Asian Music Festival 2014

Looking forward to playing again at the Asian Music Festival, held at Grace Cathedral and presented by Sei Ko Kai.  This year I will be performing “Nocturne” from Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi’s Piano Stories III. It should be a wonderful afternoon of music, to purchase advance tickets please visit Sei Ko Kai.

This year's beneficiary is the ReFresh Program. This takes children and their families who live in the contaminated area around Fukushima away to a clean environment during the summer. Imagine not being able to let your pre-school child outside at all! This is what they live with, and why this program is so important.  Looking forward to seeing you there! 

The Chamber Arts House is a large 3 story gray/brown craftsman style Julia Morgan house on the SE corner of Ashby and Elmwood Court (not to be confused with Elmwood Ave a few blocks away).  2924 Ashby is two blocks west of the Claremont Hotel, and on the SW corner is a large 3 story pink craftsman style house. Please try to park on Ashby to keep parking available for residents on Elmwood Court.

There are many excellent restaurants on College Avenue for those wishing to dine before the recital.

RSVPs are appreciated:

33 Variations

33 Variations

by Moisés Kaufman

directed by Ted Curry 

All photography courtesy of Mr Paul Totah

33 Variations is a wonderfully poignant play by Moisés Kaufman featuring Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.  It was a fantastic experience, to watch the students of St. Ignatius College Preparatory embrace the play, its characters and for me, to learn, analyze and play Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations.  As musicians we sometimes get so caught up in the notes: the cleverness of the fugue, the beauty of a lyrical melody. So it was interesting to consider and appreciate the music in relation to events and situations occurring in Beethoven’s life. Kudos to all the students on stage and behind the scenes for putting on a great production.


33 Variations, Piece by Piece by Charles Kieser ‘14

What is 33 Variations about? Actor Daniel Cimento ’15 thinks it’s “open to interpretation,” though he sees the theme as “resolving family relationships.” Jack Sheedy ’14 thinks it’s about influence: “you can be so dedicated to a person that you end up living their life.” Kate Mattimore ’14 says it’s about “learning to love the mediocrity in life.” 33 Variations involves these themes and more.

In the last years of his life, Ludwig van Beethoven struggles to write his 33 Variations on a waltz by Diabelli. In the present day, Dr. Katherine Brandt obsesses over Beethoven’s work, at the cost of her health and relationship with her daughter. One could draw several parallels: Brandt’s ALS and Beethoven’s deafness, Brandt’s fear of “mediocrity” and Beethoven’s perfectionism, Brandt’s emotional distance and Beethoven’s reclusiveness. True enough, Brandt’s life mirrors Beethoven’s, until she realizes that she selfishly explained his work in a way that made sense to her, not to him. In the end, she loses her fear and, like the 33rd variation, ends on a content note.

Throughout the play, a pianist – in this case, our own very talented Angela Dwyer – plays the variations, each one more different from the last. 33 Variations appeals to everyone, but music lovers will get a lot out of it. By building a narrative around Beethoven’s music, the play brings it to an audience that wouldn’t normally listen.

I also like how the play makes its own “variations” on dramatic form. Scenes last a few minutes each, and time is always shifting. In one scene, two characters voice their thoughts aloud instead of using dialogue; in another, three different, yet similar conversations happen at the same time; in another, an X-ray machine does all the talking. In one of the best scenes, Beethoven dictates to the pianist, belting out key changes and dynamics in glee; that says more about the creative process than dialogue could.

Not many schools can do “mature” plays well, but I think our Performing Arts program did a really good job. In the cast I saw, I have to commend Sydney Bradley ’14, for carrying the show with grace; Steve Hoff ’14, for his impeccable accent; and Max Realyvasquez ’14 and Ella Presher ’14, for getting some of the play’s best one-liners. My only complaint: Beethoven is too important – and Jack Hayes ’14 is too good in the role – to keep offstage most of the time. That’s a minor complaint, though; after all, nobody’s perfect, not even Beethoven.

Posted by on Friday December, 13, 2013

angela  dwyer

Foodies! The Musical

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Foodies! The Musical 

by Morris Bobrow 

produced by AWAT Productions

Currently in its 2nd year! Get tickets


Now featuring... 

David Goodwin, Rana Kangas-Kent, Kim Larsen, Deborah Russo, 

Angela Dwyer (pianist), Jim McCunn (stage manager/lights) 


"A funny revue - tuneful and tasty! Food gets a savage yet playful skewering." -SF Examiner

Don't miss Foodies! The Musical. You'll laugh yourself hungry.” -KGO Radio


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The show for everyone who eats.

Featuring: David Goodwin, Sara Hauter, Kim Larsen, Deborah Russo, Angela Dwyer (pianist), Jim McCunn (stage manager/lights)


"Everybody's gotta eat, but not everybody can laugh at it.  Learn how it's done from the talented cast of Foodies! The Musical.  Nobody's food habits are sacred around this crew of singer/actors assembled by the award-winning composer and lyricist Morris Bobrow.  If you eat and drink, and if your friends do, Foodies! is for you.  Grab a date with a sense of humor and get your tickets now." -San Francisco Theater District

"Don't miss this opportunity for a unique, laugh-filled hour filled with unforgettable tunes by the very talented Morris Bobrow, composer of Shopping! The Musical and Party of 2 - The Mating Musical. The cast worktogether as a team and yet each one shines in his own way.  The music is hummable and never detracts from the movement on stage.  The show is as marvelous to watch as it is to hear.  It doesn't get much better that." -For All Events

"Foodies! The Musical is a tuneful, beautifully paced little musical that will run forever. The lyrics by Morris Bobrow are clever and sophisticated. ...Four very talented singers sing and pontificate about the ubiquitous obsession with food. They skewer eating habits, restaurants, trends, quirks, Yelp reviews, dietary restrictions, cooking shows, overzealous food writers, Groupons, eating in the car, food trucks and food critics.You'll laugh yourself hungry." -Talkin' Broadway

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Foodies! The Musical Website

Assisted Living: The Musical


Assisted Living: The Musical 

by Compton & Bennett

produced by Douglas Gray

associate producer Frank Coppola

Featuring: Zoe Conner, Kim Larsen, Angela Dwyer (actor/pianist/md)

Michael Heyder (stage manager), Crista Llewellyn (wardrobe/props/asm)


 "I laughed, I cried, I almost died! OUTRAGEOUSLY FUNNY." - Rossmoor Newssession with food. 

Assisted Living: The Musical Website

The Oldest Profession


The Oldest Profession

written by Paula Vogel

directed by Evren Odcikin

musical direction by Angela Dwyer

produced by Brava Theater

-Nominated for two San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle Awards for Best Ensemble, Specialities (Piano Player)-

Ladies last scene

Hard to believe it’s been over three months since Paula Vogel’s “The Oldest Profession" graced the upstairs stage at Brava Theater. Directed by Evren Odcikin and featuring five wonderful actresses:  Tamar Cohn (Lillian); Cecele Levinson (Mae); Patricia Silver (Ursula); Linda Ayres-Frederick (Edna) and Lee Brady (Vera).  And what an ambience Jacqui Martinez created in the theater space and on stage, with costumer Michelle Mulholland adding complimenting color and zest.  Fantastic fun working with everyone involved in putting this production together.  Watch director Evren Odcikin talk about the production on KPOO 89.5

As Musical Director it was so wonderful to get to explore the music and styles of the Storyville parlors and entertain the pre-show audience with some ragtime and stride piano reminiscent of Jelly Roll Morton‘s early New Orleans days. 

What people are saying...


"Evren Odcikin’s done a bang-up job of directing the comedy in Brava Theater’s tiny, upstairs second stage, using every patch of space available and offering a fully sensorial experience that includes... music director Angela Dwyer at the piano playing tunes during various interludes, as the women, one by one, sing, bump and grind their way to that alluring bordello in the beyond.” - San Francisco Examiner

 “Director Evren Odcikin's nicely varied stagings are buoyed by pianist and Music Director Angela Dwyer's fast-fingered "Ain't Misbehavin' " or "Button Up Your Overcoat." - San Francisco Chronicle

 “Angela Dwyer has an infectious way at the piano and provides the swansong-accompaniments and the toe-tapping pre-show entertainment.”  Edge San Francisco

 “Director Evren Odcikin’s nicely varied staging is enhanced by pianst (and Music Director) Angela Dwyer’s fast-fingered keyboard at the piano” - San Francisco Bay Times

 “...accompanied by Angela Dwyer's fantastically sprightly piano playing and narration” - Pacific Sun

Angela Heaven

Photos courtesy of Eric Harvieux

More information about Brava Theater and their apprentice program  

May 24th, 2011

Party of 2


Party of 2 (The Mating Musical) 

Written & Directed by Morris Bobrow 

produced by AWAT Productions

- Nominated for 4 San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards for Acting, Directing and Entire Production -

The show-full of songs follows two self-sufficient dynamos,  Rebecca and Charlie, from their meeting through their relationship, raising the question -Love Is One Thing, But, Can It Survive Living Together?

Featuring: Scott Gessford, Clare Holstein

Angela Dwyer (pianist), Jim McCunn (stage manager/lights)


 "Pianist Angela Dwyer accompanies and never intrudes on the singing...This reviewer cannot think of a better way to spend a Friday evening."- San Francisco Bay Times

Party of 2 Website

Asian Music Festival 2011

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Many thanks to all who supported the Asian Music Festival at Grace Cathedral.  It kicked of with a small Tibetan bowl and was a whirlwind of music and dance, ending with some tasty treats and green tea on the plaza.

 I play each Sunday at Sei Ko Kai, (a Japanese Episcopal Church) so I knew that I wanted my contribution to the festival to originate from Japan. It is crucial and our job as performers to introduce new composers, styles and music to our audience. Pushing the boundary of expectation and acceptance. So I decided to perform works by two Japanese composers, still alive and active in the music industry: Keiko Matsui and Joe Hisaishi.

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 Although both were relatively new discoveries for me, they have had huge success for over thirty years: Matsui in the world of smooth jazz and Hisaishi predominantly in film.  On visiting Matsui’s website I managed to locate downloadable sheet music for her lyrical “Forever, Forever”.  And I fell in love with Hisaishi’s “Asian Dream Song” and thereafter spend many painstaking hours on youtube transcribing and arranging this piece, originally performed with strings. (my days of transcribing prior to youtube I am happy to forget you)

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 It was definitely a challenge playing and adapting to the fabulous acoustics, and an interesting comparison between the sound I heard while playing and the audio from the video footage. But a fantastic experience to play at Grace Cathedral, expose the highly appreciative audience to new sounds and most importantly raise funds for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan.



 Photos courtesy of Kenji Nakai. More photos from the Asian Music Festival can be found on his photo stream.

 If you would like to donate or to request more information on the Tohoku Diocese in Sendai, Japan please contact 

 Keiko Matsui Website

Joe Hisaishi Website

Kenji Nakai’s photostream

Sei Ko Kai Website

Shopping! The Musical


Shopping! The Musical 

by Morris Bobrow 

produced by AWAT Productions

- Winner of Bay Area Theatre Critics' Circle Award -

San Francisco's Longest Running Original Show: 6 1/2 years

Shopping! The Musical is a musical comedy revue of original songs and sketches about everybody's second-favorite (in some cases, favorite) activity.  The fast-paced show targets all kinds of stores, customers and merchants, as it focuses on the frustrations, annoyances, and occasional joys of . . .  what else? . . SHOPPING!  

Featuring: David Goodwin, Sara Hauter, Kim Larsen, Deborah Russo 

Angela Dwyer (pianist), Jim McCunn (stage manager/lights)


 "The acting and singing are top notch, the energy and pace is choice and the 90 minute show seems like one gloriously funny moment of truth... and Angela Dwyer keeps the music going like a breathless romp." - San Francisco Bay Times

"A cartful of laughter!" - San Francisco Chronicle

"A clever collection of tunes - songs that bring to mind Jerry Seinfeld's sharp observations." - SF Weekly

Shopping! The Musical Website


Copyright © 2018 Angela Dwyer