The NEXT installment was Broadway! Talk about a good ole time.
CYO performed a collage of some of the biggest Broadway shows of our time. My friend from high school (I went to Interlochen), Adam Pelty has worked in the Broadway industry for years. He has done choreography for the big stages, directed shows, danced and sang in too many to mention. He also taught a few summers at Interlochen (where we reconnected as faculty members). We had talked about doing a show of this type together for years - and now was the hot time to do it. He was teaching at Ithaca College for the season and had access to the entire Musical Theater dept. Woo-Hoo! And the planning began.
Adam came into Cleveland 6 months before rehearsal began and held auditions for Cleveland area youth to participate in this show. We wanted a local troupe of young singers and dancers as well as the professional level from Ithaca. He spent three days going through a real audition process wit these youth - giving them a true, professional experience of what an audition would be like in NYC. Cool. Right on target with our mission with this series. Then Adam and I started planning what shows we were going to do - and this was so much freaking fun.
Our list looked like this:
I Hope I Get It - A Chorus Line - Bill Byers
Aquarius - HAIR - Gait MacDermot
Jesus Christ Superstar- Andrew Lloyd Weber
Seasons of Love - Rent - Jonathan Larson
Ballad of Sweeney Todd - Stephen Sondheim
Everythings Comin' Up Roses - Gypsy - Jule Styne
Defying Gravity - Wicked - Steven Schwartz
A Weekend In The Country - A Little Night Music
Stephen Sondheim Children Will Listen -
Into The Woods- Stephen Sondheim I Believe;
Mama Who Bore Me - Spring Awakening - Duncan Sheik
New York! New York!- Leonard Bernstein
Titanic- Maury Yeston
Too Darn Hot - Kiss Me, Kate - Cole Porter
One Day More - Les Miserable - Claude-Michel Schönberg
You Can't Stop The Beat - Hairspray - Marc Shaiman
We performed all of this as one continuous show. It was held in a hall in a near suburb of Cleveland that was perfect for the show, but the people there were so unbelievably crappy to us. I have my thoughts on why these two women thought it necessary to spend their energy this way, and it's too bad because it’s a nice space. We are crazy nice people, but they were so mean that it brought me to tears a few times. BAH HUM BUG.
The CYO Members were not aware of the negative energy they were trying to throw at us as Adam and I as well as our GM, Kate, shielded them from it. And...onwards.
The show was one of the most exhilarating performances ever. The purpose behind this one for the CYO Members was to give them the opportunity to see what it is like to play in a pit. But we are too big (115 members) to fit in any pit that I know of. So the strings were on the floor right on front of the stage, the woodwinds were to my left on stage and the brass to my right on stage. percussion was in the back facing the audience. The singers and dancers were center stage; as they would be in a professional Broadway show.
Adam had been trying to talk me into SINGING and DANCING during the encore (which was You Cant Stop The Beat from Hairspray). He was trying for days and there was NO way I was going to do it. So I did it. HAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAA. It was more fun than I had ever imagined and the kids and the audience thought it was a hoot. I left the podium and ran backstage and did my thing. The orchestra held its own for those few minutes (because they are badass).
My singing - it was ok...my dancing...fun and the choreography Adam gave us a bit sexy... good time? Time of my life.