Saturday, November 20, 2010

Check Out The Paving on the Road to Hell!

OK. I had a week where I did a couple of posts. Then I vanished into the thin air of the blogosphere. I guess you are going to have to take what you get and not get upset. I truly am striving to write more and more often. But I'm a busy gal.

Since I last wrote, here are a few of things that I would have blogged about individually: we had to put our dog Shakespeare to sleep, the family saw Elf on Broadway, I produced a concert at The Palace (Gaby Alter and Sophie Jaff's Not That We're Bitter) and I celebrated my 2 year anniversary of being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Actually, since I have your attention, I wouldn't mind if you took a minute to check out this American Diabetes Month PSA.

You may not have known I had diabetes, it's that silent a disease. But to the one diagnosed with it, trust me, it screams. That shrill constant reminder to check your sugar, give yourself insulin and be aware of potential complications. It is precisely for this reason that you see me accomplishing so much in my life. It is because I live in constant fear that there will be no tomorrow. So in a way, my diabetes makes me live harder. And for that, I am oddly thankful.

In fact, those who know me, I don't live any harder than when I'm in the theatre. The theatre, my sanctuary. Tomorrow is the first day of auditions for a production of Parade that I am directing in Ridgefield, CT. This show is so seldom done and I am blessed to be at the of helm this powerful and important production. Take a glimpse of what will be coming to Connecticut in March 2011.

So if you are wondering as you wander by this little page of mine why there hasn't been an update, it is most likely because I have rehearsal. And to say that phrase, "I can't, I have rehearsal," is to utter what I believe are some of the most beautiful words in the English language.


Friday, November 05, 2010

The Darling Apprentice

Today I am busy. And the clock is ticking. So today you get a gimme.

Last week I set aside a little time to do something that I haven't done in a long while: watch The Apprentice. It seems like eons have gone by since that day I scrambled to have my Apprentice submission video transferred to DVD and overnighted from Martha's Vineyard. Now I hardly watch the show, save an episode here and there when my husband is watching. However, when I heard that the task was related to pitching new musical theatre to potential investors, I was interested. When I heard the talent included several of young Broadway's A-listers, I was excited. So I tuned in

The episode featured presentations from two new musicals: Darling by composer Ryan Scott Oliver (with bookwriter B.T. Ryback) and Little Miss-Fix It by librettist Kirsten Guenther (with composer Joy Son). And here's a tidbit for you: Ryan and Kirsten collaborated on the award-winning Mrs. Sharp and also the revue Out of My Head. Not unexpectedly, coverage of the task was largely dedicated to the actual teams executing the task and not the presentations. The actors were shown so fleetingly that I did a double-take when I thought I caught a glimpse of the uber-talented Nick Blaemire. I watched the episode up until the board room, which is where I lost interest.

If you would like to watch the whole episode of The Apprentice, click here. Fortunately, NBC was kind enough to indulge the MT geeks and post both full presentations on their site. To watch the presentations and vote for your favorite, click here. RSO also has a wonderful post on his blog about the whole experience, click here to read it.

When you watch the presentation, take note of Jay Armstrong Johnson's insane riff at the end of the Darling presentation. Insane. I am such a fan of Ryan's music, so I am compelled to share with you one of my top-rated RSO songs. This is "The Ballad of Sara Berry", with Johnson, Lindsay Mendez, Alex Brightmean and Natalie Weiss. Take note of the transformational notes that come out of Lindsay Mendez. Mindblowing.

To check out the lyrics for "The Ballad of Sara Berry" (and hear some other RSO tunage), click here.

Yes, the future of musical theatre is bright. Blindingly so.


Monday, November 01, 2010

Halloween & Shakespeare

I am a contradiction and I think that is what makes me interesting.

Yesterday was Halloween and, therefore, as a mother and a citizen I went through the obligatory motions. I applied my creative skills to help create a a dead Miss America, a corpse bride and a gladiator. I then piled my brood in a car, took them to a party and accompanied them as they went trick or treating. As I said yesterday on Facebook, I've never been a fan of Halloween. I don't like to dress up, I dislike being scared, I don't have a sweet tooth and I'm not a fan of walking around in the chill of late October asking for treats.

Whenever I say that I don't like Halloween people get this shocked look on their faces. They will often proclaim, "But you're a theatre person!" And I nod, understanding. Most of my friends are REALLY into Halloween. You see? I'm a contradiction.

I was also a Writing major. And I can't stand Shakespeare. Go figure.

This doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the awesome costumes that people dream up on Halloween or the important contribution that Shakespeare has made to literature and theatre.

It's just a reminder not to judge a book by its cover. A reminder that the contradiction that lies within could be the source of the best story you've ever heard or the spark of the best conversation that you've ever had.