Monday, November 8, 2010

My Most Memorable Theatre Experiences: #5 Everyday Rapture

I must admit that there were two reasons that I bought tickets to see Everyday Raputre. 1) My good friend is a huge fan of Sherie Rene Scott and wanted somebody to see the show with her. 2) I am a Roundabout Theatre Club Hiptix member so I got really cheap tickets. I had heard about this Sherie Rene Scott person before and while I thought her voice was good, I assumed she was just your generic Broadway belter. Also, I though it was highly narcissistic to co-write and star in your own show and actually have it come to Broadway. Nevertheless, I went to the show, expecting to hear a lot of vocal tricks and riffing and see a lot of camp.

Now we reach the point where I eat my words. My expectations were shattered within the first five minutes and I was completely enraptured, no pun intended, by this tour de force of a performer. I've written  several posts about this show already, including a formal review, so I'll post links to them.

I'll try not to repeat what I wrote in earlier posts, and now that its been a good four months since I saw the show, I would like to talk about my fond memories. This was a big theatre season for me as I got the chance to see my three Broadway idols, Bernadette Peters, Barbara Cook, and Kristin Chenoweth, onstage in the same summer. But as much as I adored seeing these ladies onstage, none of them gripped me quite the way that Sherie did. Patti LuPone once said that performers are most exciting when they toe the line between in control and out of control, which is the perfect way to describe Sherie in this show. She speaks directly to the audience at the top of the show, telling us she is playing a character also named Sherie Rene Scott who is 50% real and 50% imaginary. This is one of the few musicals I've seen where the book rises to match the music and two elements work seamlessly together to make a cohesive show. Being a one-act, the show moves forward and the momentum is never broken, allowing it reach a climax and eventually a point of catharsis for the audience. The supporting cast is used sparingly, making it the closest thing to a one-woman show since Liza worked the Palace two years ago. Being a singer myself, I have a great deal of respect for good belting and Sherie is a perfect example. It just happens so naturally from good breath control and projection, as opposed to those other belters (I'm not naming names) who sound like their faces are going to fall off when they go for a high F.

I could go on and on about her vocal technique and her acting skills, but what really struck me about Sherie Rene Scott, and the thing I remember most from Everyday Rapture, is how warm and giving she was. I've been to many performances where the actors phone it in, but Sherie's passion and love for the show just radiated throughout the theatre as she put every drop of herself into the performance. I went on such a journey with this character that I felt like I'd experienced a lifetime of her emotions all in an hour and a half. This show actually changed how I feel about theatre and elevated my standards of what makes a perfect musical. I made a big bold statement that Everyday Rapture was the only perfect new musical since Sunday in the Park with George. Check out my reasoning here:

Oh yeah, and did I cry? There was no eleven o'clock emotional ballad that instructed me to cry, but nevertheless the waterworks happened anyway, and it was during the final number, Up The Ladder To The Roof, an uptempo to be exact. And did I mention that song is also my ring tone? And every time my phone rings, its an Everyday memory of the Rapture.

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