“I Got Plenty of Nothing" from The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess(2012 Broadway Cast)
music, George Gershwin. lyric, Ira Gershwin, DuBose Hayward and Dorothy Hayward.
performed by Norm Lewis and Company
I love Norm’s jaunty/casual take on this (even/especially when he gets so excited he shouts out a few lines—“no use complaining!”—in a way that is reminiscent of his "This is the Life" performance). And when the boys come in? I melt.
After seeing P & G for the second time last night, I think I safely say it’s my favorite show of the season. And I swear to god Phillip Boykin lost, like 20 pounds since I saw the show in February. And Audra’s voice was so perfect it actually disturbed me a little bit.
“I asked him, ‘What can I expect?’” Stewart recalls. “He said, ‘If you want to be in a big movie, you can have a small part as a retarded guy. If you want to be in a small movie, you can play a lead retarded guy. And if you want to be in the theater, you can play King Lear because you’ve been on a TV show.’ And it was really true, you know?”—French Stewart, on talking to his agent about career prospects after the cancellation of 3rd Rock from the Sun (via mrdavidgordon)
“Gotta Start Small" from Stephanie J Block’s album This Place I Know
music by Deborah Abramson. lyric by Amanda Yesnowitz.
performed by Stephanie J. Block
Deborah is one of my favorite people on the planet. When I was an intern at Barrington Stage Company in 2006 the 2nd show of the Stage II, Musical Theater Lab series was supposed to be a musical called Meet Mister Future by Scott Frankle and Michael Korie, whose Grey Gardens had just closed at Playwrights’ Horizons. (The cast was to have included, among others, Marin Mazzie and Mark Kudisch!) For myriad reasons, that show was pulled from the season at the last minute and replaced with a review of songs by Deborah Abramson, who was currently MDing Burnt Part Boys (the first show of the season). The show—called Travels with My Discontent—was conceived and directed by William Finn (who oversaw the Musical Theater Lab), though the producer of the lab ultimately took on a lot of those responsibilities. The cast featured Charlie Brady (also from Burnt Part Boys and also one of the planet’s best folks), Megan Lawrence (fresh from her Tony nominated turn in The Pajama Game), Chip Zien (who was also supposed to be in Meet Mister Future), and Katie Clarke (who came to Pittsfield literally days after she closed The Light in the Piazza).
The conceipt was that the show was a celebration of a somewhat fictionalized version of Deborah Abramson that featured her actual song catalogue, but featured monologues by Chip Zien giving a fictional backstory to Abramson. As we went into tech, Finn decided that I, as the assistant stage manager, should give a monologue about the “real” Deborah before we went into a section of “truthful” songs. And so I did. It started off with something like:
"A lot of what you’ve heard tonight isn’t entirely true. In fact, most of it is entire false. (leaning into the audience, hand cupped to mouth, whispering) You can never trust actors. But you can trust me…"
before going on to tell the “truth” about Deborah. This song—sung by Katie Clarke—was part of this “true” section.
…and that concludes this trip down memory lane. Thanks for coming, photos are available in the giftshop.
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