Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Musical Mondays at LUSH, January 2024

No better way to start the year than with Musical Mondays at LUSH! This monthly cabaret show hosted by #TCTheater artist Max Wojtanowicz (see him in his TCTB Award-nominated performance in 'Art' at the Guthrie through January 28) held it's 92nd show this Monday. It's always a fun night (especially when the Twin Cities Theater Bloggers go as a group) and an incredible showcase of the talent in this town. You might discover a new favorite performer, or you might see a new side to a performer you've seen before. They get to choose what they want to sing, which allows them to really express their personalities and unique talents in a way that sometimes a role in a musical might not. Keep reading for a recap of this month's show, then mark your calendar for the next Musical Mondays at LUSH on February 5 (follow them on Facebook for details).

This month's talented cast (accompanied by John Lynn on the keys, Chris Erickson on bass, and Matt Nielsen on drums) included:
  • Ben Dutcher, with a stunning rendition of "Bring Him Home" (see him in his first ever straight play - Ironbound by Frank Theatre at the Gremlin opening soon)
  • Julia Ennen, singing a lovely "A Quiet Thing" (she'll be taking a break after recently appearing in Artistry's Some Enchanted Evening)
  • Rodolfo Nieto, showcasing that gorgeously deep voice and playing the guitar (you may call him Captain in Artistry's production of Sound of Music this spring)
  • Ninchai Nok-Chiclana, just baring her soul on the stage (she'll be in Off-Book at HUGE Theater)
  • Chris Paulson, singing "Say It To Me Now" raw and unplugged, just like Glen does (he'll also be in Sound of Music)
  • Maureen Sherman-Mendez, with a funny song from the little done The Rink, and a powerful "Firework" (a regular at Chanhassen, she's currently in Jersey Boys and will be in Beautiful next)
Here's the full songlist, as posted on the Facebook page:
  • What You Mean To Me (Finding Neverland) - Chris and Julia
  • Come to an Agreement (Honeymoon in Vegas) - Rodolfo
  • Chief Cook and Bottle Washer (The Rink) - Maureen
  • A Quiet Thing (Flora the Red Menace) - Julia
  • Requiem (Dear Evan Hansen) - Ninchai, Rodolfo and Maureen
  • Stay in My Arms (by Marc Blitzstein) - Ben
  • Pacencia y Fé (In The Heights) - Ninchai
  • Say It To Me Now (Once) - Chris
  • Lily Eyes (Secret Garden) - Ben and Rodolfo
  • At the Plaza (The Violet Hour) - Julia
  • Why God Why (Miss Saigon) - Chris
  • Noel's Lament (Ride the Cyclone) - Ninchai
  • Bring Him Home (Les Miserables) - Ben
  • Fight the Dragons (Big Fish) - Rodolfo
  • Firework (Moulin Rouge) - Maureen
  • Move On (Sunday in the Park with George) - Ben and Julia
  • You’ve Got a Friend (Beautiful) - all
As a bonus, we also got a couple of previews of upcoming shows, including Something Rotten by Ashland ProductionsLittle House on the Prairie (the musical that premiered at the Guthrie some 15 years ago) at Lakeshore Players Theatre, and Madde Gibba's fabulous solo show Boy Crazy (at Strike Theater this weekend only). And Hive Collaborative owners Laura Rudolph Morris and Eric Morris were there to talk about the next must-do Monday event - 16 Bar Bingo on January 29.

Musical Mondays is a fun monthly outing, at the cost of just a $5 suggested donation (with the option to tip the artists), and you might just win tickets to an upcoming show! See you there.

the cast (photo credit: @cherryandspoon Instagram)