Friday Jan 15, 2010

TADA Presents Godspell!

We were lucky enough to catch one of the final dress rehearsals for TADA!'s musical, Godspell! TADA!'s group of "Blue Plaid Players" put on an annual production to raise money for the performing arts at Presentation High School in San Jose.  This year's cast is full of teachers and alums from the school, along with a few parents and just happy actors. With such a motley collection, you might think the performance would be subpar - but it wasn't!

I had originally thought they had brought in ringers for Jesus and John the Baptist/Judas, but Chris Cozart (Jesus) and Eric Buell (John the Baptist/Judas) are both teachers from Presentation! Who knew the halls of this Catholic girl's school was holding so much talent!

I loved the costumes, by Diana DieBold, which were very eclectic and reminiscent of the Original production of Godspell in 1970.  Director Jim Houle took the usual liberties with the script by updating a few scenes. One demonstrates the pitfalls of greed with a recent flash back to the housing debacle, and the prodigal son was retold with ... Star Wars characters!  Great lighting from Heather Kenyon, too.

Other standout performers included Kristen Gradwohl, Kris Heiser, Dave Coldren, Scott King... well, and everyone else in the cast! If you get a chance to catch this show, it opens on January 16th and runs through January 24th.

Monday Mar 16, 2009

Bat Boy: The Musical!

This was quite a theater filled weekend for me, as I ventured off to see my second show of the weekend on Sunday (after a fast paced and fun bike ride) at Foothill College to see Bat Boy, The Musical!

Now, I was, I must admit, a regular follower of the Bat Boy saga, as chronicled by the Weekly World News at cash registers in supermarkets throughout the 1990s. I never actually made a purchase of that tabloid (probably why they are no longer published, as I'm sure I wasn't alone), but could not resist being drawn to the bizarre chronicals of the supposed Bat Boy. Was he good? Was he evil? Or simply misunderstood? It is a question Foothill has attempted to answer.

My friend and I enjoyed every minute of this musical experience that while never taking itself too seriously, still managed to get us to feel for Bat Boy (or Edgar, as they called him).  Robert Brewer was amazing as the Bat Boy - hanging upside down and integrating every strange character ticks that made you truly believe he was a mutant person.  His singing was beautiful and so powerful.

I've seen Tim Reynolds in many productions down in Saratoga, but never have I seen him show such depth and dynamic growth. Truly a pleasure to watch.

Many actors and actresses played several characters - switching with ease from male to female characters, delighting the audience. One of the best at this was my friend, Mike Rhone, who had us laughing uncontrollably. His portrayal of Pan was bar none!

Other standout performances were from Lisa-Marie Newton, playing the mother character Meredith, and Kateri McRae as Shelley.

The harmonies were fantastic, voices blending in such amazing ways!  The ensemble took their role very seriuosly, never broke character and really built the mood.

There's only one more weekend left - this Thursday through Saturday. Check it out!

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Valerie's former weblog. The new one can be found at http://bubbva.blogspot.com/

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