TheatreKAT

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Update! June 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — khessman @ 5:58 pm

Hello everyone- TheatreKAT here.

I hope everyone’s doing amazing. I wanted to take the time to update you all on my blog. Starting in two weeks I will begin my journey as an Arts Journalist in Syracuse, NY. From there it is my goal to bring you the latest Theatre news in Syracuse and if there is anything you want me to look into in Syracuse, please let me know by sending me a comment!
Hope you have an incredible day and I will write more soon!
TheatreKAT

 

“I Love You, Because” — Syracuse Stage! May 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — khessman @ 3:06 pm

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone has been doing well!

Today my blog has brought me to Syracuse, NY where I saw a show two nights ago at Syracuse Stage, one of Syracuse’s main theaters.

The final Syracuse University Drama Department production of the year, “I Love You, Because” is running through May 15 at Syracuse Stage, located at
The musical was written by two graduate students at NYU: Ryan Cunningham and Joshua Salzman. It delves into the ideals surrounding relationships in our society: are there “rules” that define us and are they meant to be broken?

I had an excellent time and my video below will tell you all about it!

((photo courtesy of: iloveyoubecausethemusical.com))

 

Video Blog #2: News Update 12/22/09 December 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — khessman @ 5:42 pm

Episode 2!

Enjoy!
Love,

TheatreKAT

 

Video Blog #1: News Update 12/18/09 December 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — khessman @ 8:53 pm

As I said earlier, I have decided to start up some video blogs of theater news for you all! This is the first episode I’ve made. Enjoy!

 

GLEEks get ready for IDINA 2010: It’s a small world! December 17, 2009

Okay “GLEE” fans… I just saw some information on Playbill.com that you may get very excited about!

IDINA MENZEL IS GOING TO BE ON THE SHOW!

Idina Menzel

Hearing this made me VERY excited. “Glee” has been such an outlet for Broadway performers to appear on the show and utilize their talents.

Matthew Morrison

Take Matthew Morrison who plays Will on the show (who’s up for a Golden Globe!). I remember seeing him on Broadway when I went to see the musical “Hairspray.” I remember him playing Link and it took me a little while to realize after watching the show to put two-and-two together. I remember him being really good looking in “Hairspray“, and hey, he is still gorgeous on the show today!

Lea Michele

And Lea Michele. Gorgeous girl (up for a Golden Globe too by the way!! Go Lea!). Lea plays the role of Rachel Berry…and if you haven’t seen the show, this character is the person in high school that you may (or may not) have experienced in your life: the so-called “star” of the show. This character is involved in EVERY show…always…ALWAYS aiming for the lead roles. Wants the solos in choir. Wants that awesome dance move. If an opportunity is there…she wants it. That’s Rachel Berry. If you GLEEks out there saw the final episode of the season, you KNOW she’s got pipes. You’ve seen it all season, but “Don’t Rain on my Parade” really took the cake. She is a star. And this girl comes from Broadway roots. Lea has been involved with the project “Spring Awakening” since she was 14 years old (See Blake Hayes’ video for more information on Lea and the cast of “Spring Awakening“..). My brother saw the show when it was Off-Broadway with his class and then saw it on Broadway as well and loved both experiences.

Jenna Ushkowitz

And Jenna Ushkowitz (who plays Tina) also comes from “Spring Awakening.” Small world, huh?

Jonathan Groff

Well it’s getting smaller because ALSO according to Playbill.com, Jonathan Groff, Lea Michele‘s co-star in the Broadway show, is ALSO set to be on “Glee” in the second half of the first season as the lead member of the rival show choir Vocal Adrenaline.

And speaking of Vocal Adrenaline…Idina may be playing the coach of Vocal Adrenaline from what Playbill was saying.

(L-R) : Idina Menzel as Elphaba and Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda in "Wicked"

Idina Menzel is fantastic…I remember seeing her in “Wicked” with my brother and being in absolute awe of her talent, and of course Kristin Chenoweth (who ALSO just appeared on “Glee” too!)!!! She’s a powerful singer. I had the pleasure of seeing Idina even more recently with my Dad at Lincoln Center. Her and Josh Groban (who ALSO appeared on “Glee” too this season! Small world again!) were taping PBS specials and we got to be in the audience for the taping. I was SO excited for both of them. The audience was absolutely packed. Idina had a new album that came out and she was singing all of her new songs live for everyone to hear.

I know Idina has had albums that have come out before this one…Theater friends I knew from high school would talk about songs she sang and I would think, “She has an album? I had no idea!” Well now that I got to hear the most recent one, I was so pleased with the words in the songs and her style of music she was going with. I’d say her style for this particular album, if classified by radio, would be Adult Contemporary. One song that particularly stood out to me was the song “Brave.”

“Brave” is a really wonderfully crafted song. The message is clear: taking that next step in life without fear, embracing yourself and loving yourself and really being free to take risks.

Here are the lyrics (thank you letssingit.com):

I don’t know just where I’m going
And tomorrow is a little overwhelming
And the air is cold and I’m not the same anymore.

I’ve been running in your direction for too long now,
Lost my own reflection and I can’t look down
If you’re not there to catch me when I fall.

If this is the moment I stand here on my own,
If this is right of passage that somehow leads me home,
I might be afraid but it’s my turn to be brave.
If this is the last chance before we say goodbye,
At least it’s the first day of the rest of my life,
I can’t be afraid ’cause it’s my turn to be brave.

All along, all I ever wanted was to be the light
When your life was daunting but I can’t see mine,
And I feel as though you’re pushing me away.

Well who’s to blame? Are we making the right choices?
‘Cause we can’t be sure, if we’re hearing our own voices,
As we close the door, even though we are to desperate to stay.

If this is the moment I stand here on my own,
If this is right of passage that somehow leads me home,
I might be afraid but it’s my turn to be brave.
If this is the last chance before we say goodbye,
At least it’s the first day of the rest of my life,
I can’t be afraid ’cause it’s my turn to be brave.

And I might still cry,
And I might still bleed,
These thorns in my side,
This heart on my sleeve.
And lightening my strike this ground at my feet,
And I might still crash,
But I still believe…

This is the moment I stand here all alone,
With everything I have inside, everything I own,
I might be afraid but it’s my turn to be brave.
If this is the last chance before we say goodbye,
At least it’s the first day of the rest of my life,
I can’t be afraid ’cause it’s my turn to be brave.

-

To take things a step further…It’s about a force: something or someone holding you back from truly being yourself and being free to do what you choose in life. Bloggers: Have you felt this way?

Certain parts in the chorus especially stuck out to me:

If this is the moment I stand here on my own,

^In regards to this piece of the lyric, you need to visualize yourself in a moment where you really have had to do something on your own because you felt it in your gut. Trusting instincts.

If this is the right of passage that somehow leads me home,

^This lyric discusses the distraction of the force that’s holding you back…Being brave means getting on the right path to feeling good about yourself once again after the pain subsides.

I might be afraid, but it’s my turn to be brave.

^Case in point.

As I keep repeating in many-a-post, there is music that can truly move you…And then the music that really moves you can move you to emotions such as tears.  I have experienced this type of emotion from music on several occasions.

Idina is an example of someone that touches lives through music. Beyond her time in “Wicked,” or beyond her albums of singing, her personality alone is something that is truly a joy to see as well…During that PBS taping she spoke about growing up and her life and it was just interesting to sit back hear the things she experienced. I’m excited for her to be on “Glee” not only for her talent, but because of the person that she is from what I saw sitting in the audience watching her speak about her life…What’s behind what you may see her as in a character. I think she’ll bring another fresh angle to the show that’ll keep “Glee” on its’ toes, as it has been thus far.

I look forward to the April episodes of “Glee!”

To conclude this post here are a few videos of Idina…The first being the song “Brave” and the second being a similar song with the message of “Brave” that you may know… “Defying Gravity” (the version from the PBS taping). Enjoy!

((pictures courtesy of: brettberk.com, newagevibe.com, broadwayworld.com, leamichele.com, broadwaystars.com, signplay.com))

 
 

It’s Official…I’m a GLEEk! December 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — khessman @ 2:18 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Glee cast

The cast of the new FOX hit series, "Glee" !!

Hi Friends!

I know, it has certainly been awhile since I’ve posted. I apologize, as a lot has been going on! I recently graduated college (well, 6 months ago, but still recent!). I’ve been traveling a lot as well! But I’m happy to say I’m starting this up again, because theater and blogging are very important to me, and I hope to hear from you bloggers soon!

Now onto my post, which is something very exciting:

MUSICAL THEATER HAS MADE ITS MARK ON NATIONAL TELEVISION!

Thanks to FOX.

The name of this show? “GLEE“.

Glee logo

Glee,” a new “dramedy” (as people are calling it) premiered officially in September (the pilot aired in May), and I can say I have watched EVERY episode to the end of the Fall Finale where they compete in Sectionals.

So you’re wondering…what do I think about this show?

I LOVE IT!

Now why you ask? Several reasons.

Now I’ve written a lot about musical theater on this blog. I’ve been involved in several musical theater productions and have been involved in several “glee clubs.” The things that happen in the first episode for instance, well those things do happen in real life. Not necessarily the breaking-out-into-singing part at the end of the episode (which was still REALLY awesome), but the drama between the several “cliques” and how the drama and glee clubs are looked at by other high school “groups.”

It truly is.

I’ll admit, my high school chorus was BIG. I started out in my freshman chorus with people from the different “groups”…Sophomore year as well. But when junior year came around, we needed to audition. If you didn’t get in, you couldn’t register for the “A Cappella Choir.” If you didn’t get in you could still be in the Chorale that I was in sophomore year.

I remember the audition well.  Several of us standing in a line, different voice parts, having to sing this one song…I’m forgetting the name of the song. But then we had to hear three chords and pick out the top, middle and bottom parts. We also had to do Solfege (Do , Re, Mi, etc) and go up the whole scale , alternating.  It wasn’t necessarily easy, but I enjoyed it. I got in, and I loved my two years in the A Cappella Choir. And yes, there were people from all different “groups” in the choir and there was no shame. People seem to overcome these differences when working towards a similar goal, especially with music.

Choirs are the BEST!

Now speaking of auditions, there was a select A Cappella group at my high school that I wanted to be in, but did not get in the first time I tried out…I did try again my senior year and got in it. It was truly an amazing experience. A lot of a cappella music, some with music in the background.  One of my fondest memories was caroling with my fellow a cappella mates in downtown Westport around Christmas time. Another memory was singing downtown again, this time in the tunnel, singing Billy Joel‘s “The Longest Time.”  Another was the final concert: the seniors got to choose a solo to do for the audience. I chose “One Flight Down”, by Norah Jones. I remember being attached to this song when I heard it on my “Come Away With Me” album I had. The lyrics so simple, yet so meaningful. I was nervous singing in front of the audience, I was afraid of forgetting the words, so I brought the lyrics with me just in case…Well, I didn’t need them. It went well.

These memories come to mind when I think of this new show “Glee.”

Memories I miss so very much, but will always keep in my heart.

Bloggers: If you’ve been watching “Glee“,  has it brought back any memories for you in the “Glee” club?

I originally had intended on writing this post back in September when the show started, but now the Fall Finale has come and gone and I truly feel I can comment on the series as a whole.

The things America is going through right now are not necessarily “easy”. The news can explain to you about the recession, about the possibilities of war, etc. But something that has taken me back, especially with this show, is the whole idea of “escapism.” I remember reading a review about the show, I’m forgetting where it was from, but it was talking about how the show is quite frankly a way to “escape” from your problems, if you will. I couldn’t agree more. In a time of unemployment, in a time of insecurity, shows like this bring hope and a smile. Which I love and I truly appreciate.

Glee Cast again.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is a TON of drama in this show like I said earlier in the post. On Fox 5 News the other day the entertainment reporter was saying how girls are either “Team Puck” or “Team Finn!” There’s the whole Rachel-Finn-Quinn scenario, there’s the scenario between Sue Sylvester and Mr. Shue. And as my friends and I have really discussed, the whole Mr. Shue and his WIFE scenario. If you watch the show , Bloggers, what did you think about that plotline (If you watch the show, you KNOW what I’m talking about)? How about when Artie and Tina kissed and then Tina admitted she was faking her stutter? How hurtful was that to Artie, who is in a wheelchair and thought they were similar because of their differences? There were a lot of things going on in the lives of these Glee Club kids and the teachers at the school they go to.

But whatever these kids went through, they got through their problems through song. Take the very powerful scene when Finn sings The Pretenders‘ “I’ll Stand By You” to his “baby” (I put baby in quotes because of what happened in the last episode). He’s singing to a sonogram on a computer because he doesn’t know how else to get out his emotions. Then he ends up crying in the arms of his mother and lets Quinn stay at his house when Quinn’s parents kick her out in the same episode. At the end of that episode the Glee Club puts together a song for the two “parents-to-be”. Watch the video of Finn’s singing to the “baby” here:

This goes to my next point: it’s amazing how much power a song can have over you, and truly impact your life. I can say that I put on certain songs when I’m feeling a certain way and really get lost in the words.  Bloggers, do you do that too? Songs are therapeutic; especially in times of sadness.

This show brings forth all kinds of emotions to me; but the most powerful one is happiness. This show moves me. I was told by Kelly Morgan, my former theater professor, in class, that “theater is supposed to move you.” I’m going to take that comment a step further today: the arts move you, impact your life. This is what this show does for me, and if it doesn’t for you, then I am positive there is a TV show that has impacted you the same way.

If not a TV show, then a song, a dance, some form of the arts. The arts are important, especially right now. A quote that comes to mind about this show truly is, “When words fail, music speaks.” That’s true. I stand by that completely.

If you haven’t watched this show already, I suggest watching it. The entire series.  I truly believe you can relate to at least one of the characters on the show. I believe you’ll be just as moved as I am.

Bloggers: Let me know what you’re thinking about “Glee!

Thank you FOX for a very golden gem in my book.

—-

((pictures courtesy of thezaz.nationallampoon.com, brettberk.com, jpschoir.org, stbarbarasearlsdon.org.uk, photobucket.com))

 

What I see… January 7, 2009

Hey everyone!

I know… I know. I have not written in a very long time. Well a lot has happened lately! I’m now a senior in college! But I am back and writing tonight! =) It’s nice to be back on here, I truly enjoy writing these posts.

Tonight I want to write a general overview of what I’m seeing lately on Broadway…As I’m sitting here listening to classic standard songs on the Music Choice channel on TV at 2am.

Remember the trend I was talking about awhile back? The one where I said that Broadway is basically getting musicals based on movies and putting them on Broadway. Well, the trend is still going on! Here’s the current movie-musical , musical-movies on Broadway…

9 to 5 the Musical... 9 to 5...working 9 to 5....

9 to 5 the Musical... "9 to 5...working 9 to 5...."

9 to 5. Now here’s a musical that was once a movie in 1980. And guess who took part in making this musical? None other than the star of the movie…Dolly Parton. Now I’ve personally never seen this movie…So I will rely on my friend IMDB to help explain the plot a little better. “Three female employees of a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” find a way to turn the tables on him.” Well, that explains ALOT…Haha. It sounds like the musical will be funny, from this plot. From the sound of it, three women who work for a crazy boss are going to scheme against him as sort of a girl-power-revenge sort of thing…Maybe they’ll get a promotion out of this? The cast looks awesome though…Allison Janney, Stephanie J. Block, Megan Hilty and Marc Kudisch. This show will come to Broadway on April 7th, 2009 at the Marriott Marquis! 

Bloggers: Have you seen the movie?! If so, please let me know your thoughts on this movie turning into a musical!

...Just dance.

...Just dance.

Billy Elliot. Now this is another movie I unfortunately have not seen. But from what I understand, this is an excellent movie, and I have heard the Broadway show is nothing less. I heard it’s three acts? Is that correct? Regardless, the story revolves around a boy who wants to be a ballet dancer, meanwhile, his family seems to want something else for him. While I’ve never seen the movie or musical…It definitely looks worthy of checking out.

yep.

yep.

((Insert Disney Movie Here))… There is also the long-running trend of putting Disney movies onto a Broadway stage… The current ones are Mary Poppins, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. I’m so curious to know how The Little Mermaid is doing. Why you ask? That’s one of my favorite Disney movies..However, while it may be one of my favorites… The movie involves a lot of underwater scenes and I’m very curious to know how Disney took this on… I saw a scene from the show from watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, (the song Under The Sea), and it was very well done…So it must be doing well! Disney has always done a great job with their shows, so these are definitely worth seeing. Recently, The Lion King celebrated their 10th Anniversary on Broadway. I remember going to the Time Warner Shops in NYC and walking through the lobby one day a little while back where they had displays for it.

Shrek the Musical...!!

Shrek the Musical...!!

Shrek. I had mentioned this in an earlier post… But yes, Shrek has made its way to the Broadway stage. And I hear it’s doing well…and I heard from a friend that the show is really good. I hear some of the songs are satirical, which is also very nice. I won’t go into the plot about this movie, but I will say that this one movie has brought many Shrek movies afterwards, and many other videos, video games, etc. that kids and families enjoy today. This movie, like Disney movie, have become a staple of many-a-childhood!

I was going to say White Christmas, but I don’t see it on Playbill‘s listings anymore… So did it close? I do not know. This was another musical I watched on TV performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…But unlike The Little Mermaid, I was shocked by this choice. I know, I know, this movie is another staple to many-a-person…But to see the big poufy dresses and the red lips and everyone singing the classic songs… I wondered if this show would do well. Maybe because it is such a seasonal movie, people cannot see it year round? I simply do not know. But I don’t see it on Playbill anymore.

So that’s just one thing I see on Broadway right now…And honestly, while before I wasn’t so sure about this trend… I think for right now, it is a good idea. With the current state of the economy, Broadway has definitely  felt it’s share…With many shows closing this season and just trying to get people to fill the seats lately is difficult. So sticking to what’s familiar will help people to realize, “Hey, I saw this at the movies…I bet this will make a great show on Broadway…Oh yay it’s on Broadway let’s go see it!”  There is always hope for Broadway…Broadway is such a beautiful experience…No matter what you go see. There is nothing like live theater!

As I started to mention just now…The other thing I’m seeing is the state of the economy affecting Broadway. I’ve overheard people saying how tickets are cheaper than usual because they’re just trying to fill seats. Maybe this is a great opportunity for first time Broadway-goers and the regular Broadway goers to check out some shows. It’s always good to try new things!! Just like the movies, you can see something with action, something funny, something musical, something dark…There’s something for everyone, which is another thing I love about Broadway.
Bloggers: What are you seeing on Broadway right now? What are the recent shows you’ve seen lately? Let me know how it’s been! How are the prices for tickets right now??

To end this post… I will post a video of a show that recently  closed on Broadway, which I actually really loved…It is of the show 13, by Jason Robert Brown.

((pictures from www.applause-tickets.com/, imigliorimusicals.wordpress.com, http://www.mindflare.com, http://www.iesb.net))

 

 
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