My Date With Death
A Musical that begs the question, ‘To sing, or not to sing’
Writer/Composer Daniel Sugimoto has struggled his entire life with questions of suicide and the purpose of life. With “My Date With Death - A Musical Romance” he is turning his pain into music and asking not what can others do for him, but what he can do for others. Being so close to calling it quits, Sugimoto decided to reframe his purpose and express his love of death with a genuine love of life.
Much like an episode of Dr. Who, this fantasy musical breathes light into the dark side of the universe of death, loss, and those who struggle with suicide. So strap in and take a Dickensian sprint across the universe with Link our isolated soul as he falls in love with Lady Death and her never ending knowledge of the cosmos.
Note from writer:
Daniel Sugimoto - Hey guys! So this is going to be a different style of musical but I couldn't be more excited to share this piece with the world. I’ve struggled most of my life with a rugged rumination into death, suicide, and the dialogue different cultures engage in regarding death, life, and what comes after. With 12 brand new original songs and two characters, I’m focussing on different ways to think, discuss, and cope with the inevitable end of this thing called life. My hope is to entertain your ease and your ideas towards issues that more than a few deal with on a daily basis and maybe come out with a brighter broader understanding for those who need a hand here and there.
Lady Death/Diallo - Samantha Lawrence
Samantha M. Lawrence is a singer/actress from Maryland who is now based in Los Angeles, CA. Primarily a musician, Samantha studied opera and music theater at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Since her undergraduate studies, Samantha has performed everything from Opera to Music Theater to Jazz, and even heading up a funk/soul band in D.C. (Get to Steppin’). Since arriving in southern California in 2016, she has taken on a multitude of projects, both theater and commercial. Her past productions include Songs for a New World (Woman 1 u/s, Chromolume Theatre), Don Giovanni (chorus, Pacific Opera Project), Carmen (chorus, Pacific Opera Project), and, most recently, Beauty and the Beast (Belle, Casa 0101). She has also performed as a soloist with world-renowned pianist and composer Paul Anthony Romero, in Cabaret at the Merc, Motown, Vol. 4, and has performed at Lincoln Center (Westminster Choir College) and Carnegie Hall (Westminster Choir College). In addition to her musical credits, she has also appeared the indie short film Portrait (Katrina, Mark Jason Welch) and in local commercials and print ads. Samantha is so excited and honored for the opportunity to breathe life into original work, and thanks Daniel Sugimoto and Julia Lisa for this amazing opportunity.
Daniel Sugimoto - (Writer/ Link) is a local playwright composer who has been working professionally in Los Angeles for 7 years. From shows at South Coast Rep to writing and producing award winning shows with his own theatre company Daniel has tried to have open and honest dialogues with his book of shows. Letters To Eve, his World War II dramatic musical about Japanese Internment and the Holocaust won a 'Community Organizer Award', was commended by Congresswoman Maxine Waters as a 'Meaningful contribution to American Culture'.
His writing in Date With Death chronicles a life struggling with what it means to live, what it means to find true happiness, and how to handle the only real philosophical question, “To Be or Not to Be”.
Select Credits: Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Lumiere (TNH Productions, Casa 0101); Disney's Aladdin, Aladdin (TNH Productions, Casa 0101); Thenardier's Inn a Les Mis Cabaret, Marius (CAC Studios); ChiCabaRENT, EmCee (CAC Studios);
His writing of this show chronicles a life struggling with what it means to live, what it means to find true happiness, and how to handle the only real philosophical question, “To Be or Not to Be”.
THE MILES MEMORIAL PLAYHOUSE
The Miles is a Santa Monica treasure. Located in Reed Park just 8 blocks from the Ocean and a few blocks from 3rd Street Promenade, the Historic Playhouse has entertained audiences since 1929. Along with recurring youth programs such as Downbeat 720 and the Santa Monica International Teen Film Festival. They offer world class entertainment every January & February at our intimate "Fireside at the Miles" performance series. The rest of the year we are available to local and regional non-profit performing arts companies and host a wide array of music, dance and theatrical events.
The Miles Memorial Playhouse was designed in 1929 by prominent local architect John Byers in the Spanish Colonial revival style. The building’s sponsor, J. Euclid Miles, was a leading citizen in the development of Santa Monica. In his last will and testament, Miles bequeathed $25,000 to the City to erect a theater “for the children and young men and women” of Santa Monica as a memorial to his daughter, Mary A. Miles.
With its massive wooden beams, plasterwork, gleaming hardwood floors, ironwork details, and grand fireplace, the Playhouse has been enjoyed by generations of Santa Monicans and used almost continually since its inception as a meeting hall and performance venue.
In 1994 the Playhouse was nearly destroyed in the Northridge earthquake, but assisted by the John Ash group and in consultation with the community at large it was fully restored by the City in 1998. Since then it has presented annual cultural programs for youth and adults as well as ongoing public performances by renting nonprofits.
WHY IS THIS SHOW IMPORTANT?
We believe that this show is important because suicide is quickly becoming an epidemic in the western society and it is out responsibility as artists to do whatever we can to give people in need a space, a song, or a character they can feel safe with; rely on. I’ve (Sugimoto) struggled my entire life with thoughts of ending it all and feeling helplessly alone but I’ve had the help of music, musical theatre, friends, family, stories, and an overall acknowledgement and acceptance of my place in the world to help me through it all. These types of thoughts isn’t like a phase that dissipates one time or as one matures. It’s a life long battle that takes practice, repetition, habitual self evaluation, and an honest outlook on your life purpose.
In the technological boom that secures most of us and younger generations into smart phones or online based mediums, it is safe to say that as a society we are becoming more isolated. This isn’t to say that there aren’t positive effects to the social media tools but like all good things, moderation and understanding are key. This show dives into what makes this cyber world we inhabit so enticing and captivating and asks the audience to check in with how far have we fallen down the rabbit hole of our online personas and if evaluating our use might be an intelligent decision.
Death and the discussion of death has always fascinated me (Sugimoto). I believe our western society has placed an unfortunate amount of melancholy to the concept of death and with a little rewiring we can look at it very differently. Most religions have their own ideas on the afterlife but this can make the time spent on earth a little less important, given that you will live after you die. This show begs those questions and wonders if just accepting our mortality, living with it with respect and love for it, that maybe we can learn to handle the pain and claustrophobia brought along with death and mourning.