Author Archives: dannyashkenasi

About dannyashkenasi

I'm a composer with over 30 years experience creating music theater. I'm also an actor, writer, director, producer, teacher and general enthusiast for the arts.

Will Whoopi Goldberg Get Andy Serkis his Overdue Oscar?

“War for the Planet of the Apes” has opened to universal acclaim and a renewed call to give an Oscar to Andy Serkis, the actor who pioneered and perfected motion capture acting as lead ape Caesar in the Planet of the … Continue reading

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The Birthday Evocation Born in a Memorial Service

    It’s Ed’s birthday today.  Happy Birthday, Love.  And as is tradition now in our relationship, I will gift Ed another viola/piano duet I compose for the occasion, each one called “Evocation”.  This year my husband will receive Evocation … Continue reading

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In Which I complete the 30 DAY SONG CHALLENGE

Fun on Twitter.  Last month I took on the #30daysongchallenge. Here are the complete results, lightly annotated:   No kidding.  Kurt Weill’s haunting masterpiece. The subject of one of this blog’s most widely read pieces: Speak Low, Phoenix, Speak Low…   … Continue reading

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The Young Lovers’ Path to Speak Easy

Two Fawns in the Wood Dance into the Light   Maybe it’s just a dream.  Maybe it’s real.  Maybe it doesn’t matter either way.  For the shame and the betrayal are felt just as acutely. In the musical Speakeasy, an … Continue reading

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SPEAKEASY – The Irony of the Young Lovers’ Duets

Curious Colorful Night – It’s a Dream – Momentary Bliss Three lovers’ duets that are not what they seem to the ear Ah, young lovers’ duets.  A hallmark of musicals, especially those of the 1920s and 1930s, and so of … Continue reading

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SPEAKEASY – Advice from a (Lesbian) Caterpillar

Two songs from “Speakeasy” explore two sides of a closeted 1920’s lesbian For many years I hoped to write a musical about the queer subculture of Roaring Twenties New York, but didn’t find my “in” until I came upon the … Continue reading

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RETURN OF THE ROSES

I beg your pardon.  I never promised you a rose garden.  But we can visit one together just up the road.  And June is the time it bursts in massive, colorful bloom every year. Last year’s visit to the Brooklyn … Continue reading

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KINDERGARTEN’S POWERBALLADS

The Unlikely Occurrence of Kindergartners Composing Two Soaring Love Songs (and Their Perfectly Rockin’ Antidote) Usually five year olds consider overt declarations of love yucky.  So when kindergartners create their own original fairy tales operas, these don’t tend to end … Continue reading

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K-2 Presents: THE WIZARD’S REVENGE (featuring the Garbage-Throwing Machine)

The Kindergarten K-2 class of the Brooklyn’s Children’s School just presented their original fairy tale opera, for which the children created the story, the lyrics and the melodies: Once upon a time there was a king, a princess and a … Continue reading

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50 WAYS TO BE 50 – Guess Who Turns a Half Century Today (cough)?

  Might as well have some fun with it…. As my mother said, you can’t avoid turning 50 if you want to live… 4. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover – Paul Simon 9             … Continue reading

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The Passing of The Oriole’s Song

  The Last Question   I do not remember                     what my father said           when we last spoke.   But my mother remembers       … Continue reading

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Highlights from ART NY 2017

Another year, another visit to the ART NY expo.  Here are pictures of some of the works that intrigued me this year (last year’s can be seen here). Some famous names are included here among the up and comers, like … Continue reading

Posted in Melodies Linger On, Two-fisted Touristing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The “Grande Dame” is Back in the Opera

“You are like a circus-horse.  As soon as you hear the music, you start dancing.” That’s the loving joke my father used to make about my mother, most likely in German amongst their Berlin friends, since “Zirkuspferd” (circus-horse) is a … Continue reading

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CHERRY BLOSSOMS GALORE!

Back in the BBG You don’t know just what you’ll see, boy! Back in the BB Back in the BB Back in the BBG (with apologies to The Beatles:) It’s peek cherry blossom blooming season this weekend at the Brooklyn … Continue reading

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SPAMALOT infiltrates EMILY DICKINSON in A QUIET PASSION

Arthur: But I’m alone (Patsy: oh no you’re not!) So all alone (Patsy: I’m here you twat!) All by myself I’m all alone   I’m All Alone (from “Spamalot”) – Tim Curry and Michael McGrath What do Monty Python and … Continue reading

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