Wednesday, June 8, 2016

History Was Made: Now What?

Back in 2008, I was a huge Hillary Clinton supporter. I had the sign on my lawn. I was very vocal in my support for her when many of my friends (and the country) got behind the 1st year senator from Illinois. When Obama became the nominee, I jumped behind him and gave him my full support and continued that support throughout his presidency. For me, it's a no-brainer: you support the candidate you believe will not only be best for the country as a whole, but also believes in your rights as a citizen and doesn't want to send you tumbling backwards (and in my case - back in the closet).

Here we are 8 years later and while I wasn't thrilled with candidates on either side of the aisle at first, I got behind the nominee that I believed would move our country forward. Not only do I believe Clinton has the country's best interest at heart, I fully believe she stands with me as someone in a same-sex marriage. (Something I know not one person in the Republican party can get behind.) While many will debate the way the Democratic Party counts delegates for days and weeks to come, she has more pledged delegates than Obama had in '08, she has the majority of pledged delegates in this election cycle, and yes - the super delegates will put her over the needed amount (same as Obama in '08 when he was declared the winner on June 3, 2008 - well before the convention that year). I was thrilled to watch her as she made history as the first female to become the presumptive nominee for a major party and I love reading the stories of parents with little girls all across the country that stayed up to watch her speech.

I admire the passion that people have for Mr. Sanders (even if I don't admire or believe all of his false promises). I love how he changed the discussion in our country and he has brought up many important topics that need to stay in the forefront as we move forward. As a senator, he can have a much more powerful platform now. AND if he had been the Democratic nominee, I would have gotten behind him 100%. Yet those that have worshipped Bernie and felt his burn all these months can't do the same thing that many of us did in 2008. I'm saddened by those that can't do the same thing now. That WON'T do the same thing.  

Instead, they feel Hillary is not a good choice and they want to tear apart the democratic party and rally behind an independent. I firmly believe our system needs to change so we are not a party system - but for now: WE STILL ARE. Putting your vote behind an independent (who, btw, used the Democratic Party for months to gain publicity and a following), is handing the election to Donald Trump. A man that will make us a laughing joke to other countries and frankly, could take us into WWIII with his ego.

But if that's more important to you than a woman who has a political record, who believes in our country and who WILL lead (even though many will write me about her horrible past and please don't bother repeating those same talking points to me) - then I guess I have to be ready for us to move backwards and for me to end back up without rights in our country. When that happens, it will be hard for me to look at those friends who enabled this 'independent revolution' to occur which ended up bringing our great country down under Trump's reign.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Tony! Tony! Tony!

It's that time of year where all theater geeks make their predictions for the Tony Awards honoring the best of the past Broadway season. So here are mine (along with some links to my reviews of some of the shows). Also, click to hear a great discussion about the Tony Awards with myself, Keith Price and, Paul Winkler on Keith's curtain call Tony Awards Prediction Show.
Best Play
Eclipsed Author: Danai Gurira
The Father Author: Florian Zeller
The Humans Author: Stephen Karam
King Charles III Author: Mike Bartlett
Loved them all, but I'd go with King Charles III - I bet The Humans will get it though.
Best Musical
Bright Star
School of Rock-The Musical
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Well, this is Hamilton's & totally deserves it. (Though I wish American Psycho would have gotten a nomination - it's just as revolutionary in a completely different way even though it closed this past Sunday.)
Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller's The Crucible
Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Noises Off

I was greatly disturbed by Blackbird, laughed so hard at Noises Off, but I'm betting it's A View From the Bridge

Best Revival of a Musical

The Color Purple
Fiddler on the Roof
She Loves Me
Spring Awakening
I'm torn between the two reimagined productions of Color Purple & Spring Awakening.
Best Book of a Musical
Bright Star - Steve Martin
Hamilton - Lin-Manuel Miranda
School of Rock-The Musical - Julian Fellowes
Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed George C. Wolfe
Tough category because some of these in this list are what was talked about as being the weakest part of the show (and yet they still got nominated) - but Hamilton will win for Lin-Manuel's 6 years of writing this masterpiece.
Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Bright Star - Music: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Lyrics: Edie Brickell
HamiltonMusic & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
School of Rock-The Musical - Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lyrics: Glenn Slater
Waitress - Music & Lyrics: Sara Bareilles

Hands down - this is why Hamilton deserves to be where it is this year. That score!! YES!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play

Gabriel Byrne, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
Frank Langella, The Father
Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
Mark Strong, Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge
This is such a hard category for me as I love so many, but have to go with Frank Langella who gave me a masterclass in acting.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Jessica Lange, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Laurie Metcalf, Misery
Lupita Nyong'o, Eclipsed
Sophie Okonedo, Arthur Miller's The Crucible
Michelle Williams, Blackbird
So many good ones! Glad that Laurie Metcalf was remembered for early in the season and Michelle Williams blew me away, but thinking it's Jessica Lange.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Alex Brightman, School of Rock-The Musical
Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

This is tough for me as I honestly believe Benjamin Walker should have been in this category over (dare I say it) Lin-Manuel. So since he's not, I have to go with Leslie Odom, Jr.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
Jessie Mueller, Waitress
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton
I am so happy by this category with so many amazing women! I'm torn between Carmen and Cynthia for completely different reasons. 
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Reed Birney, The Humans
Bill Camp, Arthur Miller's The Crucible
David Furr, Noises Off
Richard Goulding, King Charles III
Michael Shannon, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Great actors here and I'm thrilled that David Furr made this list! But I'm going with Reed Birney.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
Megan Hilty, Noises Off
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
Andrea Martin, Noises Off
Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

Another great category - but Megan Hilty's performance stuck with me from early in the season.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Christopher Jackson, Hamilton
This is another category where I could have put several other actor's names on this list from musicals this season (Paul Alexander Nolan) and not sure Hamilton should have run the category the way it did. That said, Christopher Jackson is my guy (though I bet Daveed Diggs will get it). 
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Could this category BE more different in performances? As much as I love them all - I have to go with my girl Jennifer Simard for going there in Disaster!
Best Scenic Design of a Play
Beowulf Boritt, Thérèse Raquin
Christopher Oram, Hughie
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge
David Zinn, The Humans
That set for Hughie was amazing (even though hardly anyone saw it in such a short run). I'm going with Christopher Oram.
Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Es Devlin & Finn Ross, American Psycho
David Korins, Hamilton
Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
David Rockwell, She Loves Me

Es Devlin & Finn Ross created a world that was completely different from anything else in the category and I'm going with them for American Psycho.

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jane Greenwood, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Michael Krass, Noises Off
Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
Tom Scutt, King Charles III

Usually I have one that jumps out at me, but none of these do this I'm going to pick Noises Off - Michael Krass.

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
Ann Roth, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Paul Tazewell, Hamilton

I got to see these up close & personal backstage and they are just as amazing there...Paul Tazewell for Hamilton.

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Natasha Katz, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Justin Townsend, The Humans
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller's The Crucible
Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge
Justin Townsend had a challenge lighting this set and did an incredible job at making it all real. Going with him.
Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Howell Binkley, Hamilton
Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
Justin Townsend, American Psycho
I have to go with Justin Townsend again showing a completely different way of working.
Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, King Charles III
Jonathan Kent, Long Day's Journey Into Night
Joe Mantello, The Humans
Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge
I just loved how King Charles III moved & everything about it which points to Rupert Goold. (He was also amazing directing American Psycho...obviously, I have an obsession with this closed show.)
Best Direction of a Musical
Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
John Doyle, The Color Purple
Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
Thomas Kail, Hamilton
George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
I think Michael Arden & John Doyle did amazing work reimagining those shows, but Thomas Kail's work on Hamilton made it what it was. 
Best Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
Savion Glover, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

Andy Blankenbuehler showed us things we've never seen before and helped create a phenomenon. It's him. 

Best Orchestrations
August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
Larry Hochman, She Loves Me
Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
A different sound - a unique voice - I'm going with August Eriksmoen for Bright Star.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Opening Night: This One's For You, Dad

Dad as a Young Man
I've seen this all before...many times in my life I've experience the rush of an opening night and all of the butterflies that go with it. As I had done 3 years ago when I returned after a hiatus to do Next To Normal, I had once again sworn off getting back onstage - but was pulled in when 4th Wall Theatre announced one of my favorite shows from the past 5 seasons on Broadway...Big Fish. I made my strong feelings for this show known in an article I wrote for the Huffington Post when I begged people to see it before it closed on Broadway.

With Alexander Wolfe
Yet this one feels different. It's more personal. It's not just getting up and doing another show and oh, wasn't that fun. It's been a journey like one I can't fully describe. Playing Edward Bloom is a roller coaster of a night (where director Kate Swan even has me dancing on stage...ME!) and going back and forth in time from older and younger. (I play from 10 years old to 59 years old in this play...without makeup or wigs.) :-)  It's a joy. It's a rush. It's an exhaustion like I've never known. It's a love story to fathers and sons. In playing him, I'm attempting to honor the man that molded me into the man I am today.  The one that truly believed I could do anything I put my mind to. I wonder what Dad would think of the things I've marked off my bucket list since we lost him 13 years ago. 

With Chris Traina
I can't say thanks enough to 4th Wall, Kate, Markus, Gwen, Martha - all those that made this dream a reality for me. There are those in life that believe in you even when you don't believe in yourself...and they believed I could handle this marathon. THANK YOU!  Big Fish teaches us to dream bigger and I suppose that's what I've done. This was one more challenge and mountain for me to climb as I complain of getting older and not able to remember lines, music, etc as well anymore. (Fingers crossed no one will notice if I go up on one or two!)

This cast and crew is incredible!! (Yes....HUGE shout out to crew, especially Liana and Lawrence backstage helping us in herculean costume changes.) Every person involved in this show has been amazing. "A man is as rich as his friends..." and with this production, I've been able to work with old friends and make new ones as well. I am so happy to have taken this journey with them all. It's something I'll never forget and I can't wait for audiences to experience the tall tales of Edward the next two weekends.  
With Laurice Grae-Hauck

If you have nothing to do June 3,4,5, 10,11,12 - visit us at the Westminster Arts Center, stop and smell the daffodils, and be transported with a beautiful story about life, love, and those we leave behind.

This one's for you, dad.

Photos by Carl Schmidt 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Trump Is No Laughing Matter

It's no longer funny.

What seemed like a reality TV stunt for ratings snowballed into the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party. Everyone is now trying to get their head around how this happened, but I saw it happening last July when I first blogged about it. The other candidates seemed frightened of Trump. The media loved the ratings they got from showing him. He got more publicity than any other candidate and now we're all paying the price.

I'm sad, mortified, heartbroken that some people I love and care about support him as our president. I can even (gulp) deal with them enjoying him as a TV personality or admiring him as a business man - but I can NOT support him as the leader of the free world.

In less than a year, he has managed to undo so much in our country, dividing us, and it will only get worse if he moves into The White House. I completely understand people upset with politicians and believing someone else could do a better job, but that person has to be qualified. I wouldn't call an electrician to my house because my pipes broke! Everyone seems to think he'll be great for the economy because he's a business man. Well, as a business man he profited over the collapse of our economy. And he does not support keeping the rules and regulations in place to stop it from happening again...because that's when businessmen swoop in and make a killing. Look, that's what business is all about, but I don't believe we need a man as our president who knowingly wants the economy to fail. Trumponomics is not a good thing.

Many people love that he speaks his mind - yes, he does. Like a blathering idiot. The man has no filter and will piss off any foreign dignitary he may be dining with. This frightens me to have a loose cannon saying whatever he feels. Perhaps it works in his boardroom, but not in the oval office. At first I had a tough time believing he was really as vile as he comes across. I thought it had to be an act. But he has managed to offend nationalities, disabilities, genders - he doesn't care what comes out of his mouth. This is not someone you want children admiring. American children are the future and need a good role model. I've already heard from teachers that children are emulating this bully in schools and it's not ending well. If you're Mexican or Muslim, be prepared to be pointed at and teased. If you have a disability, you're not immune to his callous behavior.

As he moves towards a general election he STILL hasn't made it about issues. He can't debate or have a campaign on issues because he doesn't know where he stands. Is he a Republican or Democrat? Depends on which way the wind is blowing his hair! He clobbered his way through the primaries by attacking his opponents like a dog, yet NEVER made it about issues - only name-calling and bullying. He's still doing it now with anyone that opposes him. Candidates, congress people, media - he will attack and attack. He loves to call others liars, yet he is the master at it. (I get it, it's part of his ammo - but how can you trust him?) He only gave the 1 million to the veterans NOW because he was called out on it. But has a way to spin it on social media so that his supporters will rally around him like he is the great orange savior that is going to actually DO something for the middle class. He can't even comprehend what that is....middle class OR class.

I can NOT endorse Donald Trump as my president. I can NOT understand those that can. I know I will hear that the Democrats don't have any good choices either, but I tell you - I would take either of them over this sick man that only cares about building up his own name. (Hence the name is everywhere.) I don't believe he cares about America. And though Sanders and Clinton may both have faults of their own, I will jump behind either to take down this horrible man who should stick to building golf courses and hotels and leave the American people alone.

Wake up, America - he doesn't care anything about you.


Friday, May 6, 2016

Waitress Serves It Up

There are certain shows I really look forward to seeing and get my tickets way in advance. That's what happened with Waitress currently on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre. Waiting until after it opened and after it received four Tony Awards nominations meant there was more pressure going in as I already knew what others were saying. Well, I was NOT disappointed. From the moment you enter the theater with the aroma of pies and see huge pies lined in cases along the proscenium, you know you are in for a treat.

Based on the film by Adrienne Shelly with a book by Jessie Nelson, a score by Sara Bareilles, and directed by Diane Paulus - this all female creative team has created an old-fashioned musical that feels new and fresh. 

Jenna is a waitress in a love-less marriage to her overbearing husband Earl and seeks escape by creating pies with unusual names. (I Don't Wait Earl's Baby Pie, Old Joe's Horny Pie) An unexpected pregnancy, a pie-baking contest, and a new gynecologist all play into Jenna's world as ways to start a new life or does she simply stay and accept the life she has?

Jessie Mueller who won the Tony for playing Carole King in the musical Beautiful is absolutely wonderful as Jenna. She is tired, beaten, but hasn't given in. She is not one of the actresses on Broadway that feels she needs to belt her face off in her every song and gives such great texture to the wonderful songs by Sara Bareilles. (Especially the empowering hit She Used to Mine.) She had two friends she works with that makes life bearable and Kimiko Glenn ann Keala Settle each create such awesome characters making for a great family with Jenna. 

Drew Gehling is the quirky doctor that steals Jenna's heart and I really liked that he made the role his own and not a copy of the film. Eric Anderson and Dakin Matthews both show curmudgeons can also have a heart and Nick Cordero gives us a villain without taking him too far over the top. Christopher Fitzgerald uses his comic chops to give us an adorable Ogie that makes you perk up each time he enters the stage. 

The ensemble is used brilliantly to aid in Jenna's mind with choreographed moments of creating pies, or being the customers in the store (constantly having to eat),  and it's fun that you can tell who must be understudying each lead role. I also loved seeing the pit on the stage. I just wish the sound would have been a little better as we had a tough time at the start hearing performers (perhaps it was the accent the performers are using).

This really is a feel-good musical that seems to do it all right. It gives us comedy, it makes us feel, and it offers an everyday heroine that can create extraordinary out of sugar, butter, and flour. Lastly, they have been smart in their marketing from releasing Sara Bareilles singing the songs before it opened to the social media team that is right on top of everything with this show. Great job by everyone involved with this heart-warming musical!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rocking the Winter Garden Theatre

Walking into the Winter Garden Theatre, I'm always going to think of Cats since it was the first show I saw in that beautiful space. Andrew Lloyd Webber has returned to his home with his latest musical School of Rock (which has an inside jab at Cats). Based on the film of the same name that starred a crazy Jack Black pretending to be a teacher simply to make money, the musical sticks very closely to the screenplay - adding in Lloyd Webber songs where it feels appropriate.

Let me just say that I grabbed a last minute ticket to a matinee at TKTS, ended up on the inside aisle of the 5th row, and the kids and parents around me were loving this show. It's this season's Matilda. A true show the entire family can enjoy (if you bring earplugs). It is ROCK and it is LOUD. I've always been a huge fan of Sir Lloyd Webber, but didn't find anything in this score too inspiring or exciting. You will hear bits and pieces of his former works, but the audiences don't seem to mind. It's not about that. It's about rocking out, cheering loudly at every cute/clever moment that happens on stage. And yes - the kids ARE adorable in this show.

The prep school children that find their inner rock star are all wonderful in their own way...and as the announcement tells you before the show - they play the instruments themselves. I was totally enthralled each time they were on the stage. For me, they are the true stars of the show and I appreciate how each of them has their own personality and moments to shine.

I was curious to see Alex Brightman in this show since he got so many different nominations this year. The man was born the year I moved to NYC (boy do I feel old) and has been in Wicked, Big Fish, Matilda but finally got his big break with this tour-de-force role. He is screaming rock at the top of his lungs, running around the stage like a madman amped up on Red Bull & entertaining the audience each time he opens his mouth - I don't know how he does it all. (I was really glad he played the matinee as I wasn't sure he'd be on.) He truly is a talent. However, I wish director Laurence Connor would have trusted him more to create an original character and not have him copy the film as that's what I felt I was getting. Right down to the facial expressions he'd make. However, he does work well with those talented kids and for that I give him high kudos.

The other person people would recognize is Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid, Love Never Dies) as the school principal who you know will be letting her hair down in a rock show the moment she appears all prim and proper. She gets to show her soprano voice off in this role while acting like an uptight Marion from The Music Man. The other adults are all totally fine adding multiple characters in what they know is set dressing around the man and the kids. (Unfortunately, the script is written so unevenly, there isn't much more for them to do except play the parents and the teachers in this show that centers on the children.)

There isn't anything that 'new' or 'different' in School of Rock in this year of revolutionary theater. I felt I'd seen it all before and not simply because it was a film. The cardboard characters that aren't fleshed out, the standard sets, nothing thrilled me. So for that reason, I'd really only recommend this to families looking for something to take their kids to. I am disappointed after seeing this that the Tony committee recognized it with the 4 nominations that it received. There were other shows and performances (cough...American Psycho - Benjamin Walker) that definitely should have gotten in over what I witnessed at the Winter Garden. Guess I'll just have to keep my memories for now of previous shows in this theater until the next production comes along that blows me away. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dear Evan Hansen Creative Team...Thank You!

There is something so exciting to see a show as it takes shape either in an out-of-town run or Off-Broadway. There was great buzz around the musical Dear Evan Hansen arriving into NYC after it's run at Arena Stage in DC last summer and though nervous about listening to buzz, we grabbed up our tickets to head to Second Stage Theatre to see what the show was all about.

Wow. What an incredible evening we had. From the very first song, I knew we were witnessing something truly special. With a book by Steven Levenson (playwright and writer for Showtime's "Masters of Sex") that reads like a YA novel and an amazing score by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dogfight, A Christmas Story) this story is said to be for the outsider in us all. It's about that feeling of isolation that many high schoolers can feel. Think back to the movie "The Breakfast Club" and we learned no matter who you were in school, there was still a feeling of being alone and attempting to fit in. The people in Even Hansen know that all too well. Even if you are the nerd, the goth, the brain - each has their own secrets of wondering if anyone would notice if they disappeared.

The title is made clear fairly quickly as Evan is giving an assignment by his therapist to write affirmation letters to himself daily. But what happens if those letters can get in the wrong hands and a lie can snowball? Especially in the world of social media which can play such a huge part in those feelings of loneliness (and a huge part in the wonderful scenic and projection designs by David Korins and Peter Nigrini). I don't want to give much more of the plot away because like Next to Normal (which was also directed by Michael Greif who directed Evan and which this musical will likely be compared to by some reviewers), it's best to walk in knowing little about it and taking the journey with Evan Hansen. (I also want to give a shout out to Nevin Steinberg for some of the best sound design I've heard in a show recently.)

And what a beautifully, moving journey it is. Much is said about seeing a star performance by a theater or film legend that gives a live performance of their careers. Well there is a 22 year old young man giving that kind of performance nightly on 43rd street at Second Stage Theatre. Ben Platt is absolutely incredible as he inhabits the life and world of Evan Hansen. A high school senior that has such anxiety disorder he has tics, he takes medicine to calm himself, he sweats on command (how does this actor do this?) and he breaks your heart. Sitting on the third row of the theater and being so close to the actor, there were moments I just wanted to take him in my arms and tell him it was going to get better. THAT'S how real he plays this role. It is masterful performance with amazing vocals singing the beautiful score by Pasek & Paul. (How any actor ever sings through tears on stage always baffles me - this one can sing through an ugly cry.)

The rest of the cast is also just as wonderful with huge kudos going to Rachel Bay Jones playing his mother who is simply trying to raise a son she can't connect to while working on a single parent salary. Countering her is the wealthy Murphy family (who has their own issues with a son) and Jennifer Laura Thompson and John Dossett show their own layers in this family, especially when the situation brings Evan Hansen into their lives. Laura Dreyfuss and Mike Faist play their children in this dysfunctional family. Rounding out the cast are Kristolyn Lloyd and Will Roland as other classmates who some may feel are there for comic relief in a fairly heavy show, but I see under the comedy they also have issues of fitting in they are dealing with.

I really can't wait to see what happens next with this show. It is already so powerful, but I'm sure like others before it, it will continue to morph and change until all the kinks are worked out. I do hope they release a cast recording while they continue working on the inevitable road to a small Broadway house for this show because I need to hear this music over and over.

Bravo and thank you to the creative team for tackling this story and giving us a story we often need to be reminded of: we are not alone, everyone deserves to be remembered, and #YouWillBeFound.