Serendipity smiled...

It was a hot week in more ways than just the recent heat wave.

This week, I had to stretch myself and receive a round of goodies and blessings. It began with receiving a gift from a friend that I had ooohed and ahhhed about when we were out shopping together. It was so sweet of her to purchase it on the sly and then hand to me later when we were about to part. The gift afforded me a chance to witness my response at receiving and the "dance" I did within myself about it when I brought it home. It allowed me to witness some very old patterns crop up when I noticed that I was reluctant to take the gift out of the box and actually own or use it. Hmmmmm.

Then there was the launch of the new Starbucks blend, Pikes Peak, created in honor of the name of their original store location. On Tuesday, between 9:00 a.m. and noon, Starbucks gave away a free eight ounce cup of the new brew. It goes without saying that I was at the store at 9:01 a.m. The company has also reissued it's original brown logo design for the cups--with a slight modification of the raunchy mermaid to keep prudish critics quiet. As it turned out, Tuesday was also the day that Jamba Juice launched it's new breakfast line of smoothies and meals and offered a freebie to anyone who showed up before 10:00 a.m.

There may not be a free lunch, but I got a free breakfast and coffee!
Okay, so I wasn't thrilled with either one but that is not the point of the story.

On Wednesday, I happily filled in for someone on an ushering team that ushers at the Old Globe, so I got to see "Dancing in the Dark", the new musical based on the M.G.M. movie musical, "The Band Wagon".

Donning my black slacks and white blouse--de rigeur wardrobe for any professional theatre volunteer usher--and showed up at the plaza outside the Old Globe. It was a beautiful evening and made all the more beautiful to be at the theatuh, darling. Suffice to say that I know something about theatre--ushering, house managing, stage managing acting, producing, directing--so this was a no-brainer for me. It was also bittersweet to be in the theatre before the 'house' opened because I did have the privilege of performing in a production at the Old Globe back in 1985. (Gulp! That is waaaay too long ago).

May I go on record as saying that I miss being/working in a theatre. Watching the actors walk across the stage or do their warm-ups. I can't tell you how it feels-the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd-- even moreso, the sound of an orchestra tuning up before curtain -- Oy! I could plotz and I am not even Jewish!

The production itself was okay. I far prefer the movie version and that is usually not the case. I am sure that many people were quite surprised at Scott Bakula's singing and dancing abilities but for me, he does not have a stage personality. The lovely voice of the ingenue and her athletic ability was very nice but she did nothing for me. There certainly was no real chemistry between them. I did adore the character role of Lily (inspired or influenced no doubt by the lyricist, Betty Comden) played by Tony award-winning Beth Leavel. She was fantastic and so clearly, a stage actress with star qualities and fantastic musical abilities. The production and the youngish cast came across to me as if they were in their first week of performances--not quite gelled or crisp but I enjoyed hearing the music and so many of the familiar songs.

It amused me that early in the first scene, Scott Bakula's character uttered a line about "there's no such thing as a free ticket." And I thought, HA! That's what you think.

Comments

theatrebug said…
I also work as an usher and have been thrilled with the abilities to see things I otherwise would not be able to. It's nice to use one's time and talent.

I must disagree with you about Bakula's stage presence though. Although I have not gotten a chance to see him in his latest role, I have seen him in Shenandoah, No Strings, and The Quality of Life. I guarantee the man does have stage presence.

Keep in mind that his background was in musical theatre long before he ever did TV and movies. Indeed, he was nominated for Tony award in 1988 for Romance/Romance. You don't get nominated for that award if you DON'T have stage presence.

I suggest that you see him in more than one venue before making such a global statement. He may have just had a bad night the time you saw him. Even the best actors do occasionally have those.

Just my opinion. Thanks.
Rev. Duchess said…
Hi Theatrebug,
I look forward to more opportunities to see Scott Bakula onstage. That is why I mentioned that most people would be surprised by his musical chops because so many people are just aware of his T.V. credits.

But for the record, I did not make a global statement that he had no stage presence. I wrote that "for me, he had no stage presence." Perhaps I needed to qualify that better by stating that I did not think this role or this particular performance did his abilities justice. That would have been clearer and more fair.

Thanks for your comment.
theatrebug said…
I appreciate the clarification. Makes a great deal more sense. One of the people that saw the show several times said it took a few times to have the character really grow on them. Some roles are like that.

For instance...recently went to a showing of Fuddy Meers. Although I enjoyed every performance, a few of the characters took on a different light as I watched the show progress. I guess that's just a part of theatre.

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