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First-Year To Compose Pudding Show

By Daniel B. Holoch, Contributing Writer

Benjamin E. Green ’06 will compose the music for the 155th production of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ (HPT) annual drag extravaganza, the company announced yesterday.

Green was chosen from among a group of about a dozen candidates, who were given lyrics for five songs in September and challenged to design melodies.

After the month-long audition process, which consisted of several weekly meetings, six finalists remained. Their tunes were performed by singers and pianists to an audience of professional composers.

The group’s executive board picked out Green’s music as the best for HPT 155, entitled It’s a Wonderful Afterlife.

“Ben brought in a cohesive, exciting tune,” said Warren S. Adler ’03, Pudding vice president for the band. “The professionals agreed that he wrote a top-notch composition. We are all excited to watch him write the rest of the score.”

Green, a Weld Hall resident originally from Newton, Mass., took up classical composition a few years ago. He said he enjoyed the change of writing jazz for the Pudding’s production.

“It’s my first time writing for a show,” he said.

For inspiration, Green said he listened to a recording of last year’s production.

A professional orchestrator will use his melodies and chords to plan the textures and sounds of the accompaniment.

Once tentatively titled To Heaven Have Not, this year’s production was written by Will Aronson ’04 and Ben St. Clair ’04. The play features the struggle of the inhabitants of Heaven, Hell and Limbo to save their beloved hereafter from the malicious Land Lord, who threatens general destruction if he is not paid his dues by the week’s end.

“Everyone who’s read the show agrees that it’s the funniest show produced in the last few years,” said Adler, who is also a Crimson editor.

The play is scheduled to be performed in the HPT’s clubhouse from Feb. 13 to March 16, and in New York and Bermuda during spring break.

“We have a great pool of talent for this year’s production,” said press manager Joanna O’Leary. “One of the writers [Aronson] is a former composer, and Ben is very talented. This show has great musical promise.”

The Hasty Pudding Theatricals is the oldest theatre company in North America, and has been producing student-written shows since the 1860s.

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