The Music of Ordinary Days

Ordinary Days creator Adam Gwon. Photo credit: Chris Mueller.

Ordinary Days creator Adam Gwon.
Photo credit: Chris Mueller.

As we often do, we were looking for Relephant’s next project.  There are always scripts and librettos sitting around Relephant’s office (read:  our apartment).  I remember getting a text from Jessie during the run of Mimi (or a Poisoner’s Comedy) at the Firehall that simply said “can you get Ordinary Days?”  Why it was on our radar, I can’t remember.  Anyway, it wasn’t until almost two months later that we got around to listening to it together.  We were driving back from Langley where my grandfather had just had his 80th birthday.  We got home…ummm…I mean, back to the office, and we both said “we have to do this!”  And now, two years to that day, we will start rehearsals for Ordinary Days.

What is it about Gwon’s music?  He is multi-award-winning, counts Broadway living legend Audra McDonald amongst his biggest fans (she, in fact, sang a song from Ordinary Days during her Vancouver concert last season), and was hand picked by Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Seussical) to attend the Dramatists Guild of America’s Fellows Program.

For me, it’s a multitude of things.  Almost instantly, after a somewhat peaceful “Underture”, his musical pulls you into the frantic-ness of morning pedestrian rush hour in Times Square.  He gives each of his four characters a very distinctive musical voice:  the oddball accompaniment for wide-eyed Warren, spunky and aggressive melodies for perpetually dissatisfied Deb, the macho yet sentimental rock grooves for lovestruck Jason, and the secretively bittersweet chord changes for wounded Claire.  Beautifully crafted lyrics that are at once humorous and profound.  Music that is accomplished, melodic and also complex.

And one of my favourite things about the music is its simplicity.  Four unamplified voices and one acoustic piano. And that’s all it needs.  Stylistically perfectly integrated into the story itself, the music reveals to us the extraordinary in the ordinary.

– Steven Greenfield, Relephant Theatre Co-Producer, Ordinary Days Cast Member (Warren) and Co-Musical Director


For further reading on Adam Gwon and the music of Ordinary Days, please visit the following sites:

Ahrens & Flaherty on Adam Gwon
Adam Gwon’s Official Website
Rodgers and Hammerstein website for Ordinary Days
Going…Going…Gwon (Adam Gwon’s personal blog)
Check out some of the music from Ordinary Days (or even buy the cast recording!)
Praise for Adam Gwon and Ordinary Days:

“A QUIETLY AFFECTING SHOW… Ordinary Days introduces a promising newcomer to our talent-hungry musical theater. Mr. Gwon writes crisp, fluid and funny lyrics that reflect the racing minds of four New Yorkers on a nervous search for their immediate futures. Ordinary Days…captures with stinging clarity that uneasy moment in youth when doubts begin to cloud hopes for a future of unlimited possibility.” —Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

“FULL OF IDIOSYNCRATIC CHARM… A heartfelt and clever look at life in modern-day New York… Gwon is a young writer of significant promise.” (Critic’s Pick) —Adam Feldman, Time Out New York

“ARRESTINGLY POETIC… A small-scale pleasure. Those who like to spot talented theatrical up-and-comers will want to check out Adam Gwon.” (Critic’s Choice) —Charles McNulty, LA Times

“RAPTUROUS… Gwon’s brushstrokes mark him as a talent to watch.” —Variety


One response to “The Music of Ordinary Days

  1. Pingback: Ordinary Days – Online Playbill |

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