"I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing"

“Divorce: The Musical,” written by Erin Kamler, has had quite a number of events to be happy about this Valentine’s Day weekend. For reference, this is the show I helped workshop for a number of months, from four songs to a complete show until it culminated in a staged reading at the Edgemar for the Performing Arts last year. I feel very proud to have been a direct influence and inspiration on my characters – Erin herself said she created a song and delved deeper into one of the parts because of my work. So, I’m very excited by the recent developments of this show.

The events were:

1. “Divorce! The Musical” opened at the Hudson Theater on Santa Monica Blvd on Saturday the 14th, with cast Gregory Franklin (Mediator, Don Hughes), Leslie Stevens (Lisa Groper, Annie Hughes), Gabrielle Wagner (Laureen Grub, Therapist, Minister), Lowe Taylor (Penny Bailey-Hughes), and Rick Segall (Rich Hughes). Directed and staged by Rick Sparks with musical direction and arrangements by David O. Go see it if you’re in the LA area! Through March 29th, 2009 – Tickets through plays411.net.

2. All Things Considered on NPR interviewed Erin and did a piece on her and the musical (“Singin’ With the Pain: ‘Divorce!’ Takes Center Stage”), which aired this Saturday. You can hear songs by the current cast on this website and a bit about the backstory on why Erin wrote the show.

3. Rick Culbertson, the producer of the show (who has been with Erin every step of the way in this production, and through all previous backers auditions, staged readings, etc) PROPOSED to Erin at the end of last night’s show, right after the curtain call!!! Notwithstanding the irony of proposing to one’s girlfriend on the opening night of her musical “Divorce!”, it was on Valentine’s Day and Erin said “Yes.” I was not personally there to witness, but was there, and blogged about it this morning on KCET.org. Congrats to the happy couple!

Congrats indeed to all involved – the cast, crew, and the lovers and ex-lovers out there. May we all mediate our way through each others’ lives and hearts with compassion and care. This goes for you too, lawyers!

*UPDATE 2/25/09: Backstage.com reviews “Divorce!” with “joyful energy and surprising tenderness”
*UPDATE 2/17/09: LA Weekly gives “Divorce” a GO! Click here and scroll down halfway.
*UPDATE 2/16/09: Kate West Review blog entry can be read here.