Lewis Flinn has written scores and songs for national commercials, network TV shows, Broadway plays, musicals and independent films. Now Lewis has composed the music for the world premiere of Concrete Temple Theatre's latest production, Renee Philippi's Geppetto which will play in NYC at HERE (145 6th Avenue). Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a composer? I started playing piano when I was 5 and was the kid that practiced 4 hours a day. I gave concerts and started writing my own material as a teenager because the pieces my teacher was giving me weren’t flashy enough! I don’t remember making a decision to become a composer, but rather I never knew what else I would do. After being a music major at college, I took whatever job musically could help me get by - I’ve been in rock bands and done a lot writing for TV and fashion in addition to theater.
2. Who haven't you worked with that you would like to? Hmmm…I really admire great singers and players. But there’s usually a lot of crazy that comes with that greatness which might make working with them not as fun as I might imagine.
3. What made you want to be part of the creative team for Geppetto? I’ve worked with Carlo and Renee before and Renee is a dear friend and godparent of my daughter. Also, it is great to get back "downtown" and stretch some different creative muscles that I don’t get to use that much in the commercial theater.
4. What do you identify most with about the story? Resilience. Geppetto and his puppet have suffered a loss but must find a way to keep going and invent a new path. Life is full of turns in the road that you didn’t intend to take, but you just have to keep going.
5. What do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? A sense of hope that they have the power to change their own lives, no matter what comes there way. And an appreciation of the cello!
6. What has been the best part about working with Concrete Temple Theatre? The creative freedom, the lo-fi solutions to logistical problems.
7. You have composed the music for some of my favorite theatrical shows Lysistrata Jones, Little Dog Laughed, The Divine Sister, and Die Mommie Die. What did you enjoy most about working with Douglas Carter Beane and Charles Busch? Well, they are both so self confident and strong personalities and are just hilarious. Charles has a very bawdy side that always makes me laugh, and Doug always says things that you can’t believe anyone would actually say. Doug is also my partner, so I have to be careful what else I might say…
8. What do you get from composing/writing music for the stage as opposed to film/television/fashion? Is your process any different? When I write for the stage, there is always a collaboration and working with people, which is fun. I love hearing live singers sing my songs, or live players play. Also, my work is more about the composition and arranging. When writing for TV, it is more about the production and making the track sound great.
9. What have you learned about yourself from being a composer? My first impulse is usually the best and if I start revising too much or saying "I wish it sounded more like "x,"" then I start going down the wrong track. I always have to say, "this is just what this song is."
10. What's the best advice you've ever received? Always say "Yes."
11. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? To see the future.
12. Favorite way to stay in shape? Scooter to school with the kids.
13. Boxers or Briefs? I don’t tell all my secrets…
His theater musicals include the acclaimed Broadway production of Lysistrata Jones with a book by Douglas Carter Beane, Other Girls with Steven Sater, Like Love with Barry Jay Kaplan (NYMF 2007) and The Winner with Joe Sutton (Lyric Stage). He composed and produced the music and main themes for the CBS primetime shows: The Power of 10 and Million Dollar Password. In addition to writing musicals, Flinn has composed scores and songs for over 50 productions around the country including the Tony-nominated The Little Dog Laughed on Broadway and collaborations with Charles Busch (The Divine Sister and Die Mommie Die).