Saturday, April 07, 2007

Songwriters in Round pilot shoot at Scottish Rite Temple: tons of lights, cameras, personnel, sharp guests; more Sat night, Ap 7, at 7:30pm

Scottish Rite Temple, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
The banter between stars being recorded for Songwriters in the Rounds' TV pilot, Secrets of the Heart, was amenable. Pam Tillis: "Mighty fast picking going on there, Michael Murphey!" Murphey's response," Oh well. That's just so I can cover the fact that I lifted a chord sequence from the Beatles!" Playing and singing a line from the Beatles' Eight Days a Week, he elicited applause and sympathetic laughter.

None of the singers gave much away in regards secrets of the heart in the opening round. Tillis got the idea for her song from channel surfing in a hotel room and watching a Gerlado Rivera bit. Murphey said "My songs are entirely straightforward; self-explanatory." Canadian Ron Sexsmith offered an arch explanation for his songwriting: "I have a habit of writing songs for dead singers." He has written a number of them "for Bing Crosby." Sexsmith then sang a charmer he wrote, " for Buddy Holly."

Most impressive in the Friday night taping was the number of cameras employed - including one on a magnificent boom - and lights deployed. There were back lights, side lights, key lights, accent lights and even a rim of light around the first balcony.

The Scottish Rite Temple - so close in appearance and feel to the Strand Theater - seemed like a natural for such an event. Parking across the street in an open area adjacent to the Common Street overpass was adequate if seemingly catch-as-catch-can. Might there be signage or an employee added to clarify acceptable parking in the future?

Looks like the Scottish Rite Temple, for many years a specialty facility, has come into its own as a broader-use site. Next month the River City Repertory Theater will stage Glass Menagerie, featuring Tony award winning Donna McKechnie, in the sumptuous theater.

See more on the Songwriters' show at SptBlog and at the Times.

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