The attempt to silence a man is
the greatest honor you can bestow on him.
It means that you recognize
his superiority to yourself.
12-14-98: i'm frightened of the world/reviews
i'm sorry i haven't written in a long time (7 whole days) much has been going on...
but basically i saw RENT in Greehsboro (yes that makes 21 times) and graduated on
sunday from the university of north carolina at chapel hill.
i'm an adult. what the fuck does that mean?
ate with my mom and gma. went to a cocktail at lisa's. deflowered lisa of her rent
virginity, found a music composing program that's webbased (and yes i just downloaded
it at work) i have it for 30 days. let's see what i can get out over the next two.)
we have a gig tonight. the group wants our new name to be Hear & Now. i'm not so
hip on it, but will acqueiese if that's definately what they want.
so giggin and learning life's lessons. last week was pretty good.
so below is the review of the two shows that i saw. enjoy:
Subject: trying to write a review
of the show last night. twas a doozie. nothing earth-shatteringly great,
but as an openinig i liked it better than the angel cast opening in
let's say that eris is always right and i'll leave it at that. (argh)
get to the theatre at 4:30pm. i'm basically third in line. eek. no, they
don't sell all of the rush seats. some people from VA/DC (Cas i think
you know Shannon<--friend of eris) were able to buy seats right behind us
Any way to sum up the experience for me...It's all about Horace Rent.
love him. hot 36 year old xmas carroller and benny collins swing. he may
go on this week as one of those because he's from G'Boro. i can't wait.
because of all the cast changes ( a little birdy said they almost
cancelled this run) the show didn't have a lot of energy...plus they were
a half mile away from the audience...it was like watching a very good if
not excellent collegiate production.
but i didn't mind spending my $20 on it. so that's a good sign.
brent davin vance--benny
owen johnston II--angel
HORACE V. ROGERS--mr. jefferson
cops--anika larsen, peter smith
I've lost all journalistic skills that i may have once possessed...so
please bear with me.
to note, i did enjoy the show.
The theatre: the cavernous war memorial auditorium is a ridiculous place
to hold rent. the "stage" where the actors were was a good 20 yards from
the front row. and all the mechanical equipment (speakers mounted on the
covered orchestra part of the stage and the light grid right at the foot
of the performers) was distracting to say the least. if anyone sat down
in a certain spot...they were totally blocked by the speakers.
and the tomb like quality of the theatre made them slow the production way
down. i mean way way way down. i believe the show started at 8:15 and
ended at 10:45pm.
eris and i watch some of the rehearsal before the show in the theatre.
and they seemed to be having fun. i got a little nervous when they
started RENT and scott goes "Benny, Crap." egads...just because we're in
the bible belt, g'boro is the 3rd gayest city in the state i believe.
so we leave the theatre and eris goes to pick up josh who's in winston
salem. i'm waiting in the lobby area listening to the rest of the
rehearsal. i hear OUT TONIGHT...but don't hear any squeaks. i'm like.
Julia sounds so much better than what i've heard. what a big change.
twas not julia but yasmin ennis.
okay i hear take me or leave me. and they are going pretty well. until
they start harmonizing at the end. trainwreck. big fat trainwreck. they
stop try again. smaller wreck. they stop and try again and the big wreck
is back. and it's mostly moe. i'm singing along with the maureen (i
didn't know at the time that it's cristina) and she hitting the key spot
on. so i listen to joanne's part...and gasp greatly. they are just not
meshing at any point. i get worried.
so i listen to i'll cover you. nice. dwayne doesn't sound bad as collins
and the person whom i thought was pierre had a really really good voice.
they both got the job done during the rehearsal.
so the train wreck couple give it another go after maureenperson goes
through a bit of over the moon...i mean she stops midsentence and the
music comes in for tmolm.
still a wreck albeit a slight one.
So i'm waiting for josh and eris to get back in town and become the list
bitch for all 12 people who were buying tickets. bad policy in gboro.
the ticketron printer random selects where you are going to sit, but not
really, it just passes out the tickets backwards. so even though i was
supposed to get the 10th seat i was in seat 6 and the person who bought a
ticket after me was in seat 5. but i couldn't really complain because i
was in front of christian whenever he sat down and cristina whenever she
was in the sol line...so all in all twas a great seat.
so i may work as a merchandiser at one of the other shows that i go see.
it's the rotating cast for this show...so if i see it more than once...i
will probably only see about 5 performers in the roles that they normally
plan or in the same role at all.
can we just say that i'm mad that they didn't let HORACE V. ROGERS dance
next up...performer breakdown
so yeah the show was slow. but i enjoyed it.
oh and they really are the bus and truck company because the bus was
waiting for them after the show and left approximately 20 minutes after the
show was over. BDV's oh we have to go because the bus will leave us, was
oh and the new benny apparently goes on on saturday. i think his name is
so you all know that i was going to see this cast/show so that i could get
over my christian mena fixation. and i'm happy to say that i'm over
it...though in his place i do believe HORACE V. ROGERS has thoroughly
Christian: BeefyRoger[tm] his voice did not match his look. and his look
didn't really fit that of a dying of aids roger either...but he was more
than adequate in the role. overall the whole cast sounded especially
tinny in the theatre. christian's was higher pitched than i was expecting
it to be even though i had heard a bootleg. much like a high school tenor.
it was distracting because he has taken on such an aggressive edge with
the character that the lilting quality of his voice jars you back into the
musicality of the show. and then he adds these growls that sort of make
the singer in me screech because it sounds painful. nice acting though he
did absolutely nothing with "you do have a nice..." which is always a
highlight for me. not as hot in person as in pictures...but i can deal
with that. the eye-popper didn't pop my eye, but we'll just have to check
it out again. and he didn't come out after the show.
yasmin ennis: okay really stoked when i thought it was a better sounding
julia. not stoked when she came onstage. she has no presence whatsoever
(in my mind). none of the acting skills necessary for the role...though i
did talk to her afterwards and she'll be sharing the role with kristin
mcdonald--so i gotta check her out. i mean LMC had no electricity, no
shakes. where julia squeaks, yas gives us vocal fry. i really thought
she was going to bust several chords during the show. possibly the most
painful without you i've ever heard. out tonight was out there but did
not impress me really. though she's had the best death scene ever because
the show was so slow she actually had the time to be believably dead. so
i clapped that part. when she woke up (and was able to bounce straight
up--those are some tight abs for a deathly sick person who's cold and
living on the streets) i stopped clapping.
scott: i'm not a big scott hunt fan. he was good. actually he was great
but just didn't really impress me with anything that he was doing onstage.
i would place him third on my list after anthony and christian, but then
again i've seen dan robbins, luther, dickblake, and trey ellet so can you
blame me. vocally he sounds great. but he was a little too dorky at the
beginning of the show. and being smaller than mimi is an interesting
concept. i wanted to sing "my buddy, my buddy" throughout the show. i
think he falls into the category of ScottHype'98 for me. i was expecting
more but didn't get it. i summ it up with "why the hell would mark give
the phone...the hand." benny cast ridiculousness on that end.
eris deemed them the "kindergarten rent" because they were mimicking each
other so much.
dwayne: i'm not a big dwayne fan. ghettobenny in the angel cast,
shinyhappycollins in the benny cast. and i'm not talking jesse shiny
happy either. at any point in time i expected him to go "aw shucks
kyuugh, kyuugh, kyuugh." the shoulder punching, the big ass smile,
incessant bouncing...during "oh holy nite" i thought i was watching the
three stooges. but dwayne does have several good points and he hovers in
the bottom realm with cc and mcelroy. vocally his range is not suitable
for collins...he has to aspirate a lot of the lower notes, but the
jodeciruns he incorporates into the rest of the numbers is quite pleasing.
hey added an octave flip at the third phrase of SF which caught me
off-guard, but he carried it through. i actually enjoyed watching him
dancing during the show. he had good chemistry with Owen, though i now
know that boy has got some muscles, cause after several attempts he was
able to hoist owen up and carry him the full length of the stage for WY.
i will say that he thoroughly shook the house with ICYr. Sing Collins.
owen: i simply adored Owen as angel. there were flaws. he doesn't like
going on as the role. he has a beautiful voice. the fake eyelashes were
at the weirdest slant throughout the show, so i tried not to laugh. no
energy during t4m...but after shaun earl who really does have energy? he
loses a lot of the playfulness of angel and doesn't really seem
comfortable being the glue that holds the family together. definately not
the most cocksure Angel out there. i liked the 3 foot wig for pussy
galore...it worked for me. the sideburn tape, not so much. crazy
unecessary contact vocals...but i blanked it out. a$$ to die for, but
he's not a great dancer. i can't to see him as roger.
wait to see him as Roger.
monique daniels: i was really worried after having listened to the
rehearsal beforehand. she has a very heavy voice that sounds like she's
going to burn out sometime soon, but she did more than an adequate job.
she has some great acting moments though just not a characterization that
i particularly care for. she was overly neurotic and unsure of herself.
i mean a harvard-educated, upper-west, black, lesbian lawyer is going to
have a lot more backbone than was presented by Ms. daniels. She was
simply too geeky for her own good. she's the type that would have
acquieseced to whatever maureen told her to do so that the buildup to
LVB and TMOLM just didn't seem plausible. to her credit
she has the BEST we're okay...carrying on a 4-way conversation with style
and finesse. she and cristina didn't have a lot of sparks flying until
goodbye love. but they did seem really cute together and you could see
the trio friendship between maureen, joanne, and mark ebb and flow.
cristina fadale: okay, apparently cristina is the second coming with as
much commotion as she's been generating about being the new maureen.
spritemaureen[tm] is very cute and reminds me of friend of mine
(kurt/karen she looks somewhat like alicia kaplan and she wore her hair
like caroline did for gypsy as electra). nice body. very strong voice,
though it too is on the strident side...adding more to her elfen
appearance. she loves to connect with the audience. A LOT. i didn't get a
chance to ask her if this was her first time going on as maureen. i was
disappointed when kristin didn't kiss her during LVB, i mean it was
obvious. she needs to develop OTM a lot more. at times it seemed that she
had forgotten her choreography. she had a bit of KLK in her regarding
stature and body type, and some keaney in her with timing. she's going to
be good i think. not the best...but up there.
brent davin vance: gaybenny. not a lot to say about him. he was showing
us more than we really needed to see during contact. i mean a lot more.
he thom allison and rob glean seemed to really be enjoying themselves
during that dance. as far as i can tell SoCals, he didn't miss anylines
as benny. record? pretty good voice. nice as hell...he and owen told me
all about the rotating of casts this weekend.
so i'm off to see the new cast tonight. can't wait.
Stephen: I met Adam from Atlanta..and you are right in all aspects.
he tracked me down. eeks.
eris/josh: stacey and shannon weren't there. they just completly
weren't there. but alicia's family was and they think that cristina
looks like their daughter as well. even her mannerisms. i wish
alicia could sing.
what a difference a day makes. good god.
and different casting.
saw the show tonight. twas wonderful live. listening to it right
now...not so much. but the live memory is the one that i'll keep with
better acting all around. energy. sound levels were up (you could
barely hear the show on wednesday.) people actually seemed to be
there are some cute benny cast things that no one is interested in
unless you've seen the cast. so i won't bother. they have a strong
ensemble. but they are in a period of transition so that the "family
of friends" quality hasn't reached them yet. but it'll get there.
Brent asked me to come back and see him again tomorrow nite, but i
said no. i can't sit through that version of the show again.
i like the benny cast. kindergarten rent isn't hurting anybody. i
can't wait to see them in raleigh once they've hopefully gelled some
kristin mcdonald: cassandrawilsonmimi[tm]rocks hard core as mimi. her
acting is weak in a lot of areas. a totally different attitude. not
a druggie at all, but she has a youthful zestiness about her. red
braids and all. her voice was heavy in parts...and overly vibratic in
others that was distracting, but after seeing yassmin ennis, she could
piss standing up and it would have been better. so i guess she is the
talented half of the mcdonald family.
you are not going to believe it's me saying this, but Rob fucking
Glean rocks as benny. he's not going to win any awards, but he just
put himself out there in a competent manner and it worked. and worked
well. SOL fiasco who? no dona he's not better than your baby...and
he missed a lot of opportunities to delve in the character further,
but still he was solid all around. and his contact
anika larsen as mark's mom. i love the benny cast for having an
african american mark's mom and making that choice. but anika should
have it full time with this cast. she's solid in that respect though
kristin is better as the masochism girl.
THOM ALLISON is the bomb as Angel. very nice to look at as a guy, but
like Owen not a pretty woman. though he did look like a drag queen,
but i would strongly differentiate in the female impersonator respect.
nice dancing (tight lower body.) and vocalizations out the wazoo, some
worked some didn't. much better presentation especially during
Contact. though i will say that he had the most original "EW" on
wednesday nite, which i didn't tell you about. he was the highlite of
wednesday show...but added such a great dimension to tonight's
performance. he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. i
still haven't seen a bad angel. though he did almost miss his
entrance for without you...at the last minute scurrying onto the table
and laughing into dwayne's shoulder.
who ordered the 6'6" tall angels for this cast. Pierre must be really
short because owen and thom TOWER over dwayne. but again muscle man
rose to the occasion. as did the eye-popper. ;-p okay.
Brent gets the lambert award from me. don't really like him on stage.
but he is a great person.
i could have done without roxanne taga both shows. she adds something
new, but i don't really care. she's not aiko, julie or even cherie.
peter smith (swing/us) and the youngest member of the cast at 21 (it's
in his bio) went on as steve and others. will i was nice. a little
better than just there (and more in tempo that thom's on wednesday.)
but he should never go on as "the toboggan boy"--well he's not wearing
the diva shirt--because the outfit looked ridiculous on him (not going
to talk about the lack of abs) but the oranges next to his pale white
skin...yes you get the picture. he humped the floor nicely in contact
until the byron section at the end. the hurt was not so good.
CARL THORTON is the new benny. he watched the show from the left volm.
Horace CAN dance stephen, so they need to put him on as Collins SOON.
Got the Curt Skinner slide this time. i think Curt is great. his man
is spooky and the homeless...w00 the audience completely loved them (i
found it kinda odd). they laughed everytime they started singing.
that slightly unnerved me.
christine bandelow, yasmin and owen were the cops. so if i do go back
(which is not likely because i don't want to spoil tonight's good
memory of the show and i can't sit through brent and yasmin again) and
see carl as benny, then i will have seen everyone in the benny company
that is here perform in some capacity. how strange.
Wichasta is sick...and cracked hardcore during the Seasons' verse
solo. she's not doing the matinee tomorrow (so who does that leave?)
and maybe not sat nite.
i think brent said that he was going on as benny tomorrow nite (i
guess carl is doing the matinee didn't get a chance to speak to him)
which means yas as mimi...would they let anika or christine sing the
solo or would they make kristin sing it?
okay i'm sure i'll think of something MORE to say later.
peace out everyone.
again thank you cameron please
visit her page. we share a bond.