conducting Avon.jpg

What You Find In A Bottle
Chilina Kennedy (Arranged and Produced by Rick Fox)
Album review

Broadway star Chilina Kennedy has been making moves onstage for years now.  The talented star is currently starring as famed musician and songwriter Carole King in Beautiful, but Kennedy is no stranger to writing and performing her own original music.

Over the course of ten years Chilina Kennedy has written and recorded her debut album, What You Find In a Bottle.  The album features all original music, tackled with a soulful and folk inspired delivery and characterized by Kennedy’s uplifting and powerful voice.  

..."Although the subject matter is a little heavy, the track’s production is light and airy, especially as Kennedy moves into the sing-along worthy and almost cheerful chorus. ..." 
...“I Wouldn’t Call It Love” signifies a sassier delivery from Kennedy.  On the track Chilina’s voice rides over a flirty production as she sings about that dreaded time when you need to “define the relationship” and come to grips with what you’re looking for.  The addition of some jazzy piano and soulful vocal delivery makes the song an almost playful game of cat and mouse and Chilina Kennedy sings about the struggle of coming to grips with a relationship.  The drama is absolutely encapsulating and ends up adding a sense of playfulness and confusion to a relationship."
..." Kennedy takes a turn for the unexpected with her ballad “Gold.”  The gorgeous piano and string led piece is a tribute to the eternal optimist who does everything with the joy and glimmer of gold.  The song’s production gently builds to a graceful crescendo, and the track exudes a sense of utmost passion and true emotion.  ..."The track’s production has a sense of purity as Kennedy struggles with coming to grips with earlier transgressions and finding a way to move on from those past errors.
"The Gambler is is another track that presents some serious subject matter behind a driving production in an effective way." 
...“Prisoner layered production and powerful vocal track make for a standout piece on What You Find In a Bottle.  ..."
The soulful track features a simple guitar production as the musician sings about her past and the impending future.  Singing from a point of new maturity and depth Kennedy realizes that growth and improvement is a process.  The song is a beautiful tribute to the passing of time, growth and hope for a better tomorrow.

What You Find In a Bottle is a heartwarmingly honest collection of work from Chilina Kennedy.  The Broadway star has proven her talents onstage countless times, but this feels like one of her most personal ventures to date.  The album is overwhelmingly filled with positivity and a sense of maturity as the songstress reflects upon her past and looks to the future.  The Broadway star has a bright one ahead of her, but she looks even further on tracks like “Now It’s Up To You.”  On the album fans and listeners are introduced to a new and more personal side of Chilina Kennedy.  This isn’t a woman playing a role so much as a soulful and talented songstress opening up and sharing her innermost thoughts and realizations with us.


The Secret Garden

Lucy Simon’s lush score was performed by 14 superb musicians, lead by Conductor/Musical Director Rick Fox. I could see his conducting from where I was sitting and it was the perfect addition to the wonderful voices on stage, and made the performance even more special for me. …Anna Morgenstern, D.C> Metro Arts


Jesus Christ Superstar

A Thrilling, Definitive, Layered JCS Like You’ve Never Seen Before…

 “Rick Fox’s musical direction (as it did last year with Evita), excitingly restores Lloyd Webber’s work to its original roots, where his rock and symphonic impulses engage in a battle that both sides ultimately win.”  The Toronto Star

“Rick Fox’s musical direction is powerhouse.” National Post

“But music director Rick Fox treats the rock-symphonic score and vocals with integrity appropriate to the era in which the material was born.”  Hollywood Reporter

 “Holding the whole thing together is the musical direction of Rick Fox, providing the full range of Lloyd Webber modes, from symphonic wannabe to pop rocker to Broadway stylist.”  Variety

 “While music director Rick Fox and sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy deliver a crystal-clear rendition of Lloyd Webber’s vibrant score and Rice’s tricky lyrics, and the performances are largely solid,….”   Backstage

“Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, whose pulsating, guitar- and organ-driven score – led by standouts “I Don’t Know How To Love Him,” “Everything’s Alright” and “Superstar” – is still super and now given hypnotic life by musical director Rick Fox.”  Huffingtonpost/AP

“The music sounds terrific and the stagecraft is often inspired.” Time Out

“Well, as soon as the first note came pounding out of that high-amped electric guitar, the riff that develops as “B flat/A/G flat”, you could feel it. It’s not something you feel very often in the very best of times; in our present barely-bronze age of the Broadway musical, it comes very rarely, if at all.”  Edge/Boston

“And there’s never any small moment when the music, from Rick Fox’s fine 11-piece pit band, isn’t wondrously in sync with the action, at least partly because McAnuff himself has always dreamed of playing in such a band.”  San Diego Arts

“Music director Rick Fox treats the rock-symphonic score and vocals with integrity appropriate to the era in which the material was born. And McAnuff’s controversial man-or-Messiah question. That means this staging is likely to speak to ‘70s nostalgists (guilty as charged) as well as younger musical fans curious to know what the fuss was about.”-David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

“Howell Binkley’s lighting seems to dance off the music, which is sumptuously conducted by musical director Rick Fox.” LA Times

“Otherwise the show looks as good as it sounds, thanks to the clarity of Steve Canyon Kennedy’s aural design and Rick Fox’s dynamic musical direction.”   New Jersey Newsroom

McAnuff said in an interview, “they went back to the original orchestrations, which have a strong rock sound.”

“Yes, the music is loud, but it’s meant to be.  All the voices were strong and confident, beautiful when intended, menacing when intended, and that pit band sure could play!  Lloyd Webber and Rice’s music have never sounded better. “

Gypsy Chicago Shakespeare

"But they sound terrific; the musical director, Rick Fox, achieves very sharp definition, making it feel not so much like you're listening to a reduced orchestration but to a hefty pit band with period veracity, Rose's tootin', cheerin' section." -Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

"Stunningly produced GYPSY is thoroughly entertaining. From the first notes from the 14 member orchestra, you get those thrilling, brass-infused, sharp tones that speak burlesque – Broadway. The mood gets set with one of the ‘great’ overtures ever. Instantly, we are thrust into the world of the 20′S vaudeville and the 30′s burlesque." -Tom Williams

" much else in Griffin’s staging is top-notch, including that 14-piece orchestra playing Styne’s lushly memorable score." -Kris Vire Time Out Chicago

"…bright spots to celebrate. The 14 piece orchestra blasts the joint with brassy new arrangements (by music director Rick Fox), including a very well-played overture" - Chicago Theatre Addict

"Rick Fox’s musical direction is excellent, and the orchestra is lush." - Chicago Stage Standard

"The orchestra, perched a story above the stage, provides the audio sparkle. Musical Director Rick Fox facilitates the energetic and bright sound of post-depression showbiz." -the Katy Chronicles

"The visuals are matched with opulent sound from the 14-member orchestra seated a level up from the stage. With an overture that Griffin calls one of the best ever, this “Gypsy” gets the instrumental ensemble it deserves." - Leanne Star , Chicago Splash Magazine

"Of course, Griffin does not neglect the magnificence of the music by Julie Styne with lyrics by Sondheim. In a mezzanine style platform a story above the stage, the brilliant 14-piece orchestra with music direction by Rick Fox is dazzling from the exciting and outstanding overture to the last note." - Chicago Examiner

"Griffin has done a terrific job of adapting what was a proscenium-arch show for Chicago Shakepeare’s thrust stage and scaling the orchestra to the size of the theater. Musical director Rick Fox’s additional orchestrations for the 14 musicians (down from the original production’s 28), who are on a raised platform across the back of the stage, simulate the musical feel of the era between World War I and World War II without sacrificing any of the sound. Meanwhile, the CST’s excellent 14-piece acoustic orchestra, ramped up with extra horns and plucky strings, is promoted from the traditional obscurity of the pit to a lofty perch, and that’s a good thing, too." - Nancy Malitz, Chicago on the Aisle

"The orchestra, perched a story above the stage, provides the audio sparkle. Musical Director Rick Fox facilitates the energetic and bright sound of post-depression showbiz." - The Fourth Wall

"Director Gary Griffin adds his magic touch to this production of ”Gypsy”, with the collaborative efforts of musical director Rick Fox, with the same gusto he has with several recent Sondheim revivals like “Follies, and Sunday in the Park with George.” Under music director Fox and conductor Valerie Maze’s orchestra the play realizes its much touted musical legacy. "  - Syd Slobodnik  Readbuzz


"Why is the score so good? Because it doesn’t sound like anyone else. Dykstra has his own voice and it comes straight from the soul. He’s got excellent support from music supervisor Robert Foster, conductor Reza Jacobs and orchestrator Rick Fox, all of whom do fine, subtle work. - Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star

Review for Bruce Dow’s CD, “Lucky To Be Me”

“Dow displays a wide range of pitch, tone, and style in Lucky To Be Me (recorded in 2005, with all arrangements by Rick Fox, Musical Director at the Stratford Festival). The musical corps is expanded to include Hammond organ, guitars, acoustic bass, fretless bass, drums, and percussion in addition to Fox’s piano, resulting in a thicker texture for the songs. Dow’s versatility runs the gamut from the high finish after a moderate jaggedness in “I’m A Stranger Here Myself” (Kurt Weill-Ogden Nash) to the elegant waltz rhythm of “Dancing” from Hello Dolly! where his tenor modulates to a counter-tenor for the dizzy release. Then there’s the blues quality in “Something Cool,” the crispness in “New Words,” and the free, expansive release in “Lucky To Be Me.” For my taste, one of the best numbers is “My Foolish Heart,” Victor Young’s poignant ballad whose eloquent lyric reminds us that lyricists don’t seem to compose as poetically as they used to. To listen to lines such as “There’s a line between love and fascination/They both give the very same sensation/When you’re lost in the magic of a kiss” is to experience the bliss of a marvelous conjoining of melody and lyric. And Dow reincarnates this bliss. His final number is a bold showstopper out of Guys and Dolls, where he brought Damon Runyon’s Nicely-Nicely Johnson to vivid, colourful life at Stratford, giving the show its strongest contact with Runyon and hitting the rafters with “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.” This is the number that showed just how good this performer could be in a Broadway musical, and it’s delightful to have it recorded here by a singer who appreciates the value of a lyric without losing the melody.”

Keith Garabian –


Review Stratford’s Jacques Brel…2010

Rick Fox’s authentic-sounding new arrangements and the quartet of musicians who play them are wonderful, while Katherine Lubienski’s set is simple but quite striking: Brel’s head pokes out through a hole in a wall plastered with posters and pictures as if he’s peeking in on the performance from heaven (or hell). If he was capable of actually doing so, I have no doubt he’d be happy with this beautiful production.

Kelly Nestruck – Globe and Mail

Reviews for Stratford’s West Side Story 2009

Griffin’s production has an electric charge that keeps the hairs on your skin tingling from start to finish, thanks to two incredible leads cast as the star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria and Rick Fox’s assertive musical direction.

Kelly Nestruck – Globe and Mail

West Side Story - Stratford

"For weeks now, the buzz surrounding the previews of West Side Story at the Stratford Festival has echoed one of the show’s memorable tunes: “Something’s coming, something good.”
It finally opened on Friday night, but the word on the street was wrong. It isn’t good. It’s absolutely great.
Musical director Rick Fox keeps the driving edge the score needs but isn’t afraid to let his orchestra soar to romantic heights when the occasion warrants.
You don’t try to understand perfection. You just bow low in gratitude and rush to see it. I doubt you could find a better show in the province of Ontario this year." - Richard Ouzounian - Toronto Star