As Composer Chandler: 2 Staged Musicals So Far
CHAMELEON CHANDLER has many OLD REEL-TO-REEL RAW DEMO TAPES. Daily, I am finding more DRAFTS, too. This website has become a SONG REPOSITORY, of sorts. From tape to computer… another leg of a song’s journey. May it bring us… more EGGHEADS (read: musicians, singers, etc.) Wish me luck … with this tech stuff… it’s tough. Why? I am my own teacher. Signed, “Student Liz” aka “Mrs. Dennis”. May 2022
And what will TOMORROW bring? Barbra? To explain… it was always a DREAM of Dennis’… and STILL is… to work with “The Great Streisand”.
Dennis was working on one particular song… to be done as a duet… for the famed songbird to sing with a partner. He thought perhaps for her and her husband, James Brolin? Let me explain… Dennis was arranging HIS music for THEM… while sitting with HER… under a tree. BUT… IT WAS ALL IN A DREAM. When was that first vision? In 1987 when he began his first rounds of… then-newly-researched… fresh-out-of-FDA… chemotherapy treatments for cancer. Those and subsquente rounds brought his battle with LEUKEMIA-Type AML… to a VICTORIOUS end. Life began anew and so did Dennis’ dreams.
“Let Me Be Your Song”: This song got a GOOD GRADE and RAVE REVIEW… from some other ICONIC creative-types. It was when the great GAMBLE & HUFF were holding SONGWRITING SEMINARS in NYC. The LEGENDS from the label called THE SOUNDS OF PHILY… were conducting classes for composers. There they GAVE A RAVE REVIEW. We never did get to follow up with those fine folks from Philly. Why? Health hurdles. So albeit belatedly, I’m posting that CRITIQUE from PRODUCERS GAMBLE & HUFF. (By the way, these notes I only just found while de-cluttering Dennis’ files).
The lyrics were written by the two of us (LC & DC). Music by Composer Chandler. Instrumentation… arranged, produced and recorded by musician-composer DC. The melodious vocals are by Melissa Barber. Click on the title to hear the song.
Plus… she may relate to a song from the play “Just We Two”. It is a lament from daughter to father. (It is reprised down below).
Oh, would that Composer Chandler’s songs be heard by her. She would love them, I believe. Thus, I ask the Universe, ” From our lips to G_d’s ears!”… or… at the very least, Barbra Streisand’s ear. It could happen, no?
Now back to about two plays… that Chameleon Chandler wrote the music for. One was “Just We Two”… book and lyrics by playwright Larry Brenner. The other was “Ruling Passion – A Musical Comedy About Richard III”… book and lyrics by Deborah Osment Ryan, now of Blessed Memory. (There’s more info on a dedicated webpage listed UP above… with some mentions about it… WAY below.).
(May 2022: I am awaiting our bandwith to be bumped up… to take the twenty-five minute track of DC doin’ his thing… STREAM-of-CONSCIOUSNESS-KEYBOARD-PLAYING.)
But, for NOW… listen and look at “Just We Two” … below are a few of VOCALIZED songs. MANY OTHERS NEED VOCALS added. (Any volunteers?) Opening number is here as an INSTRUMENTAL (vocals will be added).
In Blessed Memory of Steven Sterlekar. Sadly, he did not live to see the play’s first staging. In our “GooGoo’s Maltshop”… one can see the writing on the wall (of the phone booth). Steven signed the following message … Some deem his writing is difficult to deciper… but he wrote: “Dennis, don’t forget me! Because one day my name will be in lights!” Well, his name might not be in lights down here on Earth… but his beautiful tenor voice is Up there… in G_d’s Cyberspace.
Hear him now… doing a duet with the talented singer, Melissa Barber. Both were kind enough to do demos of several songs (and we thank them). One song is titled, “I Remember the Days (Time)”. In this time of pandemic… one may find the lyrics particularly poignant. They sing,“Time doesn’t heal… it just ticks away…” …“No one can tell me that I’ll laugh again… though I’ve stopped crying… I still think of then”… “Chimes of what might have lived… till this day… If time would have stopped… that day”. In my head I hear, “Though I’ve stopped crying… I’ll still think of then”. See, we haven’t forgotten you, dear Steven.
Again this song is a lament sung by a daughter to her father. I dedicate the photo collage… to my late father. He made me believe… that wishes can come true.
The next photo collage is dedicated to my big brother… thanks for being there for us.
Dennis Chandler’s Dedication
Musician Chandler has had a crazy quilt of life experiences. But, it is why he feels blessed to be able to make ALL the music he loves and in the VARIOUS styles that he loves. That’s due, in no small part, to the following folks he met along his way in the world.
First, as a very young performer in the schoolyards of Cleveland… Dennis was taught stage presence, blocking and entertaining-in-general by coach and mentor Arlene Blank Rich. “The Ed-U-Tainer”… feels he owes it all to her… this enjoyment of “Educating While Entertaining”.
Bandleader Chandler gives credit also to Arlene’s husband Berni Rich for the strong foundation he helped provide. Early on, Dennis learned how to sense what a crowd might want to hear… and if it turned its interest in another direction… how to get that audience’s attention back… to about the music.
BTW: Berni Rich was the famed local photographer who was the first to take pictures of Barbra Streisand during her early days of performing!
Another photo of “The Great Streisand” that is on OUR VISION BOARD …
Speaking of inspiring musical mentors… the backstory of how Dennis met these two Marvin Mavens… is fleshed out on the web page titled “Marvin Hamlisch, Mina Kulber and Me”.
But, back to ’bout the stage play’s music: Talk ‘ bout hearing things, “I’ll try it out on my audiences”, Dennis thought. So he did… at one of his “Masters of Melody” performances at Wiggins Place. They loved it. By the way… for over 15 years Dennis had the pleasure of playing piano there and all around the Menorah Campus. But, the Covid pandemic caused numerous lockdowns… thus preventing live performances to continue… until recently. He says to return to a place he calls his “second home”… both delights and saddens him. Why? Many of whom he considered mispocha (extended family)… are gone. But, based on his most recent playing engagements there… he has been told he now has new mispocha… to make music for.
Composer Chandler as Pianist Dennis was again asked to do some of his own original music (from these two stage plays). What happened? It was mutually… musically… quite enjoyable, they said. Why? Those residents in attendance at the time he tried out his theatrical numbers… were real theatergoers (to the Umpteenth power). How so?