Melody Monday: Alexander Sage Oyen rocks musical theatre, New York City and your ears

Alexander Sage Oyen rocks 54 Below in NYC

Alexander Sage Oyen rocks 54 Below in NYC

As a young man, Alexander Sage Oyen dreamt of being a rock star. His mother, acclaimed cabaret-singer Lois Sage, introduced him to the music of John Bucchino, Stephen Schwartz and Stephen Sondheim. While developing an ear for harmony and composition he also rocked out to the piano stylings of Billy Joel and Elton John. As a kid, Oyen’s talent landed him on VH1’s In Search of the Partridge Family where he placed third for the role of ‘Danny Partridge.’ He has since worked with and performed beside such Broadway favorites as Faith Prince (A Catered Affair) and David Gaines (The Phantom of the Opera) in a two-concert performance of Sweeney Todd featuring the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

Oyen took his music to college and attended the Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program at the University of Minnesota. Two of Oyen’s musical theatre projects have already seen success: Sidekicks, which premiered at the NYMF in the 2012 Reading Series and A Night Like This, which has been put into production at Florida State University and Princeton University. His concert/song cycle “Context” (now titled “Rebel Verses”) premiered in New York City. He was also featured as a vocal performer on Scott Alan’s “Live at Birdland” album.

Oyen’s music style is Broadway-friendly, similar to that of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, or Joe Iconis. Oyen’s first album If I Knew Better: The Songs of Alexander Sage Oyen was released in March of 2011. His follow up album, Drafts (Volume One), is the first volume of a two-volume set released Dec. 18, 2012. His sophomore effort features fellow musical theater artists Emma Hunton (Spring Awakening), Kennedy Caughell (American Idiot), Taylor Trensch (Matilda) on the album.

On January 19, 2013, Oyen presented a concert at 54 Below featuring a lineup of Broadway stars including Ben Fankhauser (Newsies), Jason Gotay (Bring it On), Corey Mach (Hands on a Hard Body) and Remy Zaken (Spring Awakening), as well as a full company of musical theatre veterans. The concert promoted songs from both of Oyen’s albums and musicals as well as premiered songs that will be featured on Volume two of Drafts.

If you want to hear more of what Oyen’s music is all about, read our list of songs to listen to:

Belief (sung by Ben Fankhauser)

Belief has never been released to Amazon or iTunes for purchase but hopefully this song will be released on Volume two of Drafts. This song is absolutely beautiful as only Oyen can make it. The song is centered on religion and its lyrics capture the doubt many feel in the face of so much wrong with the world. The musical sincerity is endearing and while Fankhauser’s riffs stand on their own, the music creates a beautiful melody that emphasizes the vocal stylings.

If We Meet Again (sung by Remy Zaken)

There is rarely a love song that actually portrays what it feels like to fall in love with a stranger.  Now and again there is a stranger that sits across from you on the subway or in a restaurant and just catches your eye. “If We Meet Again” captures perfectly the hypothetical scenario that occurs every time that mysterious stranger looks your way. The lyrics are honest and real and grab the listener with its urgent questions: should we say something, what could happen, why didn’t we say it? The song is a fully realized moment between two strangers and the timeless questions of attraction.

Vietnam (sung by Taylor Trensch)

Now and then there is a song that completely changes your outlook and you want everyone to hear. This is not that song. This is the song that you want to keep to yourself and cherish in peace and quiet. Vietnam is a soldier’s recount of growing up with his father, a Vietnam war veteran. The song travels through not only the soldier’s feelings but also his father’s feelings and the brutality of war. Probably the most unique thing about this song is how it perfectly captures war and its affects on people outside of the war, which is extremely difficult for someone who has never experienced it.  This song showcases Oyen as a musical theatre composer, realizing both feelings and human emotion in the form of music.

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