Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Yule!!!

Had to share a few more pics from this beautiful Big Apple I call home.I just love how the whole town is decked out for the holidays! The shop windows are magnificent!
And the lanes are strewn with Candy Canes. :)
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wonderful Winter Wishes to You!

Don't most of you feel like superheroes this time of year? Rushing around, doing your daily tasks while trying to save the world and boost people's spirits? Trying to find those special gifts which will make your loved ones feel fabulous. I feel like Wonder Woman. All I need is my crown, bracelets, bustier and magic lasso. ;)

Of course, there are marvelous moments of serenity and beauty. I braved the elements last weekend to go to FAO Schwarz toystore for my nephew, and it was the most wonderful adventure. I haven't been over there in a few years and it was a treat to see how beautifully decorated the store was. There was a mystical menagerie right in the center of the store with plush dragons, unicorns, griffons, pegasi...
The dragons had to be over 20 feet tall! They even had a Harry Potter store which was just like stepping into Hogwarts!
It completely brought out the kid in me! Which come to think of... aren't kids always pretending to be superheroes anyway?

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas, a cool Yule, and a very Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Wow Factor Continues

How cool is this? I just found out I'm going to be playing Janis Joplin in the new musical, Hell's Belles. I am beyond thrilled to say the least. Janis is one of my absolute favorites! She was truly unique, a rock n roll pioneer and beacon of inspiration. I am so psyched to get into her psychadelic groove.

I also had a neat growth spurt today. I've been working on music for the upcoming audition for Jerry Springer the Opera, soon to play at Carnegie Hall. The call is for a woman who can belt to the heavens, and the gal who set the bar was an Australian singer named Alison Jier. She belts a high G# (sharp) which is super super high. So I've been working on it, because I belt a G in my rendition of "Piece of My Heart" (another nod to Janis). Well, today, while working on "Once Upon a Time" from Brooklyn the Musical, which ends on a G#, I hit that high note. Hit it and didn't hurt myself, which is an accomplishment. :) Just let it ride.

Feel like I'm bustin' loose!

Friday, December 07, 2007

What a Wonderful Week!

I'm still in "wow" mode.

Monday was marvelous. I sang in the Kaufman Center's Bound for Broadway Concert, which was held at the lovely Times Center since the Kaufman Center is being renovated. The Times Center is part of the new NY Times building and it is gorgeous! Beautiful on the outside and sumptuous on the inside! There's even a little garden of trees and grass right in the middle! Astounding!

The concert itself was such a treat! There I was, sharing the green room (actors lounge) with Broadway stars Mary Testa, Chip Zien, Kelly O'Hara and Jan Maxwell, not to mention the wonderful writers and other up-and-coming performers. Everyone was really focused, and while the mood was buoyed with laughter and good-natured jokes, everyone was there to do the best job they could.

Our Singing Nun group consisted of Tracey Gilbert, who plays my love interest, book writer Blair Fell and composer Andy Monroe. We seemed to hit it off with the Ever After writers, Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, who were BMI Musical Theatre alumni like Andy and Blair. They were lovely ladies, warm and funny, and their musical based on the Drew Barrymore movie, Ever After, was AMAZING! The concert ended with their presentation, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

5 new musicals were showcased: The Next Thing You Know, The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun, The Road to Qatar, Vanities, and Ever After. Liz Callaway hosted the concert, and she was WONDERFUL! Sweet, funny and engaging, she interviewed the composers, writers and directors prior to each performance. She also performed the last song of the evening from Ever After.

We were 2nd to perform, and Andy and Blair spoke a little bit about the real Singing Nun and her history, which had inspired them to write the show. They had the audience in stitches! And all I can say is, "Truth is stranger than fiction."

Then I took the stage to sing Jeanine's (aka the Singing Nun's) opening number, "Don't Be Afraid , Adele." It's about her journey to the convent, and she sings the song to her guitar, which she has named, "Adele," her mascot and inanimate best friend.

The audience was so with me on this ride, sharing the laughter and love. There is something so magical about that connection between a live audience and a performer. It's a communion of sorts, and I felt like we were in sync. It was wonderful!

Next, Tracey Gilbert sang, "I'll Follow You," which is a love song that starts adolescent but gets much more adult in terms of the depths a person will go to for the one they love. And we finished up with the duet "Offer It Up to God," which was Jeanine's actual idea of how to handle the love these two women were feeling. "All of the shame that we dare not name... we'll just offer it up to God."

It was an absolute blast and the audience seemed to have a good time. When I went out for the reception later, a lot of folks came up to me, saying, "Hey! Singing Nun!" The response was big, warm and very encouraging. :)

One of the cool things that came out of this is the director John Znidarsic, who was the stage director for the concert, called me in for the new musical, Hell's Belles. I auditioned and booked the show! Received the script today, and it looks like so much fun! I'll be performing Jan. 16-27, 2008. "Proud Mary keep on rollin!"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

First Snow

There is nothing like the first snow of the year. It is just so beautiful, pure and white. I always marvel at it and simply have to be outside IN it! :)

That's how this past Sunday was for me. I awoke to find snowflakes drifting past my windows, and was absolutely delighted to see all the NY rooftops covered with white. It was a light dusting and wasn't rumored to stick, so I threw on my big coat and snowboots and went dashing through the snow. :)

My sweetheart and I gathered some pine boughs and wreaths for our apartment, courtesy of our favorite bodega/grocery/flower-stand. Then we hurried home as the snow was already turning to icy rain and spent the rest of the day decking our halls with holiday trimmings.

This weekend I also rehearsed my Singing Nun songs and scenes for the Bound for Broadway concert. It was great to get back into this character a year later. I've grown a lot since then and it was neat to discover some new things about Jeanine, the Singing Nun, and her experience with her world. Really cool stuff.

More to come!