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UNT alums set to perform in Japan

UNT alums set to perform in Japan

Photo courtesy of Big League Productions Inc.

UNT alums set to perform in Japan
June 05
16:52 2013

J.P. Lugo / Staff Writer

Two UNT alumni are heading to Japan this August as part of the “National Tour of Dreamgirls,” a Broadway production.

Brett McDonald and Dave Richards, both UNT music graduates, have been preparing for the overseas trip by touring North America since December. From their first show in Yakima, Wash., they’ve been putting their skills on display and are looking forward to the same opportunity in a foreign country for five weeks.

“Five weeks will be a long time in a country when I don’t know the language,” McDonald said. “But I’m excited to get out there and experience it and fend for myself.”

Having traveled outside of the country before, Richards said he looks forward to what should be a great experience in Tokyo.

“International travel, while sometimes taxing, can be very exciting,” Richards said. “It’s such a great experience to see how the rest of the world lives their lives.”

What hit them the most on their first Broadway tour was performing on such a large scale. In comparison to their previous local community shows, performing in front of huge audiences during “Dreamgirls” has been a change of scenery for them.

“We have three video screens under pneumatic control, as well as a gigantic video backdrop,” McDonald said. “The synchronization of the vocals, music, videos and choreography is a unique sensory experience that our audiences seem delighted by night after night.”

Both said that one of the most important things they learned while at UNT was how crucial it is to maintain good relationships with coworkers, especially those who are on the tour.

“There are too many great musicians out there to risk losing a job because people don’t want to work with you,” Richards said. “Try not to complain about a job. It could always be worse.”

Their fill-in musical director Bob Bray mentioned how talented Richards and McDonald are, as well as how easy it is to work with them. As a fill-in director, Bray said that they have helped him very much bringing him up to speed with the tour.

“In order to make it in the business you have to have the talent, attitude and personality,” Bray said. “Brett and Dave are both really super talented. I have some tours coming up and if I could bring more guys, I would definitely give them a call.”

The North American leg of the tour ends this Sunday in Dayton, Ohio with Japan pegged as the next destination.

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