Thursday, September 21, 2017

Spotlight On...Henry Aronson

Name: Henry Aronson

Hometown: Brooklyn NY

Education: Midwood HS (Brooklyn), Columbia University

Favorite Credits: MD (Broadway): Rock of Ages, Rocky Horror Show, Rent

Why theater?: As a performer/conductor I like the precision and teamwork required to make a show run nice and tight, and the excitement of feeling the spontaneous audience response. As a writer, I find a larger world of emotion and expression (and freedom) in writing for characters than I could writing pop-type songs in my own voice.

Tell us about Loveless Texas: I’m very interested in exploring worlds of music I enjoy, which aren’t often heard in the theatre or in the service of dramatic action. The various country and Americana styles I employ here are examples of that.

What inspired you to write and perform in it: My wife-slash-collaborator is a natural self-starter, who keeps me from slipping into my native laziness and inertia. Does that count as inspiration?

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I like theater that makes you feel that you’ve been someplace new and met interesting new people, who in turn shine a light on your own experience, remembered and yet-to-come. I’m inspired by moments of emotion or experience, good or bad, that cry out for expression.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I’ve already worked, directly or tangentially, with some of my major theatre heroes (Hal Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Ralph Burns), so I’m pretty satisfied there. I don’t know: Stevie Wonder? James Taylor? Lyle Lovett? The Beatles? I don’t know if they’re hiring.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I had strongly recommended the recently closed and much-lamented Natasha and Pierre and the Great Comet, because it breaks boundaries and forms in ways I wouldn’t know how to do; War Horse, because I’m a sucker for animals and puppets and a tear-jerker story. And here I run up against the failures of long-term memory.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Some short Jewish guy, I imagine. I’d hope for one of those very dramatic 40’s type titles like “Golden Melody” or “Song Without End”; or maybe the more straightforward “This Guy Wrote Some Good Songs”.

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?: I regret having missed epic pieces of theatre like Nicholas Nickleby and Coram Boy. I did get to see Wolf Hall, and I finally caught up with Angels In America via the National Theatre Live screening — I hope to get to see the revival when it comes in.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Too much time wasted on internet window shopping. And the occasional Snickers bar.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Working in children’s books, or at an animal shelter.

What’s up next?: My wife-slash-collaborator has several projects teed up for us (partly involving animals and puppets) that are germinating in her fertile bardic mind. Otherwise, there’s internet window shopping, walking the dog, and sitting on the couch.