Our current Leo K. offering, Lizard Boy, was written, composed and performed by Justin Huertas. Literary Director Kristin Leahey sat down with two talented performers of this world premiere, fellow “Lizards” Kirsten deLohr Helland (Siren) and Bill Williams (Cary). What follows is a conversation about the extensive and diverse instrumentation in the show.
KL: What instruments do you play in Lizard Boy?
KDH: All of the instruments. All of them. And Justin is literally the reason why. He was like, “You’re gonna probably play piano. Also guitar. Probably ukulele.”
KL: You learned all these instruments for Lizard Boy? That’s amazing! Bill, what experience did you have with playing prior to this show?
BW: A little piano because my dad played – I think I took lessons for like a year when I was 8.
KL: What are all the instruments that you use in the show?
BW: We play kazoos, guitars, glockenspiel, melodica, some egg shakers, and beat box…
KDH: You start with guitar, shaker, beat boxing, piano, kazoo and glockenspiel. Do you do anything else? I know everybody’s track.
BW: I think it’s just guitar and piano after that.
KDH: Bill, I think you play the most music in the show – maybe not the most instruments but the most music – full length songs. Without Bill, no one would be singing with music. Justin plays the cello throughout, but he’s picked very specific places in the show where he does that. He plays the guitar once and the uke once but the story revolves around him, so he doesn’t really have a lot of opportunity to support people. On the other hand, I’m like a sound machine over in the corner. Everything that is not beat boxing or guitar or cello – I play.
KL: You don’t play guitar in the show? I thought you did!
KDH: Not really. There was a time when I did and now I don’t. I pluck on the guitar.
KL: How do you remember all that? It’s usually a simple question, but for this show it’s not.
BW: Its one of those things that once you start, everything just clicks.
KDH: There was a day right before we started tech when Mike Egan, our stage manager, said, “Before you guys perform, I just have to run through all of the instruments and things you play in each number for sound.”
And we’re like, cool. It was at that moment that he listed off the GINORMOUS amount of things we do in each song. And we thought, “Oh, we’re busy – no wonder we’re tired everyday.” We’re always singing, we’re always talking, and we’re always playing instruments.
Experience the music for yourself! Lizard Boy plays through May 2.