Next Time Try Something Besides Show Tunes

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is always good for a smile and the 10/28/2009 show was no exception. Toward the beginning of the program, Stewart examined how “liberal protesters sing show tunes to pressure Harry Reid into putting the public option back into health care reform.” The segment includes a few clips from the actual protest where the protesters use music from Annie with their own lyrics to disrupt a health insurance convention…

150x150-ITA-GUY-012Stewart goes on to poke fun at the event with his own protest rendition of The Trolley Song (funny stuff) but it got me thinking about the potential impact if protesters opted for something besides show tunes. Sure, show tunes are catchy but if you really want to shake them to the core with some poignant (and pointed) selections, perhaps Kindertotenlieder is the way to go. Or if you take the opera route, how about a serenade to death panels with something from The Dialogues of the Carmelites?

What do you think would work?

Here’s a clip of the segment (the singing starts around 1:12):

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About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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