Saturday, May 22, 2010
To my regular readers of Funkyman Blog, please disregard the following entry - this one is personalized. More for you in a couple of days.
It's that time of year again - the epic 6-week preparation for a production of musical excellence. This year's task - RENT.
While I would normally write about things everyone can relate to - this blog is specifically for the cast of RENT, whom so far, I have refused to pat on the back. They know that I do not give them accolades because once a person has it in their minds that they've achieved something, it feels like the end of a journey, when in truth, excellence IS a journey, and they're not done with that journey until the last curtain call. But now that last curtain call has happened.
So RENT cast, here it is - what I REALLY think about you.
Jack - You never cease to amaze me. You are self-motivated and always reliable. I honestly don't know how we would have done RAGTIME or RENT without you. Thanks for your hard work and amazing dedication to perform each year. No one else could have played Mark like you did.
Chris - You are a rock star. I hope the success doesn't change your humility, but dude, you are the truth. What would this show have been without your voice? I can't thank you enough for your hard work and your sharing of your gift. Truly a marvel.
Dara - I have watched you grow over the last 3 years, and ironically your last role with us is Collins, because you ARE Collins - strong, smart, funny, and someone everyone wants to know and hang out with. "A wild night is now pre-ordained." Thank you for bringing what you already are to the stage.
Kevin - Despite your penchant for socializing during rehearsals, no one is more dedicated than you to any show. You care about getting it right, and you give it all when you perform. In these last days, thank you drilling your scenes to get it just right. Your singing has come a long way, too, and you made it easy for me this year.
Allie - I am more proud of you than anyone this year. After being in the shadows of Chorus and Chamber Singers as a model ensemble member, you broke out and blew us away not only in the audition but on stage every rehearsal and performance as a soloist to be reckoned with. What can I say? The fact that you're my advisee just goes to prove my theory that COLEMAN ADVISEES RUN THIS TOWN. Take it or leave it. Get it?
Ife - Like I just said, COLEMAN ADVISEES RULE. 3 years and your talent shines more and more. I can't wait for everyone to see your senior recital on THURSDAY, MAY 27 - 7 p.m. - BEVERIDGE HALL (shameless plug), so we can all sit back and enjoy what God has given you. And for taking on the role of Angel in this show, you deserve the award for greatest achievement. You made everyone believe you were a male crossdresser. This proves my theory that I've known for three years now . . . you are weird. :-) Gotcha!
Krissy - Remember in 8th Grade when you had to leave the room because you were so ashamed to hear everybody hear you sing in songwriting class? Where's that girl now? In the lead female role of one of the biggest musicals we've ever done. Just like Jack, you are a marvel to watch work. You learned and produced so much in so little time that there was no real time to appreciate it. You totally rule that stage and your singing is perfection for that role. You have come so far, and thank goodness you never stopped performing. You're only going to get better - trust me.
Jane - Jane is it senior year already? I can't believe that it's almost over. 4 years of being able to be called your teacher have been some of the most precious moments of my life. People shouldn't be able to sing as well and with as much soul as you do. It's uncanny. I think if anything, we can't fully appreciate your gift here at Dana Hall because we don't have enough for you to do. When you approach a microphone, Jane Lee becomes JANE LEE. But of course, you're not getting rid of me that easy. We have (hopefully) 4 more years at Tufts. WOO HOO!
Maddie - Fire. Pure fire. How can I comment on your singing, except to correct the occasional note? You're insane. A mad woman. We're all trapped in your crazy, mixed-up world, and I personally am glad. To say you own "Seasons of Love" is not correct. You killed it. It's dead. No one else can sing it ever again. Seasons of Maddie.
Keelan - You were made for this music. I totally hope that you continue to find songs that fit your voice in this manner, because you really stop the show when you sing. I think I want a Maddie & Keeland CD in the works. Or at least Maddie & Keeland action figures for my desk so I can act like I'm Maddie & Keelan singing "Seasons of Love" when no one else is looking. Keelan, you rock my world.
Vikki - Needing no direction, you just came in and sang the Homeless person with gusto - loved it then, love it now. Obviously, musical theater is your gig. Keep it coming.
Caro - Your dress almost getting caught on Friday made me SMILE. :-) Nice save. You sang your part beautifully. I know this sounds like a weird compliment, but congratulations on playing an annoying mother. Hopefully, you won't grow up to be one!
Cogan - (to the tune of "Alexi Darling") CO-GAN? Mr. COLE-MAN. Good JO-OB. This was you last SHO-OW. Boo-HOO-OOH. We'll MISS-YOU. Come back and VISIT-US. There is one and only CO-GAN! Good job with the SO-LO! Justin would be PROUD. Just KID-DING! I'm proud.
Alejandra - Good job, the focus and work paid off. Sorry you got stuck with singing the 9 of the chord, but you did it! Congratulations!
Sarah G. - I hope you can apprecaite the show being over and me being able to say "YOU NAILED IT." Congratulations, and thanks for your hard work, Sarah.
EJ - Wish we had more time to talk, but it was so nice to get to know you. Great job with Mr. Jefferson, and hope you can do future productions!
Margaret - I only wish we had more for you to do in the show - Mrs. Jefferson says TWO WORDS! But you did your part very well, and you needed little direction from me. Thanks for making it easy.
Caroline - One of my favorite moments of the show is when we pick up in the "La Vie Boheme" with your solo. You take us out of the heaviness of "I Should Tell You" back into the party of the final scene of Act I. So glad you were here to do it. So glad.
Emily - Timing is everything in RENT. Thanks for working to get that scene perfect. It was.
Laura - Being the first non-lead soloist in the show is a little intimidating, but you made it look and sound like it was no sweat. Thanks for lending your beautiful voice to that scene - it set the bar high for everyone else.
Casey, Sarah T., and Emma P. - The only thing that your frustration with those harmonies proved is that you are all Sopranos. That part was low, and I always thought it would be a stretch to do without assiging altos to the role. Nevertheless, we picked the right people and that scene - the most bizarre scene in the show - worked well because you all cared enough to make it that way. Thanks for your hard work.
Isabelle - Playing roles intended for men is tricky, especially when trying to sing them in the original key and in the same range as the male voice. But you did it! Thanks for your attention to detail to make that scene work.
Nick A. - Though it may take you a little longer to learn the music, when you do, it's exceptional. You sang your solo with such beauty - it's clear you're a great musician. Great job.
Nick R. - You have a beautiful voice. I hope you get to sing more in the future. How appropriate your character's name was "The Man." That you are.
Lindsay - Who knew you were signing up to be a rap star? - "HONEST LIVING" off her hot new CD "FELIZ NAVIDAD" - yes it's MC HOW A.T.! Small part, but one everyone remembers from the show.
Joe - "And a Merry Christmas to your family." Ever since you rehearsed that line, it was right every time. When you inquired about "Christmas Bells," you got that right too. Clear examples of how focus and care can yield great results. Thanks Joe!
To Olivia, Caiti, Jillian, Emma M., Jessica, Ada, KC, Michelle, Emma D., Eliot, Ned, and Margaret - Though you did not have a "solo" - you were all featured singers in this show. Let us not forget that 20 people did NOT make it into the show, and you did. We wanted a strong vocal ensemble, and we got it. Remember when I said the strength of a great show lies not in the leads, but in the chorus? You did it.
You guys were all a pleasure to teach. Despite my frustration with "Christmas Bells" early on and my campaign for correct harmony :-), I was more than pleased with the end result. I am so proud to have been your music director, but alas the show is over.
My heart is with all of you as you finish the school year, prepare for the next, or graduate, prepare for college, or for whatever life has for you. As usual, the whole experience for me was . . .
- Funky . . . man