From the Deep Archives – Cabaret at Warehouse Theatre

I’ve been listening to a book that’s been on my radar – and in my Hoopla queue – for years: Fosse by Sam Wasson.

It’s fantastic. I read (and wrote about) another book about Fosse many, many years ago, but this one’s even better.

I reached the section detailing the filming of Cabaret, and began thinking about the immersive, beautifully acted, and powerful production of the musical I saw at The Warehouse Theatre several years ago. I dare say it remains the definitive stage version of Cabaret for me.

Cabaret-Floor-694x400
Photo by Stephen Boatright, via Warehouse Theatre

There are dozens of shows that I’ve seen in local theatres that continue to stick with me, sometimes for the overall effect, sometimes simply for a few standout moments or images or performances or even just feelings. As much as I love bus and truck shows – and the touring production of Wicked remains the single most affecting theatrical experience I have ever had – there’s nothing like local theatre to stick with you for the long term.

Sadly, the review I wrote of that stellar production of Cabaret lived on a website that no longer exists. So I thought I’d dig it out of my archives and share it. Because that show was glorious.

CABARET REVIEW

What good is sitting alone in your room? Come to the Cabaret, old chum!

There. I had to say it, so I did.

The nice part is, I really mean it.

The Warehouse Theatre’s staging of the classic musical Cabaret opened this weekend, and it’s a rousing, gorgeous, thoughtful, and entrancing production.

Continue reading “From the Deep Archives – Cabaret at Warehouse Theatre”

Theatre Roundup

I write about theatre-y things for BroadwayWorld.

Here are a few recent pieces.

Herstory – a new musical by Jessica Eckenrod (who is an amazing performer).

Into the Woods – fantastic production of the Sondheim classic at Centre Stage.

Pump Boys and Dinettes – feel good musical at Mill Town Players

Power of Sail – world premiere of Paul Grellong’s new play at Warehouse Theatre.

Oliver! – terrific production at Greenville Theatre that starred my son *cough*

Hamilton – the touring show came to The Peace Center and it was SO GOOD.

people at theater

Bonus non-theatre link.

I really loved Alec Nevala-Lee’s Astounding, so I interviewed him about it. This week the book was nominated (and deservedly so) for a Hugo Award.

Day 4 – Hunchback

Heading to Fountain Inn, SC tonight to see a production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I know it’s not all that new for me to see a show, but I haven’t been to the Younts Center for several years so it definitely counts for the Something New Every Day project.

 

By the way, Day 3 was about listening. Instead of staring at my phone or playing music or a podcast while I was waiting, I took those fifteen minutes to sit and actively listen, to try to appreciate the ambient sounds. I’m going to try doing more of that.

neel

 

UPDATE: Hunchback was beautifully atmospheric with a gorgeous light design, wonderful set and powerful voices. Filled with strong performers, it’s well worth the drive for Neel Patrick Edwards alone. He’s always memorable on stage and here he shows a truly impressive depth. Fantastic show.

 

 

You Are Not Alone

Stay with with me here, I’m trying to think through something, trying to evaluate the signs and portents.

Last weekend I saw a fantastic production of Into the Woods at Centre Stage (I wrote about it on BroadwayWorld). The final song, of course, is “No One is Alone.” And in the director’s note, Chris Rose says his production revolves around that sentiment, that “You are not alone.”

Last weekend I also heard, again, a song from my daughter’s current favorite musical Dear Evan Hanson: “You Will Be Found,” which contains a section in which the company repeats “You are not alone.”

Sunday morning, the sermon came from the prodigal son story, and when I saw that was going to be the verse I (internally) rolled my eyes a little and thought, ugh, not the prodigal son story again. But our pastor, Ben Dorr, approached it from a completely different, unexpected angle, in which he discussed the power of connection, of getting out of our own interior monologues, of remembering that “You are not alone.”

And so I began humming a track from the LP Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space (because of course I did) and the single most memorable track for me from that LP, a track that has run through the back of my brain since the early 80s, is titled, yes, “You Are Not Alone.”

As James T. Kirk once asked, “Message, Spock?”10002999_10204920044055466_4733070030638684000_n

Sometimes the universe is sending you a message. Sometimes it’s subtle. But sometimes it’s a giant billboard, a message in flaming letters carved into the surface of the moon.

Maybe I’m mistaken, maybe this is a stretch, but right now I’m beginning to think that someone is trying to remind me that I am not alone. That none of us are alone.

As Chris Rose says, this truth is a double-edged sword. Sure, there are others around who can support us, who can be there for us. But the reverse is also true: we have a responsibility to be more than individuals, to think of more than just ourselves.

I am not alone. We are not alone. You are not alone.

Day 2 – Egg Burger

This month I’m going to try to do something new every day.

Today I shook up my dinner menu.

It has its roots in a snack request my daughter gave me a few weeks ago. She asked for a fried egg – and cheese, of course – on a boca burger. It became her go-to after school request.

pepperoni pizza with eggs
It could’ve been worse, I suppose.

Flash forward to today. I grilled up (okay, fried up – I was too lazy to go outside and fire up the grill) burgers for tonight’s dinner. Actual hamburgers, not veggie patties.  And when I told my daughter what we were having, she asked if she could have a fried egg on hers. And there you have it. I joined her, and instead of my usual burger toppings of tomato, lettuce, and pickles, I went with cheese and a fried egg.

The best part? My daughter didn’t finish hers – too full.

Yeah, I’m going to be full for along time after this choice. Also, I hope all my choices this month won’t be food related.

Day 1 – Something New Every Day

This month I’m going to attempt to shake things up a little.

This month I’m going to try to do something new every day. Maybe it will be small, maybe it will be big. Mostly, I’m sure it will be small.

art beverage black and white breakfast
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This morning I did not make coffee to go with breakfast. I brewed a cup of tea (yes, earl grey, hot).

Later in the morning, I stumbled across this post on The Art of Manliness blog, and suddenly it felt like I’d taken my first step into a larger world. “More Footage” is the title of the blog post, and the basic idea is that we can change our subjective view of the passing of time by embracing novelty.

researchers have found that whenever your brain participates in experiences that are novel and/or emotionally salient, it figures, “I may need to remember this later” and so takes plenty of “footage” of what’s going on. When you later look back on those periods, there’s plenty of “film” to unspool, so the experiences seem to have lasted a long time.

However, when you do things that you’ve done before, that are familiar, and follow the same routine, your brain already knows what to expect next. It’s seen this movie before. So off clicks your mental camera.

In a lovely coincidence, I also decided to stop using social media this month. Well, as much as possible. I mean I’ve got professional reasons to at least be on FB sometimes (#DubiousRationalizations). At the very least, though, I want to stop the reflexive scrolling and refreshing and desperate search for “likes” on my phone. I’ll try to open the Kindle app and read instead. And maybe keep my “hilarious” observations to myself rather than coughing them up into an ephemeral social media post. This all began on Ash Wednesday when I spontaneously deactivated my Twitter account. A couple weeks later, it feels good to be away from that stream of negativity and I figured I’d expand into a digital detox of sorts. I imagine I’ll be back on all those platforms by the end of the month – heck, I may not last that long. But I’m going to try.

So it all seemed like providence. A sudden unexplainable urge to have tea instead of coffee followed by a blog post encouraging me to do exactly that. Well, I’m not going to fight against these obvious signs and portents. So here I am, first of April and I’ve actually written a post on my own blog. Crazy.

Who knows what tomorrow could bring?

 

What I Learned from David Lynch

I am currently deep in the midst of listening to the audiobook Room to Dream by David Lynch and Kristine McKenna and I am loving it.

Lynch has long been a fascinating character to me and I’m relishing this chance to dig deeper into his life. Coincidentally, I am also trying to get back in touch with my own creative side, which I feel has been a little absent for far too long.

So it was with marvelous serendipity that I was searching a message board the other day, looking to see some old posts about Lynch, that I came across a link to something I had written and completely forgotten about. I kept a blog for a while (didn’t everyone?) and in 2010 I posted five things I learned from David Lynch about creativity and the creative process. And I find myself inspired by my own words and thought I’d repost them here.

Maybe this is exactly what I need to jumpstart my own creativity. And maybe it will be useful to you, too.

Continue reading “What I Learned from David Lynch”

2017 – A Year in Books

In 1987, I began keeping a list of the title and author of every book I finished reading. I started near the back of a notebook/journal and, in August 1998, I filled the last page. So I went back to the first page of my list and started filling in pages going backwards toward the front of the notebook from there. In 2017, I still have a few more blank pages left before I run into other content, and when I do I’ll have to figure out how to keep going. Sometimes I think about rewriting the whole list in a new blank notebook, and I guess that will ultimately have to be the solution – or at least keep going in a whole new notebook. Anyway, I have a couple of years before I have to decide.

Meanwhile, 2017. Continue reading “2017 – A Year in Books”

School of Rock and On Your Feet

The last two shows I’ve seen were touring Broadway shows. I reviewed both of them for BroadwayWorld.

 

School of Rock “School of Rock isn’t about plot or spectacle or insight orcharacterdepth. School of Rock is about rock and roll. About that heavy metal spirit. About stickin’ it the The Man.”

On Your Feet! “Filled with fantastic music performed by an amazingly talented cast and on-stage band, On Your Feet delivers a timely story of emotional – and physical – triumph against overwhelming odds.”