This is from summer of '95 at the NAS Salute to the American Songwriter concert. The next year I was a performer in the show that saluted Diane Warren. You can see that I'm very gaunt. This was just before I wrote "Connected." That's me on the left with longish hair, Dan Kirkpatrick (Executive Director) in the middle, and Brett Perkins (future Executive Director) on the right.
Jimmy Brochu and I took a "last cruise" to Alaska in spring of 1996. I was down to 135 pounds and dying fast. I ate like a pig on this cruise and after two weeks lost another pound. When I got home the Crixivan came by Fed Ex. Two weeks later I was on the road to recovery.
Then suddenly we were offered the chance to so a workshop at the Zephyr Theatre on Melrose Ave. in West L.A...
These are production stills from the first workshop production of THE LAST SESSION. It was produced at the Zephyr Theatre on Melrose Ave., summer of '96 just after I began coming back to life.
This is the whole cast gathered around the piano. This scene was cut from the show early in the rehearsal period before Brochu put Jim back in the booth. From l. to r. Francesca P. James (Tryshia) is kneeling, Marjorie Graue was Vicki, Doug "The Greaseman" Tracht played Jim, me on the piano as Gideon, and Charles "Chip" Esten as Buddy. During this period I continued to gain weight. The workshop played to sold out crowds and standing ovations.
Pictures from The Zephyr Production.
This is the "cassette logo" conceived by Carl D. White, created for the NY staged reading at the John Houseman Theatre on 42nd Street in Manhattan. This odyssey began when we decided, after the successful workshop, to take it to New York.
We did four staged readings at the John Houseman Theatre on 42nd Street. All of this is documented in the diary. Slowly I was recovering and it was at this series of readings that the Currican Theatre saw us and offered to produce TLS off off Broadway.
Pictures from the Houseman reading.
May 1997. It was at the Currican Theatre that I found out how much I could handle. Not only was I answering the phones for ticket orders, I also found myself at Times Square giving our fliers. Also, here, we found our New York cast which transferred to off-Broadway.
Bob Stillman as Gideon, Amy Coleman as Vicki, Grace Garland as Tryshia, Stephen Bienskie as Buddy and Dean Bradshaw as Jim. Here, we replaced "One More Song" with "Singer and the Song" and we made "Jim" a guitarist thanks to the fact that Dean was a musician. Then we moved uptown!
October 1997. This is the best known logo; designed by Mike Yuen/MKA for the 47th Street production off-Broadway -- a limited engagement that ran from October 17, 1997 through March 1, 1998. We kept our cast from the Currican and ran for six months garnering two Best Musical nominations.
Steve's Opening Night Photo Album.
Photos from Lyndsay Shaeffer's site.
September 1998. This was our most successful production of The Last Session. The producers of the Laguna Playhouse went to New York and saw the 47th Street production just before it closed.
They then put together a whole new production with an incredible set and lights. Bob Stillman and Amy Coleman came from New York. We added Michele Mais, Joel Traywick and P. M. Howard who also played bass guitar from the booth. This production got stunning rave reviews and soon transferred to Hollywood.
December 1998-May 1999. What can I say? Again, this is the most celebrated production of all transferred lock, stock and barrel from Laguna. We won 4 LA Drama Critics Awards, 6 Backstage West Awards, the Oscar Wilde Award, Best L.A Production GLAAD Media Award and 3 Ovation Award nominations.BACK TO STEVE'S DIARY PAGE
We also saw Jeff Juday and Paul Steger join the cast, picked up a ton of fans who are now called "Sessionauts" and this production is really what helped launch my performing career.
Also, this production attracted the attention of RENT fans everwhere and you'll find a TON more pictures at this RENT site: http://www.bennytour.com/tls/
The most recent diary books have image folders with all the most recent pics. For instance, Vol. 2 Book 2 has an image file found at http://www.bonusround.com/book2-5/images. These separate image files are found in books 2 through 5.