The next song from Watch the Birdie, Bless This Meal is so big, it comes in two parts! It’s a supersized meal, I guess, a banquet with many courses. This eleven-minute mini-musical has been staged as a stand-alone work on several occasions. It serves as a kind of centerpiece for Watch The Birdie, just like the dinner table is a center of traditional family life, a place where the family comes together.
Re: Birth, like Baby Talk, was created for the AMTF Festival Cabaret in 1985, the year I became a father, and those songs became the seeds that this show grew from. I imagined Re: Birth as a lullaby invaded by a rap song, a tender moment with an infant son who will inevitably have to “toughen up” to withstand the demands of growing up. Stearns Matthews delivers the tender part and Mike Doherty is on the mic for the tough part in the 2008 PMTW production.
Fifty days! That definitely feels like a milestone! Since launching Project 194, my “blessed event” has had nearly 700 visitors and 2000 page views – things are humming along, and I’m in the midst of a sort of musical “family album,” posting songs from my musical Watch the Birdie, a show which grew out of my own life experiences in all sorts of intriguing ways.
Posting The Maternity Drag means it’s time for me to write about John Mangano, who wrote the lyrics for this particular ditty. First, though, the song…
Baby Talk, the third song in Watch The Birdie, is arguably the song from which the whole show eventually sprang. It was written 30 years ago, at a point in my life where I’d just become a new father, a change in my life that opened my mind and my heart to what would turn out to be a rich vein of personal experience I would explore in many subsequent songs. More details after the track (again, 2008, Philly Music Theater Works) and the lyric, below…
The family album continues to grow on Project 194, with a double dose of Hi, Mom, a song that was originally composed for BGDF but wound up in the various editions of Watch The Birdie. The first track is sung by Alex Keiper in 2008:
This second one’s by Krysta Bernhardt, who performed it in a production that we did in NYC as the senior showcase for UArts MT’s ten years earlier: