Meet Neil Berg!

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Posted by: Pia Haas on Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 12:00:00 am

We caught up with TIM & SCROOGE Composer, Neil Berg. We asked him about his collaboration with Nick Meglin and more. Read on for some insights into the persona of this MULTI-Talented man!

 

In the late 90’s,  I was presenting my  musical “Witches Tail” at the Irvington Town Hall Theater.  Then theater manager, Pamela Rapp mentioned one of the editors at Mad Magazine, Nick Meglin had just written a musical and was looking for a composer.  Shortly thereafter, I received a libretto for a new musical entitled “Tim”.

When I read the piece it was very long but had very talented ideas. The story of a young man who wants to forge my own life resonated with me. My parents wanted me to go to law school or go into real estate. My parents were beyond disappointed that I wanted to write musicals.

I recall that during the reading,  there was one particular lyric that stood out.  It was concise, beautiful, and smart and had a flair for moving the story forward.  I wrote the melody instantaneously.  It was presented and sung by my wife, Rita Harvey (Fiddler On The Roof, Phantom of the Opera).  Nick immediately loved it.  The song “Nothing More” is one of the pivotal songs in the musical and is sung by Tim’s fiancé, Allison.

In middle school, I performed in musicals such as “Oklahoma, “Half a Six Pence”, “Camelot” and was the comic lead in “Up The Down Staircase”.  I had always had a passion for baseball.  In high school, musicals conflicted with baseball and I was forced to choose. I chose baseball and went on to Binghamton University, known for its baseball program. 

At Binghamton, I continued to play in piano bars, rock bands,  and talent shows.  In my junior year, I was asked to write a musical “Ghost Story” which was produced by the University.   I was then sought out by the professional theatre in Binghamton, The Cider Mill Playhouse, to write musicals.  Good bye baseball, good bye,  law school, hello Broadway!

I was accepted into the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop and was trained to write musicals by Skip Kennon and the legendary composer, lyricist, educator and musicologist, Maury Yeston (Nine, Titanic, Phantom, etc.).

Nick and I also wrote the musical version of the hit movie “Grumpy Old Men” which premiered at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

When not performing, I am an avid baseball fan,  I love classic rock music, love food and enjoy being a father and a husband.

Comments

Being a "Regular" at the WBT, we saw both "Tim and Scrooge," and your "Broadway Holiday!" How one person can have so much talent is beyond me. Loved both shows. Will have to talk with Pia and maybe she can spread the word that we would love to have you and the team come back with "100 Years of Broadway." Talented I am not, but developed a true love for the theatre -- Musicals in particular -- as a kid growing up in Chicago. I had the privilege of ushering at the Schubert Theatre for several years, and stirred up some very old and wonderful memories when I recently went through my box of memorabilia. The cast you picked for the "Broadway Holiday" was spectacular. I am still amazed at the range of power of your wife's voice. She has to have around a 3 octave range. Unbelievable!!! Again, hope someone pulls some strings, and invites you back with the "100 Years of Broadway!" A very Merry Christmas to you and your family, and Best Wishes for a very Happy, Healthy and Blessed 2016.
Posted by: pia on December 16, 2015 at 9:11:25 pm

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