The June Musical Mondays is always a celebration of Pride, featuring LGBTQ+ musical theater songs as well as gender bending performances. See below for the songlist (which MM always posts on their Facebook page the next day for inquiring minds), which includes some familiar favorites, as well as some obscure picks I've never heard of (hence the educational part). This month's lovely and talented six performers all brought much heart and passion to their selections. Especially moving was Brandon's reminder why we still need Pride - because of the violence, bullying, and injustices that LGBTQ+ people still face around the world, and right here.
Here's a list of said performers, along with where you can see them next:
- Denzel Belin: Shame of Thrones: Stupidity War at Brave New Workshop (opening soon)
- Brandon Robert Caviness: Smartmouth Comedy's Director's Cut at the Minnesota Fringe Festival (August)
- Alexa Johnson: Hair with the Performing Institute of Minnesota's Emerging Professionals Program (July)
- Amanda Mai: playing Elle Woods in Legally Blonde at Lyric Arts (July)
- Todd O’Dowd: Atlas at the Minnesota Fringe Festival (August)
- Randi Grundahl Rexroth: conducting the Twin Cities Women's Choir
- Co-host Max Wojtanowicz: a reading of his new musical Pansy at LUSH on July 29
- Co-host Sheena Janson Kelley: assistant directing Guys and Dolls at the Guthrie (opening soon)
- Music director Jean Orbison van Heel: music directing the regional premiere of Bright Star at Lyric Arts (September)
- Over the Rainbow (The Wizard of Oz) - all
- Times Like This (Lucky Stiff) - Randi
- Getting Bi (Crazy Ex Girlfriend) - Denzel
- Meadowlark (The Baker's Wife) – Brandon
- Take Me or Leave Me (Rent) - Amanda & Alexa
- Fifty Percent (Ballroom) - Todd
- When the Booth Goes Bright (Amelie) - Amanda
- Soul of a Man (Kinky Boots) - Alexa
- Then You May Take Me To the Fair (Camelot) - Brandon, Todd, Denzel, Randi
- Just Breathe (Prom) - Amanda
- Role of a Lifetime (Bare) - Denzel
- Old-Fashioned Love Story (Wild Party) - Alexa
- The Tennis Song (City of Angels) - Randi & Denzel
- Caveman Song (by Peter Mills) - Todd
- Male Roles Medley - Randi
- I Am What I Am (La Cage Aux Folles) - Brandon
- We Belong (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) - all
Musical Mondays often invites casts of upcoming shows to give a preview. This month we were treated to an excerpt from the upcoming new original musical Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant, which beings performances at Park Square Theatre this week, performed by two of the four cast members, Kelly Houlehan and Ryan London Levin. The show is a remount of a Fringe show written by talented local composer/lyricist/playwright Keith Hovis.
We also heard a song from another new original musical, Great Big Rainbow World by Sarah Julius, sponsored by Ring of Keys, "a national network of queer women, trans, and gender non-conforming artists working on and offstage in musical theatre." This "lesbian rugby musical" sounds super cool and fun and I hope to see it performed. Follow them on Facebook to find out more and to join the efforts to make that happen.
You can also follow Musical Mondays on Facebook for updates. And make plans to head on down to LUSH (they have great happy hour food and drinks, which can be enjoyed on their lovely patio). With the expanded performance space (the stage has basically been pushed back, doubling the space), it feels much more comfortable and easy to find seating, but was still a pretty full house! They ask for just a $5 recommended donation, all of which goes to the artists, and in exchange you're entered into a drawing for free tickets. See you at LUSH!
|this month's performers|
(photo courtesy of Musical Mondays at LUSH)