Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bonus Round 2010 Concert Triumphant.

I've asked some friends of mine to write up their thoughts about the Bonus Round concert last night. They haven't responded yet because it's too early, but for regular readers, I'll try to just do some bullet points.

First of all. The reunion of TLS members -- Amy Coleman, Stephen Bienskie and Michele Mais -- was a triumph of the first order. We sounded like we'd never been apart. It was thrilling to just be on that stage, but I think the moment that crystallized it was when Maisey, noting that the microphones were a bit too far apart, told everyone to pull together.

Suddenly, the verisimilitude of the event came together in a way that cannot be described. TLS is about a band reuniting. So, for us to reunite after 10 years and to bond and blend and blow the roof off while singing "When You Care" created a dynamic tension that can only happen when something is 10 years in the making.

Another moment was "Going It Alone."

I never got to perform this show with Stephen Bienskie. So, when our eyes met at "the moment" in the song where the two characters from the play first really SEE each other -- it was pure magic.

It was also a moment of absolute, unqualified love. Me for him. Him for me.

Dan Wackerman, the artistic director of the Peccadillo Theatre Company, who helped sponsor the night -- and who never saw "The Last Session" said that, for him, the bleeding edge intensity of Amy Coleman tearing through "Somebody's Friend" was one of those "feel the hair raising on your body" moments.

He said, "It's so rare when you see a singer acting through a song."

And then there was Maisey, whose powerful voice was raising roof.

I mean, kids, it was transcendent. Jim had the video camera on. Amy Lynn took a little, too, but none of it can really match the energy in the room.

It began when Rev. Mitties announced, at the top, that not only would the donations from the evening go toward the food pantry and vet clinic there, but also we would split the take with the Haitian relief efforts from the earthquake yesterday.

I then decided to open the show with "Connected." It just felt right. And we were all connected last night.

John Fitzgerald joined me on a beautiful rendition of "My Thanksgiving Prayer," Jennifer Wren helped us break the seriousness a bit with "Triple Threat," the comedy song from the upcoming "Manhattan Clam Chowder" by coming out of the audience pretending to be auditioning for the new piece.

Then, Jimmy came up and, as always, stole the show right out from under me by being hilarious and heartbreaking on "Why" and on "You Are A Stranger."

So, we were all on cloud nine before we ever got to The Last Session, which I scheduled as the finale of the evening.

And what a finale.

From "Preacher and the Nurse" to "Somebody's Friend" to "The Group" to "Going It Alone" and, finally, "When You Care."

Behind the scenes, the people who really made it happen, though, were Jeramy Peay, Don Myers, Taylor Milne and Jeramy's friend, Daniel Koehler, who brought in sound equipment. I didn't even ask. They just volunteered and made it happen seamlessly.

The whole thing could have been taped for broadcast, it was so beautiful.

My heart this morning is literally overflowing. After the show last night, Jim and I were so high from the emotions of the night, we walked and walked the frosty streets of the city, just blowing off energy, trying to remember every detail.

I'll talk more about it, but what an incredible gift last night was. To me. To all of us.

And now all I want is a revival of The Last Session. It's time has come. It really has. 12 years ago, Broadway didn't really know what to do with this show. It was so different and so cutting edge in its own peculiar and powerful way.

But now it's time. Whatever I have to do, I'm going to make it my life's mission to bring it back. It deserves another chance. It has earned it. We all have.

I have so many people to thank for last night, I know I'm leaving people out. So, just take this as the initial word. I wish all of you could have been there. Magic. It was pure magic.

I am the most grateful human being alive.
Post a Comment

For my birthday, also St. Francis of Assisi Day,

here is "Rescue" the song I sang to Erika Amato 's Buddy the dog. Imagine if we loved humans as much as we love our animals...