Reading Reza Jacobs’ bio is like… well, like reading a rundown of every major show we’ve done in the past two years. As music director of Caroline, or Change and of our yearly UnCovered concerts, we wonder if Reza actually works anywhere else. His musical prowess is second only to his sarcastic wit. Sometimes we think we’ve had enough of him, but we thought we’d share this Triple Threat with you before we let him know that.
(If you’re into awesomely sensitive and overwhelmingly intuitive arrangements, orchestrations and musical direction, you may want to catch Reza’s latest work by seeing our production of Falsettos, opening today.)
What musical will you always remember for its score?
Because I haven’t finished writing it yet – Alexandria [co-written by Andrew Kushnir, and in commission at Acting Up Stage]
What musical will you always remember for its choreography?
In my blue period, i improvised a Wordless Musical based on the life cycle of butterflies.
Full disclosure, I personally don’t remember what the choreography looked like because I was so in it, but everyone i talked to assured me it was “memorable.”
What musical will you always remember for its book/virtuosic acting?
Probably a piece I did in high school about my life so far called My Life So Fa. (All the songs were in F.) When my actors couldn’t get on board with my use of a water cannon to discourage blocking mistakes, I fired them and then I bravely stepped in and played all seven parts. That was the most virtuosic acting I have ever encountered.
You’re on a desert island and you can only bring on cast recording. What is it and why?
This is a hard one! If I have to choose, I guess the cast recording of Puppet Macbeth: THE Musical With Puppets. I do all the vocals and play all the instruments. Some say it’s more enjoyable if you can see the puppets (“The puppets are the only numbing agent in this latest musical toothache from Mr Jacobs”), but I maintain that the cast recording just needs to be played loud enough.
What is your guiltiest pleasure musical?
A little chestnut I wrote called Armageddon High, about a group of school kids who get high on the last day of term, but the world is also ending that same day, but only the science teacher knows it, but he’s really an alien. It’s Dazed and Confused perfectly blended with Independence Day.
And there’s a killer number with Bunsen burners in which the cast literally burns the fourth wall.
It’s a guilty pleasure because honestly for being written in high school it shouldn’t be as good as it is.
What movie would you love to see musicalized?
I’m so glad someone has finally asked me this question! I have a bunch of home videos (or “self-portraits in motion”) that I think would be ideal source material.
Just come see Falsettos. We promise Reza won’t try to talk you.