Video Friday: Barf Bag Breakup

In Performance

I’ve been thinking about Found recently and how much I liked it. This was that new musical at Atlantic Theater Company last fall that had lyrics completely made up by found items (lists, love letters, notes, etc.). The story was based on how Found magazine was…founded.

My roomie and I became obsessed with this one song in particular. Why that song? Because it’s the only one available to us on the interwebs, sadly. So this thing played on repeat for a solid month last year. I like revisiting it from time to time and have been known to sing it to myself on the streets of New York.

The ballad is called “Barf Bag Breakup,” but don’t let the title scare you away. It’s a touching breakup letter that was found written on an airplane barf bag. Barrett Wilbert Weed, who played Denise in the show, sang it (with Mike Pettry on guitar) for “In Performance” with the New York Times.

Watch it here.


Video Friday: Something Wonderful

The King and I

Ruthie Ann Miles won the Tony Award for Featured Actress in a Musical for her moving performance as Lady Thiang in The King and I. When I saw the show back in July, her ballad “Something Wonderful,” a song that used to be just a beautiful melody to me, suddenly became clear. It’s romantic, heart-breaking, and gives meaning and dimension to an otherwise unknown backstory as Lady Thiang bares all in this vulnerable number.

Click here to see Ruthie’s “In Performance” with the New York Times.

Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik
Pictured: Ruthie Ann Miles


Video Friday: Bring Him Home

Kyle Jean-Baptiste

Kyle Jean-Baptiste was the first African American (and youngest actor) to play Jean Valjean on Broadway in Les Misérables. Tragically, he died in August at the age of 21 after falling from a fire escape. This video was going around a bit this summer, but in case you didn’t see it, I wanted to share it here. What a shining light.

Click here to view Kyle’s audition for Les Miz.


The Prodigal Blogger Returns…

Oh hey there, friends. That was quite the unexpected hiatus, but I’m back! How was everyone’s summer? …and fall apparently. (Winter is coming). ((I don’t even watch that show)). Want a quick recap of where I’ve been?! Thought so!

My brother got married! How beautiful is this?

Wedding

I had an 80s murder mystery birthday party and got to murder my friend Neil. It was quite the evening.

Murder Mystery

In July, I went to the 25th Annual Spelling Bee Reunion Concert, and it was as delightful as you’d expect it to be.

I saw a whole bunch of shows, many of which have since closed (sorryyyy): 10 Out of 12 at Soho Rep, The Wild Party and A New Brain at Encores, Cymbeline at Shakespeare in the Park, John at Signature. But I also saw things that are still running like The King and I, Fuerza Bruta, and Spring Awakening so we can get back to those at a later date.

I went to my friend’s wedding in the Bahamas and made another music video in honor of the occasion!

I visited my good pals in Chicago and my brother up in Boston.

I took my first improv class ever this summer, and it has been hilarious and terrifying all at once.

I went to a friend’s wedding in upstate New York — noticing a trend? One more in November will wrap up 2015 for me. Look at the pretty bridal shower!

And I just had a full weekend of shows which I will be posting about soon, I promise.

ALSO. I’m going to be introducing a rating system this week for the theatre I see. Stay tuned for some brilliant drawings by yours truly.

Until next time!


It’s Gonna Be a Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve

Friends! I promise I’ll be returning in the blink of an eye with more reviews. I’ve got Honeymoon in Vegas and Constellations on deck, and let’s not forget “Into the Woods!”

But since we’re all on holiday, let’s step off the interwebs for a bit this evening and look forward to the New Year approaching. My pal Dina and I create a slogan each year to pump us up. This tradition started on NYE 2007 back when it was easier to rhyme – we had “Great in ’08,” “Divine in ’09,” “Zen in 10,” “Leaven in ’11.” Ya know, some real classics. It’s been trickier lately with these darn teens. Nonetheless, this year we ask that you…drumroll please…glean. That’s right: “You betta glean in 2015.” Gather gradually bit by bit. Gather what, I hear you say? Anything, my friends. Knowledge, love, art, anything.

Oh! Before we abandon the Internet, I’ll leave you with one video in honor of tonight’s celebrations –goddesses Laura Benanti, Kelli O’Hara, and Jessie Mueller singing “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” at this year’s Kennedy Center Honors for Tom Hanks.

Now…glean. Happy New Year!

Photo Credit: Diana Chan
Pictured: Liz Wasser, Becca Schneider, Nathan Greene, and Dina Percia delving into ’12


Video Friday: It Takes Two

In honor of the upcoming release of “Into the Woods” THE MOVIE (keep your eyes peeled for a review of the film), I would like to dedicate this Video Friday to…wait for it…Into the Woods.

This is my all-time favorite musical, hands-down, no questions asked. And one of my favorite tunes from the show is “It Takes Two.” This is likely due to my life-long dream to play the Baker’s Wife. As a result, I’ve always been partial to her numbers and everything related to Joanna Gleason (how about that Newsroom finale?). So to share today, I have two videos of that song.

First is from the 1987 original staged musical (which was aired on American Playhouse in 1991) performed by none other than Chip Zien and Joanna Gleason as the Baker and his Wife.

Second is their beautiful reunion many years later at Sondheim’s 80th birthday concert in 2010.

What are your favorite songs from Into the Woods?


Video Friday: Sun and Moon

This video is one of my top picks for repeat viewings on good ol’ YouTube. I still watch it with a sense of wonder.

This is footage from Lea Salonga’s audition/callback for Miss Saigon. She’s only 17 years old in this video. She was 18 when she originated the role in London in 1989; two years later she debuted on Broadway.

We get to witness her hear the beautiful song, “Sun and Moon,” for the first time as Claude-Michel Schonberg, one of the writers, teaches her on piano. One of my favorite moments is at the end when the camera cuts to producer Cameron Mackintosh, director Nicholas Hytner, and writer Alain Boublil just staring with awe and speechlessness. They’ve found their Kim! They’re watching a star in the making!

Her voice is so beautifully innocent, young, and full of hope with the lightest touch of vibrato and that low note – chills. The song starts 00:51, but if you want to see the adorable opening moments of Lea asking for an autograph, start from the top.

Here is “Sun and Moon.” I hope you enjoy.