Fynsworth Alley: 10 Questions with Denis Markell

Originally published on Fynsworth Alley.

10 Questions with Denis Markell

How did your songs end up on Broadway Bound

Michael Kerker, the indefatigable head of ASCAP’s musical theatre division, called my writing partner Douglas Bernstein and suggested we send in a tape. Many months later, a phone call came in saying “Boys, you’re in!” Sadly, that was a crank call. Months after that, ANOTHER call came in saying “Is this Douglas Bernstein? I’m Bruce Kimmel and I’m heartened by your songs.” Bruce let us know he was planning on taking three of our songs for the CD.

Do you write exclusively with Doug Bernstein? How did you two find each other?

Doug and I found each other at a music camp, when he was sixteen and I was seventeen. Anyone humming Rodgers and Hammerstein right now (and you know who you are) stop it. It’s been done. We stayed friends, and ended up both going to Amherst College. Upon arrival in New York, (or return to New York – we both grew up here) I went into the BMI workshop, where I wrote by myself. I was also paired with a few other people, but those experiences were more frustrating than inspiring. At some point the opportunity presented itself for Doug and I to write together (for Upstairs At O’Neal’s) and from that point on, the majority of our writing for the theatre has been together.   Continue reading