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New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York’s theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we’re passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.

Written by Auriane Desombre, Spring 2017 Communications Apprentice

The New Victory Theater prides itself on its interactive activities and enriching programs for kids and their families. However, it's rare that we get to see kids performing up on our stage. This season is the exception with 26 kids under the age of fourteen taking their bows in Aging Magician! Narrating the opera-theater work, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus joins Harold onstage as he reflects on his unusual life. Giving us the inside scoop are two members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Mariana (12) and Andrei (13).

Mariana"Aging Magician—it's complicated." Mariana says. "It's about this man who has a heart attack on the subway, and throughout the show he goes between being in reality, and being in a story he is writing. He remembers things from his childhood and rediscovers the magic of his life. There are so many different aspects to discover."

"It fills me with a sense of both melancholy and joy since it's a very profound piece," Andrei tells us. "It’s a beautiful piece of music that combines songs with theater and even puppetry to illustrate a man reflecting on his life, memories and aspirations."

Mariana wholeheartedly agrees, "It's just an amazing show that I love a lot."

Joining the show as part of the chorus comes with a lot of challenges, and requires a whole new way of thinking about your performance. "When you're working in an ensemble, you always feel that you have to be more reliable," Andrei says. "You not only think about if what you’re doing will help you, but how will it affect the larger ensemble." Of course, as members of a chorus dedicated to artistic innovation, these performers are more than up to the task.

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus has been working on Aging Magician for three years, so bringing the show to life has been a long process. Being a part of that creative journey can be the most rewarding part of the performance, though. As Mariana says, there's nothing like seeing the results of your creativity coming together to make you feel inspired.

Andrei"I feel like the show is a puppet in itself. You're putting it together, creating its personality, and creating the way that it moves and speaks," Mariana explains. "The way we do that makes me feel like I have a part in that 'puppet' and its way of life."

Taking that "puppet" and performing in front of a live audience might sound daunting to many, but Mariana and Andrei feel right at home onstage. "The stage is like a home away from home,” Mariana says. "It just brings a familiar feeling to me that I love."

The New Victory stage certainly feels like home to Andrei. When he saw a show at the New Vic for the first time, he was so enthralled by the performance that he told his dad,  "Wow, I'd really like to do that when I grow up!" Andrei is thrilled to be living out his dream on the New Vic stage, where he was first inspired to become a performer.

For Mariana, the New Vic stage comes with another ingredient—the audience. "The fact that we’re performing for kids that look up to us makes it even better. To see the wonder on their faces—I can't wait."

Neither can we! Come see Aging Magician next week to catch Mariana, Andrei, and the rest of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus in action on the New Vic stage.
 
 
New Victory Thumb Auriane Desombre studies English at NYU, where she's wrapping up her senior year with an honors thesis. Outside of her classes, she reviews theater for Stagebuddy, and has written for Cracked and Urbanette. Her favorite writing collaboration thus far, though, would be the time Lin-Manuel Miranda replied to one of her tweets.

In the story of The Pied Piper, the melodies of a mysterious stranger have the ability to hypnotize his listeners, first rats and later children! The hypnotic power of music is not just the stuff of fairy tales, though. As any music-lover can attest, it's easy to get lost in a great song. Our musical tastes may all be different, but we can all agree that there are some songs so delightful, so infectious, that we'd be content to leave them on repeat all day long.


 
So, in honor of The Pied Piper's irresistible tunes, we asked our staff to contribute their favorite earworms. Take a listen below, and learn more about what makes each song so alluring to its adorer!
 

One of my favorite songs to listen to is "Þú Ert Jörðin" (Icelandic for "You are the earth") by Ólafur Arnalds. I'm drawn to this song because it always seems to change its shape depending on what mood or setting I'm in. If I'm stressed, it calms me. If I'm sad, it comforts me. If I'm tired, it lulls me to sleep and if I'm happy, it only adds to my euphoric state. It's truly one of the most beautiful, mesmeric compositions I've ever listened to. – Christopher Ritz-Totten, Public Relations Associate

One song that has had me under its spell for years is "Folkloric Feel" by Apostle of Hustle. It has an usual rhythm that shifts halfway through and a peculiar mix of sounds that make me feel like I'm both marching forward and jumping in place. Even though it's a seven-plus-minute song, I'm always waiting for it to keep going! – Zack Ramadan, Digital Marketing Associate

 

I have a million of these, but the most recent ones that I have on constant replay are "Fool for Love" by Lord Huron and "Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel. They both have an alt-folk feel, with bouncy melodies that I love. – Melinda Berk, Director of New Victory Operations

Tough decision! One song I can listen to repeatedly is "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" by The Arrogant Worms.  The sea shanty energy gets me moving any time I listen to it, but the bottom line is that I never tire of hearing a farmer-turned-pirate sing about his adventures "stealing wheat and barley and all the other grains." – Kali DiPippo, Assistant Director of Artistic Programming

I love "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." I love how it can go on and on, and I love the message of moving forward gently and being carried, too. – Melissa Kalt, Senior Manager, Individual Giving

I'm such a big music lover that it's very hard to pick just one song that's rested in my head. I spend much of my day humming one song or another to myself. Carly Simon's "Legend in Your Own Time" is one that often ends up at the fringes of my brain, and then there's always Janis Joplin's version of "Bobby McGee".  In my head, I hear my voice singing these songs flawlessly, even though in real life, I'm usually quite off key! – Alice Arias, Controller

There is something about the pacing of "Angel from Montgomery" by Bonnie Raitt that sets a new rhythm for my breathing. When I am not feeling all that peppy, it feels almost meditative. – Lindsey Buller Maliekel, Director of Education / Public Engagement

I've been really into this band called Hiatus Kaiyote lately. I'm really into jazz-inspired music, and "Nakamarra" by Haitus Kaiyote is my favorite song of theirs. It has a great mix of jazzy, soulful, smooth vocals by the lead female singer and a nice constant upbeat rhythm by the drums and bass guitar. – Tionge Johnson, Spring 2016 Development Apprentice

I'm a huge Kylie Minogue fan. "Get Outta My Way" became my hypnotic earworm because, when I really need to get my art focus on, I find myself listening to the same song on repeat. It helps me focus! And this song just blends into hours of focusing. – Katie Diamond, Marketing & Design Associate

Oh my gosh! "Rhythm Divine" by Enrique Iglesias never gets old. The music itself is transcending—listening to it, I can picture myself dancing in an open air café lit by twinkling lights by the ocean! – Rhesa Richards, Assistant to the Executive VP and VP, Operations

 


 

So what song puts a spell on you? Let us know in the comments below, and don't miss Milan's famed Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company's THE PIED PIPER, at the New Vic through May 15.
Posted by Zack Ramadan
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