Tor and Lisa are having an upcoming show at 54 Below and is starring Brandon Victor Dixon who was in ” The Color Purple” Motown The Musical” The “Scottsboro Boys” and is going to be in “Shuffle Along with Audra McDonald this Spring.
Some questions for Tor and Lisa:
Broadway Showbiz: What is the vision for this showcase and what are you hoping to achieve?
Tor and Lisa: This is our “coming out” party as musical theater composer/lyricists. We both reinvented our lives mid-way through and, now that we finally have an agent, we are looking to get noticed by the industry. Reinvention isn’t easy, but writing songs is what makes our hearts sing. We are hoping the industry will embrace us and commission us for works that are bound to the stage and/or be interested in producing our original work. We have several projects we are looking to develop; Stealing Time (www.stealingtimemusical.com), the story of a woman who sets out to have an affair and accidentally falls in love, Auburn the Musical, a story of about the revitalization of a town through the power of musical theater and a new project we’ve just started writing with John Cariani (Something Rotten, Almost Maine) based on the book, The Complete Manual of Things That Might Kill You (www.torandlisa.com).
Broadway Showbiz: What’s is your typical writing process like? Do you work collaboratively? Where do you draw inspiration from?
Tor and Lisa: Thanks to the advice of John Cariani, we approach a writing session like we only have two minutes to write. We sit down and see what happens. If something comes, we keep going. If it doesn’t, we dig a little deeper, but we don’t force the process because then we get frustrated and nothing good can come from that. Besides, we are also a couple, so we have to strike a good balance between work and play. The best of all worlds is when they come together, when we are in a joyous space physically, creatively, and spiritually. When we’re really getting down, writing-wise that is, we typically outline the narrative and action of a song and then sit down at the piano to lyricize it. Most often, Tor starts a riff, or a vamp and Lisa’s voice soars over it until we find our way in. We draw inspiration largely from our experience, but mostly from being completely vulnerable to each other and the work.
Broadway Showbiz: What’s next for Tor & Lisa?
We are continuing to take our one-woman show, Life. Who Knew? (www.lifewhoknew.com) On the road. We are playing Rockwell (http://tickets.rockwell-la. com/event/ 0e6a263eb4bf6d07133a858ee71904 e3) in Los Angeles on March 22 and the Gaslight Cabaret Festival (http://www.presentersdolan. com/event.php?ID=396) in St. Louis on March 31. We are also planning on developing Stealing Time out of town, finishing the score to Auburn, the Musical and to continue working with John Cariani because, well, he’s pretty much a genius! Of course, any producers who would like to hire us to write the score for a musical, we are more than willing to make that a priority!
Interview with Brandon Victor Dixon:
Corine Cohen: I loved your performance in ” The Color Purple” you had such chemistry with Felicia P. Fields. You were a joy to watch. I also loved your performance in “MOTOWN” You are a very talented singer and dancer. Can you tell me how you decided to become an actor?
Brandon Victor Dixon: Thank you so much! I’ve known from a very young age that this was what I was going to do. Fortunately, I went to a school where they were intelligent enough to know how crucial art is to educational development. So we had a music class every day and staged many productions from musicals to Shakespeare. This gave me a foundation and passion for doing what I do now.
Corine Cohen What are you singing at the concert at 54 Below?
Brandon Victor Dixon: I’m singing a song called Broadway in the Fingerlakes. It’s a comedic gospel number.
Corine Cohen: Hope you tape it and put it on your site! Who inspires you?
Brandon Victor Dixon: I’m inspired by many people, but right now I am inspired by George C. Wolfe.
Corine Cohen: He’s great! Would you ever consider your own concert at 54 Below with the women from ” The Color Purple” and “Motown.”
Brandon Victor Dixon: Absolutely!
Corine Cohen: The Oscars need more diversity. Have you ever wanted to star in a feature film? ” Motown” the movie perhaps?
Brandon Victor Dixon: Definitely and when the right project comes along, I’m sure I’ll make that happen.
Corine Cohen: I hope it happens! Did you see the new version of ” THE COLOR PURPLE” would you like to be in that production as Harpo again?
Brandon Victor Dixon: I have! But those days have passed, and I think Kyle does an excellent job. It’s a delicate and lovely production, and I’m very happy for Scott Sanders and the whole Purple family.
Corine Cohen: It is! If you didn’t become an actor and singer what would you do with your career?
Brandon Victor Dixon: I probably would have been a lawyer. Maybe an archeologist.
Corine Cohen: What music is in your iPod?
Brandon Victor Dixon: I just started listening to Poolside and Weekend.
Corine Cohen: What is next for you?
Brandon Victor Dixon: I open in Shuffle Along on Broadway this Spring.
Get tickets to see Brandon Victor Dixon in Tor and Lisa and the very exciting ” Shuffle Along” this Spring with Audra McDonald.
To get tickets: http://54below.com/artist/the-songs-of-tor-lisa/