Monday, January 10, 2011

2010: The Year I Saw All Of My Broadway Idols On Stage!

For me as a theatre-goer, 2010 was a year of firsts, my first time seeing my idols on stage that is.

My quest to see all of my musical theatre heroes started in May when I saw Kristin Chenoweth in Promises, Promises. We had these tickets particularly far in advance but Kristin gave us a little scare the week we were set to see the show, announcing on twitter that she was sick and would be missing shows. Luckily, she was well enough to perform the night we had tickets and seeing her live was unreal such a special experience for me. I've loved Kristin since before I can remember but I just happened to miss her in Wicked and The Apple Tree but was so grateful to have caught her in Promises, Promises. 

Read my review of Promises Promises here:

Barbara Cook is a performer that I have come to admire more recently than some of the others. I started listening to Barbara after Kristin Chenoweth mentioned in an interview that she was "her idol." After purchasing one of her  albums, I understood why. As a fellow soprano, I related to Barbara and her recording of "Glitter and Be Gay" was my savior when I was learning this complicated aria. While Sondheim on Sondheim had its flaws, it was the perfect vehicle to showcase Cook because while her coloratura notes are gone, she is still the master of interpreting a lyric, and that is exactly the kind of singer that Sondheim requires.

Read my review of Sondheim on Sondheim here:

I've said this many times, but prior to seeing Everyday Rapture, I was not a fan of Sherie Rene Scott. I went to the show because a good friend of mine was a big fan and needless to say I was blown away by Sherie. Yes she has talent, but many people have talent. What really struck me about her was her commitment to the show and her performance energy. Having seen her later in the year in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, where she clearly was not as committed to the piece, I realized just how important it is that an actor is invested in the work and how much of a difference that makes to an audience.

Read my review of Everyday Rapture here:

When I heard that Bernadette Peters may be replacing Catherine Zeta-Jones in A Little Night Music, I held off seeing the show and I am so glad I waited. Bernadette was a revelation in the role of Desiree and I have never been so captivated by a performer. I idolize Bernadette in a big way, but oddly enough, I was only star struck for a moment. After the initial exhilaration wore off, she was no longer Bernadette Peters, but rather she became the character of Desiree Armfeldt. Her Send in the Clowns was phenomenal, but I remember it more as a scene than as a song. And in my opinion, forsaking the vocals for the character is the mark of a true actress. For the price of that one theatre ticket, I saw a remarkable performance and took an acting class from a legend. How often can you say that?

Read my review of A Little Night Music here:

I will probably never forgive myself for missing Kelli O'Hara in South Pacific (I saw Laura Osnes as Nellie) but I was fortunate enough to see her in concert at the Kennedy Center this season. I'm actually glad that my experience with Kelli was in concert because her voice is simply divine and you get to hear more songs in a concert than in a musical. Because I am a soprano, most of my repertoire is from the Golden Age of Broadway and Kelli happened to perform songs mostly from that genre so it was like a master class for me in that respect. I  thoroughly enjoyed her musical selections and I felt that I got to know her a little better through her banter between songs, and though she was cheesy at times, my goodness was she genuine. I think she truly is a cockeyed optimist.

Read my review of Kelli's concert here:

The Broadway show I saw most recently was Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and it marked my first live experience with Patti LuPone. Though I wished I'd seen her in a better show where she was the star, like Gypsy, Patti has that rare ability to turn any role into a star performance. I recall the hilights of the show being Patti with a gun, Patti on a motorcycle, and Patti hanging from the proscenium. What I love most about Patti is her respect for the theatre and her commitment to preserving it as a high art form. Her respect for the theatre translates into her performance and from this show and from Patti, I learned that the actor's job is to commit to the character and deliver an engaging performance, regardless of how good or bad the show is.

Read my review of Women on the Verge here:

This was just a brief overview of my experiences with my Broadway idols in 2010. Check back throughout the week for posts dedicated to each of these divas and what it is exactly that I love about them!


  1. Sounds like a good year! I saw "Promises Promises," "A Life in the Theater," and "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" this past year and felt the same way when I saw Patrick Stewart and Kristin Chenoweth! What masterful performers! Spider-Man...not so much! You can read what I thought if you want ( but it was not pretty!

  2. As a fellow Broadway lover, I am so lad you got to see these amazing performers!