Since we had to cancel our live performances during the COVID-19 pandemic, we started making videos of beloved Broadway showtunes with a twist. What started out simply as a means of creative expression turned out to be a way of deepening our relationship as we realized we could use the making of the videos to resolve issues of conflict that came up under the pressures of being cooped up together.
Broadway in the Yurt #1 - While cooped up together in a 20-foot yurt during the Covid pandemic, David Mielke and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma recorded this in response to an invitation from Vashon Center for the Arts, answering the question of how art endures during difficult times. They found that creating the video alleviated some of their frustration at having all of their performing related work indefinitely postponed, and helped them not take that frustration out on each other.
"Finishing the Hat," from "Sunday in the Park with George." Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
Broadway in the Yurt #2 - While quarantined in a 20-foot yurt during the Covid 19 pandemic, David Mielke and his husband, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, wanted to take action to not end up as emotionally constipated as King George III in "You'll Be Back" from the musical "Hamilton." So they gave him a toilet brush scepter as a cautionary symbol to remind themselves of the importance of taking responsibility to keep their pipelines of communication unblocked, making it a priority to work on cleaning out any old unresolved crap.
Music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Broadway in the Yurt #3 - To soothe himself while sequestering in a 20-foot yurt during the COVID-19 pandemic, David Mielke turned to his penchant for salty/sugary comfort foods when stressed, putting his husband, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, in the position of having to point out how maybe it wasn't the healthiest way of dealing with things.
Original music by Lionel Bart. Parody lyrics by David Mielke.
Broadway in the Yurt #4 - Confined to a 20-foot yurt with his husband, Tom, during the Covid pandemic, David Mielke found something wistful in a box of his mother's possessions that had been gathered when she went into a care home for advanced dementia. "Where Is Love / Try To Remember" is the result of his sadness at not being able to visit her on Mother's Day because of travel restrictions and the no visitors rule implemented to protect the elderly.
"Where Is Love," from "Oliver!" by Lionel Bart; and "Try To Remember," from "The Fantasticks," music by Harvey Schmidt, lyrics by Tom Jones. Additional lyrics by David Mielke, arrangement by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma.
Broadway in the Yurt #5 - After the confinement of being stuck inside in lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, David Mielke celebrates the coming of spring by frolicking through the luscious new greenery that surrounds the 20-foot yurt he shares with his husband Tom.
"The Lusty Month of May" from "Camelot," by Lerner and Loewe. Additional lyrics by David Mielke. Accompaniment by Percy Faith & his Orchestra.
Broadway in the Yurt #6 - While sequestered in a 20-foot yurt during the Covid pandemic with his husband, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, David Mielke finds hope and strength by contemplating the view of the green leaves and open sky visible through the dome. It gives him courage to take action to answer the call to grace during times of lostness, foundness, being blind, and learning new ways to see.
"Everybody Says Don't" from the 1964 Broadway production of "Anyone Can Whistle". Words and music by Stephen Sondheim.
Broadway in the Yurt #7 - While sequestered in a 20-foot yurt with his husband, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, David Mielke finds inspiration and calm in the midst of turbulent times in the story of Sadako Sasaki and her origami cranes.
"Wonderful," sets the words of Sadako Sasaki to original music by Thomas and is part of his show for families, "A Thousand Thanks: The Gift of Sadako and Her Cranes." The lyrics come from "The Complete Story of Sadako Sasaki" by Sue DiCicco and Masahiro Sasaki and were translated from Japanese by Naomi Nakagoshi.
Broadway in the Yurt #8 - Healing systemic wounds within is essential to healing systemic wounds without. Sequestered in a 20-foot yurt during the Covid-19 pandemic, David Mielke and his husband Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma celebrate Father's Day by sharing the song "Father Slate."
Words and music by David Mielke. Piano arrangement by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma. From their original show, "The Driftwood Bridge: An Offering of Story and Song."
Broadway in the Yurt #9 - While sequestered in a 20-foot yurt with his husband, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, David Mielke shares a tale of an artistic mouse named George, a composting outhouse, and how the transformative power of love and friendship encourages us to Move On to living our most authentic lives.
"Sunday in the Park with George" has music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Lapine. It was inspired by the French pointillist painter Georges Seurat's painting "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." The Broadway production opened in 1984.
"Move On" accompaniment by Ethan J. Miller.
"As Long As He Needs Me" from "Oliver" by Lionel Bart, with additional lyrics by David Mielke. Accompaniment by The Melachrino Strings and Orchestra.
Broadway in the Yurt #10 - Quarantined in a 20-foot yurt, David Mielke and his husband, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, question if they might be spoiling their babies. An exploration of how parents can sometimes clash over their differing parenting styles.
Featuring "Plant A Radish" from "The Fantasticks." Music by Harvey Schmidt and lyrics by Tom Jones. The show's original off-Broadway production opened in 1960 and ran a total of 42 years (until 2002) and 17,162 performances, making it the world's longest-running musical.
"Broadway in the Yurt #11" - Sequestered in a 20-foot yurt, David Mielke and his husband, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, sit up into the wee hours, pondering by candlelight the longing for guidance through the woods during challenging times.
Featuring "No One Is Alone" from "Into the Woods," a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. The musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. It premiered on Broadway on November 5, 1987.
"Broadway in the Yurt #12" - Sequestered in a yurt in the woods, David and his husband, Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma, channel the spirit of Don Quixote, finding inspiration in his quest for kindness.
Featuring "The Impossible Dream" from "Man Of La Mancha." Book by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh, and lyrics by Joe Darion. The musical tells the story of the "mad" knight Don Quixote. The original 1965 Broadway production ran for 2,328 performances and won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
"Broadway in the Yurt #13" - Sequestered in a 20-foot yurt, David and Thomas are visited by Mary Poppins, who teaches them how to compost the crappy happenings of life into fertilizer for growth.
Featuring "A Crappy Happenstance," words & music by David Mielke, piano arrangement by Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma.