Nationally known plays and musicals are performed by local talent, but a new musical coming to Southwest Georgia isn't just inspired by the area: "Monkey Business" is written, arranged, edited and performed by talent from Albany and Lee County.
"There's more than enough talent in the Albany area to help you with the recording, to help you with the musicians and helping you get the projects finish," says Writer Ron McGhee.
Recording began tonight for the new musical which writer Ron McGhee says is inspired by life in Southwest Georgia. Young southern twin boys travel to New York and get into some trouble after falling into a sewer. While the boys make the best of their night in the hole, the adults cause some chaos of their own.
"As it's being reported, the reporters do a little bit of monkey business and exaggerate the story, so there's a big panic," says Musical Arranger Kevin Blaise. "Then the mayor gets involved and he makes great promises. There's a great manhunt for criminals who don't really exists. That's where 'monkey business' comes from: There's a little bit of monkey business from all the characters."
The accompaniment CD for the locally-based musical was even recorded in Albany recording studio The Levee.
"We set up the keyboard, play all the music and once we had all the music done for every song we started on the vocals," says Dennis Fraizer who was the recording engineer for "Monkey Business."
Frazier, also owner of The Levee, says there were some challenges.
"You come in and once you write something and you say 'This reads well, it seems like it plays well,' when you actually go to record something, sometimes it can be a little more difficult," he says.
But it's nothing this local recording studio can't handle.
"The biggest obstacles we've seen are remembering that other people are going to have to learn how to play this, sing this and you want to make this so that's it's easily approachable for anybody to do a lot of the music or vocal work for this play," Frazier says.
The next step for this musical based off Southwest Georgia life is to bigger cities. The group plans to lease "Monkey Business" to other smaller, local theaters.
"They'll tell others and pretty soon you'll be moving from Georgia to Memphis to maybe L.A. and finally when enough theaters have put on the play or musical someone will get wind of that in New York City.
For now, they're hoping to play at Lee County High School in the near future.
To learn more about the southern family comedy, visit their website at the following link .