New Season Brings New Challenges For This Up-And-Coming Composer

Will Van Dyke heads to the stage for "A Beer and A Song."

In a homecoming of sorts, New York composer Will Van Dyke will take to the stage of an iconic New York gay nightspot next week for an intimate performance of new music. 

Van Dyke returns to The Duplex, which is located in Manhattan’s West Village, with cellist Allison Seidner for “A Beer and A Song” on Sept. 12. Joining the pair will be Broadway’s Katie Rose Clarke, whose résumé includes “Wicked” and “The Light in the Piazza.” 

The evening’s set will feature mostly new material, as well as songs from Van Dyke’s two “pop-theater” EPs, “Chasing The Day” and “A View of the River.” (Check out a video for one of his new songs, “The Snowman,” above) 

“September always feels like the beginning of a new year in theater,” he told The Huffington Post by phone from Seattle, where a production of “Writing Kevin Taylor,” a musical he co-wrote with Josh Halloway, was being presented in August. 

Van Dyke is best known to Broadway audiences as the musical director of the Tony-winning musical, “Kinky Boots.” Meanwhile, his work as a songwriter has been showcased on recent albums by Annaleigh Ashford and Matt Doyle, as well as other established performers. 

Composer Will Van Dyke (left) and cellist Allison Seidner will perform Sept. 12 at The Duplex in New York.
Composer Will Van Dyke (left) and cellist Allison Seidner will perform Sept. 12 at The Duplex in New York.

Despite this, Van Dyke admitted to having a few pre-show jitters before his Sept. 12 show simply because he’s rarely taken to the microphone himself over the years. He even joked that the evening’s title was borne out of this anxiety, noting, “Hopefully people will get so drunk they won’t remember the sound of my singing voice the next morning.” 

Van Dyke’s remarks, of course, were clearly meant in jest. Meanwhile, the venue itself has personal significance, too. 

“The first show I ever did was at The Duplex, which was about 10 years ago,” he said. “It feels very homey to me, because that’s where I first started sharing my work.”

No doubt the night will be a sweet return for this up-and-coming composer. 

Will Van Dyke and Allison Seidner will perform “A Beer And A Song” at New York’s The Duplex on Sept. 12, along with special guest Katie Rose Clarke. Head here for more details. 



Ways Your Theater Major Is Totally Helpful In The Real World