On Sunday afternoon, a phalanx of Broadway luminaries (and Lindsay Mendez) descended upon Town Hall in midtown Manhattan for a concert entitled Broadway Originals. And yes, she’s going to kill me for that, but it made me laugh out loud, so I’m keeping it. (Besides, she knows she’s a genius, and if you don’t yet, you will.)
The deal was that each performer was asked to sing notable songs associated with their Broadway careers. My friend Scott Coulter directed the astonishingly seamless show, which featured Tonya Pinkins, Alice Ripley, Matt Cavanaugh, Tovah Feldshuh, and a whole bunch of others (check ‘em out here!) – not to mention a kick-ass band.
The Lindsay Mendez was on hand for her definitive, signature version of “Bless the Lord” from Godspell – remember that?! So she specifically requested that Yours Truly join the fray to approximate the arrangement from our production. Of course, back in those days, the lion’s share of the orchestration was split among three electric guitars, of which there were none in Sunday’s band. Luckily, my own piano playing comes with a little extra distortion, so it all worked out – and with Scott joining me on backing vocals, along with Jeremy Clayton the reed player (who sang all the high, drag queen parts – fiercely, I might add), Lindsay blew the roof off the place. The kids screamed. The bluehairs awakened briefly. All in all, a triumph.
From soundcheck to bows we all had a long but fun day, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. And coming as it did less than 24 hours after a typically exuberant Gashole (we’re back!), I was beat, though it was worth it. One of those why-you-move-here-in-the-first-place, I Heart NY kind of weekends. Then I got home and my toilet exploded again, and I got over it.
Except that I didn’t, of course. I’m taking a break and venturing to Rhode Island for a few days to recharge, but then I’ll be back for more pretend show business – or some of the real kind, should anybody want to pay for it. But while I’m awaiting that next money gig, there’s lots of creativity afoot this fall. Lindsay and I are kicking a few ideas around, and I’ve got a couple of new Gashole mashups in the works – this in addition to the two shows I’m writing, as well as the possibility of one of my old ones’ coming out of hibernation and actually getting somewhere (stay tuned!). Terror of starvation and homelessness aside, I really do love my life here a lot of the time. And here’s a pic of one of the reasons why.
Audiences and toilets exploding. Can you beat a day like that?