3 Plays Where the Cast Was Also the Orchestra

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In most cases, the instruments and the accompanying music for plays and musicals can be found in the orchestra pit. They are really the unsung heroes of the plays.

However, there are some rare and special cases where the plays call for the cast on stage to actually be the orchestra for their own performance. It is a true fusion of guitars, instruments, and the plays.

Let’s take a look at several plays where the cast was also their own orchestra.


whitenightnuitblanche post12 300x200 - 3 Plays Where the Cast Was Also the OrchestraThe first play we’ll be looking at is called Once. This is actually a play that was based on the film of the same name that came out in 2007.

The story is actually quite simple. It is about a man and a woman who unite together through their love of music and dreams of success with it.

The soundtrack is so memorable and emotional that it was such a great and well-received film. This is probably why it was transfixed into a play.

Throughout the play, as the boy and girl play their guitar and piano, the patrons around them also serve as the full orchestra as they bring out their own instruments and add to the songs.

This play was pretty good. So much so that it went on to win more than five Tony Awards.


whitenightnuitblanche post13 300x199 - 3 Plays Where the Cast Was Also the OrchestraNext up, we have a play called Buddy. It tells the life and story of acclaimed singer-songwriter Buddy Holly.

This specific play can’t be complete without the titular character getting on stage with a guitar. In life, it was automatically related to Holly.

On the stage, Holly and his band act out his life and play the instruments in real life too.

The Band’s Visit

whitenightnuitblanche post14 300x200 - 3 Plays Where the Cast Was Also the OrchestraFinally, we have The Band’s Visit. Like Once, it is a play that was based on a film of the same name. The film actually originated in Israel. It is about a touring Egyptian band that makes a wrong booking and finds themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The band is not just by name though, as the actors also play their own instruments while on stage.

These are definitely some great and unique events that you should catch. Seeing the cast play their own instruments adds a certain authenticity and emotion to the play. Don’t forget to also catch these great guitar solos in plays.

2 Play Attractions in the Form of Guitar Solos

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People have different points of view, experiences, and even opinions about things. This allows for a variety of people to emerge. This variety can be seen in almost any topic, even plays.

whitenightnuitblanche post15 200x300 - 2 Play Attractions in the Form of Guitar SolosWhen people think of plays, they think about a lot of things that could attract them. Sometimes, it is how large the play is. In other cases, it is the cast that graces it and the reviewed acting that people just need to experience.

However, there are some special cases where people look for something else. They don’t look with their eyes but follow their ears and emotion. Like a great concert, sometimes, people look for great guitar solos.

Let’s take a look at several of the greatest guitar solos in theater plays.

Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar is an absolute classic in the realm of musicals and theatrical plays. This rock opera first came out in the 70s and took the world by storm.

The rock opera simply follows the life of Jesus. It zones in on the final years of Jesus’ life as reported in the many gospels.

The musical is one where most if not all of the dialogue is sung with a rock and roll energy that is hard to deny.

This energy can be seen in the original film adaptation of Jesus Christ Superstar. The person who played Jesus had such a high range. His powerful vocals led to some dramatic and emotional moments, such as when he was confiding to his Father in Gethsemane.

The actor playing Judas similarly also had such strong vocals that really pushed his doubts and motivations.

whitenightnuitblanche post17 200x300 - 2 Play Attractions in the Form of Guitar SolosThe whole play is accompanied by raucous electric guitars and songs that are both melodic and rock hard. In fact, the play has six guitars. This is comprised of one electric guitar, one bass guitar, and the rest are acoustic guitars.

The great guitar solos come right at the start. When the play starts, people are instantly treated to the overture. The overture usually has most of the musical motifs and themes of the play.

It is no different here. You will be treated to hearing several songs within the play that you’ll no doubt hear later on.

The guitar really brings the power and emotion for the whole overture. It’s other accompanying instruments really add more texture and flavors to the song. Apart from that, the guitar solo is a real reflection of how time was back then when the musical first came out.


whitenightnuitblanche post16 200x300 - 2 Play Attractions in the Form of Guitar SolosInterestingly enough, the next one on the list is also a religious musical in Godspell. The musical is set like several parables are recounted to the watchers.

The guitar solo we are looking for is in the finale of the musical. As the intro blares on, the guitar solos are also there to bring the song in.

In the original song, after a minute and more than 40 seconds, the guitar solo returns as if to reinforce the sentiment and importance of death that the singer is talking about.

These guitar solos return every so often throughout the original eight-minute finale. A true solo that people can rock out and bang their heads to. If you are hankering for some great guitar action in musicals, why not try to watch these musicals? There are also guitar and play festivals to attend in order to learn more.

2 of the Best Guitar-centric Plays to Watch

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whitenightnuitblanche post22 300x200 - 2 of the Best Guitar-centric Plays to WatchSome people have problems with reconciling their interests. For instance, some people may be interested in plays. While other people may be interested in guitars. Some think that there are no ways that these two interests can intersect.

However, in all actuality, these two things have already crossed paths.

Early on, guitars were able to sneak into modern plays and productions. In fact, the addition of the guitar – especially the electrical variation – has allowed for plays to become “cool” in a certain way. Adding rock and roll to plays is always a good thing.

Let’s take a look at three of the best plays out right now that you can watch to enjoy both the acting and the guitar playing.

Rock of Ages

We are sure that when the topic of guitars and plays came to mind that this was the first play that you thought of. The Rock of Ages play is the currently the quintessential play that puts the spotlight on the guitar and its playing too.

The play follows the story of Sherrie, a girl from Oklahoma who has dreams of becoming a famous singer. Things don’t go the way she plans and ends up as a waitress first. She meets Drew, another person who wants to be a singer but has severe anxiety.

It is a tale of life really. About how things can go wrong and that how when you stick to a dream and to hope, good things can happen.

It isn’t hard to see why that is. Looking at the tracks that are incorporated in this play, you’ll instantly understand.

For instance, you have rock and roll classics such as “We’re Not Going to Take it”, originally performed by Twisted Sister. There is also Hit Me with your Best Shot and Come on Feel the Noise.

These rock ‘n roll songs do a lot to inject some raw powerful energy into the play. It also allows for people to enjoy the play by singing along to the song that they know.

Speaking to the guitarists of the show, it really does seem that they are some of the biggest stars of the show. In recent interviews, they said that it felt like a concert and that the energy of the crowd really powered them up too.

Another reason why the guitars are so important is the fact that it is hard to find a guitarist nowadays who can play and shred as they did back in the 80s. Not to mention the confidence to actually play in a theater full of patrons.

School of Rock

Born out of one of the most iconic rock movies out there. This musical can still be watched in some theaters.

Based on the 2003 film, the musical follows Dewey Finn, an out-of-work rock singer and guitarist who pretends to be a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. Even if you watched the movie its still great experience with a lot of guitar playing. The editorial team of Guitar Fella devoted a full article on how to approach and learn these songs if you are interested..

Book of Mormon

The next play on the list came from the same minds of the people who brought us the vulgar yet enjoyable cartoon South Park. It is called The Book of Mormon.

This musical comedy follows two Mormon missionaries as they go through their duty of spreading the word of their religion. Did we mention this is taking place in a village in Uganda?

Initially, the locals are nonplussed by their preaching. They have bigger things to think about such as famine, AIDS, and those warlords who just can’t get off their backs. Then, the missionaries begin to add science fiction to the doctrine of the Latter-Day Saints.

From there, it is an adventure filled with religions, warlords, music, and raucous laughter.

The music of the play is actually helmed by Jake Ezra Schwartz. Through his work on the play, he has won a Tony and Grammy Award.   If you get a hankering to watch plays with guitars, why not start with these? You can also head to certain classical guitar festivals to hone your skills and watch some guitar-themed plays too.

2 International Festivals Fusing Guitars and Plays

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In our recent articles, we had discussed a number of great festivals you can head to. We wrote about several theater festivals, as well as music and light festivals as well.

This isn’t a reason to not discuss it more though. The reason behind this is that we expect our readers to be from around the world. If they read about a specific festival that is halfway around the world, the chances of them going to that are relatively low.

Thus, it is always best to cover many festivals from all over the world. This increases the chances of readers finding one that they can easily visit. In this specific article, we’ll look at festivals that cater to either music with guitars, plays, and the mixture of both.

Let’s look at several international festivals that are along these lines.

Galway International Arts Festival

First one we’ll be talking about is the Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF). The GIAF is an explosion of cultural and artistic celebration. It is one of Europe’s biggest ever festivals.

Most of the time, this multi-faceted festival takes place in Galway, Ireland. It includes things like theater plays, street performances, musicals, dance recitals, operas, and even comedy just to name a few.

All of these disciplines play out in multiple venues of Ireland. In the previous year, the festival went to over 30 venues for more than 200 acts! The quarter of a million attendees only attests to how enjoyable and amazing the festival is.

Apart from this though, GIAF has its own production and training arms. This means that they create their own theater plays and musicals. When they develop one that they deem great, they go out locally and internationally to tour it.

The GIAF has partnered with several cities around the world such as Chicago, New York, Paris, Sydney, Hong Kong and more. So, even if you can’t go to the festival, you may be able to catch the plays that GIAF has been producing.

Now you may think that GIAF is all about the celebration of art. While this isn’t totally wrong, they also have something bigger that they are pushing. It is the philosophy of “First Thought”.

This philosophy is pushed forward through several talks with leaders from around the world and Ireland as well. In it, they speak about how to develop and evolve certain ideas and practices that can benefit the world.

International Festival of Greek Drama

Next up, we have the International Festival of Greek Drama. This specific festival has been operating for over 20 years. It started way back in the late 90s in Cyprus. The festival’s mission was to spread the word of Greek Drama to the world.

Greek drama was one of the first ever serious forms of entertainment. We say serious because the Greeks held their drama and entertainment to a high level. It was very serious for them.

Calling it entertainment is actually a bit off. The Greek’s actually used plays to understand the world around them better. They did this through three types of plays that are still alive today: comedies, satires, and tragedies.

It is also a great way to see how the Greek’s incorporated music into their plays. While they didn’t have guitars, they had lyres which were sort of precursors to guitars.

If you’d like to experience Greek drama and expand your theatrical sensibilities, this is the festival for you. Wherever you are in the world, we hope you can find a festival that you can head to easily.