run we were again selling out night after night and turning people away. We decided to tweak the show yet again and turn the show into a full production musical called “Sincerely, Oscar”. We have added spectacular special effects, an amazing score, fabulous musicians, wonderfully talented cast of performers and are returning to Off Broadway at the Acorn Theatre in Theatre Row on 42nd Street for an incredible 14 week run. We start performances on March 27th and run until June 30th! The response to the show since its inception has been remarkable and I am so thankful that it has had the organic growth it has had!

How are rehearsals going so far? Any sneak peaks you can serve up for us right now? Music rehearsals began a few weeks ago and are going better than expected! The score and arrangements are so beautiful (if I do say so myself! LOL). Staging rehearsals are not planned to start until February. Unfortunately, there is nothing that I am allowed to share as of yet.

Why should everyone and their Broadway mother come to this show? Bottom line, it is a really good show. It is a show that many generations can come together and enjoy. We have merged the timeless music and lyrics of shows like Sound of Music, Carousel, Oklahoma!, King and I, and more and have added a truly heartfelt look into the life and imagination of one of the most important writers/lyricists of all time, Oscar Hammerstein. If that weren’t enough, we have also added some incredible special effects, beautiful costumes and sets and a great story. We are the first show ever in Broadway or Off Broadway history that has implemented the technology of “Ice Magic” which is more commonly referred to as a hologram. For that fact alone, people NEED to see this show!  I like to call “Sincerely, Oscar” a hybrid show- meaning that we are utilizing many different unique elements from many different styles of entertainment and creating a one-of-a-kind musical experience.

So, just to take a serious sip for a moment. As fab as this creative life is and always will be, it can all no doubt kick our own ass sometimes. So, what does a true professional like you do on those days where it’s just a little….ugh?  I feel “ugh” more days than not. Very few people really understand how hard it is to launch a full production musical Off Broadway (or anywhere for that matter). But feeling creative or not, it is still a business and a job and I need to do my job just like anyone else in any other field out there. I can’t afford to take a day off—there are no “sick days”. I just do what I can and keep on track. I find little moments to rest here and there, but right now I eat, sleep and breathe this “Sincerely, Oscar”!

Any words of wisdom for all of the creative kiddos out there? Find what you like to do and just do it. You don’t need to be famous or rich (or even make it your profession), but if you really love the arts, then do all you can to just keep doing it. It is one of the best things you can ever do for your soul.  

If you had to list three albums that make you…you, what would they be? Although it may sound weird, but my own solo albums are “who I am” since I am the one who wrote all the music/lyrics. So definitely my albums “Magic” and “Happily Ever After” are the ultimate personification of who I am and a very in depth look of what I think, feel and believe.

Sum of your 2019 state-of-mind in one word….Focused

For much more with Ms. Doreen Taylor (including on how you can grab those tickets to Sincerely, Oscar), belt it out alongside of her right here and here. 

Cover photo courtesy of Doreen Taylor 

For much more local entertainment love, be sure to follow Philly Mixtape right here and here all year long and beyond! 

 

 

 

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