Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Defying Inequality: The Broadway Concert, a celebrity benefit for equal rights

On Monday the 23rd, I skipped one of my afternoon classes to take a bus into NYC to attend Defying Inequality with my friend Meredith. It was rather on impulse back in January that we bought our tickets and it seemed that it took forever to get to this day.

The concert's agenda was to raise money for five organizations: Empire State Pride Agenda, Equality California, Family Equality Council, Garden State Equality, and Vermont Freedom To Marry.

Prop 8: The Musical

Walking into the Gershwin (and not seeing Wicked! haha), I was so excited to see the performances by many Broadway companies and stars. But I did not forget why this benefit was taking place - the passing of Prop 8 in California angered so many people, gay and straight - it truly was time to stand up and not allow for injustice. I was dismayed when the proposition in my home state of Arizona passed to declare the definition of marriage only being between a man and woman. I was so glad to be a part of this amazing night, donating my two cents and watching amazing performances and emotional speeches.

Some highlights: Stephanie J. Block singing a beautiful song about her wedding and her brothers wedding. Kelli O'Hara singing to her unborn child, Kerry Butler singing a song from the up coming production of Catch Me If You Can,

ensemble members dancing to Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It),

the cast of Sesame Street singing Sing A Song, Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) singing a hot song,

discovering a new talent in Matt Alber (his song was so amazing!),

Seth Rudetsky deconstructing a hilarious clip of the Brady Bunch variety show,

Bebe Neuwirth singing Mad Libs style to her signature tune of All That Jazz

and the cast of Hair bringing down the house with The Flesh Failures (Let The Sunshine In).

The cast of Spring Awakening with Original Melchior and Moritz, Jonathan Groff and John Gallagher Jr., finally telling the world of their love. haha

The night lasted a total of 4 hours! Yes, started at 8pm and ended at 11:59pm - but a great way to spend that time. I hope the proceeds from this benefit positively impact the organizations but most importantly, I hope this event sends a message to those who agree with oppressing one's rights in life that this cause is not going to back down.

Spider-man: Turn Off The Dark

The artwork has been revealed for the upcoming Broadway production of Spider-Man. What do you think?

Casting has been kept under raps (although Rachel Evan Wood said she will be in this production as Mary Jane), no word on who Peter Parker will be played by. Time Out magazine online has suggested that Tony Award winner John Gallagher Jr. play the part. Their three main points to convince the bosses that Gallagher would be perfect 1) can rock out 2) has intense acting chops 3) loads of fan(girls).Who knows? I would love to see a transfer of Farragut North to Broadway with John before Spider-Man but it would be rather fun (and hilarious) to see.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Recycling Broadway

No - the title of this blog doesn't elude to how Rent likes to "recycle" its cast for the past ten years, but rather the actual act of recycling major musicals and plays sets on Broadway to help produce future productions.

Maybe it's the nerd in me that wonders what happens to certain costume pieces or set/props after a show as closed, or even after a certain actor has left the show. Do the actors get to keep their attire they work in 8 times a week?

The Times had an article this week, "Old Sets Live on as Broadway Embraces Recycling", talking about this topic.

Thanks to the initiative the 15 tons of debris produced by “Boeing-Boeing,” “The Seagull” and “13” won’t end up in a landfill. Seven tons (steel, wood, fabric and carpet) will be recycled, and eight tons will be reused by various organizations, including the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, Queens; ReBuilders Source, a reuse store in the Bronx; and the children’s charity World Vision. The sets from “All My Sons” and “Grease” are also largely being repurposed and recycled.

But in what may be an economic measure as much as an environmental one, most of the props and costumes from recently closed shows like “Gypsy,” “Hairspray,” “Liza’s at the Palace...,” “Slava’s Snowshow,” “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” and “The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein” went into storage for reuse later.
I think it's particularly exciting to see a set being used for another production across the world. For example the Las Vegas set of We Will Rock You went directly to the Australian production of the Queen musical. Also, the recently closed Dividing The Estate play on Broadway, will be coming directly to Hartford Stage with every set piece and costume in tow.

I think if I were in a Broadway show, and if I wasn't allowed my costume, I'd beg for my shoes. Every nick and scratch is a scar that tells a story of a performance on a Broadway stage.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shrek on The View

This morning Shrek performed two songs on The View. I think the only reason why I would see this show would be to see Sutton and Brian. Hopefully I'll get to see it before they leave and if I can manage to get a good discount seat.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Johnny Gallagher gig

There are many reasons why I came to the Hartt school all the way in Connecticut. One was the fact that I would be learning things in school and because I was so close to NYC. So 2 and half hours isn't that close but for someone who grew up in a desert - it's close enough.

There are times when I go into the city to see musicals and plays and there are times when I see this dude Johnny Gallagher (of Spring Awakening) play his own music. He had a show on Valentine's Day at the Rockwood Music Hall and fun was had.

Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back) cover

This cover alone was worth getting up at 7am on a Saturday to head into the city for only 6 hours. Bless.

Friday, February 13, 2009


And I'm back.
With some updates.

Since I last left, I was back home in Phoenix and now I am settled back at school. The only show I have seen so far was the final performance of Spring Awakening. I wrote a few entries back about how significant this show has been on my life and that night was absolutely amazing. It was my first time seeing the new cast and they held their own - especially when they did an encore of "Totally Fucked" during the show! I think that's when i realized, "what am i going to do without this?" And started to get teary eyed. I was quite proud of my emotions up until that point - and then "Those You've Known" and that amazing drum beat - gets me every time!

The entire (mostly) alumni came back on stage and it was so lovely to see everyone. I was sitting next to a man who had seen the show over 100 times, and I'm thought - wow and people give me flack about seeing it 8 times but that's the thing - if you love something SO much, of course you're going to see it more than once - that being said, when someone says they have a favorite album, they have most likely listened to it once - so why can't I do the same about seeing shows without getting crap? Just a thought.

So - this season has been pretty dismal for the arts. Shows are closing, performing arts centers closing around the country - will my degree be useless if there are no positions open for me when I graduate? I think that's been on my mind a lot lately - the whole resume, internship, job, life has been taking it's toll. Who knows though.

As for this spring - I hope to see many shows, Billy Elliot, Hair, Guys and Dolls....!