Erato: Andrew Lloyd Webber?
Kira: There we are! The human spirit gives me great feelings of Andrew Lloyd Webber.
This quote from Xanadu pretty much sums up my feelings about the much lauded and highly successful British musical theater composer. But there's no denying he did write some pretty great songs. Especially when performed by local faves in this month's Musical Mondays at Hell's Kitchen. If you weren't there last night for this super fun, informal, and musically delicious monthly cabaret show featuring some of the top #TCTheater talent, here's what you missed. And be sure to mark your calendar for the next Musical Mondays on March 6, when the theme will be "the birds and the bees" (cast TBA on their Facebook page).
Since usual cohost Sheena Janson is on tour with Ten Thousand Things' Fiddler on the Roof (paid public performances begin next weekend), the fabulous Whitney Rhodes filled in, cohosting with her birthday buddy Max Wojtanowicz. With Kyle Picha as musical director leading a three-piece band, six talented local artists entertained the crowd with some of ALW's best (and lesser) known songs. Here's where you can see them next:
- Matthew Englund - an upcoming film project
- Aleks Knezevich - finishing out his run as Lancelot in Camelot at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres and moving right into Grease as Danny
- Mary Palazzolo Rudquist - teaching choir to some lucky middle school students
- Whitney Rhodes - singing new songs from local composers at her annual birthday benefit cabaret, next Monday at LUSH
- Elander Rosser - dancing at the Cowles Center with Contempo Physical Dance later this month
- Alyssa Seifert - the return of the joyful Sister Act at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres this fall (spoiler alert!)
- Katie Strom - taking some time off performing to get married (after which someone please cast her in a big show!)
- Max Wojtanowicz - the world premiere new musical The Sneetches at Children's Theatre Company, opening this weekend (click here for a recap of my recent Sneetch Peek from my fellow Twin Cities Theater Blogger One Girl Two Cities)
Here's the songlist from the show, which is always posted on Musical Mondays Facebook page the day after the show:
- Masquerade (The Phantom of the Opera) - all
- The Phantom of the Opera (The Phantom of the Opera) - Aleks and Katie
- Rainbow High (Evita) - Mary
- Herod’s Song (Jesus Christ Superstar) - Elander
- Memory (Cats) - Katie
- All For Laura (The Woman in White) - Alyssa
- Poppa’s Blues (Starlight Express) - Matthew
- Til I Hear You Sing (Love Never Dies) - Aleks
- Love Trio - Mary, Alyssa, Matt
- Sunset Boulevard (Sunset Boulevard) - Aleks
- Gethsemane (Jesus Christ Superstar) - Katie
- Oh What a Circus (Evita) - Matthew
- Don’t Like You (The Beautiful Game) - Elander and Katie
- Whistle Down the Wind (Whistle Down the Wind) - Mary
- Starlight Express (Starlight Express) - Elander
- Where Did the Rock Go (School of Rock) - Alyssa
- Jacob and Sons/Joseph’s Coat (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) - all
If you're a super-fan of Andy Webbs (as we now call him, per Max), you've got three chances to see his work on tour at the Opheum next season. Me, I'll wait for the local production of Phantom starring Katie Strom and Aleks Knezevich (all of the theaters - take note!).
In addition to all of the above, we were also treated to a preview of Whitney's upcoming birthday benefit cabaret (a song from the ridiculously talented Keith Hovis) and an excerpt from the lovely Flower Drum Song by that show's stars Stephanie Bertumen and Wesley Mouri. The ticket raffle this month was for Flower Drum Song at Park Square and the upcoming tour of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Ordway.
At the end of the show Max expressed his surprise and gratitude that "this silly little thing" he and Sheena started four years ago has grown into this wonderful community event. I know exactly how he feels.
|the cast of Musical Mondays (photo courtesy of Musical Mondays)|