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The Big Bank Musical

This was an amazing morning that I spent in the basement of the First United Methodist Church in Mystic, Connecticut. It doesn’t get much better than this. The folks in the room included the founder of  Emerson Theater Collaborative, or ETC. Camilla Ross, an Emerson College grad, of Colchester, Connecticut has worked tirelessly to make this non-profit program work. Ross’s vision is to reach inner-city youth in southeastern Connecticut through educational theatrical programming. The mission of the Colchester, Connecticut-based theater group is to serve under-represented communities and artists with an emphasis on diversity.

The two gentlemen in the room were Jacob Seligmann, the composer of The Big Bank and his Dad, Joel Seligmann. “The Big Bank,” a musical comedy, has been percolating for about 16 years.

Not since the Gershwin Brothers, George and Ira, has there been such great music and lyrics written. Two brothers, Daniel and Jacob wrote the thing when they were 19 and 20 years old under the direction of their father, Joel Seligmann, a long time English teacher and photographer.

Jacob learned to play the piano and write music by a blind piano teacher from Old Greenwich by the name of Stuart Hemingway. Jacob and his family grew to love Hemingway through the years. His brilliance according to the Seligmann’s is all over the score.

In 2001 Hemingway was debilitated by a stroke. None-the less, the Seligmann family has made arrangements to get Hemingway “to the “church on time” when the play opens In Mystic. There are so many little vignettes like the story of Hemingway surrounding this venture that it just seems like it would be fate that this will be a huge hit. It would make a good movie. I already suggested that Jacob get on the phone to his budding Hollywood mogul brother, Daniel, and start writing the script.

You can hear some of the score and see the lyrics here on JacobMusic.com

The fact that any of these people came together at all was because of a cab ride in New York City where one party met another. The fact that this musical will air in a church and not on a stage in this beautiful seaside historic town in July is another piece to the puzzle. Humble beginnings make for a wonderful story.

Of course The Big Bank couldn’t be more timely. It’s about a bank ripping people off and getting complete joy out of that. Talking to Jacob and his father on the other side of a camera about how this play was written years ago was a show in itself, a riot. I can’t even imagine the vaudeville act if the other brother, Daniel had been there. You’ll hear all of that in the video below.

I can’t wait to see this musical. In my humble opinion from looking at the score and meeting these folks it has all the makings of an “Annie” which of course got it’s start at the Norma Terris Theater in Chester, Connecticut. The Big Bank should get on that stage too, it would be a great fit.

It runs from July 21st through the 31st at the Church on Willow Street and you can get tickets at Emmerson Theater Collaborative.

As I drove out of town and stopped for a sandwich, I saw a seagull perched atop a look out spot over looking the water in Mystic, just seemed to me it was picture perfect. I was thinking to myself what a great thing it would be if The Big Bank really does becomes a hit, a classic, and that it got it’s start right here.


One Comment

  1. Jessica
    Posted June 21, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    The Big Bank is an amazing show with a big future ahead! I cannot wait to see it in July. It is not to be missed!