The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui



It’s rare as a musician to land a job where get to be composer, director, and performer, all in one. But that’s exactly what Kumi Maxson, Will Henley-Dias, Jacob Gilmore, and I have been lucky enough to do, as the score writers, music directors, and live band (on a 9-foot platform overlooking the stage!) for UCSC’s production of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. We just wrapped up a crazy weekend of 10 hour-long tech rehearsals and barely have Monday to rest before hopping into dress rehearsals this week. These are fantastic musicians in every sense of the word, as well as friends that I’ve had the the pleasure of playing with for years now. Opening night’s on Friday, November 10th (my birthday –  celebrate by showing up!), and goes on until the 19th. If you’re a UCSC student, you’ve already bought a ticket and lose money by not going 🙂

A bit more about the play: It was written by Bertolt Brecht, a German playwright who fled his country to escape persecution under Nazi rule. The man usually writes about Capitalism, but chose to focus on specifically fascism for this play, with a not-so-subtle allusion to Hitler in the main character. But he wanted it set in Chicago in the 1930s during the Great Depression, so it’s sort of like an Italian mobster version of the Nazi regime. And then Erik Pearson, the director, added a modern twist on top of that, toning down some of the bluntness in the earlier script. So the play is drawing from a lot of strange and colorful influences: swing-era Chicago, film noir crime dramas, German politics, and the modern-day: we drafted music that reflects all of that and turns it into a cohesive, unique sound (we hope). Erik has us playing up on a platform, in full view of the audience – we’re technically part of the mob. We even get to help them pull of a crime…



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