Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Weekend Update - Part 2

The saga continues....

On Sunday, Jim and I took a trip down to see one of the final performances of the Cabaret symposium at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Connecticut. Our main reason for going was that the cast from the Broadway musical [title of show] was presenting their latest work in progress. I’d seen an article about them performing and immediately called for tickets the day they went on sale. I had no idea what the show was going to be, but I knew if it involved the [tos] gang, it was going to be good.
As it turned out, I was right! Yahoo!
Not only that, but the entire evening turned out to be a big, fat slice of musical theatre heaven for the musical theatre geek that I am.

The first half of the evening was a musical revue of songs that were written by Edward Kleban. For those of you who aren’t obsessed with musical theatre – he’s the fella that won a Tony Award for writing the lyrics to ‘A Chorus Line’. In addition to being a lyricist, he was also a song writer. While he never had major success as a song writer, he wrote some pretty fantastic songs. What I wasn’t aware of, was who was going to be singing those not-so-well-known Ed Kleban songs.

Before I get to that, let me back up a bit. Jim and I arrived at the theatre center (think musical theatre summer camp…seriously, it looks like a summer camp) picked up our tickets and went to the building where the cabaret was taking place. The usher showed us to our seats, which happened to be at a table for two, on the floor, DEAD CENTER. On the table were two wine glasses and a chilled bottle of pino grigio sitting in a big, fancy, silver ice bucket. Apparently calling on the day the tickets went on sale was a smart choice. As soon as I saw where we were sitting, I got all crazy excited. We were sitting about 4 feet from the performers were going to be doing their thing. Ahhhhhhh!!!!!

Anyway, back to the show…..I sat down and started to read the program and that’s when I got even MORE excited. Like I said…to the average person, it may not have been that thrilling, but keep in mind I know way too much musical theatre stuff for my own good, so I started to get all tingly with anticipation.
I know there will be a few people who read this blog that would have been just as excited as I was….so I’m hoping they understand my glee.

Included in the list of performers were Aisha de Haas (Road Show - Caroline, Or Change - Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me) Mary Cleere Haran (cabaret superstar), Harris Doran (Actor’s Fund HAIR in Concert - Love, Jerry), Gregg Edelman (original Stine in City of Angels, 14 Broadway shows, AND he’s married to Carolee Carmello!), and Penny Fuller (Applause, A New Brain, and a million other shows all over the country).

I won’t go into every detail about the show, but I will say that it was an absolute treat to see them all perform in such an intimate space. Everything was performed with music in hand (actually, on music stands) since the show was thrown together in a few days, but the performances were quite good in spite of that fact.
Penny Fuller sang ‘Nothing’ from ‘A Chorus Line’ and sounded AMAZING. I only wish that she wasn’t so dependant on the music, because it would have been great too see her perform it without the music getting in the way….you could tell that it would have been even more incredible. Harris Doran (who is adorable, by the way) sang a very funny song called ‘Do It Yourself’ from the never produced musical Gallery. Gallery was never produced because, while there were several songs written for the show, there was never a through line written that would join the songs together. The man in charge of the entire evening (Broadway producer, Michael Bush) at one point mentioned that a through line has been written for the show, and now that there was a ‘book’ and songs, they were planning on doing a workshop of Gallery at some point in the near future. Keep your eye out for THAT.

The rest of the performers did a really fantastic job, in spite of what was obviously a quickly thrown together evening. It honestly made me feel better about some of the musical revues that I’ve been a part of. If these Broadway professionals can stand up there, with music in hand and stumble from time to time – I can certainly do it OFF book, with just as little rehearsal time. :-)

This has gone on WAY too long….and I’m not even at the second half of the show…….stay tuned for more…
Aisha, Gregg, Penny, and Harris


Jim S. said...

You forgot dinner with Joanna Gleason and Christopher Sarandon!

RG said...


AJohnP said...

THAT'S who he was!!!! I totally forgot to check. :-)

I'll cover them in part two...