POST SONDHEIM IN SEPTEMBER

This is overdue folks but it’s been a crazy week.  Sooooooo  last monday (a week ago today) I did the third and final installment of SONDHEIM IN SEPTEMBER, the gala three night benefit for The Actors Fund of Canada.  It was amazing.  For the last night (my night)  a choir of about 30+ people plus about 8 or 9 soloists performing selections from Sondheim’s last 5 published shows – MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, INTO THE WOODS, ASSASSINS, and PASSION.  It was quite a night.  Elicia MacKenzie and Warren Kimmel did beautiful versions of Sunday In The Park with George (Elicia), Move On (Elicia/Warren) and Finishing the Hat (Warren).  Patricia Zentilli and Erica Peck did a cool duet of Not a Day Goes By (Patricia) and Good Thing Going (Erica), Jay Davis and Evan Builing gave some great drama in a scene from Assassins, and Charlotte Moore gave us some breath-taking beauty on I Read from PASSION.

I sang Putting It Together from SUNDAY . ..   My God, so many words.  SO MANY WORDS!!  It’s 28 pages of music – What!!!!  But it went well.   I got through it and managed to tell a story.  People seemed to enjoy it.  Whew.  That was in the first half.  Then I sang Last Midnight in the second half.  It’s a song I love so much.  It’s from INTO THE WOODS.  Such a great number.  I think I scared the living daylights out of the audience.  It’s big.  It went well except . . . there is a weird key change in the middle.  It sort of happens in the air.  (ie, there is not music under it until you vocally change the key).  I’ve never had a problem with it before but I’ve always been aware that if you lose focus at that point, it would be easy to lose the thread of it.  And I got it in every rehearsal.  So come the night, come that point, and for the split second before I got there, I thought “wouldn’t that be gross if I lost the thread tonight” . . . . well, . . . . since I was busy thinking that thought at the moment I should have been singing through the key change, I totally screwed the key change.  AAAAAAAAAAAhhhhhhhhhhhh

On top of that, the music of the accompaniment is such that you the notes could be several possibilities that would all be harmonic . . . yet wrong.  So I had to start speak/singing the lines trying to find a musical thread.  Luckily as we came to the end of that phrase going into the next section, my ear caught it and I managed to find it for the last held note of that phrase.  But HOLY-FLOP-SWEAT, BATMAN!!!!  In the end, I brought it home but the song got particularly intense after that.   It still went over alright though, I think. I hope. It’s all very humbling, people.

Now in other news.   I managed to get to Stratford on Tuesday and Wednesday. I saw A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, and WEST SIDE STORY.   All really enjoyable. Standouts being WEST SIDE and EARNEST.   Go support theatre, people.  Woohoo!!

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Published in: on October 12, 2009 at 3:31 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. for what it’s worth, I didn’t notice any of the key change hellaciousnesses that you described above, Thom

    you were onstage, you told a story, you took US along for the ride, and it was wondrous

    I am so happy that I didn’t miss your performance, it was spectacular

    • You are a doll, Patti. Thank you. I can’t believe you didn’t notice the key change issue. That’s awesome.

  2. Sorry I’m only getting around to this now. You were totally awesome. Your song is one of the memories I carry with me from the experience and I’m so happy you were a part of it.


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