During LGBT Pride Month, I was pleased to welcome Rochester native Nicolette Hart to Stage Notes. She’s a Broadway superstar, a backup vocalist for Bette Midler, and one of the most talented triple threats I know. My full interview with her, including songs, is available below.
Lin-Manuel Miranda won the award for Best Score for Hamilton, and in lieu of a traditional speech, he delivered a poem about love for his wife and the need for love in the wake of tragedy, no doubt responding to the horrific mass shooting in Orlando. By the end, he was in tears, and the crowd was cheering. Following is the transcript:
“My wife’s the reason anything gets done. She nudges me towards promise by degrees. She is a perfect symphony of one. Our son is her most beautiful reprise. We chase the melodies that seem to find us. Until they’re finished songs and start to play. When senseless acts of tragedy remind us. That nothing here is promised, not one day This show is proof that history remembers. We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall, and light from dying embers. Remembrances that hope and love last longer. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love; Cannot be killed or swept aside. I sing Vanessa’s symphony; Eliza tells her story. Now fill the world with music, love, and pride.”
Nicolette Hart performing with Bette Midler during It’s the Girls Tour
Rarely do I leave a musical or straight play in utter disdain. In my view, there’s nearly always at least one positive take away. Keeping that in mind, there are three musicals that continually affect me personally and professionally. They’re stand outs—above the fray. I’m drawn to the soundtracks regularly. Hearing a single note from a song can instantly take me on a journey … some are delightful … some are dreadful. That is what theatre is all about, and sometimes f’uped IS next to normal. The suspense is over: A Chorus Line, RENT, and Spring Awakening. I add a fourth: Next to Normal.
I didn’t see Next to Normal on Broadway. It doesn’t matter! If I could turn back time (call me Cher!) and the production now on stage at Geva Theatre Center was magically transplanted to the Booth Theatre in April 2009, I suspect it would receive the same accolades and awards.
Next to Normal, on stage at Geva Theatre Center through February 10th, is a triumph! Don’t miss this groundbreaking, Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical. Congratulations to Geva; Scott Schwartz, director; and the entire, amazingly gifted cast and crew. Information about the show and its cast and crew is available at gevatheatre.org. My full interview with Scott Schwartz (director) is available below.
Click above to hear Robert’s full interview (including music) with Scott Schwartz