“The Appointment” at Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop

On April 20th, Lightning Rod Special opened The Appointment at Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop.

After a whirlwind load-in tech and preview process, the show is up and running to fantastic reviews.

“A remarkable phantasmagoria.” - Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“A feverish explosion of the abortion debate.” - Raven Snook, Time Out New York

I’m extremely proud of the work we are all doing on this piece. We run until May 4th at the 4th St Theatre Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop. A more comprehensive post (with samples of songs) is forthcoming, but for now: Come see us on 4th St! “Don’t blink or yawn, ‘cuz soon we’ll be gone!”

2019: Ongoing / Upcoming

Hey Y’all, 

My ambitions to blog my way through the August workshop of Dostoevsky kindly forgiven, I’m back with an update of what I’ve been up to, and where I’m headed in the new year. 

The workshop of Cheer Up, Dostoevsky was a thrilling week. The reading that took place at the end of it was one of the most enlightening and inspiring afternoons of my life. With a lot of submissions for development opportunities in the air, I hope to have news for you soon about the next step for this piece. For now...scenes and songs are being re-written and re-imagined, and I am hopeful for the future of my two-act musical dream of life “after the age of the internet”. 

In the months since then, I’ve been busy at work as an actor/instrumentalist at the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia. From September - October of 2018, I played Andrej in their production of Once. It was a lovely chance to tackle a challenging and fascinating role and play some kick-ass folk music with a truly lovely group of artists. The show was well-received, even better-attended, and I think brought a lot of joy and depth of feeling to people’s lives. That feels like a pretty great thing. 


From there, actor-Alex jumped into the Arden’s production of Joseph Robinette’s adaptation of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. I play John Arable and the Gander in the show. I also drive a good deal of Christopher Colucci’s original music/sound design in the piece: playing Guitar, Mandolin, Accordion, and Clarinet. The show is incredibly fun, heartfelt, and wildly theatrical. If you’re in Philadelphia between now and February 3rd, 2019, I would highly recommend seeing it. Especially if there are little ones in your life. Here’s a link to tickets...


Charlotte’s Web at the Arden Theatre Company


So. Now that we’re in 2019, it’s time to start looking forward to the future, yeah? Yeah. In March of 2019, Lightning Rod Special will premier The Appointment — a raucous, unyielding musical comedy about Abortion. I’m the composer/lyricist and a member of the lead writing team for this devised piece, and I am incredibly excited for it. We’ve been working on the piece for about 3 years now. Through many workshops, showings, head-scratchings and soul-searching, it’s finally time for the piece to meet an audience in a full run of shows. I can’t wait. Here’s a link to tickets for that ... 


The Appointment at FringeArts


In April, I’ll be back at the Arden, composing original music & sound design for their production of Treasure Island. It looks to be an incredibly imaginative, unstoppably fun production for all ages. More on that to come. 


And in April - May, The Appointment will ride again. Hot on the heels of its Philadelphia premier, our world-premier comedy with songs will play a limited run at New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door space. 


All this and more. I’m writing music for a new musical that I’ve been dreaming of for a while. Songs are starting to come, and the story is starting to take shape. It’s small, and sad, and I’m really stoked about it. More to come, more to come ...


I hope that 2019 is filled with wild, wonderful joys for you. And I hope that the sorrows, when they find you (and they always do, yeah?), are sorrows you can make friends with. Toss them in your sidecar and steer your motorcycle forward. We’ll get there together. 


Big Love, 

AB

Time: The Great Slow-Cooker (Workshop Day 1)

(The cast and creative team on day 1 of the  Cheer Up, Dostoevsky  workshop)

(The cast and creative team on day 1 of the Cheer Up, Dostoevsky workshop)

Yesterday was our first day in rehearsal for the first workshop of Cheer Up, Dostoevsky. We spent the beginning of the day talking about the piece, where it came from, and where I envision it going. After that, we did a read-through around the table, with me singing and playing the songs from the piano. As we went, some of the actors who had been preparing the songs on their own began to take over for me, and I heard my songs on other voices for the first time. It was a thrilling moment, and a memory that I'll cherish. 

I'm sure that I'll learn a lot over the next few days; about my play, about my music, about myself. Here's something I learned yesterday: sometimes things take a long time to fully become what they want to be. As I listened, and played, and sat in the world of the piece with these people, I thought back to the months and years of time that it took for some of these moments to get to where they are. A song, or a scene, or even a character sometimes spent years in the folder of 'i'm-not-exactly-sure-but-something-like-this'. But with patience, trial-and-error, and time, they're arriving. 

Were there times during those years of writing and waiting that I wanted to just finish-it-real-quick-and-call-it-done? Yeah. Were there times during those years of writing and waiting that I wanted to just light the whole thing on fire and watch it burn? Oh yeah. But sitting around that table last night, I was very grateful that I didn't do either of those things. 

On to day 2 ...  

"Cheer Up, Dostoevsky" - First Workshop!

This week, I'll be in the studio with an incredible group of artists workshopping Cheer Up, Dostoevsky

I'm nervous. I'm excited. I'm hungry. I'm sleepy. I can't quit it with the nervous burps and farts. It's all happening and I am very aware of my body and my mind and my emotions. 

For better or worse, whether it slowly sinks or sings and sails, after this week, the piece will no longer be something that exists on paper, or in mp3 demos of me singing with a piano. For that, I am excited, grateful, and filled with joy. 

I'll update you with pictures, videos, and little gifts throughout the week as we make Cheer Up, Dostoevsky sing for the very first time. 

Best, 

Bechtel

Welcome!

Hey Y'all, 

This is my first blog post on my brand-new website. There will be more to come! This is a space I will use to keep you up-to-date on performances, developments, and various missives from inside the Bechtel Headquarters. 

Stay tuned :-)

Best,

Bechtel