Category Archives: Musical Comedy

I Wanna Rock

I guess I’m not a kid anymore… I know this because they’re now making Broadway musicals just for me. There are days when my aches, pains, wrinkles and grey hairs remind me that I’m forty-something, but most of the time, I still feel like I graduated from high school thirty seconds ago.  Last night, Rock of Ages took me right back there.

Set in L.A. in 1987, it’s the story of young dreamers, Sherrie and Drew, who fall in love on the Sunset Strip. The storyline isn’t complicated and many of the scenes are silly, but you know how I love spontaneous song and dance numbers. The performers in the touring cast were terrific, particularly the leads, Shannon Mullen (Sherrie) and Dominique Scott (Drew). I also loved Katie Postotnik (Regina) and Justin Colombo (Lonny). Colombo must have been exhausted at the end of the night because he was onstage in almost every scene. The award for hardest working performers, though, goes to the Rock of Ages band: Darren Ledbetter, Chris Cicchino, Maddox, Alan Childs and Andy Gerold. They truly were the heart of the show.

It was hard to keep myself from singing those songs that I’ll probably still remember when I’m in the nursing home; twenty-eight songs from groups like Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Journey, Quarterflash, REO Speedwagon, Survivor and Twisted Sister. I had to buy the CD even though I already have a lot of the music, some of it on LPs and 45s that I bought with my babysitting money.

The Hollywood version comes out in June 2012. Drew and Sherrie will be played by Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough and the movie also stars Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige, Russell Brand, Tom Cruise, Will Forte, Paul Giamatti and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Tickets to the show were an anniversary present from my husband. Great job, honey! We’re definitely going to see the movie this summer.

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Filed under Music, Musical Comedy, Theater

The Dancing Chorus

I love musical comedy.

I know a lot of people are annoyed by spontaneous song and dance numbers, but that’s my favorite part of a show. I saw my first musical at a community theater when I was eight years old. My sister and I sang the songs from Camelot nonstop…

“If ever I would leave you, it wouldn’t be in springtime…”

Until we saw Showboat a few weeks later at the same theater.

“Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly…”

When I was in high school, I started auditioning so I could join in the fun. I was in the cast of the spring musical at my school every year and in summer, I tried out for the dancing chorus in local community theater productions. I loved the long rehearsals learning songs, dances, and blocking on a bare stage. Then came dress rehearsals with imaginative sets and colorful costumes and finally, the thrill of performing for an audience.

42nd Street cast performing"We're in the Money" at Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College

I’ve lost track of the friends I made during those summer productions, but I can still see many of them so clearly. Liz, Melinda, Jennie, Doug, Sarah, Erika,  Brad, Julie, Andreas, Marlene, Ginger, Melissa… By day, we were ordinary, but we were transformed into larger than life characters on stage.

Last weekend, I had the chance to see a fabulous performance of 42nd Street at The Coronado Playhouse.

It wasn’t a big production but the dancers were so talented and the small cast filled the theater with those songs I love. I had to force myself to sit still and not sing along; I wanted so badly to be up on stage with them. On the way home from the theater, my husband bet me that I’d be auditioning for a show again one of these days.

I wonder.

Would I have to lie about my age? Would my hip and my foot hold up to the hours of rehearsal and four performances a week? Would I be able to handle the late nights and still wake up early to walk Lola and write?

Probably not. It’s a nice dream, though. But maybe one of these days, I’ll forget caution and try out for the dancing chorus again.

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Filed under Dance, Musical Comedy, tap dance, Theater, Writing