POST CABARET

Wow, you guys.  Okay it’s been a few days.  I ended up going to New York the day after the cabaret and didn’t have access to proper internet.

The cabaret on Monday was pretty wild.  Seriously.  What a great time I had.  We had a great turn out.  Seriously, it was really full.  Thank you so much to all of you who showed up.  And it was so much fun.  I had a couple of moments where I forgot some lyrics but, people, I learned about 23/24 songs in about 4 weeks.  That was the part that wasn’t so great.  I love to really get inside the lyrics but I didn’t feel I was as inside the stories as I wanted to be.  But I still got to take the audience on some fun rides.  It was wild.

For those of you who didn’t make it,  the first set was a “meditation” on The Wizard Of Oz using all Harold Arlen music (he was the composer of the music from the film) but I challenged myself to not actually use any of the music from the Wizard Of Oz.  That was a hoot.  (yes, I wrote “hoot”and I’m not ashamed) What I really loved about it was that there are songs people don’t know, songs people know but didn’t know were his, and many people said they couldn’t believe how well the songs suited the moments . . . . hooray!!!!

The second set was a celebration of the great ladies of the stage and concert worlds.  No, I didn’t do impersonations.  It was simply great tunes that touched me by some legendary ladies such as Barbara Cook (MY WHITE KNIGHT),  Lena Horne (TOMORROW MOUNTAIN),  Patti Lupone (MEADOWLARK), etc.

What I also found, which is something that the wonderful Wayne Gwillim (my accompanist) and I were talking about before the show, is that each set could stand on it’s own and could even be expanded into a full evening on it’s own.  But they seemed to work well and were really fun to do as totally different companion pieces.

And that’s about it.  Now I’m trying to get ready for DREAMGIRLS to start.  dreamgirlsI take off for London on monday and start rehearsals on tuesday.  Bunch of good friends, good tunes, great theatre, good times.

Oh, while I was in New York, I went and saw the revival of Blythe Spirit in New York.  It stars Rupert Everett, Christine Ebersole and the amazing Angela Landsbury.  3313568230_0c9f09535dIt was an okay production but Angela Landsbury was so amazing.  The woman is 84 or something like that and she came in, took over the room while still totally being generous to the entire cast, and would sweep out. She got a round of applause every time she entered the room and every time she left.  3 TIMES!!!  And the best part was SHE EARNED IT EVERY TIME!!!  That’s a pro, people.

Okay, that’s it.  Back to work.  Packing, learning stuff.  Aaarggghh!!

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Published in: on March 22, 2009 at 12:18 am  Comments (1)  

CABARET AND MUSINGS

page_1So here we are, my friends.  My cabaret RAINBOWS AND SONGBIRDS is tomorrow night, Monday, Mar. 16.  I’m really excited.  Wayne Gwillim and I have really come up with a program (well, two really) that makes us really happy.  We spent a lot of time giggling after rehearsing several of the songs.  I hope people are delighted and surprised.  I love crafting songs that make people do two things.  1) really hear the lyrics for the first time, and 2) hear the music in a way they wouldn’t have thought of before.  Plus we have some songs that I’m sure no one, or at least very few people, will have heard before.  What’s also fun about the first set, which is all Harold Arlen material (Wizard of Oz), is that there are a lot of songs people won’t realize were his.  The only thing is we’ve, …well okay, … I’VE changed songs around so much – added, shifted, taken away – that some of them are a little new in my head.  I may have to “cheat-sheet” a couple of songs.  I hate that but there are over 25 songs so if I have to cheat on a couple, c’est la vie.  I’ll work it into the feel of the show and even make using cheat-sheets fun/funny.  (I hope)

I think it’s going to be a good house.  God only knows.  I keep hearing from a lot of people that they’re coming to the show.  I always have the little bit of worry that no one’s going to show up.  But the great part is I’m going to have fun no matter what.  That’s why I’m really feeling like moving toward cabaret and concert work is the right decision for me.  I love being able to sing songs that I love and telling stories I want to tell in the ways I want to tell them.  That’s very exciting to me.  So we’ll see.  I’m interesting to see if people enjoy my sensibility in the show tomorrow.  If they follow, if they “pick up what I’m puttin’ down” – as the kids say nowadays (or in the 1970’s, whatever).  If people who are reading this are coming, I hope you have a ball.  I’ll do my best to turn it out for you.

In other thoughts.  I had dinner last night with a fascinating woman who is a professor of linguistics.  Brilliant and funny and fun and charming.  We had a amazing time talking about art and education and travel and on and on and on.  One of the things we talked about is how people learn.  What makes students – young students ie. junior high/high school students – interested in learning.  We talked about how to make the information register in a young mind.   What we came up with was the idea that the most successful teachers are the ones who find ways to make their subject apply to the everyday life of the listeners.  ie. “I want to be a plumber, how do I use calculus in an applicable way?”.  Hmm  okay that’s a weird analogy but you get the idea.  And it got me talking and thinking about how lucky I am that I had some amazing teachers/mentors who found ways to link me in.   So I just wanted to thank Mr. Stepushyn (sp?)(physics), Mr. Normandale (english), and my english/art teacher Eleanor ______ (I can’t remember her last name now) for believing in my, encouraging me, nurturing me and linking me to the real world and sending me into it prepared and armed.

P.S. There is some work related news coming very soon.

Published in: on March 15, 2009 at 2:11 pm  Comments (1)  

POST “A NEW BRAIN”

Well, here we are.   A New Brain ended about 4 days ago.  It’s early Thursday morning and I can’t sleep (rare for me but it happens) so I thought I would talk to my peeps.  Nothing much to say, just some updates and musings so follow me as I ramble.

The closing went really well.   Really nice house, attentive, vocal, fun.  The show had a good bounce to it.   So many people from the business came to see the show throughout the run.  Which shouldn’t have surprised me but it still did.  In the first big group number, we sing to the audience and there was nowhere to look.  “Oh, look, there’s Charlotte Moore, Oh, God, there Jackie Maxwell, Jeez, there’s Brad Fraser.” As horrifying as it is to see off the top, it was wonderful that all of these people came to support us.

After the show, our wonderful stage manager, Stephanie Nakamura, had the cast and crew over to her apartment for a party.  It was great.  I hadn’t been eating a lot of sugar but that night, children, Whoooo.   I ingested enough sugar to make a 5-year-old’s head explode.   And woke up with the grossest sugar hang-over  (note: not from alcohol but sugar).  But it was really fun. It was sad to say bye to everyone but quite frankly, I know I’ll probably work with everyone again in the next 5 – 7 years so I don’t really mourn shows anymore.  I’m always ready to move on to something else.  But this cast was very special.  I would love to work with this same group again some day.  We kept joking about that.  How Mitchell Marcus, our producer, should just pick a show for the ten of us to do together next year.  Something tells me not to hold my breath . . . . . fair enough.

Since then, papa hasn’t stopped, y’all.  My God.  I’ve been trying to get my shit together.  And by shit, I mean learning material.  Okay,here’s the list.  I’m doing SING OUT, LOUISE! the fundraiser for Buddies In Bad Times on Monday, Mar. 9 (this monday), then my own cabaret RAINBOWS AND SONGBIRDS at Buddies in Bad Times on Monday Mar. 16 – for which I need to learn about 23/24 songs.  Plus I need to be getting really familiar with the score for DREAMGIRLS which I start in about 2 1/2 weeks.  Plus I need to re-learn and learn all of the material, old and new,  for my PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT final callback which will be a the end of March.  So needless to say, I don’t really have time to sit on my laurels.  But you know what, I like being busy.  I don’t really mind but I’ve also had all of these little things that have been taking up time so I haven’t really been able to concentrate on things the way I’ve wanted to so I need to restructure my time.

Oooo listen to me “restructure my time”.  I’m all ‘project manager’.

Anyway, excited.  Lots of things in the fire.

Oh, if you guys read this in the next two days, go see a show called BLIND DATE  at the Brigantine Room at Harbourfront. Oh my god, sooooo funny.  Actress/clown Rebecca Northan does sort of a one-woman show.  She brings up an audience member up and improvs a blind date for an hour and a half.  Seriously, y’all, amazing. But it’s only on until Mar. 5 or 6 so run, don’t walk. I was there with Susan Henley, Steve Ross, Randy Reid and Jon Kaplan and we laughed a lot!!!  I love creative things like that.

Hmmm  what else?  Don’t know.  I guess nothing.  Okay more another time.  Still some news coming but I haven’t signed anything yet so I can’t say officially.  I’ll let you know.

Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 9:32 am  Leave a Comment