A Taste of Home

Editor's Note: Who uses a knife on an egg sandwich?

Editor's Note: Who uses a knife on an egg sandwich?

By Dan McIntosh

I got a little gift yesterday, something to warm me up in the middle of one of a particularly chapped and stingingly cold Detroit days. If you look in the picture, you'l see it. Nope, it's not the coffee. Not the toasted sandwich either.

It's the Al Dente binder! And it's filled with every single e-mail, document, great idea and embarrassing clunker we've ever come up with.

Paul overnighted it to me, and I'm looking through it to piece together all the elements of the story, so we can begin to actually write a script—scene by scene, song by song, food pun by excruciating food pun.

It's won't be easy. Definitely going to require long hours and sleepless nights. After all, there's a latte work to be done.

See what I did there?

Don't Doubt Yourself, Fool!

Ian pushed this piano down the entire island of Manhattan

Ian pushed this piano down the entire island of Manhattan

By Andy Ogden

Last night I was lucky enough to grab drinks with a good friend of the Al Dente team, Ian Temple. Ian's made this blog before for putting on an incredible show (involving giant puppets with wind chimes for teeth) with his band, Sontag Shogun . He also runs his own company, soundfly.coma growing library of fun content that teaches users what it takes to chase their musical dreams.

Soundly was founded on the idea that anyone can be a musician. And as it turns out, last night I was not feeling like much of a musician.

"Who am I to be writing a score to a musical? I'm no musician." See, I told you.

But this is where Ian's magic kicked in. Because once I said those three words, he kicked into a frenzy of pointers, tough love, and infectious excitement. "Dude. It's been done before. It's all been done before. Don't try to reinvent music, just find someone you love and straight up copy them. Once you do, you can't help but be original. Besides, you know what hasn't been done before? A singing eggplant. That's what people want see."

At the time I didn't have the heart to tell Ian we'd never written an eggplant into the script and didn't intend to. Still, the point is he's right: what's the point of doubting whether I'm good enough to redefine the American musical? What says that's even what I want to do?

There are so many obstacles we'll have to overcome in getting Al Dente on stage. If I got anything from last night, it's that it's time to stop being one of them.


Wake Up And Smell the Cross-Country Collaboration

You may be wondering: what happens to the show when the Al Dente team is separated by 500 miles of frozen American heartland? Does it still go on? Can it even?

My friend, the show must go on!

That's why we're thrilled to be writing you bright and early this Tuesday morning, deep in the throes of our first ever Al Breakfast. Paul and I are holding it down in NYC, using the power of modern technology to carry a real-time conversation with Dan, who's currently repping The Motor City and repping it hard.

You may also be wondering: what happens at an Al Breakfast? Here's what I'll tell you: over the upcoming months the three of us will be turning the slow drip of our secret sauce into a steady pour. For now, know this:

  1. Mid conversation, Paul slowly and steadily opened an off-brand Nature Valley breakfast bar. 
  2. As he enjoyed several bites of the treat, he unknowingly made quite a little mess of crumbs on the floor of The Future Project office.
  3. Feeling the full weight of his transgression, he solemnly walked to the closet, grabbed a broom, and cleaned up every little last crumb.

It may not seem like much, but Paul's refusal to cut corners (even after nibbling a couple) reflects the same pride and commitment to detail we all bring to this project each and every day. I'm so glad you're along for the ride.

Talented Friends Part II

Just a little update on the people we know that are weirdly creative and impressive.

Last Thursday, we had the distinct pleasure of checking out the album release party of our friend Ian Temple’s band, Sontag Shogun. Unsurprising to us (but maybe surprising to you, who may not know Ian) the guys of Sontag Shogun know how to create a mind blowing experience. The setting: a candlelit yoga studio in Bushwick. The ambience: popcorn machine, absinthe, and unnerving home videos projected on the wall. The entertainment:  Songs from their new album, Tale, (which is awesome, btw. seriously beautiful music), a one-man string ensemble (yes.), and an EXPERIMENTAL PUPPET SHOW. 

Yes, Al inspiration all over the place here. And check. out. that. gigantic. puppet. monster. And if you were wondering, the teeth were chimes that clinked as it ate its prey. Like we were saying, Ian knows what’s up.

Next on the list is the courageous and chiseled Christian Shaboo, who delivered what was essentially a 90 minute acrobatic monologue in New Haven Theater Company’s performance of Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventure of Louis de Rougemont (As Told By Himself). Christian was completely awesome and we were all blown away by the show’s crazy imaginative staging. With very minimal sets and props, the company took us to 19th century London, an underwater octopus attack, a remote dessert island, and a aboriginal village.  

It was a lesson in the power of restraint and imagination. Can’t wait to be able to point to put it to use.