Monday, March 19, 2007
11:31 AM |
I used to do theater in college, like most of us with a certain persuasion
. Had directed this and that, including Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues
and Rene O. Villanueva
When I started out, however, it was 1996 and the local musical maven had sent out audition calls for a production of West Side Story
(book by Arthur Laurents, and composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim). I went to the Luce Auditorium to give moral support for a friend ... and on a dare, I ended up auditioning as well, singing a nervous version of "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil's Les Miserables
. I got in.
The role given me was Diesel in West Side Story
, one of the Jets, in fact their number one fighting guy. I relished in the butchness of the role, even learned to fist-fight the 1950s way. It was so ... un-me, which was why I loved it. Then the production hit a snag, and the director -- bound by some contract to produce a show -- handpicked a few of us to compose the cast for Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak's Godspell
was a trip: I had earlier worshipped the beautiful and haunting extravagance (bordering on sacrilege) of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar
, but found Schwartz's play successfully diffusing the gap between genuine piety and biting social commentary. I very much liked its liberal slyness and its (paradoxical) bright religiosity. Godspell
was both staunch Methodist hymnal set to play, and
counter-culture/flower children idea of bohemia.
I am reminded of all these because when I work on my home computer, my Windows Media Player music playlist is set at random. Today, that randomness picked a song from the original cast recording of Godspell
. I am thinking: Godspell. That was about ten years ago. Ten years.
I can't believe that ten years ago, I was someone who acted and sung in front of audiences, onstage
. Seems like another lifetime, and in a sense, another personality. Today, I am able to listen to all the old songs via the wonders of LimeWire (from the excitable "Day by Day" to the haunting "By My Side"), and I suddenly miss the old ways, when we were much too young, when we heeded no inhibition and sang our hearts out, when all of life was a stage to perform in. And all was wonderful.
Labels: life, memories, music, theater
 This is Where You Bite the Sandwich
GO TO OLDER POSTS
GO TO NEWER POSTS