2016 || Musical Mondays!

Hello and Happy New Year! 

I hope everyone was very safe and very merry!

 photo credit: Sheena Jansen-Kelly

photo credit: Sheena Jansen-Kelly

2016 started me off running. On January 4th, I performed at Hell's Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis for "Musical Mondays". I can't begin to tell you how excited I was when I was asked to be a part of this months production. Before I get into it, let me first explain what "Musical Mondays" is.

"Musical Mondays" was started by two local artist, Sheena Jansen-Kelly and Max Wojtanowicz who wanted another opportunity for local performers to get together in an environment outside of the audition room and other pressure field events (I'm talking about you Ivey awards) and showcase some talent. With a brainstorm of ideas and a connection or two at Hell's Kitchen, BOOM, "Musical Monday's" was born. This monthly cabaret styled event, hosted by the two, has become such a popular and more importantly, FUN event that brings the theatre community together in a laid back, no pressure setting.

"Musical Mondays" is just a little over three years old and I have been waiting for an opportunity to perform, some what anxiously. When Max asked me if I would be willing, I don't even think I had to read one line into that email before I typed out my response, "YESSSSS!!!!!!". Your girl had to save that as a draft and take a minute to calm down and type out something a bit more...let's say professional. Max let me know that the theme for this month was musicals from the 60's.  So the idea is to try and find a couple of group numbers and solo pieces that you'd like to perform, with the obvious theme kept in mind. Let me be the first to tell you that I am a bad musical theatre person - I know about three musicals from the 60's. First thing I did was head on over to wikipedia. 

Almost immediately I shotgunned a piece from "Hair", which, thanks to the production I did with 7th House Theatre Collective a few summers ago, had quickly placed in my top 5 favorite musicals of all time. Cat Brindisi sang "Easy to be Hard" and I will never forget the first time I heard her sing this song in rehearsal. Because of that, I knew I wanted to get my hands on that song! The next song was actually suggested to me by none other than the "Musical Mondays" Mastermind himself, Max. From a musical called "No Strings" and performed on Spotify by Diahann Carroll, Max suggested a song called "Loads of Love". With lyrics like, "I just want money and then some money and loads of lovely love" it's like he was reading my mind as I was day dreaming at work. As an ensemble, we found a couple of group numbers from musicals like "Sweet Charity" and "Tenderloin" and with the help from the lovely Andrew Bourgoin as our music director - it was time to get to work learning this music.

Two(ish) rehearsals later and we were already up on our feet. Hell's Kitchen is already an awesome venue so it made it very easy to get comfortable and have a great time. I had the pleasure of performing with some of the most talented and most lovely artist in this community and you know what? I had a blast. Over all, I would say the evening was a huge success and I am glad for it. Performing as yourself, in a room full of your peers who support you and want to see you succeed is one of the best feelings you could ever have. Huge shout out to Max, Sheena and everyone who has helped "Musical Mondays" become the success that it has been.

The next "Musical Mondays" will be on February 1st. If you're in the area you should check it out. It's a great time -  you won't be disappointed! Check out their Facebook page here

Next up for me.....is a impromptu flight to Chicago, a shoot for Rasmussen College and a small family vay-kay..."I'm going going back back to Cali Cali."

Until next time.