COVID-19 May Have Cancelled the Tony Awards but You Can’t Stop the Beat!

COVID-19 may have cancelled the Tony awards this year but Broadway performers have taken to the Internet and proven that nothing can stop the beat! Many current and former Broadway casts have come together and created Zoom like performances that have brought a little bit of Broadway into homes across America. These are my top picks for award winning virtual performances. Although some are produced better than others, every single video fills this Noteworthy Mommy with pure joy.

And the winners are…

Legally Blonde the Musical– Laura Bell Bundy along with the original cast of Legally Blond the Musical created this hilarious COVID-19 version of “OMIGOD You Guys Sanitize for Corona!” CLICK HERE to watch.

Company– This is by far my favorite performance, so clever and so well done! I can’t wait for the cast album. CLICK HERE to watch the current cast of Company perform the opening number in a Zoom call. Cell rings, text chimes, Zoom calls…Company!

Hairspray– Alumni from numerous casts of the musical “Hairspray” come together to perform “You Can’t Stop the Beat.” CLICK HERE to view.

Hamilton- The original cast of Hamilton performs “Alexander Hamilton” for one of their biggest fans. CLICK HERE to view.

A coloring page completed by me and my mini me from the Playbill Coloring Book a dear friend sent us.

How I dearly miss the theatre! I was anxiously awaiting the opening of the Broadway revivals of “The Music Man” and the reinvented production of “Company.” Both are musicals that hold a special place in my heart having played in the orchestra for both shows in summers past. Summers I innocently took for granted. Summers filled with music and rehearsals and friends. Summers where I felt part of something bigger then myself. Nothing is greater then being a member of a group of talented individuals who come together and shape and mold and create something beautiful for others to enjoy. It is something COVID-19 has taken from me and my world won’t be “normal” until I can create music with my friends once again.

Pulling the Curtain on the Summer of 2020

As our city begins to open back up, a huge announcement came from The Muny, the largest outdoor musical theatre in America, located in Forest Park in St. Louis. MO. For the first time in 102 years, The Muny stage will be empty.

The Muny had previously announced a shortened season due to COVID-19 but were optimistic they would be able to put on a few shows this year. Sadly, The Muny joins the rest of the theatre world as theaters have turned off their lights across our country. Broadway abruptly shut down on March 12 and announced an anticipated January 2021 return. All of the touring productions have been canceled and who knows when or if all of those shows will be rescheduled? And community theatre and summer stock have been cancelled leaving us with a summer void of live shows.

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My daughter standing on The Muny stage in May 2018.

Although I was sad to hear about The Muny pulling the curtain on the entire 2020 season, I know they did not make the decision lightly and they are doing what is best for their patrons, performers and employees. Keeping everyone safe has to be first and foremost!

My heart goes out to the entire Muny organization who will suffer revenue loss after recently undergoing a major face lift project that included updates to the stage and backstage areas. I feel for the young performers, some from my daughters dance studio, who were going to be in shows this year. And most of all, I am sad for all of the patrons, including my family of three, who have a history of escaping to The Muny during the summer and making memories that span over multiple generations. As a child my parents took me to The Muny every summer and that is where I fell in love with musical theater! My parents were engaged at The Muny, my husband and I took our engagement photos at The Muny and our daughter attended her first show last summer. A summer without The Muny, with evenings spent under the stars in Forest Park, just won’t feel like …summer!

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My daughter sitting in front of a Muny brick commemorating her grandparents 50th wedding anniversary.

 

 

 

 

The Tonys and the Stanley Cup…The Seasons Greatest Singers, Dancers and Hockey Players!

Everyone in St. Louis is wearing blue these days as we enthusiastically cheer on our hometown hockey team, the Saint Louis Blues, to what we hope will be a historic Stanley Cup victory! But on Sunday, June 9, this girl isn’t excited about game 6 of the championship along with the rest of the city. Instead, I’m wrapped up in my own game, my personal Super Bowl taking place on the Great White Way. A magical night filled with both victory and defeat that I look forward to all year long with great anticipation. I’ll be cheering on the best of Broadway as I watch the 73rd annual Tony Awards!

My Musical Theater Beginnings- My fascination with musical theater began at an early age. My dad was a high school art teacher who designed the sets, supplied the props and was in charge of the house (ticket sales, posters, program design, ushers) for the annual high school spring musical. Having an “in” with the house manager privileged me with front row seats to every performance! I must have been five or six when I saw my dad’s first show, “West Side Story”and I immediately became hooked. I remember sitting there completely mesmerized. I fell in love with everything… the music, the dancing, the emotion, the set, the costumes, the spot lights! A new world opened for me and I eagerly entered in by acting out the shows I saw in our backyard and critiquing the performances (I saw each show three times).

As a child, the high school productions introduced me to many of the classics like Rodger and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” and “The King and I,” and Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” and “Guys and Dolls.” I also saw contemporary productions like “Pippin” and “Working” by Stephen Schwartz.

One of my favorites was “Grease” and to this day it remains in my top ten. I remember feeling like I was part of that production when I saw my mom’s makeup table and baby blue Samsonite carry-on cosmetic bag being used by Rizzo and Sandy on stage. As an impressionable preteen I related to Sandy, yet sympathized with Rizzo when she belted out, “There Are Worse Things I Could Do.”

Meeting My Broadway Tribe- The Tony Awards didn’t enter my life until high school. That’s when I met friends in marching band who were just like me… Broadway obsessed! It was the era of “Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserable” where musicals were mostly all sung through. We spent hours studying the CD liners, memorizing every, single, word! In concert band and in the pit orchestra for our own high school musicals we played music from the shows we were so passionate about. And on the night of the Tony Awards we gathered together, seeing numbers from nominated shows and cheering on our favorite performers.

The 60th Annual Tony Awards- In 2006 I checked a huge event off of my bucket list when I attended the 60th annual Tony Awards in person at Radio City Music Hall! Jersey Boys won best musical that year. My friend and I dressed in elegant evening gowns and experienced a once in a lifetime opportunity that we will never forget! Although legendary performers like Chita Rivera, James Earl Jones and Julie Andrews appeared tiny from our mile high seats, we were thrilled to simply be present.My story ends with the band geek marrying the captain of the football team (although he played in the orchestra during off season). And we are raising a well rounded little girl who is gaining an appreciation for live theater and live sporting events. So on Sunday, June 9, with an assist from a sophisticated remote and DVR, our family will avoid any interference and have a night choreographed with the seasons greatest singers, dancers and hockey players.