Monday, April 19, 2010

In praise of Harold Wheeler

I recently had the honor and genuine joy to interview Harold Wheeler. Wheeler is the music director and band leader on Dancing with Stars: He's the guy who arranges the songs every week, turning them into paso dobles, quicksteps or waltzes. But as much of a DWTS fan as I am, he means a lot more to me: Wheeler got his breakthrough when he did the dance orchestrations for Burt Bacharach and Hal David's Promises, Promises in 1968, and he went on to orchestrate The Wiz, Dreamgirls, Hairspray and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, among other musicals. And Carrie, let's not forget Carrie!

And that's not all: Over the course of our conversation, it emerged that Wheeler had also co-produced Gloria Gaynor's "Never Can Say Goodbye." I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! Real fangirl moment right there.

Anyway, you can read the resulting piece here, and Broadway-centered outtakes on my blog at the Post, over there. There's plenty more fun stuff about DWTS and I may get around to posting that a little later.

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