Thursday, August 08, 2013

Next Up!

While doing a show, its very common to hear people ask, What are you working on next? 

In the midst of Sasquatched, I received the script for an international 
recording of Jerome Kern's "Roberta." I play Sophie Teale, a devilish debutante 
(my friend, Larry Moore calls her a debutramp!) who abuses the sweet but naive 
leading man. Larry said he needed someone who could give a bitch a sense of 
dimension, so he came to me! ;) 
The recording is being done like a radio play, so while I don't get to sing some 
of the famous songs in the show like "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," I have some 
wonderfully wicked scenes! It's a blast to work on this script!

I also start rehearsals next week for, "Come and Get It," a musical revue about 
food at the Abingdon Theatre Off Broadway.
I get to sing a jazzy take "On the Good Ship Lollipop," and a purrfectly delightful 
number about a cat's view of suppertime. ;)
In September, I'll be doing another concert reading of Hell's Belles, playing my 
favorite icons, Janis Joplin and Judy Garland.
And I'm starting rehearsals for "Petunia's Coffee House," an outrageous 
musical event with my friend Wayne Henry that's a wee nod to Pee Wee's 
Playhouse. I get to play Petunia's butch ex-girlfriend.
As one of my friends said, "You get the funniest parts!"

Saturday, August 03, 2013

A tribute to Jonathon Robinson

Tonight I raise my glass to the memory of Jonathon Robinson. He passed away on 
July 25 after a heroic battle with melanoma. 
I met Jonathon 23 years ago when we were cast in the Shakespearean troupe for 
the PA Renaissance Faire. We were both such kids and were as different as night 
and day, but somehow I had the good fortune to become his friend. He had a razor 
sharp wit and wicked sense of humor. He was also stunningly beautiful.
Outside the Faire, I had the good fortune to work with him on his pet project of a large scale cast for Greater Tuna. He cast me as a girl with HUGE thighs and took great delight in padding me to kingdom come! The result cause such a huge non-stop laugh, and it was my first time with BIG comedy (pun intended). Jonathon directed me to keep it was serious as possible which only heightened the comedy since it was tragedy multiplied to the utmost degree. 
I thought of Jonathon a lot with my most recent role of Pat the Park Ranger in 
"Sasquatched! The Musical," a larger than life character bedecked in bulky men's 
clothes with a really passionate take on life. I think he would've loved it! 

He also directed me in Poe Evermore, and played a devious version of Nathaniel 
Hawthorne (below on the farleft). I can still remember sharing the stage with him in 
a darkly erotic version of The Raven. Man, he was brilliant!
He taught me to not be afraid of horror films. He showed me all the tricks and special effects, and taught me to revel in the artistry that went into all that gore. We lost track of each other after the Faire but found each other again on Facebook, and my husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Jonathon's partner, Mark. They were such a great pair, and it was an honor to share some laughs with them. I always say they inspired me to get married. My last project with Jonathon was a voice over industrial for Viacom which we recorded in NY. I still remember meeting him at the door of the recording studio, this larger than life presence. He'd direct me in front of the mic and then bounce into the sound booth for the recording. He said I sounded like his favorite video game at the time, and asked me to say something about cake, to which he giggled with delight.
When he and Mark moved to FLA, we kept up on Facebook, and I loved seeing their pix from adventures in Disney World. When "The Importance of Being Earnest" made headlines in Canada because of a man playing Lady Bracknell, I emailed Jonathon right away, because he had played Lady B. so many years ago in a mini production at Mt. Hope in an interactive theatre space in a Victorian mansion. He was playing Oscar Wilde, playing Lady Bracknell, and I still remember hearing his voice echoing through the mansion, as he exclaimed, "A handbag????"
He was such a great actor, director, and friend. When I had a rough time with 
something, he'd give me a big hug and offer his best counsel. He seemed to live 
his dreams and had a great penchant for encouraging others to do the same thing

He was such a great man, and I can't believe he's gone. I hope he's free and at 
peace and is having a great time in that big party in the sky.