Friday, December 26, 2008

RENThead's Night of RENT

EVERYONE was amazing. And I do mean everyone. Normally I expect one or two to be off, or just not quite my taste. It came as a surprise to me that absolutely everyone sang brilliantly.  Of course it helped that Roger was the original S. African Idol winner (Heinz Winckler) and that Collins (Anwar Robinson) was one of the Top 10 in American Idol's 4th season.  Normally, I'm against the idea of pop idols in live theater as it takes away opportunities from actors.  However, I must say this was definitely an exception to my rule.  They certainly did not pull any shortcuts with this cast!

Okay, now onto the cast:
I was hugely impressed with the first song (RENT). The mikes worked perfectly and I could hear every word. The music was loud and very good.  The stage was filled up nicely. The Orpheum in Sioux City doesn't have the largest stage, but it was decent sized and didn't seem too crowded.  This was also the first chance to hear the entire cast as a whole.  Beautiful!

Mark - The night we saw the show, he was played by understudy Corey Joseph Mach.  His performance only goes to prove that the entire cast was great.  He held the humor as well as the loneliness Mark encompasses.
Angel - Adorable!.  I was terribly jealous of the guy's legs... It's just not right!. His voice was also beautiful.  Amazing that a man can sing that high!  His death also made me all out cry.
Collins - Anwar Robinson was certainly different in appearance from any other photos I've seen of Tom Collins.  However, the braided hair added a nice touch to the NYC bohemian teacher-turned-anarchist.  When he sang "Santa Fe" and "I'll Cover You", the tenor was certainly a different touch though still beautiful.  I cried at the reprise of "I'll Cover You" during the funeral scene of course.
Benny - John Watson reminded me very pleasantly of Tay Diggs.  I normally don't care for the role of Benny.  However, Watson made me want to watch even him.
Mimi - The Mimi I saw was also an understudy.  When she first came out, I was a little concerned. She looked quite different from how I imagined her: much darker skin color (not hispanic at all), and hair cropped short and very wild. That was all until I heard her sing however.  She sounded *incredible*!  I quickly forgot about her physical appearance.  ESPECIALLY when she and Heinz sang "Another Day/ No Day But Today" together.  They definitely had chemistry together!  
Joanne - I loved her too.  Especially the purpley streaks in her hair.  Onyie Nwachuckwu rocked the stage as the lesbian-no nonsense-lawyer too.  She and Maureen (Christine Dwyer) had shown the same chemistry Winckler and 'Mimi' had.  The couple were simple on fire during 2nd act's "Take Me Or Leave Me", their voices blending perfectly.  Nwachuckwu's frustration/dispare with Maureen was was also well portrayed all throughout the show.
Maureen - Christine Dwyer had energy!  This is good, as the first time you truly see Maureen is right before her performance/protest close to the end of the 1st act.  Maureen is the female character I'd love to play and Dwyer reminded me as to why.  I even mooed when she asked.  Of course, what true RENThead doesn't??  My friend I was with that night claims I was the loudest.
Roger (Did you think I'd forget him?!) - Heinz Winckler!!  What else can I say?  Let's see....oh yes!  He has a wonderfully lovely voice!  Roger is my favorite character in the entire show and Heinz had done the role complete justice in my eyes!  Being from South Africa, he had never even heard of RENT until the movie arrived there.  This was a big plus as he could make Roger his own instead of worrying about having to fill such shoes as those of Adam Pascal's (the original cast 'Roger' and that role in the movie).  The moment he came on stage, cheers rose up.  I was one of them of course.   And when he sang "One Song Glory" I actually swooned!  

Naturally we stopped at the stage door afterward to get actors' autographs and to snap some pictures.  Oh. My. GOD!  Heinz is even prettier up close!  He also spoke in his gorgeous accent.  It was all I could do to keep standing as he placed his arm around me for a picture.  Shame he's married   He was VERY polite and very appreciative of the entire audience that night.  Of course, Sioux City is know for that.  My friend and I was able to get most of the leads save for Maureen, Joanne, and Benny.  
While my friend and I were leaving, some of the actors approached us and asked if I could give them a ride back to the Holiday Inn.   It was FREEZING outside and apparently their shuttle had yet to arrive.  Containing squeals,  I drove Corey Joseph Mach (later finding out he was the 'Mark' that night) and Dustin Brayley (Steve, among others) to the hotel, which wasn't very far away.  They were extremely polite and enjoyed listening to the Spanish version of RENT we had playing in the car.  Upon arriving, my friend and I got their autographs and I got a picture with them before they went indoors.  The one quote I remember from Corey is, "We'll probably get a Note tomorrow saying 'Please don't ask fans for rides after the show' or something."  It still seems like a dream to me.  However, I have pictures to prove it's real.
That was a night I will never forget!
Awesome job everyone!   Thanks Corey and Dustin for making my evening!!!!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Anywhere But Here

Ever wondered what was out there? Beyond what you grew up knowing I mean.
Have you ever wished that you could just drop everything and just hit the open road without looking back? Sure, you might not know where you're going but that's half the fun. Let you heart lead and follow your dreams where ever they may lead.
I nearly followed mine today both ways: 4 miles outside Jefferson, SD and driving on county road 150 towards Correctionville, IA this afternoon. The only things that held me back were A) lack of money/no job, B) high gas prices, C) I hadn't packed for such a trip, and D) I have my family here. I couldn't simply up and leave. At least not without letting my dad know....

I do have a dream that's calling me though.
My mind is restless and my heart is weary!
Yes, I do have that particular guy I want to make mine!

God.....why do you make it so tempting, yet so difficult to do?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I'm All Shook Up

Gah! Why do I always forget about this blog??

My summer has been going well so far.
I will be playing Mayor Matilda Hyde in a local production of "All Shook Up"!
For once in my life of theater, I've actually received a role I had my eyes set
Rehearsals have been very productive and we are in our final days before the
show opens.

Might be stuff up on YouTube eventually....

In other news, the day -right- after I get done with "All Shook Up" I'm leaving on
a jet plane with a friend to Milwaukee, WI in order to visit and stay with another
friend for a week. I'm SO looking forward to that time spent. It'll be nice
to 'get away' from home for a bit.