Back by Popular Demand
by Estelle Rosen
Kieren MacMillan is one-half of the writing team of MacMillan and Hutton, whose three musicals ("Fairy Tale Ending", "ToboR the RoboT", and "Robin Hood: The Legendary Musical Comedy") are favourites of audiences and critics in Toronto and beyond. Kieren graduated from Rice University with his Master of Music in Composition, and since then has worked in Toronto as a composer, music director, and educator. In addition to his freelance work, Kieren is a faculty member at Toronto's Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts.
the lasting adult appeal is due in part to its (perhaps surprisingly) "grown-up" sensibility and maturity of theme
As to the universal appeal… Jeremy (who wrote the book, almost all of the lyrics, and some of the music as well) is quite in tune with the mindset of youth actors — it's one of the things that made him a spectacular director at TYT — and so the writing is immediately relevant and accessible to that age group. But we're also keenly aware that adults attend our shows, if only because they have to accompany or support their children, so we write material that they can enjoy as well. We try to hit that "Pixar sweet spot", where there's something for every age group. In "Fairy Tale Ending", the lasting adult appeal is due in part to its (perhaps surprisingly) "grown-up" sensibility and maturity of theme. We refuse to "write down" to kids, which means that our stories, lyrics, and music have a certain sophistication that adults appreciate.