Gordon Leary

122 posts

HAVISHAM: An Annie Lennox Playlist

Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, I know the exact day that I came up with an idea for the only jukebox musical I’d ever want to write:

And it’s only taken about six years, but I finally made the dream come true (only with a title change.) And thanks to the overwhelming talent and unmatched kindness of Karl Saint Lucy, Victoria Huston-Elem, Sam Heldt, and Ally Bonino I got to hear HAVISHAM: An Annie Lennox Playlist aloud for the first time this weekend!

The show is a through-sung 90 minutes that is purely Annie Lennox songs, with no dialogue and not a single word changed. It tracks Miss Havisham’s heartbreak and scheming to break Pip’s heart by using Estella, and in the end is a story of cycles of hurt and the power of forgiveness.

I have no idea what the next step could be – short of Annie herself loving the idea and giving me permission to use her catalogue, I don’t know how it works – but I’m very excited to have discovered what feels like a perfect match of songbook to story, and looking forward to seeing where this may lead!

2019

I went into 2019 knowing that it would be busy, but there was no way to know just how intense the year would be! 7 readings of 5 different shows, plus a production, recordings, retreats, concerts across the US, Canada, and the UK… This year included a brush with commercial musical theatre, writing the book of a Danish jukebox musical for a few drafts over a few weeks (plus a whirlwind first trip to London.) I got to return to one of my favorite places in the world for a week writing in Weston, Vermont.

I got to dive back into my collaboration with Karlan Judd while continuing to pushing full steam ahead with my collaborator Julia Meinwald, and I got to work with so many wonderful actors, musicians, directors, stage managers, music directors, and more:

RenĂ©e Albulario, Glenn Seven Allen, Delaney Amatrudo, Nadja Bering-Ovesen, Quinn Bernegger, Matthew Berzon, Kim Blanck, Taylor Boes, Ally Bonino, Samantha Bourque, Nikita Burdein, Caroline Burton, Sam Button-Harrison, Samantha Carter, Nathanial Cedroni, Shelby Coleman, Shannon Colfer, Miranda Cooper, Chris Coton, Mackenzie Dade, Stephanie Dean, Nikki DiLoreto, Miranda DiPietro, Samantha Dorrance, Mara Einson, Melissa Erickson, Manoel Felciano, Rachel Flynn, Fra Fee, Emily Fishman, Alexis Floyd, Madison Gattullo, Britain Gebhardt, Susanna Gellert, Ta’Nika Gibbs, Miriam Goldstein, Paul Gregor, Paul Nelson Gregory, Edith Grossman, Tori Hargreaves, Rob Hartmann, Sam Heldt, Mila Henry, Kendyl Ito, Kaitlyn Jehle, Rachel Johnson, Heather Jones, Melody E. Jones, Taylor Jones, Tori Kalberer, Julia Kehrley, Clara Kim, Gloria Kim, MinJi Kim, Annadelle Kimber, Erin Danielle Krebs, Amanda Kuo, Lily Lester, Carl Limbacher, Amy Linden, Emily Llewellynn, Michael Lluberes, Josh Lococo, Liz Lococo, Isaac Loomer, Melissa MacKenzie, Ellen Macy, Claire Marlowe, Evelisha Martinez, Andy Massey, Anna Mazurik, David Merino, Katie Miller, Elexis Morton, Madison Mullahey, Alex Newkirk, Sophia Perez, Grace Petrillo, Jeanna Phillips, Sam Poole, Allison Posner, Katie Pritchard, MaryPaige Reiffel, Annabelle Revak, Colette Robert, Casey Robinson, Katie Rodgers, Dakota Rose, Lynne Marie Rosenberg, Keith Rubin, Brian Sanders, Sean Sennett, Rich Silverstein, Ryan Speakman, Tony Speciale, Katya Stanislavskaya, Anna Stolli, Annie Tippe, Saki Uetsuhara, Paige VanSickle, Michael Walkup, Tatiana Wechsler, Tim Welton, Joanna Whang, Simon Willmont, Jeremy Yaddaw, Andy Zinsmeister, and more that I’m sure I’m forgetting…

Preparations for all that is to come in 2020 have already begun, and I can’t wait to keep you up to date on all that’s coming down the pike!

Happy New Year!

Weston Playhouse Retreat, the Sequel

There’s nothing quite like returning to a home away from home away from home!

Julia and I were thrilled to be invited back for an artists retreat last week at the Weston Playhouse, one of our very favorite places in the world where Pregnancy Pact had its world premiere in 2012. Weston welcomed our friend Susanna Gellert as the new Executive Artistic Director in 2018, and we are so happy to continue to stay connected. We had a wonderful week getting some writing done on one of our newest projects, Choreomania, in between cheese samples at the Vermont Country Store.

Thanks to Susanna and the whole staff for welcoming us back again!