Lisa Loeb & Fellow Brown University Alum Talk Creating 'Together Apart'


Starting tomorrow, Broadway On Demand will be streaming the premiere of the musical Together Apart, a collection of ten mini-musicals, written, composed, directed-by and starring Brown University alumni. Together Apart was conceived by Grammy Award winner Lisa Loeb and she along with Producer Beth Wishnie, Rhonda Ross and Matt Hoverman joined iHeartRadio Broadway's SJ Arnegger to talk about how Together Apart was created and what they hope viewers take away from the streaming musical.

Together Apart features Emmy and SAG Award winner Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Emmy Award Winner Josh Hamilton (13 Reasons Why), Ann Harada (Avenue Q), JoBeth Williams (Kramer vs. Kramer), Lisa Loeband more. The musical will also be a benefit for The Actors Fund. It will be available on Broadway on Demand starting on August 6th for a two week run.

Together Apart evolved out of a Brown Musical Theatre class reunion on Zoom held during the Covid-19 pandemic. The reunion was attended by graduates from the early 80’s through the late 90’s. Lisa Loeb, ’90 Graduate, was energized by the digital reconnection and was inspired to find a solution to everyone’s concern about how theater could exist during the pandemic. She began collaborating with her fellow graduates to create Together Apart. Together Apart was intentionally created using the Zoom platform as a reflection of life during the pandemic.

The production is a compilation of ten, seven-minute musicals, all about connecting on Zoom at the beginning of the pandemic. The musicals are interspersed with short pieces by Eric Kirchberger playing Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Lisa Loeb said, “As I sat in the Zoom reunion, listening to everyone talk about their current lives, connecting with friends, and reflecting on all of our vivid musical theatre memories from Brown, I realized that we shouldn’t just talk about what happened in the past, but we should write a Zoom musical about what’s going on, and it should happen all in the world of Zoom. And by sharing our storytelling and our passion and love for theatre, we can work together to provide an outlet for our shared creativity while giving back to this incredible cause.” 

Producer Beth Wishnie, ’89 Graduate and Tony Award Winner said, “This entire project has been a labor of love. Once we decided to raise money for our friends in the entertainment industry, we worked around the clock to make something meaningful to anyone who was able to see it."

The mini-musicals are as follows:

How Can I Connect?

About: Opening number about how difficult it was to find connection during the beginning of the pandemic, through Zoom.

It’s Okay Mom

About: An optimistic single dad does all he can to keep life under quarantine from affecting his seven-year old daughter and his nervous mom.

The New Normal

About: The New Normal is a continuous scene that takes place in an elementary school zoom classroom during which the parents gradually become more involved and end up taking over entirely. 

Find The Music

About: Two old friends whose lives have taken very different paths reconnect over Zoom.

Red State/Blue State

About: Speed-dating during a pandemic isn't easy. If the virus doesn't get you, the political divide just might.

Teaching Online

About: A non-tech savvy teacher is thrust into Zoom classes and the radical shift in how teachers and students interacted, the tense political atmosphere, and the hopeful potency to still connect inspired this piece.

Breathe

About: Zach and Sondra are divorcing, but Sondra’s move-out day falls on New York’s Shutdown Day 2020, so she and Zach are forced to become “roommates” for the duration of the shut down. Breathe follows Zach and Sondra’s story and that of Zach’s loving parents through a series of Zoom calls during the historic year and its impact on this one African American family.

Care and Feeding

About: Four moms, each with her own set of challenges, muddle through Day 55 of quarantine.

Family Game Night

About: Tensions escalate and personal secrets are revealed as competitive members of a modern family Zoom together on Family Game Night!

La Dolce Jersey

About: La Dolce Jersey opens a window into the decades-long friendship of two women -- one quarantined at home in Italy, and one relocated to her childhood bedroom in New Jersey. Separated by the Atlantic, together they reckon with who they’ve been, and who they are at present.

Together Apart is conceived and executive produced by Lisa Loeb. It is produced by Beth Wishnie. It is co-produced by Carl Belfatti, Leslie Buxbaum, Matt Hoverman, Maria Seigenthaler. Danny Ursetti serves as Copyist. Post-Production Video/Audio is by Kevin Surace. Recording Engineer/Coordinator is Tye Hunt Fitzgerald. Streaming Coordinator is Joe Porter. Musical Direction is David Lai. Together Apart is co-produced by The 24 Hour Plays.