Human emotion. Nothing compares to how it gets ya to feel more alive! Sunday’s matinee of Sweat, even more so to me yet, lays out a knockout punch and if you know anything about this Pulitzer winner, you know that doesn’t end the fight. The takeaway from playwright Lynn Nottage here is that the fight goes on. Director Andrea J Dymond and her superb, expert cast alternate big laughs with raw truth-telling, brave, and spirited performances that will move you. The conversation after for the audience experiencing it: more aware, compassionate and, hopefully, healing.
Afterwards, I head across the street for the Sunday evening final performance of Groundhog Day, about as emotional as I’ve ever been for the closing of a show.
“I’m here, and I’m fine, and I’m seeing you – for the first time”!
And I’ll be damned that line sure hit home! These actors, fresh, full of life and heart, showered the light and insight gleaned from their experience of their stunning run: for this cast, every time is the first time! What it takes is the gift of pure talent and skill and the desire to be present and always gaining on the telling of this familiar tale of feeling stuck in life and choosing to be the change out of our own everyday rut! What was it that made it seem like their voices especially glistened and harmonized rising to the rafters blending with the extraordinary orchestra’s power under the baton of Conductor/Music Director, Kory Danielson! Choreographer Meghan Farley’s musical staging and dances dazzled seemingly more than ever! The stars, Alex Syiek and Phoebe Gonzalez shone ever so bright singing thrillingly, unforgettably playing Phil’s and Rita’s unconventional romance. That closing night crowd was totally captivated and enthralled – like it was opening night!
Emotions are running high. I remember an acting coach’s words, “Emotion is motion.” And as President & CEO Tim Rater likes to say, we’re keeping our “foot on the gas” – all engines firing! The Grand Finale to our Tenth Anniversary Season, Rock of Ages, began rehearsals running on all cylinders yesterday! Directed by Paramount rock star herself, Artistic Producer and New Works Development Director, Amber Mak, Team ROA is going big, authentic and full strength and it was heart-racing to hear them talk about their take on the show! Get ready to be blown away by face-shredding guitars and head-banging hits! Don’t Stop Believin’!
And while you’re here, take a look at next season’s roster of shows to begin our second decade of the Broadway Series thanks to all our patrons, subscribers and donors!
Love & thanks,