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  • Writer's pictureJim Bessman

Peter Asher returns to Cutting Room hoping to expand his 'Musical Memoir' with a 'Bright

Peter and Gordon's "True Love Ways" from "Musical Memoir"

After a couple New York presentations of his acclaimed duo show with guitar hero and fellow Brit Albert Lee—who worked with the Everly Brothers for years--Peter Asher returns to the Cutting Room Friday night with his well-traveled A Musical Memoir of the 60s and Beyond featuring the music of Peter and Gordon, the so-called "Everly Brothers of the British Invasion."

This time around, though, the producers of the award-winning musical Bright Star will be in attendance to celebrate the Broadway hit's Grammy nomination for Best Musical Theater Album, Asher having co-produced it after serving as musical supervisor for the show itself--which featured the music of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell and was inspired by their Grammy-winning 2013 bluegrass album Love Has Come for You.

Bright Star is now up against The Color Purple (the new Broadway cast album), the 2016 Broadway cast album for Fiddler on the Roof, the London cast recording of Kinky Boots and the original Broadway cast album for Waitress.

"Realistically, we shouldn't win because Bright Star isn't running and Waitress is," says Asher, lauding the latter musical's composer/lyricist Sara Bareilles.

"I love Sara, but our album is great, too. You never know: Stranger things have happened and I'm such a huge Sara Bareilles fan that if Waitress wins it's okay. But if we win it's better!"

Meanwhile, Asher is busy with Boss Baby, the forthcoming DreamWorks animation feature loosely based on the 2010 picture book by illustrator Marla Frazee--for which Asher has reunited with Hans Zimmer, with whom he’s worked on soundtracks including Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.

"It's about the impact a baby has on a household from the perspective of a five-year-old voiced by Alec Baldwin—so you get the picture!" says Asher.

Speaking of Zimmer, Asher also directed the composer's immense live concert production, which has successfully toured Europe.

"We're bringing it to America, and it's already booked for Coachella," Asher reports. "Peope are wondering what it's about, but it's astounding, with 70 people on stage and spectacular visuals and lighting. We start rehearsals in a month and have a number of other dates in America as well as in Europe."

As for Musical Memoir, in which he delivers multimedia memories and band performances of his 1960s Peter and Gordon British Invasion hits (with late partner Gordon Waller), along with those from his illustrious production and management clientele including the likes of James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, Asher added a specially relevant story to the mix when he performed it Monday night in Minneapolis.

"The time before last that I played there, I got a phone call that night from [Prince's studio] Paisley Park asking if I'd like to come over for a tour," relates Asher. "I said, 'Of course! Tomorrow afternoon?' and they said, 'No, now!' Sure enough, at midnight I knocked on the door and the boss himself opened it and gave me a two-hour personal tour! It was truly extraordinary, as he had various recording sessions going on—all at midnight."



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