BEHIND THE SCENES: A CHAT WITH THE PRODUCERS OF “BOXED UP” THE MUSICAL
See “The Boxed Up Binge: A live concert of Boxed Up the Musical” at Capital Stage (2215 J St.) on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Visit www.boxedupmusical.com/concert for more information.
Imagine attending a musical theatre production that not only uses technology in clever ways, but it also boasts catchy, pop-driven original music that tells the story of Marion, a young woman who relies way too much on ordering services like Amazon Prime and Postmates that it ultimately keeps her from everyday social interactions.
This is the premise for Sacramento’s episodic musical “Boxed Up” with its supporting cast of funny and relatable characters whom attempt to lure Marion out of her cozy apartment and into the real world.
The musical debuted over the summer inside a 750-square-foot apartment inside the Warehouse Artist Lofts during First Friday’s, but now “Boxed Up” prepares for its Capital Stage debut on Sunday, Nov. 5. Instead of its regular episodic nature, the musical is being adapted into a 90-minute, fluid production.
The Seen asks David Taylor, the show’s composer and musical director, and producers, Wesley Gomes and Joelle Robertson, about their experiences behind the scenes and they also dish on their own technology obsessions.
How will the “Boxed Up” stage debut differ?
J.R.: “It’s going to be the whole show in concert form. … It will be a nice little sampler of what we put together over the past summer with all of the music in tact.”
Tell me about the creative use of technology used during production.
J.R.: “We have text message bubbles and face-timing projections. We incorporated tech very heavily into the show mainly because the show talks so much about how technology blocks us from having human interaction, so we had to have text messages and face-timing.”
What was the response from audience members?
D.T.: “They really enjoyed the music and they especially enjoyed the technical aspect of the show as well. I think people walking into an apartment weren’t expecting to receive as polished and technically complex of a show as we got to give them, so it was really cool to hear that all of that was worth it because the audience really enjoyed it.”
Were you at all inspired by musical TV sitcoms like “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend?”
D.T.: “‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ has a sense of self-awareness that our show also possesses. There’s moments in the show where actors will freeze on stage and one character will then voice their inner thoughts. … in our show when that character who is unfrozen while everyone else is frozen is speaking their thoughts, part of what they’re doing is being aware of the fact that everyone froze around them like self-mockery, which made the musical genre more approachable to people who may think musical theatre is beneath them or too cheesy.”
What was the songwriting process like?
D.T.: “I’ve been a songwriter my entire life and there’s different ways to approach writing a song. For musical theatre, it’s challenging because you have very tight confines in which your song has to exist. … The songwriting became easier as the story progressed because the characters became more real to me as the show progressed so I understood them better.”
Excluding social media, what technology do you use obsessively?
(Big laughter from everyone)
D.T.: “Other than social media, I’m really big on podcasts like ‘What’s the Tee’ which is RuPaul and Michelle Visage’s podcast. I also really like ‘The Daily’ put on by The New York Times and it’s out every single day. Oh my gosh, ‘Pod Save America’ and I listen to ‘Loveline with Amber Rose’ …”
J.R.: “I’m a huge weather nerd and I seriously have a folder on here that has four different weather apps. But, my favorite one is What The Forecast?!! That one cracks me up.”
W.G.: “Amazon Prime actually sent me an email recently that said, ‘Congratulations! You saved $250 in shipping fees.’ Oh great. Fantastic.”
What characters do you relate to the most?
D.T.: “I would have to come at this from the songs that were easiest for me to relate to and write. I think that would be Kris because she has a really difficult time working through what she actually wants. I think that’s kind of who I am as a person because I have a difficulty expressing my wants and needs. But, I would say I am kind of mean sometimes, like Addison.”
W.G.: “I think for me, Alexa’s diva. She’s kind of the bitchy one. She’s the one I relate to the most because she’s always fed up with everything else that’s going on.”
J.R.: “I’m a mixture between Anthony and Addison. Addison, … her whole thing is she goes for what she wants. Anthony is what softens me because he is the best friend who lives next door. He’s our sassy black man and he always has a one-liner or a zinger and he’s always inserting himself into the drama that’s happening and is trying to help Marion figure it out with the best intentions.”
For more information and tickets visit www.boxedupmusical.com/concert.