Way back in 1992, I wrote a little Christmas musical for youth choirs called “For Unto Y’all.” It was a loving and faithful retelling of the Christmas story with a twist – the story was set in the Old West. The songs were an homage to the “cowboy song” styles of Roy Rogers, Riders in the Sky, etc. It was a blast to write and record. The musical was received well (though not without some controversy). And though originally marketed (by Word Music) to youth choirs, “FUY” was staged by adult dinner theater groups, senior adult choirs, and even a few children’s choirs! (I was sent some pretty cute pictures from a children’s performance – sweet stuff.)
From the moment I wrote it, I thought the musical was incomplete. Mary and Joseph needed a duet. Joseph needed a solo. The Wise Men were missing altogether. That sort of thing.
So about a year ago – I decided to re-write the script and score – a purely creative exercise. (Obviously, I had too much free time on my hands.) The end result is a new and expanded show – with four brand new songs, a few reprises, new arrangements, and, yes – the Wise Men. The original version ran about 50 minutes. The new version should run about 80 minutes – just right for a One Act dinner theater show.
I’m in negotiations with Word music right now to see if we can find a church to properly stage “FUY” this coming Christmas (2009) – and make the new show available to the public in 2010. The youth choir of Prestonwood Baptist Church performed an early version of the show last Christmas – but I’ve since added two songs to the show. I am anxiously awaiting a DVD that was shot of the Prestonwood performance.
I’l keep you posted on my progress.