I’m giving away 10 advance-reader copies of CHAPEL OF EASE

Chapel of Ease, the fourth Tufa novel, won’t officially be out until September. But I have some advance copies to give away right now.

Here’s the official description:

When Matt Johanssen, a young New York actor, auditions for “Chapel of Ease,” an off-Broadway musical, he is instantly charmed by Ray Parrish, the show’s writer and composer. They soon become friends; Matt learns that Ray’s people call themselves the Tufa and that the musical is based on the history of his isolated home town. But there is one question in the show’s script that Ray refuses to answer: what is buried in the ruins of the chapel of ease?

As opening night approaches, strange things begin to happen. A dreadlocked girl follows Ray and spies on him. At the press preview, a strange Tufa woman warns him to stop the show. Then, as the rave reviews arrive, Ray dies in his sleep.

Matt and the cast are distraught, but there’s no question of shutting down: the run quickly sells out. They postpone opening night for a week and Matt volunteers to take Ray’s ashes back to Needsville. He also hopes, while he’s there, to find out more of the real story behind the play and discover the secret that Ray took to his grave.

Matt’s journey into the haunting Appalachian mountains of Cloud County sets him on a dangerous path, where some secrets deserve to stay buried.

So to win one of ten ARCs of Chapel of Ease, tell me about your favorite musical theater bit: a certain song, a specific performance, a great show, anything. Leave that comment here before midnight on Sunday, May 15.

Look forward to reading your choices!

116 Comments on “I’m giving away 10 advance-reader copies of CHAPEL OF EASE”

  1. My favorite musical theater bit was when we went to see Phantom of the opera on our senior trip!
    We got to sit pretty close to the stage. We were actually right below the chandelier and when it started to fall it looked like it was going to fall right on us but then went toward the stage and fell.
    It was something I’ll never forget!

    I really enjoy reading your Tufa series!!!!
    I’ve read all 3 and patiently waiting for the next one to come out!
    LOVE Your work!

  2. I’m a sucker for Memories from Cats. Gets me every time. I love the music from the Camelot as well. I did drama & speech throughout middle & high school both. My senior year I was onstage all but 2 of all the productions we did that year. Loved it and if life had worked out different I’d have had some kind of theater related career. Favorite part I played was my senior year, I played a girl who wanted to be a wrestler & got to do fun bits the entire play. My drama teacher my last two years of high school was awesome & just passed away last week. An amazing woman who inspired many.

  3. Music has always been a huge part of my life. My life has been full of musicals…Disney movies, the sound of music, the phantom of the opera….so I guess my favorite musical theater bit is…my life! I’m always singin’ songs and playin’ music…the Tufa novels are the first set of books to really speak to me on the same level that music does. I even have a Mandolin named Magda <3

  4. “Then, as the rave reviews arrive, Ray dies in his sleep.” … makes me think of the shadow that fell over “Rent” when it previewed and the creator had died of an aneurysm the night before. The cast debated whether to go on with the show, and did. Legend has it that as the last notes faded and the theater went silent, someone in the back of the room said “Thank you, Jonathan Larson!” Every time I see “Rent,” which is my absolute favorite musical, I think “Thank you, Jonathan Larson” at the end of the show …

  5. My favorite musical is Rocky Horror Picture. Because it’s awesome. And fun. And nobody cares which restroom Dr Frank N Furter used.

  6. I love the theater in general, but the Broadway production of The Lion King (in Indianapolis) has been my favorite. I was lucky enough to have an aisle seat and as the show started, and as the cast came down the aisle, I was actually in tears. It was awe inspiring and amazing and you could easily forget that these were people in costumes. I still get goose bumps thinking about it.

  7. My absolute favorite…the opening of ‘The Lion King’. We were fortunate enough to see the first run in Chicago, IL when my daughter was in Show Choir. That piercing opening note left me with goosebumps from head to toe. The stage WAS NOT microphoned at all throughout the entire performance. Breathtaking.

  8. As a Sr. in high school, my journalism class went to NYC. Of course we couldn’t spend a week there without hitting up Broadway. As a little teeny-bopper from a small town (pop. @ 2000) in rural WV, Broadway just blew me away. We saw Les Mis. And oh! The scene when Javier jumps off the bridge! I’d read the playbill and imagined so many hokey things, so when it came and it was so realistic, I literally caught my breath and my tummy went funny/flip-floppy. It felt, for that microsecond, as though I’d actually watched someone fall to their death. It was horrific – then, amazing! When there, at 17, my favorite song had been Castle On A Cloud. As I grew and matured, it became A Little Fall Of Rain.

  9. I remember going to see Rent with my wife and at a peak time “I will be your candle” in the singing, a couple stood up and said, “I didn’t pay to see this.” I thought to myself, you did not pay to hear a musical about stark issues. You expected Annie and got Rent. It was a reminder that sometimes people anticipate musicals to be the same or at least the same formula. Rent was not. From that point, I, along with my wife, selected even more films that tested the waters and support them. It is important for people to see the rich electric and diverse offerings in musical theater. Congrats on the new book.

  10. My favorite theatre experience was about 15 years ago, went with some friends to see Finnegan’s Wake, here in Cleveland. Met some of the cast before the show, the lead male character took one look at me and said “Ach, you’re going to be trouble”! During the show they asked for the audience to call out different occupations, I yelled “proctologist” at which the female lead gave me the most murderous look, found out later the reason for the look she had to perform an improvisational song on the occupation they chose from the audience suggestions, which, of course, turned out to be the proctologist…. it was a HUGE hit! After the show the cast invited us out to dinner with them at the brewery across the street…You have not lived until you have had a drunken dinner with a group of improv actors! Never laughed so hard in my life! Nothing was sacred! Songs were made up about everything. One of the best nights of my life!

  11. My favorite was an outdoor theater production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” in Kansas City, starring David Cassidy. They hired some of the talent from the local university. Some of those kids were very talented!

  12. You know I’d love a copy of Chapel of Ease, but I suppose I have to earn it.

    Years ago, when our elder daughter was studying at Boston University, she was involved in “On Broadway,” the extracurricular drama group. One of their productions was Once On This Island, the story of which takes place in postcolonial Haiti… and one musical number our Melissa performed – “The Human Heart” – was so deeply beautiful and moving that I still get a lump in my throat whenever I think about it.

    I’ve seen plenty of shows on Broadway and elsewhere. I’m old enough to have seen Hair in its original run (Diane Keaton was in the cast then) – and I’ve enjoyed remarkable performances over the years. Sweeney Todd, Evita, Les Misérables, even Nicol Williamson’s Hamlet. But nothing has ever moved me like the song our daughter sang on that Boston stage.

  13. Golly, that’s asking a lot to pick just one. In my teens and twenties, I went to watch the University of Evansville’s theatrical productions regularly. At the time they had one of the best theater departments in the country. It instilled in me a love of broadway musicals that built on my adoration of the movie musicals featuring Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire. In live theater: Pirates of Penzance. Movie musical: On The Town.

  14. Today’s Facebook feed included a story out of the Bronx Zoo, which has devised a genius fundraiser — for a $10 donation, they will name one of their Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches after your ex. Judging by how popular this has been among my friends, I expect them to make a mint. Amongst the evil, gleeful comments, someone brought up “I’ve Got a Little List” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado and, as you can imagine, the revised lyrics started pouring in. It did remind my how much I’ve enjoyed that song over the years. Productions often modify the lyrics to reflect — hilariously — contemporary society and the folks we love to hate. Here’s one from an Opera Australia production: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NLV24qTnlg

  15. Memories from Cats – saw the production at the Fox in Atlanta 25 years ago and my 8 year old son loved the cast running up and down the aisles – and I still hum that tune.

  16. I loved the song Try to Remember from the Fantasticks. And the Rocky Horror Show is one of my favorite stage productions. And, A Chorus Line…Caberet… I can’t pick just one! Oh, Gilbert & Sullivan! Oklahoma! No, don’t make me chose just one!

  17. My favorite bit of musical theater came from my younger years as a theater tech in Jonesboro Ar. The summer musical that year was The Secret Garden. The female lead was sung by Dia Sawyer. Her she was an alto with an ethereal quality to her voice. It was beautiful and haunting, perfect for the ghost of a memory she played. Sometimes the best moments in theater happen in small towns with local talent.

  18. I’m afraid that, to me, the Muppet Show was the finest in musical theater. It had everything: humor, visual creativity, bionic engineering, but they never skimped on the quality of the music itself.

  19. Shall we dance from The King and I. Why? Because music brings people together. No matter what social background, creed, religion or sexual orientation one belongs to. When the music is right no-one can refuse the invitation to dance and have fun.

  20. Lots of musicals I’ve seen and loved but this stayed with me: in college one of my housemates had a minor role in Guys and Dolls and I will always cherish seeing her perform because of the sheer joy she took in it. She lit up the stage. Not the best musical, not the best performance, but the most absolute joy in performing I’ve seen.

  21. The song ‘Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story’ from Hamilton makes me tear up every time I listen to it. My dream is to see the show on Broadway.

  22. My favorite musical theater experiences have been the teo timea I have watched”Wicked”. The music and story are so great and impactful that I even just listening to the songs “Defying Gravity” and “For Good” brings me to tears. I have always been enter fully into the music I listen to and the books I read in a way in which I live more fully in them than any other time. This is the wonder of all the Tufa stories for me; this intersection of stories and songs you have created is truly magical.

  23. I love Sweeney Todd, and there are two moments that I love. One is where, leading into “Have a little priest” Mrs. Lovett attempts to make Todd understand, singing “with the price of meat what it is, when you get it… if you get it…” and a pregnant pause. Todd finally says “Ah!” and Lovett nods “Good, you got it…” Angela Lansbury is my favorite Lovett, and she is *brilliant* with the comedic pause. The other is the sad little scene with Mrs. Lovett and Tobias, when they sing “No one’s gonna hurt you”.

  24. It’s definitely “Cookies” from Jay Goede and Mark Linn-Baker’s “Frog and Toad” (Audio on YouTube at CpqLp72YeDY). My adult daughter (24) and I can spontaneously break into this song at almost any time, particularly if there happen to be any cookies around.

    The most wonderful thing about this, however, is that because your contest inspired me to search the Interwebs, I discovered that the Minneapolis Children’s Theater company (where the play debuted in 2002) is running “Frog and Toad” right now through June! So we’re already making plans to go.

    I look forward to receiving a copy of Chapel of Ease, as I have enjoyed all your Tufa novels. Thank you for the chance!

  25. My favorite musical right now (subject to change lol) is Book of Mormon. The entire show is passive aggressively crass with undertones of vulgarity that are both hilarious and insightful, drawing attention to the underlying hypocrisies of modern religion. Nothing is sacred in this on stage comedy.

  26. I love the Phantom of the Opera, especially the song Music of the Night. I’ve seen Phantom a few times but my favorite was seeing it in London!

  27. Richard Harris as King Arthur in Camelot. Wonderful voice, great music, fine sets, excellent acting, lyrical music. Saw an Atlanta version, with Richard Harris, but with lesser knowns in the rest of the cast. Made no difference, magical.

  28. My favorite musical would have to be The Sound of Music, and I liked playing (as part of band, I was a band geek!) the scores to Phantom of the Opera and Carmina Burana. Folk/bluegrass music is also a fave, anything with a violin in it!

  29. My love is given to The War of the Worlds: the Musical. I have just been to see the stage play twice in London, and Liam Neeson made a fantastic Richard Burton. Plus Michael Praed as the narrator, and one heck of an understudy (Simon Shorten) playing the David Essex-originated Artilleryman.

    …and let us not forget the puppet fighting machines!

  30. My friend picked up the first Tufa novel for me at the library, and I was hooked. Ordered the other two and impatiently waiting for #4. I’d so love to receive an advance copy.

  31. Seeing my 14 year old nephew BLOW AWAY cast, crew and audience with an amazing performance as (and in) Peter Pan. Singing, fighting, FLYING, and all three at once. Amazing night.

  32. When I was in high school, we did a production of SUGAR (some may know this as Some Like It Hot). I was lucky to get a part as the little known girl #2. My sole line was “hey fix my teddy strap”. My second moment on stage was when myself and girl#1 quit the band, and Sugar tells us we wont find another gig. The nuns in their wisdom redacted my one line, so I was stuck with one moment on stage. On opening night, as girl #1 and I walked onstage, ready to perform our flounce, girl #1 kicks up her heel, and her black high heel hit me square in the knee. My shiney moment was dashed to the ground as I limped off stage bleeding through my black stockings. I never stood on stage again.

  33. So my favorite musical bit is the moment in Pippin when the leading player announces Charlemagne as a giant of the bedroom… and everywhere else. The female guard standing right there makes this little motion with her hand to indicate that this he is, in fact, only so-so.

    Pippin. Comedy gold.

  34. I will never not stop flipping channels if I see that Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is on. Jane Powell is gorgeous. Russ Tamblyn is amazing. Howard Keel is, well, Howard Keel. Enough said. And, a young Julie Newmar as Dorcas! How can you not love that show?

  35. My first non-Disney musical experience was in seventh grade music class. My teacher showed us “Oklahoma”. I’ve seen several musicals since, but that one still holds a special place in my heart.

  36. I saw Reba in ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ on Broadway. While I’m not really a country music fan, Reba was born to play that role. She was charming, she played it with ease and she was just all-around fantastic. I’ve seen more Broadway musicals than I can remember but that remains one of the most memorable because of Reba.

  37. I loved Midsummer Night’s Dream. I saw it when I was a teen at a “haunted” century old theater in Rose Valley, PA (Hedgerow Theater). The ambiance and atmosphere made me fall in love with the whole experience.

  38. If it wasn’t for Rocky Horror, I’d have never met my wife. Two of my brother -in-laws were cast members, and I spent 2 years doing Eddie in the local cast. I also went to Columbia College in Chicago, which has a huge theater department. Between 90-93 if there was a major touring company, i saw it for free. Best one had to be seeing Phantom with Crawford in the lead. But I think my favorite bit of musical theater was seeing WARP, the legendary 3-part superhero rock opera as a child. Growing up in a house where the 60’s never happened, it was a real brain changer.

  39. The movie Once is still my favorite musical, although I don’t think of it as a musical so much as a movie about musicians with a lot of music in it. I used to play piano, so Falling Slowly really got me – the lovely but simple piano line and the harmonies are haunting.

    Another good memory was finally seeing Les Mis – it was the film production, because I’m not a huge fan of musicals but go to the movies all the time. I’ve read the novel, and was interested to see how the story would look. The most surprising part was how many of the songs were already familiar to me. But “I Dreamed a Dream” cut at my heart, not only because it’s such a melancholy yet defiant song already, but because Fantine is at such a low point with nothing left to sacrifice.

    Looks like I’m a sucker for songs that are sad yet defiant. 🙂

  40. My most fond memory is being in the chorus of Man of Lamancha. It was the only musical I was ever in. I can’t sing but they needed bodies on stage for the chorus. We got to have costumes from a rental company out of New York and it was a full production.
    My next would be when I did tech for Pirates of Penzance. Building sets, props and having fun with fellow performers gives you a lifetime bond.

  41. my hubby talked me into seeing RENT. wasn’t really interested, but once I saw it I loved it!

  42. The first musical I ever saw was Fiddler on the Roof, when I was a kid and of course that was my favorite for a very long time. I was thrilled to pieces to be able take a class with Patricia Zipprodt who was the costume designer for both the Broadway Play and the Movie. I also go to be one of her assistants (!) for a production of A Flea in her Ear, and also got to do some initial research for Into the Woods, which was being work-shopped then. One of my assignments was to track down as many illustrations of Little Red Riding Hood that I could find.

  43. I’ve been fond of Pirates of Penzance since we performed it in junior high. “Poor Wandering One” is perhaps my favorite song from it.

  44. My favorite musical theatre story… I was playing the bass guitar in the band for a summer camp production of, “Free To Be You and Me.”
    Some friends of mine decided to mess with me by un-tuning my bass. The first number & half of the second were an adventure, to say the least.

  45. Not a big musical guy — always wanted to be, but somehow, I haven’t found the right ones. The first musical recording I owned was the original Man of La Mancha — wore out the tape, I listened to it so much.

    Mandy Patinkin’s version of “Soliloquy” on his first album would probably be the best musical theater song I’ve heard.

  46. Oh, too many to count…but I would say my two favorites both happened in Atlanta about 18 years ago. My boss gave my husband and I tickets to see “Stomp” at the Fabulous Fox. It was amazing. I also got to see “Into The Woods” at a small community theater. Oh, and then there was our anniversary present from my mom to see Cirque du Soleil (sp) in Minneapolis. I can’t remember which show it was but it was transfixing and amazing.

  47. I saw ‘Cats’ in San Francisco in the late 80’s. A friend had an extra ticket last minute when another friend couldn’t make the show. Center stage about 6 or 8 rows from the stage. I was entranced. It’s still my favorite musical.

  48. One of my favorite musicals is a little known one called the Fantasticks. My Dad when I was a little kid was a semi-pro director and directed it in community theater. It was real magic because it was done in a little town called Antioch in Illinois, the Palette, Masque & Lyre theater fondly called PM&L. I learned to love to sing from that play and probably can still sing almost every song 40 years later. I got to go to all the rehearsals.and help out. We were lucky enough to have a Vegas performer on sabbatical who lived in the area and a couple of college theater kids who turned pro later too. Their performance was way better than the movie, a true Broadway level show.

  49. It would be a toss up:
    Either when I was in 4-H, we went to see Guys & Dolls at the Cumberland County Playhouse and they asked Big Jule what he did in Chicago, and he replied he was a 4-H Leader. Brought the house down.
    Or seeing Kellye Cash sing the narrator’s part for Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Trenton’s Nitelite Theater

  50. My daughter and I are listening to the Hamilton soundtrack over and over and over. Can’t wait until tickets go on sale in Chicago!

  51. I took my daughter to see Wicked at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta in 2007 as one of her High School gradation presents. The last number, Defying Gravity, was so good that I was crying. I don’t think Amanda moved a muscle during the entire show, she was so focused. Toss, toss!

  52. There is more time in the daily on going of my life that has a soundtrack than doesn’t. It could be blues, jazz, gospel, bluegrass or what have you— but music is always there. It’s not a Hollywood soundtrack so to speak. I would say more of a cross between Ally McBeal, Beetlejuice, and Dolly Parton and narrated by Irene Ryan. Music— has to move the soul. If it doesn’t it’s just produced drivel. This is where I identify most with the Tufa— that yearning and personal melody that calls one home. I am looking forward to reading this book in the series and finding my tufa roots 🙂
    In the meantime, I’ll be defying gravity and waiting for the orange blossom special while humming some Mahalia Jackson.

  53. Not sure if your giveaway is open to people outside the U.S but I’ll comment anyway. Recently saw a new musical Laila based on a 5th Century Arabian love story which is said to have inspired Shakespeare to write Romeo and Juliet. The musical was so magical and the songs wonderful. Three days on and I’m still on a high from it.

  54. I performed in several musicals in high school and college, including My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, Guys and Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun, and Showboat. When I worked professionally in dinner theater, I was in Oklahoma, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, and Man of La Mancha. My personal favorite role was in Man of La Mancha, in which I played Pedro and got to use a whip. The theater had a drop stage, which lowered onto the center of the theater, with the audience seated on all four sides. Some of them were only a few feet from the edge of the stage. I practiced long and hard to perfect cracking the whip. In the scene where Pedro tries to intimidate Dulcinea by cracking his whip at her, I could usually get gasps and other reactions from the crowd. It was fun! Our male lead was a great singer, and remembering how well he sang “The Impossible Dream” each night can still send chills down my spine.

  55. Mine is “Lil Abner”. In college, I tried out for a play on a dare. Much to my surprise, I was selected to play the villain, Earthquake McGoon, in my first ever play. My courtship of the voluptuous Daisy Mae was fun & funny.

  56. So when I was in Russia my family and I went to go see Jesus Christ Superstar. It was perhaps the most surreal experience I have had in a theater. First, the apostles were all members of a biker gang, wearing leather and such. Peter had a leather duster with flames along the bottom. That was fine but it got stranger. The music was all in Russian but knowing the show I was more than able to follow along. The music was great but man it was nuts. The Pharisees were all dressed in Party Suits, looking like classic Soviet Commissars. Herod was dressed as usual, so nothing odd about that. In the end, Jesus was in leather, on a bike, with Mary Magdalene on back, holding tight as they rode off stage. There is so much about that musical that I can never get out of my head. I had a great time and wished there was film about it.

    The only other musical thing that has been that level was the giant singing head of Lawrence Olivier in the musical Time. That was… different.

  57. The Music Man has one of the greatest concepts in marketing: the think system. You don’t have to practice playing your instrument. You just have to think about practicing. Interestingly, this actually works in tandem with actual practice. But sadly, not by itself. I’ve been in the pit for this musical, watched it numerous times via old style television “streaming,” and pretty much love everything that Meredith Wilson gave us in this sweet treat.

  58. Cinderella with Celeste Holm as the Fairy Godmother. I was 9 years old and all I wanted to do was sing and dance, this made for TV musical enthralled me.

  59. Dirty Dancing, the final scene. or “Fie on Goodness” from Camelot, or just about any from “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”, just about any “Gilbert & Sullivan…yeah, I like musicals

  60. When I was 10, my mother took me to see Les Miserables. I wanted to be the Master of the House ever since. Unfortunately, a crisis of conscious forced me into higher education, where people willing come to get fleeced.

  61. I got to see my very first show on Broadway in March of this year, and you already heard about how much it reminded me of the Tufa because of the mountain setting and bluegrass influences in the music. I loved everything about the show, the music, the atmosphere, the story AND the way it reminded me of another story I love.


  62. I was a theatre/arts management major about a million years ago in college, have seen countless musical productions over the years, and have loved many of them — classic and contemporary alike. However, when “Spamalot” came to the stage, I knew I’d hit the jackpot, because — MONTY PYTHON, and my favorite movie (The Holy Grail) made into a musical! How could you NOT love it? My warped sense of humor and my love of music, combined into one hilarious and well-done package . . .

  63. I am a native St Louisan, so I grew up watching Broadway shows through opera glasses from the free seats at the very back of the outdoor theatre. We had paid tickets for special occasions. I can’t decide whether my favorite 1776 with the original Ben Franklin or the special ballet presentation with Mikhail Baryshnikov or Carousel with a full sized merry go round!

  64. Ah, musical theater! Once upon a time, in the land of High School, we presented ~Annie Get Your Gun~, and the stage crew was working out all of our special effects in rehearsal. That day we finished up building the easy way to show Annie shooting a rooster: mounted the head with a hinge and a string tied to it hanging all the way to the floor. My job was to crawl on my belly across the stage behind some convenient scenery, grab the string, wait for the moment, and pull. We worked out the beats with the actors, talk talk talk, aim, trigger, pull the string. The moment came, I thought, and I yanked the string. It worked a charm. But there was silence in the theater. Then our Annie said “Dang, I am soooooo good, mister, that the rooster died a’fore I even raised my gun!” I lay on the stage laughing so hard, I couldn’t stand up to reset the rooster.

  65. My first experience with a Broadway production was Jesus Christ Superstar. I never saw it on stage but where I grew up the local radio station played the entire production on Good Friday starting at 3:00 pm. it’s a Catholic thing. I knew all the words and sang my heart out.

  66. I live in rural northwest Tennessee so my exposure to musical theater is limited unless it is on television.

  67. When I was small I spent a lot of time with my grandparent during the summer months. We would play and splash in the above ground pool, often times all walking around and around in a circle to create a giant whirlpool and then floating along on various inflateable pool loungers and laughing like lunatics until the current died off. After the pool there was almost inevitably a light supper of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup made with lots of black pepper and cream while we all cuddled up on the ancient pit group sofa with mountains of blankets and pillows in the basement family room to watch old movies and catnap. Once the grown ups would doze off I’d quietly slip in my favorite musical to watch for what was at least the hundred and fiftieth time. Calamity Jane was a fun musical starring Doris Day. It was a happy, high energy movie that was delightfully silly at points, but my 5 year old heart loved it so much. My absolute favorite number in the whole movie is still when Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok sing “The Black Hills of Dakota”. Still to this day (nearly 30 years later) I find myself singing the chorus when my mind wanders and it always makes me feel warm and safe and utterly content like I were snuggled up with my grandparents on those warm summer afternoons.

  68. The only one I have ever seen is my favorite. And not because I went and saw it. As a history major the impact of Les Miserables is stunning. I saw it in high school when a friend of my mother’s offered us the tickets. I was transfixed with story and emotion. I have tried to watch the movies but it’s just not the same. There are others I hope to see but I don’t think they will be able to compare as Les Miserables.

  69. In my freshman year of university, I was a part of the production of CAMELOT. We called it Camel Snot. The sets were garish, the scenery was duly eaten by the actors, and we got to dress in cheap itchy polyester versions of medieval garb that didn’t actually match the 5th century timeframe when Arthur would have actually lived. It was the BEST.

  70. I’ve been involved in music in one form or another for the majority of my life. I’ve always enjoyed listening to music, and even took band in elementary school and played the keyboard. Unfortunately I couldn’t stand the teacher so I dropped that when I got older and never picked it back up again. I did however get involved with a local radio station. I was able listen to a lot of new music, meet a lot of musicians, and even attend many concerts. I was able to spend weekends floating the Boise river with amazing artists after concerts, and even have floor seats to one of my long-time favorite artists, the legendary Yanni.

    All of that fails in comparison to the theater of the mind however. I’ve been a fan of Celtic inspired music for a long time, one of my favorite groups being Tuatha Dea. I was turned on to the Tufa books as a result of their Tufa Tales album. The deep meaning of music to the Tufa, then the Tuatha Dea interpretation, builds an amazing immersion into the story. The best part of this to me is it has inspired me to pick up the guitar and put real effort into learning it. I’ve wanted to do this for several years, and this finally pushed me over the edge.

  71. Raising a vocal major, I’ve sat through a lot of musicals & Operas over the years. But the one that stands bright & shining in my memory is Godspell. Schwartz’s script allowed for the integration of the natural personalities, dialects, & mannerisms of the cast into their characters, so the performance was brilliant with color & passion. It was the first & last musical I’ve seen that felt truly alive!

  72. I grew up with musical theater – watching the class films on TV with my Mom, standing in line for hours in the summer sun to claim our place in the free seats at St. Louis’ Muny Theater. Mom and I never missed an opening night in my high school days, and I had the great fortune to see many legendary performers – sadly, often in their twilight years – Richard Haris as King Arthur, Topol and Zero Mostel as Tevye, Rex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins…

    With all these amazing memories, one still stands head and shoulders above them all. In November of 1989 my fiance and I attended a performance of “Chess” at the Fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis. At the intermission, the house lights came up and the theater manager stepped out on stage to make an announcement; “Ladies and Gentleman, the Berlin Wall has fallen.”. Cold War chess and politics played out on the stage that night – in music and in hammer blows, a truly memorable evening!

  73. My high school did Jesus Christ, Superstar! my senior year. I wasn’t involved, but a lot of friends were, both cast and crew. It was such an interesting perspective being on the periphery like that–I got to see tons of what went into preparing for the show, and then got to see the final product from the audience, and really appreiated the magic of it all.

  74. I have so many musicals I would not know where to start.
    Rent and Fiddler on the Roof get to me –
    But hands down, “I’ll Cover You” from Rent and “Do You Love Me” from Fiddler on the Roof.
    Oh boy… When will YOUR books be made into a movie?
    Because Tuatha Dea totally gets the essence of your stories!

  75. Wwicked, Defy Gravity. I could listen to that song all day everyday and still find it meaningful.

  76. Honestly, I’m not a musical theatre person, although I love music and play several instruments. I do know the lyrics to a huge number of older musicals due to a middle school chorus teacher who loved musicals. And there was that 1970s kid experience of the church production of Jesus Christ, Superstar. Yeah, I didn’t sing; I ran lights. But I love the Tufa books, and I’d love to win a copy of the new book!

  77. My two favorite musicals that I’ve been able to see live are Wicked and, most recently, Mamma Mia! Both of these productions kept me enthralled, so much so that my analytical ooh-look-at-how-they-moved-the-lights-to-emphasize-something mind never kicked in. (It’s a holdover from working the lights in college a couple of times.) There’s nothing quite like getting completely wrapped up in a well done story that carries you along from song to song. Now, as for a favored “bit”, I will say that I really enjoyed how the cast of Mamma Mia! punctuated a solo not only with with their voices but with humorous silhouetted shapes and movements. It was an excellent combination of sound and visuals.

  78. Phantom of the Opera: “Softly, deftly, music shall caress you. Hear it, feel it, secretly possess you.” ‘Nuff said.

    …oh, and I’m going through serious Tufa withdrawals!

  79. i grew up watching and listening to Rogers and Hammerstien musicals. oklahoma, fiddler on the roof, the king and i ,when my step son auditioned for the off Broadway production of Oklahoma at The Dixie in Huntingdon, Tn. i think that was my favorite . Community Theater is as close as i have ever been . i still listen to all kinds of music and i love the Tufa books

  80. Oh dear…I have 4. In no particular order…
    *When I played Mrs. Popper in a musical of “Mr Popper’s Penguins”, a children’s theatre production of 40 kids & 2 adults. The music I got to sing was so inventive, in all sorts of styles. I worked my tail off but felt like a star.
    *A 1890s Music Hall production where I met my husband. I got to sing “The Face on the Barroom Floor”, wear a crazy corset *and* I got the guy!
    *The movie “Mary Poppins”. What a glorious score and what a timeless story. “Poppins” was the first movie I ever saw in a theater and I loved it. Then when my daughter was little I was hesitant about seeing it again, wondering if it had held up to the passage of time, you know? I shouldn’t have worried…it was even better than I remembered, worthy of every award it received and more. What a magnificent movie.
    *”Rocky Horror Picture Show”. I can still sing almost that entire score by heart and remember with glee getting all the gear together to go to the Saturday late-night showings at the local theatre and be a real participant. For a movie. With a theatre full of people like me.
    *And I left out “Carnival”, “Godspell”, “Hair”, seeing revivals of “Whistle Down the Wind” and “West Side Story” in their pre-Broadway tryouts, the movie “Dirty Dancing”, almost everything by Rodgers & Hammerstein, Rodgers & Hart, Meredith Wilson. Ok, I’ll stop now.

  81. Well, my favorite recorded musicals that I saw were The Young Frankenstein and Rocky Horror Picture Show. They have aged well.

    However, I went to a small liberal arts college in Alabama where I saw many live plays and got hooked on them. We had a respected theater department, and admission was free to students. It was a revelation to me.

    I got involved in working on the plays through College Night, our homecoming celebration. Instead of a football game at homecoming, we had teams – the Golds and the Purples – who put on plays for three nights running. Everything was written, composed, designed, and performed by the students – the screenplay, music, acting, dancing, singing, choreography, light design, sets – all of it.

    The plays were judged by a panel of theater professionals and the winner announced on the last night. It was a whole lot of fun working on those plays (I was a Purple), and to this day I think they were some of the best plays I’ve ever seen. I wish I could remember the titles but I can’t. Although I can still sing some of the songs and remember some of the lines.

  82. My favorite play is “The Three Penny Opera”.which I got to see in the round. A very long time ago{50 years or so} matinee plays during the week were really inexpensive.In the San Francisco Bay area there were many small play houses as well as the ACT{American Conservatory Theater}.My favorite scene is The Cat House at Wapping and of course,the song,”Mack the Knife”.The Tufa series is one of my favorite story lines;having read the first three novels,I’m looking forward to the “The Chapel of Ease”.I’m also looking forward to the next Eddie LaCrosse novel!I love the way the Tuatha Dea band shows up at the end of “Long Black Curl”.They are a breath of fresh air ,in a music scene that seems to empahasize main stream pop music with little real innovation.The videos on their web site are as excellent as their music.Loved the Welcome to Rock City sign outside the barn, just like in the novel. Please keep on keepin on with your writing!

  83. I must say I love musicals There are the popular ones that are always good like Cats and Les Miserable, But my all time favorite is Thoroughly Modern Millie.

  84. I watched the musical Annie at least a hundred times growing up, and I could probably sing most of the songs today. Like everyone else on the planet, life as been very hard at times, and each of the songs from this musical reminds me that tomorrow might be a better day. That said, Tomorrow is my favorite song from this production.

  85. This may not be favorite, but definitely the most memorable for me as a freshly graduated high school student. I was the assistant director for summer stock theater in my home town. We were performing a musical called “Company”. The summer theater was doing musicals from the 60’s and 70’s all summer. At that time in life, I was more a fan of Phantom, Les Miz, Cats, Camelot, Evita, etc.

    I learned a lot working with the director, I learned I was still a child in most ways too, and the world (even in my small town) was big …and most of all… I learned never to fall on the box of balloons.

    I had to double as the props person on the last of the show. It was windy and the box of helium balloons was near the bottom of the stage for the big finale. So I tripped on the box of balloons while I was scurrying around the front of the stage, falling flat on my face and releasing the entire box of helium balloons way before the finale while a confused crowd watched a small, dark haired girl trying to wrestle the last sad balloon back into the box, a if that somehow mattered at that point, as the rest all flew into the sky.

    To this day I have a wee bit of anxiety if I think of the lyrics: Bobby… Bobby. … Phone rings, Door chimes, In comes…. Company! No strings, Good times, Room hums, etc. Makes me chuckle really.

    I love music of all kinds and I whistle everything from Broadway musicals to Beethoven. I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miz is probably my favorite musical song. Because it represents so many lost chances and grieving for all of us. It resonates with everyone in some way. It shows the true reality of life that we don’t get to win every time and have things go our way, and as sad as that is, that’s still okay because that’s the truth and the bones of life.

  86. “I’m not that girl,” from WICKED is a favorite. It made me cry. There was so much emotion in it. I was in a hard place in my life. Now, life is so much better. The song reminds me how far I’ve come.

  87. I was playing Mrs MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie in high school. The kid who was supposed to sing”Kids” with Mr MacAfee got laryngitis (it couldn’t have happened to a nicer fellow) and I had to step in to sing the part, no rehearsal.
    Nailed it.
    My one and only musical theater story.

    Anyway, don’t forget about your public radio friends who’d love to read and talk about your book!

  88. Diana and I saw Richard Harris in Cameot and had seats good enough to make encouraging (yet non-creepy or distracting) eye contact with him.

  89. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a musical theater production. The closest I’ve come is performing a medley from famous shows in high school choir each year. My favorite was Les Miserables.

  90. I have always loved musicals and theater. And all your books look so interesting. I would love to get your book.

  91. My favorite has always been Sounds of Music, I know, kindof lame, but I loved seeing it every year. Can’t wait to read your new book!

  92. My favorite musical is “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. I got to see this several years ago when it was at TPAC in Nashville. I love the variety of music Andrew Lloyd Webber incorporated into this. My favorite is “Song of the King” performed by an Elvis – style Pharaoh.

  93. In the early 1980s my high school took a bus to Chicago for my first live professional show. I can still remember seeing Richard Burton on stage for the first time singing “I Wonder What the King Is Doing Tonight”

  94. The What Shall We Do Now song from Pink Floyd The Wall. The album came out we I was young and impressionable. There is something about the way the artist had two flowers doing the erotic things they did I will never forget. And if I am going to have to admit to watching a musical so I can get to read a first draft of one of your immensely entertaining novels it will have to be rock and roll. Thank you.

  95. My favorite musical theater moment was when my daughter (about 12) and her little brother (about 3) recorded “My Favorite Things” for me as a gift.

  96. I haven’t seen a lot of live music theater, but my favorite has to be The Mikado and the executioners song, just priceless! The whole play was awesome. It was done on a shoestring in an amphitheater, with the Portland Rose Garden a backdrop and the costumes, well they looked like they came from the set of Oklahoma… which made the experience even more endearingfor me.

    Oh and I just love the Tuffa… so getting the 4th book would be fantastic and I’d be sure to post a review as soon as I had permission. ..

  97. Nothing has ever haunted me like “Dark of the Moon” which I saw my 16th summer at the outdoor amphitheater that the Univ. of Tennessee used to own in Gatlinburg,TN. (Called Hunter Hills.) The backdrop was truly the Smoky Mountains and that was the first time I ever heard “Barbry Allan” performed on stage. Just hearing the title phrase later would evoke such deep, unexplainable longings. . . I have been lucky enough to see several Broadway musicals, and after my family moved to Miami, Florida I bought myself season tickets to the Theater of Performing Arts when I was just 17. . . mostly because I’d learned that my (Mountain-born) parents refused to register to vote as they were petrified they’d be called for jury duty and have to drive downtown. . . so I boldy drove alone to Miami Beach once a month to feed my courage and culture, yet never have any shows touched me like seeing “Dark of the Moon” on a misty night in the Smokies.
    Apparently it did have a 10-month run on Broadway in 1945, but this is one instance where I’m sure what I experienced was superior to Broadway. And after reading the Wikipedia descript I think it should be included in a future Tufa volume! Set “ in the Smoky Mountains, it recounts the story of John, a strange “witch boy” who upon first beholding the beautiful Barbara Allen immediately falls in love. He is given human form to woo and marry her on the condition that she remain true to him. The marriage is consummated and Barbara gives birth to a witch child whom the townspeople destroy in a superstitious frenzy. During a religious revival Barbara is led to betray John thus breaking their spell of love. As she dies, he returns forever to the world of the mountain witches. “ I suspect it’s also why I devoured all 3 Tufa books last summer, and my Melungeon blood hungers for more!

  98. My favorite song from a musical… How can I possibly choose a favorite? It all depends on the phase of the moon as it passes it’s zenith over the plains of Abraham on the solstice of the year… Never mind. I’ll just drop a few song titles on y’all, and some of ’em are Extremely Weird/Obscure!
    One Love (Phantom of the Paradise)
    Poor Jud is Dead (Oklahoma)
    The First Thing You Know (Paint Your Wagon)
    Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man? (My Fair Lady)
    Sobbin’ Women (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers)

    As a end-cap, I’ll tell You My least favorite song from a musical:
    I Talk to the Trees, from Paint Your Wagon. This is a painful song to me, as it sits in the middle of my Most Favorite musical of all time, but lets face it, Clint Eastwood’s singing is Awful w/o having any endearing qualities to rescue it!

  99. Musical theater hasn’t been a big part of my experience but I did love The King and I movie and the sound of music. I love all your tufa books and look forward to the next one 😉

  100. The Lion King – Hakuna Matata
    Is my favorite broadway song because sometimes you just have to let everything go.

  101. My parents adored theatre, both musical and straight shows, so it’s no surprise that when I headed off to college, I studied theatre. I never worked as an actress but I did snare a wonderful technical director. When we were young he was working at Berea Summer Theatre. They did Caberet. During the final Willkommen, Nazi flags dropped over the audience. It was chilling. We were a little concerned about how my dad (who spent time in Dachau) would react but he felt it was very authentic.

  102. I know I’m past date. Just finished The Hum and the Shiver. Loved it. As for musical theatre, West Side Story has always been my favorite. (I sing and teach middle school chorus.) My daughter (whose birthday was Sunday) is a big fan of Phantom of the Opera. Looking forward to the rest of the books!

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