Wednesday, February 01, 2006

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

“It’s a very rare thing, a professional music theatre company in Ireland,” says David Wray of the rather explanatorily named Music Theatre Ireland. “Sure, you get visiting musicals and there are occasionally other shows, but nothing as consistent as a dedicated company.”

Music Theatre Ireland, which was co-founded by Wray in 1999, has been working to fill that particular gap in the market, creating their own song-based shows, as well as bringing into Ireland a type of theatre that is largely unknown outside its home in the United States.

“We are not talking at all about the big blockbusters, we’er not interested in Oklahoma or whatever. We’re talking about another type of show altogether. Something much smaller and more intimate,” says Wray.

Previously the company has been responsible for bringing their revue of Cole Porter songs, Red Hot and Cole to the National Concert Hall, as well shows like A New York Songbook, which was created by the company. “We basically went around New York knocking on composers’ doors looking for new songs.”

When he isn’t directing show for Music Theatre Ireland, Wray, who trained Guildhall School of Music in London, works as a musical director for The Three Irish Tenors and is currently working with a new act, apparently cut from similar cloth, called Druid. “All of these sorts of acts are cross-over hybrids of one sort or another. Druid will be five guys singing in a classical style, but with an Irish flavour to the repertoire.

Wray’s latest venture with Music Theatre Ireland is a show in the small-scale musical style in which the company specialises. I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change by New York writer, Joe DiPietro. “It definitely has a very New York sense of humour” says Wray. “It has been described as Seinfeld with songs. Which I think is pretty true.”

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