Karen and I flew home to Los Angeles and began to prepare for our return trip to New York, where we would present our show to investors and producers. We had plenty to do to keep us busy and stave off the nerves: there were invitations to send, rewrites of the book (hearing auditions helped us realize some changes to be made), and new music to arrange. We brought on guitar virtuoso Laurence Juber, of Paul McCartney and Wings fame, to work with Victor on several songs that were guitar-driven, and the results with these two were breathtaking. The musical interpretations of our story and Dan’s songs was one of the great creative experiences of our lives. What a gift to work with such musical masters. Then, of course, there was the matter of selecting a location for our two showcase performances. We settled on St. Luke’s Theatre in the heart of Broadway’s theatre district. We’d seen another staged reading there that our director had put up in the Spring. It’s a real theatre, on a great street, and we were thrilled.
We arrived back in New York at the end of October and settled in for a week of rehearsals at Ripley-Grier Studios, which was beginning to feel like home away from home. The rehearsal process was extraordinary. To watch Lynne and Michael collaborate was a humbling experience because they are so, so good. There is nothing like seeing seasoned professionals at work; to know they understand the heart of the story and communicate it to the actors so beautifully. Creative ideas were flowing, rewrites were happening on the fly, and music was being further shaped and enhanced. Michael added his own magic, and put together a band! There are never enough hours for rehearsals, but after 29-hours with our actors, the equity maximum allowed, it was curtain up!
“Part of the Plan” played to packed houses and received standing ovations for both shows! After the second performance, Warren threw us a cast party at E&E Grill, and we could barely keep our feet on the ground. The show just seems to get better and better. So many of the audience were blown away, asking us “What do you need?” and “How can we help?” That was exactly the purpose of this adventure. Once again, Dan was smiling down on us.
That brings us to today. Over the last few weeks, Karen and I have formed our own production company, and with a shout-out to our lovely friend and kind supporter, Lesley Hamer, we’ve named it K-Squared Entertainment. (Get it? Kate…Karen…K-Squared? Wait’ll we unveil the logo!) We are also forming a company called Part of the Plan, LLC that will allow us, along with partners and investors, to raise the capital we need to workshop and then mount our first commercial production!!! And, of course, there’s the seemingly endless prospect of rewrites and polishes to make Part of the Plan the best it can be.
With the help of the Dan Fogelberg Foundation (thank you Deb Jelinek and Eric Mills), we have cross-referenced the U.S. cities where the majority of “Dan Fans” reside, along with large baby boomer populations (the primary theatre-going audience), and have come up with our own list of cities in which “Part of the Plan” could potentially premiere! We are hoping that our next blog posting will announce a full production of “Part of the Plan” at a live theatre near you. If you have thoughts on where that might be, reach out and let us know! Ever On!!!
- Kate Atkinson