Monday, January 30, 2006

Power Lesbians out of touch with time...

This is the is almost February....behold the pumpkins and Christmas wreath...I almost vomit everytime I step out my door...isn't this just unseemly?

Friday, January 27, 2006 review

(Photos by Carol Pratt-of Dan Cooney, Florence Lacey, Lauren Williams, Jaqui Piro, Channez McQuay, and Amy McWilliams)

my thoughts.

So, after posting all these other schmuck's "good ink", it dawned on me that I wanted to put my own 2 cents into the frying pan. I can feel the collective eye rolls now.
Am I biased?
A little.
But as I told Dan Cooney last night after seeing the show, I have heard this music 5 billion times, and seeing you do it is a whole different ballgame.
So here I go.
Nevermore whisks you into a surreal environ from the get-go. Hanging lights surge and dim from time to time...wind howls through the snarled trees...and you faintly start to see a figure on stage...the 5 women in Poe's life start to emerge before the musical begins....each in their own world, doing something indicative of their persona. Then the bells start chiming, they all seem to know what this means. A flutter of raven wings sounds in the air, lightning flashes, and the door opens...We see Edgar in the shadows...the women gasp a breath of life in unison...
Folks...the show is just starting now! OK-SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN!
The story that unfurls is a swirl of emotions and colors. Each of the women seem to be a different taste or palette to him. These women are the main elements of the story, because these women have been the story of his own life. Each woman is a different time period and place...
Virginia is innocence...yet hungry for the darker side that he has shown her...her terrifying descent is wrought with perfection by Lauren Williams. Muddy, Virginia's Mother, enters the stage and a discordant note is sustained...we see her silhouette walking down the hall, her hands clasped tight at her waist, the very picture of a wicked stepmother....but as we think that she is a wicked crone at first, we start to see that the things she fears are sad realities. She is a grounded, earthy source of reason. Channez McQuay brings such a reserved and constricted tone to the first part of her story line...then in the second....she shatters. She breaks your heart at a graveside scene. She almost knows that Virginia will die from the first scene...she knows Edgar's soul is far too black for little Virginia. We see then why Muddy holds herself like is the image of a woman so coming apart at the seams that she has to hold herself in.
Jaqui Piro, playing Elmira, is all about yin and yang. She is the good to Poe's evil. She married a man who soon after died, and she is left alone...much like Edgar. Even her appearance is split in two. One half of her head is wigged, the other is half of her dress covers the shoulder, the other does not. When she speaks to Poe and says..."I understand.....there is a two-fold silence....sea and shore....body and soul.." I want to cry. From childhood, since she was his first love, and his last love, she has understood his demons, and sought to free them with her own passion for his soul. What is hysterical about this to me is that a local critic wrote about this section , saying that he wrote it down and tried to understand it but could not. How can you not see this? I had not read the new script, nor seen the costumes or wigs...She even says to him, "Our lives have had a certain symmetry, have they not?" Come on, folks...she is his soul mate. The only one who truly does understand him. Sadly, is the last to throw out the life line to him, and he does not accept it. This character is so rich and thick. One almost sees Elmira disappearing before Poe's eyes as he leaves...tears streaming down her defeated face as she pitifully begs..."Write to you promised."
Amy McWilliams is credited as playing a composite character of a whore. I see her as much more than this...clad in blackish and purplish garb...she stalks Edgar from the beginning of the show..."What is it you seek?", she beckons. She adds later, "I can take you to the light..."
I see the Whore as death personified. As she cradles Edgar and sings Dreamland as he dies, she releases him from his torment. He tries to scribble on the floor as he is fighting death...she grips his hand to stop him, as the song she is singing continues, "Out of space, out of time.." The Time is up for Edgar, and she has been the one to foretell it from the top of the show. portrayed by Florence Lacey, is a mocking, toying, and intense force who leads Edgar through the trees of his subconscious. "Find me..", she says to Edgar, and that is his quest for the rest of the evening. She toys with him, mocks him, but most of all is a voice of truth. The truth that he doesn't want to hear.
And what of the man they are all so obsessed with? Dan Cooney gives an incredible performance of calculated madness. His Edgar slowy deteriorates as the show unfurls. His madness, that shows its highest levels in The Raven, is terrifying..the intensity that Cooney pours into this piece in palpable. When The Raven is over and he all but collapses, The venom in his words to Elmira is chilling..."You will destroy me..." And yet you still feel sorry for Edgar. Thanks to his boyish face, one can't help just wanting to hug him and tell him, "It's alright..." also, his vocal strength is undeniable.
The design components of this show are flawless. From the fantastic soundscape of this dreamland, to it's landscape. The set is a triumph...the bent and skewed trees have often been compared to rib bones, protecting a heart. The lights add the perfect atmosphere to this world. The costumes are brilliance. Jenn Miller's designs are nightmarish fashion couture...They capture the essence of this time period, then skew the perspective...gorgeous. Fantastic work by Mark Lanks, Derek McLane, Tony Angelini, and Jenn Miller.
Jenny Cartney handles the task of Music Direction and also plays the Piano for the show. She aptly handles the gorgeous Tunick orchestrations. Her work is apparent...the ensemble singing is very tight and very together.
Eric's direction is in its best form ever in this piece..he has created a world like none other...umbrellas float in the sky, chairs on the stage look like they are sinking into the ground...the activities that the actresses are doing on stage during someone else's scene, the pre-show creepiness...he knows exactly what he is doing and how to do it...
And lastly, of course...the score. I have always loved this music, and have heard it for 3 years now...but I never heard it really till I saw the show. The whole score is a master creation....even down to the underscoring. The powerhouse songs that stick in my brain are Annabel Lee, The Raven, Dreamland, and Silence. The music gets into your is lush, romantic, and fresh. Thank goodness that, as announced on the Kojo Nnamdi show, there will be a cast recording done that should be available for sale sometime near March. Just the fact that out of all the new musicals that Signature has done, this is the first to receive a cast recording..that says volumes about the score.
I know that you think I am biased, and maybe I am, but seriously...I have heard this music forever. I always had worries that the show's other components would not mesh well with the score...thank god my worries were unfounded. I had a very high bar set for this show....I was not disappointed in its end results one bit.
I have seen the show a total of 3 times now, and I am sure I will see it a couple more...and everytime I have seen it, it is better and better...more and more layers-as with any show, the actors are growing into to the piece even further now that they have settled the show in.
Predictions have the extension selling out by this weekend, if not tomorrow. I have no doubt that it will.
Nevermore is an amazing mind-bender of a musical. It lets you peer into the nightmare world of a creative ask a man who likes to frighten others, what frightens him. When he falls on the sidewalk and laughs for the second time, and Amy's character is is an amazing mind fuck. It is truly a "Sixth Sense" moment.
It is extremely difficult to get a new musical off and running. It is extremely difficult to have one reach the stature this show has reached, so young in it's own life. The work that was poured into this piece is evident all around. This piece not only gets off the ground and runs, but it takes flight.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Matt in Metro Weekly

Here is the link to the interview with Matt in Metro Weekly...check it out...also, here is the archive page to the Kojo on this, then you can scan down to the 1 O'Clock hour (13:06) and listen to the show , where there is a whole hour on Nevermore.
OK...and 3 more reviews, and another feature in The Washington Blade...

The Washingtonian

Nevermore Extension!!!

Nevermore has just anounced extension through March 5th!!! Get on this website and get your tickets now, before you miss out like you probably did with Urinetown!!!
This is the next musical hit at Signature, and will be talked about for years to come.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

An in-between the matinee and evening news flash...

(Photo of Florence Lacey and Dan Cooney, by Carol Pratt)
Like my link on the right, Towleroad , is obsessed with Brokeback Mountain, yes, I am continuing my Nevermore news updates/obsession....
Make sure you are listening to the Kojo Nnamdi show ,on WAMU 88.5 FM, tomorrow at 1PM. They are doing a whole feature show on Nevermore, featuring my Matty, Eric Schaeffer, Jenny Cartney, Flo Lacey, Dan Cooney, and Chris Semtner, curator of the Poe Museum. Here is the link to the WAMU 88.5 FM website. They do archives, so you will be able to listen online.
Also, watch for this week's Metro Weekly, and my hubster on the cover of it! Also, an interview in the Washington Blade...both to hit the newstands Thursday or Friday.
Wow. He so famous. *sigh*
I'm going back to see Nevermore tomorrow night! I know I am biased, but really, it is fantastic, and I can't wait to see it again!
One matinee evening show to go. Have been fighting a cold off...I fear I may be losing the fight, though...Upping the vitamins and whatnot.
More later...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Also just added is Q 5 GO...a new blog just created by a fellow friend/stage manager/ and nerd. :)
Check it out in the links section to your right.


Monday, January 23, 2006

New Links

So I have added a few new links to the o' bloggety...And for some odd reason, it repeats some of the entries twice..can't quite figure it out, but...oh have 2 chances to visit those links, I guess. ?
The new inductees to the links include:DC Theatre Reviews- a great new site that offers their own reviews of productions, as well as a list of links to all other major reviews for the same production...not just that, but also, you can write your own review of a show, post info on upcoming events and the side link bar is excellent! Everything you need at your fingertips...check it out!

The second inductee is....Filmdom. Filmdom is a fantastic review site of movies done by a handsome and intelligent beloved roomate, Ryan Dean. (Who, FYI, is currently understudying Dan Cooney in Nevermore!) Now, I personally would like to see Ryan review movies more to my tastes... like Godmonster of Indian Flats, I Eat Your Skin, or maybe The Wicker Man...but, you can't have it all. He did review Land of the Dead when it came out, and I LOVED his review.
Anyhow, I frequently admire his opinion on the films that he reviews. He is very dead-on...
and he is my awesome roomate who puts up with us being loud and crazy at 2AM, when he has to get up at ass-crack to go to work. I honestly don't know how he puts up with us...:)

And the third inductee is...Hunter James' Not That Boy blog. He is the boyfriend of the afore-linked and often mentioned Damon Demarco. They are a gay couple. They are both porn stars. They both run funny and entertaining blogs. And they are both gorgeous ,of course. I linked Damon's blog first, and meant to link Hunter's after I started reading it...but my computer has long been ill, and only in the past week has it been running like it did when we first got it. So there you go...
Enjoy these new links, and the mysterious double links to the others...?...
Slow and easy day off here. Matty's sleeping on the couch, and I'm watching a DVD of the old TV series One Step Beyond. (a new purchase) Yes, I know what a huge geek I am.
2 more weeks of the Damn Yankees, then 3 months of un-intentional vacation. (At least that's what I am calling the long stretch between Damn Yankees closing, and Assasins to begin rehearsals.)

Superbowl XL

So...The Stillers are going to da' Superbowl...!!!
Flo Lacey, Harry Winter, J. Fred Shiffman, Cindy Marchionda, Brad Oscar and I couldn't be more pleased....

Sunday, January 22, 2006

My Favorite Gay Movie...Beautiful Thing

Ste: Do you think I'm queer?
Jamie Gangel: It don't matter what I think.

So LOGO played this film tonight, and it reminded me how much I adore it.
This film features some gorgeous performances, a brilliant Mama's and Papa's soundtrack, and a great script.

This film is very reminiscent of my own coming out experience, so it touches me very deeply. Finally a gay movie that is happy, earnest and joyous.

All performances in the film are terrific, however, 2 women are standouts...Linda Henry as Sandra, and Tameka Empson as Leah. The two are arch enemies in the film, and are splendid in their character development.
Empson's Mama Cass obsessed slapper of a Leah is South London ghetto fabulous, and will make you laugh throughout, even when you want to hit her. ( As Henry's Sandra does).

Sandra: It's not natural, is it?
Jamie: What ain't?
Sandra: A girl her age being into Mama Cass.
Leah: She's got a really beautiful voice.
Sandra: And what's wrong with Madonna?
Leah: She's a slut.
Sandra: Hypocrite.

Henry's Sandra is a web of vulnerability, wrapped in barbed wire...her character is a woman who knows how to adapt to the situation. She is so strong, and such a fighter...every gay being who watches this film will wish that she was their mother...espeacially in the final scene...
watch her and Tameka Empson's Leah join forces in the final scene, as neighbors watch scornfully as her son dances with his her stare them down, as if to say..."Get wanked, Big Bollocks.."
The use of the songs, Make Your Own Kind of Music, and Dream a Little Dream of Me, is so touching, and brings tears to the lids.
Innocence and first love has never before been so wonderfully portrayed...

Jamie: Scared to be called queer.
Ste: Are you?
Jamie: Maybe... maybe not.
Ste: And are ya?
Jamie: Queer...
Ste: Gay.
Jamie: Very happy. I'm happy when I'm with you...

If you have not seen this film, please will give you hope and joy...something we all could use these days.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Crafty Bastards...

I am known to craft a little bit, as you know. I wanted to preserve this memory for us...I gave a dozen roses to Matty for opening of Nevermore, and I used flower paint to paint the flowers black and silver....
Also...PS...Toby Orenstein from Toby's Dinner Theatre of Columbia said that she saw A Light in the Piazza last week, and that she thought this was better...she said that this was the best thing she ever saw in DC.
Great compliments from a great director.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Images of the Week

So I'm driving down Quincy St. in Arlington, and I see this. No, I'm not slamming anyone's religion, but I just find this a little bit funny. Notice the cute pants and shall that Buddha is wearing.
I keep expecting him to move....frankly it creeps me out a little bit.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Out of Time...

(Photo by Carol Pratt-Left to Right, Lauren Williams, Dan Cooney, Amy McWilliams, and Jaqui Piro)
Yes, I know you are tired of my Nevermore obsession, but I do have to report to you that rumor has it there are only 5 performances of Nevermore that are not sold out completely.
If you want to see this amazing journey into the mind of madness, you really should reserve a ticket now.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Nevermore...Opening Night

Below:Matt, Flo Lacey and Tim Stella

May I boast some more...glowing reviews from The Washington Post ,The Washington Times
, Potomac Stages , TheatreMania, Metro Weekly, The Baltimore Sun!!
Well, last night was opening night of Nevermore. Wow. What an amazing night for us. I feel like we have dreamt of it for strange for it to finally be here.The show was amazing, of course...I felt the audiences rapture around me....especially in the grips of "The Raven" of the more heart-stopping could feel gasps and sobs around you throughout the amazing....the show was great, and the audience didn't want to leave afterwards...they all were such a lingering interesting. They wanted to stay and talk about the piece...they were truly captured by it. Sean"the tool" MacLaughlin came down on his day off from The Woman in White to see the show. It was good to see him.I was SO proud of my Mister. His score sounded so gorgeous....I can't believe this is all happening from time to time.Here are some pictures from the party. Left to Right: me, Matt and Eleasha, Eleasha and Sean, Dan Cooney and Matt.

Sorry to boast...

Photos by Carol Pratt, featuring Jaqui Piro and Flo Lacey

...and sorry this has kind of become, but...what else would you expect? I am so proud of my hubby.
A smart and insightful review of Nevermore on
More pictures are are some of them...

"The music...oh the beautiful."

A fantastic article on Nevermore by Charles Shubow that appears on The gentleman says it is NOT a review, then goes on to rave about the favorite quote...
"This is a show with a big future, and Composer Matt Conner will be heard of many times in the future."

Monday, January 16, 2006


So, here are some shots of the Ebony and Ivory Part 2 Cabaret...
I recived these from my mom yesterday.
I post these in honor of my baby girl's birthday!!
Happy biirthday, Eleasha!

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Wow...what a game....So a bunch of the cast of Damn Yankees are Steelers have no idea how funny it was with us running back and forth to check the score between scenes...
After the absolutely heart stopping game was over, and it was certain we won, Brad Oscar said that if the Steelers won the game, he would root for them the whole way....and they did. :)
It always helps to have the Devil on your side...:)


(Photo as it appears on Towleroad, one of my links there in the corner)
Oh Shelly...Final lap around the Posiedon..

Saturday, January 14, 2006

First Pitch

Well, Maureen Bunyon, from ABC-7 will be throwing in the first pitch funny is that? They will be filming it and putting it on the news.
My Mom and Dad will also be there tonight.
We are starting to shoot the Damn Yankees 2006 Calendar today...
Aren't you intrigued?

Photo ops... computer is back...
something that I have been meaning to talk about for some time is this issue...
So, I love, of course, when a theatre takes my image and employs it to market their theatre. Why not, right?
I could use the press, and it is well intentioned.
I bring you to 2 a season brochure from Toby's, the Dinner Theatre of Colmbia, and one from Arena Stage.
First of all....the Toby's shot is one from Footloose, that I did about 3 years ago...they photo shopped a Santa hat on my head and fake snowflakes behind me for a Christmas season brochure.
All of this would have been ok to me if even they would have had the prescence of mind to credit my name under the photo.
But no. I am in the Washington Post almost every weekend in this shot from Damn I mind that my name is not credited?
Because I am IN the show currently.
Footloose was years ago, and they are putting fake Santa hats on my head... no names`are listed for either myself, or Margo.
They only credit themselves and NOT the artists...It is common sense to credit the artists's names in not do so is self serving and gauche. I said..I am IN Damn Yankees and they have not done the same for the show that I am in...but since it is still running, I don't care so name has been in their reviews and write-ups all over the papers...
I don't know why this Toby's flier riles me so much, but it does...
Oh well...

No More Running... is perhaps the most comprehensive article on Nevermore that has been done so far. First of all, I love how I have officially been "outed" in the Washington Post, second of all, it is a truly mesmerizing article about Matty.
Tell me what you think...

Thursday, January 12, 2006


"For the heart whose woes are legion...
tis a peaceful, soothing region..."

This song....these words...they pour through my head all day long. The song is Dreamland, from my partner, Matt Conner's new musical, Nevermore. It is so gorgeous...just listen.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Out of Space, Out of Time...

(Photo from, courtesy of Carol Pratt)
Here is a nifty article from on Nevermore.
I saw the first preview last night.
Utterly breath-taking.
That's all I'll say.

On the home front, Matty celebrated his birthday yesterday, and what a way to do it! Quite an overwhelming day for him.
Our computer is still being worked on. I am hoping that it returns today.
Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, January 09, 2006


(Kevin Burrows, Former Damn Yankees cast member-now off to the Spamalot tour, and his partner, Chritopher Sieber) it is, my day off.
I have not been posting with much regularity lately due to my crazy busy schedule, and also due to computer problems. Our laptop is in need of service, so until we get that done, I seriously can be on it for like 2 minutes, then it shuts off.
So here I am at work (for the next hour) pretending to work.
What a busy couple of weeks....
Damn Yankees keeps rolling along, Matty's show starts previews tomorrow (I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE IT!), I did a reading of an amazing new play at Arena, I have been busy with understudy rehearsal for Damn Yankees, and working my day job at the same time.
Kevin Burrows, a fellow ballplayer in Damn did his last show with us last night...Kevin, if you're reading, I still hate you. :)
It truly is sad, because he is one of the funniest motherfuckers I have ever met, and makes me laugh on a nightly basis. He will be missed.
So hopefully, I can get this computer fixed soon and get back to posting a little better than bi-weekly. It sucks, because I truly DO have lots of shit to talk about on here....oh well.
I hate computers.
Talk to yinz later.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Say What?

I had to pass this on, it made me laugh too much!
So, in the top of Act 2, all of the ball players do the number, "The Game".
I have no idea why this is, but there have been SO many lyric screw ups this past 2 weeks that I can barely get thru the fucker without biting my tongue trying not to laugh.
Now...I will NOT name the actors who have botched lyrics, because that would not be very fair on my part...
But I will say what the lyrics are in fact, and what was said...

..."When you're losing at Craps ..." (actual)
..."When y...%^!@!#$%b Craps!..."(what came out)

..."When a girl gives you the eye, remember...abstain!" (actual)
..."When you....kiss...kiss...kiss...kiss,remember...abstain!" (what came out)

..."Boy her perfume sure did smell sweet, got her up to my hotel suite"
..."Got her up to my hotel suite...boy...she was sweet!" (what came out)

..."Though my heart said, 'stay for tea', all I said was 'Pardon Me!' "...
..."Though my............all I said was PARDON ME!" (what came out)

You probably don't care, and I'm sure it doesn't tickle you like it does me, but I had to pass it along...
I am so weak when it comes to laughter on stage...and "The Game" is really the hardest thing to get through now...what is worse, is that we are supposed to be angry during the first part of the scene, then determined, then concentrated...all sentiments that don't exactly go well with a stifled smirk... Such a professional.