November 18, 2009

All You've Got to Do Is Dream!

I've decided one of the primary reasons I love storytelling in all its forms (e.g., theater, movies, music, art, written word) is because, if executed well, the experience, for both audience and artist, can be transformative. Case in point, this week, I experienced two really incredible story moments.

First, I finished the novel, "Middlesex" (written by Jeffrey Eugenides, who also wrote "The Virgin Suicides"), which I'd been anxious to read for a while. Technically, it tells the tale of an
hermaphrodite, but, in the broader sense, it's a multi-generational, coming of age saga that incorporates themes of race, acceptance, sexuality, gender roles, family, immigration and the concept of normal. Stunningly poignant and dynamic.

Second, my biz partner, Calixto, bought us tickets to see "Dreamgirls", now playing at The Apollo for a limited run ending December 12. We went last night and, boy, was I blown away. What a production! The costumes, choreography and ensemble talent were incredibly impressive, but everyone knows the success of Dreamgirls rests on the casting of Effie, who sings the heartbreaking showstopper, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going". I actually think "I Am Changing" is an equally moving ballad, and "Listen", which was originally written for the movie's Deena Jones character (Beyonce), was incorporated into this production as a duet with new lyrics; both songs are inspiring, beautiful anthems of empowerment. Let me tell you, as this production's Effie, Moya Angela delivers HUGE vocals layered with mind-bowing power and emotion. As expected, the crowd went nuts every time she opened her mouth, which is often. Also, big props to Chester Gregory, who nearly steals the show as James "Thunder" Early. It was a great night; big hugs to Calixto for the super generous, early birthday present.

To all of you artists, entrepreneurs, visionaries and unattached romantics, just remember: "Life's not as bad as it may seem if you open your eyes to what's in front of you...
All you've got to do is dream!"

Buy your tickets now! Dreamgirls On Stage


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