By Meredith Sonnen, Arden Professional Apprentice
The first play I ever remember seeing was The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan. I proceeded to name our next dog Katisha after a character. I lived in small rural towns in Tennessee and Georgia growing up and there was a a severe lack of theatre in the area. What I did see was whatever the local colleges were putting on. That was nearly always a musical. Musicals were my first theatrical love. We rented and watched the double VHS of The Sound of Music from the local library so many times that we wore it out. I knew every word to that musical by heart. Next was My Fair Lady. Later, I listened to my mom’s old records. Jesus Christ Superstar, Fiddler on the Roof and others could be heard blaring from our house at any hour, normally with my little voice piping along into a hairbrush or cooking spoon.
Musicals got me interested in theatre. I don’t do them anymore for the most part. I have become a straight play actor and director somehow, but I still love them. My tastes have grown. I have a huge crush on all things Jason Robert Brown (The Last 5 Years, Parade, Songs for A New World). I could listen to Ragtime on repeat all day and never grow tired of it. The harmonies in A New Brain blow my mind every time I listen to Heart and Music.
I don’t just listen though. I sing. I sing when I clean, when I cook, when I walk to work. I am not Barbara Streisand but I am not bad either. I have dreams of getting back into musical theatre. Sadly, there are dream roles like Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Sarah in Ragtime that I can never be cast in for a variety of reasons. For example, I can’t tap dance. Which is pretty crucial. That doesn’t stop me from singing or dreaming though.
While talking to actors throughout my life we’ve all had a dream role that we aren’t qualified for. Well, the Apprentices this year decided to do something about it.
This Monday , May 10th, at Triumph Brewery from 6-9 we are hosting a Backwards Cabaret. The “Songs you’ll never sing, the parts you’ll never play” is the theme.
So if you want to see Scott Greer, Maureen Torsney-Weir, Brian Cowden, Liz Filios and many other area actors sing the songs they never thought they could, come join us!
There is a $5 cover and all proceeds go to support our showcase (June 20th and 21st at the Arden). So come on down to Triumph at 117 Chestnut Street and get a great show for just $5!