As a freshman at Yale, studying music, he decided he wanted to be a conductor. As a young musician in New York, he began to work his way through the world of musical theater. For years, he led the music for “Cats” and “Wicked,” among other productions. He and her husband, Martin Lowe, a fellow music director, live part-time in New York and London as the work goes on.
In 2016, theater director Marianne Elliott approached Mr. Fram with an idea. She wanted to update “Company,” Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical from the 1970s, by flipping the gender of the main character, who is expected to settle into life at the age of 35, from male to female. female to make the show more modern. Mr. Fram agreed to collaborate and supervise the music.
That August, they met Mr. Sondheim, then 86 years old, to ask his permission.
“We were absolutely terrified and we wanted him to say yes, too bad,” Mr Fram said. “And in recognition of his credit, he basically said, ‘Let’s do a workshop, take a video and send it to me and I’ll see what I think.”
When Mr. Sondheim approved, Mr. Fram, the show’s music supervisor, rearranged the vocals and assembled the musical talent for the show. The first opened in London’s West End in 2018 and is scheduled to open on Broadway on March 22, 2020 – Mr Sondheim’s 90th birthday. Broadway closes on March 12.
The tight Broadway world has been hit hard by Covid. Danny Burstein, then starred in “Moulin Rouge,” was hospitalized; Nick Cordero, a 41-year-old Broadway actor then in Los Angeles, has passed away. Mr. Fram was not hospitalized, and by early April he thought he had recovered. But a few weeks later, everything changed. “It was like someone turned off my metabolic switch,” he said.
In the middle of a yoga session, he put his head down and thought he was going to faint. As days went by, he suffered from joint pain, fatigue and shortness of breath, feeling like the wind after walking just three blocks.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/nyregion/joel-fram-broadway-covid.html Broadway conductor’s difficult comeback journey from Long Covid