Making theater music

American Conservatory Theater’s final Koret Visiting Artist Series event is a good one — and it’s free!

On Sunday, May 18 at 5 p.m. on the ACT stage, the topic is “Notes on Music and Theater.” And the panelists are 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang, Grammy Award-winner Tracy Chapman and local alt-rock cellist Bonfire Madigan Shive(above).

Lang provided scores for several ACT productions including The Tempest, Hecuba and The Difficulty in Crossing the Field. He won the Pulitzer last month for The Little Match Girl Passion (based on the children’s story).

Chapman, best known for her distinctive recordings of “Fast Car” and “Baby Can I Hold You,” recently made her first foray into writing for the theater when she provided a score (and recorded a new song) for ACT’s Blood Knot.

Shive is currently composing the score for ACT’s next show, Tis Pity She’s a Whore. Shive will perform the score live at each performance.

Artistic director Carey Perloff will moderate. The event is free but seats can be reserved by e-mailing For information visit

Here’s a flashback of Chapman performing her beautiful ballad “Baby Can I Hold You.”

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