Wednesday, March 16, 2011

An Equinox "Dream."

It came as an email from Nurse Jackie's Thor, Stephen Wallem, who I spoke of just a couple of blog entries ago. You remember he sang "Rescue" at the Broadway Goes to the Dogs benefit.
Hey Steve! Would you happen to be free tomorrow afternoon to participate in a preliminary workshop that Eve Best and I are doing? We're developing a musical version of "Midsummer" and we need open, creative souls to participate. I will be playing the world's largest Puck as well as taking charge of the musical side of the piece...Eve (or Emily, which is her real name) is THE most positive person you will ever meet...I know this is last minute, but we're having a tough time finding musicians who are willing to volunteer a couple hours...would you be free/interested tomorrow from maybe 2-4 or 4-6?
I had no idea what they had in mind, but my response was quick and to the point.

"I'm in. Tell me what you want me to do."
Eve Best.
Mark Janas at the piano.

Stephen Wallem working with Mark Janas.

Stephen Wallem.
Eve Best.
Mark Janas, Stephen  Wallem, and me.
Eve Best, for those who know theater, is one of the finest stage actors around. If you have seen "Nurse Jackie," you know her as Edie Falco's character's best friend, a British doctor.

I asked him what they had in mind and he said that it was a last minute idea dreamed up by Eve, to gather a bunch of actors at the Player's Club and do an impromptu version of Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream," with songs added just to make it all that much more fun.

Knowing he was used to doing this sort of thing with his students from Manhattan School of Music, I called Mark Janas and asked him if he wanted to join in. I mean, I could fumfer around with this sort of thing, but Mark and his students are always taking operas or other narratives and turning them into presentations for schools to teach younger kids about opera. Plus, he's a much more trained musician than I am.

Happily, he was free. So, we met at the community room at the Westbeth Center down in the lower west Village, near the Hudson, and the four of us sliced through "Dream," laughing and dancing and having more fun that human beings should be allowed.

It was all completely mad.

As Mark and Stephen worked, Eve and I started dancing.

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