Benefit at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse

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Monday night was the benefit for the San Gabriel Valley Music Theatre at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse.  The show setting was very unique — tables were set on the vast stage for the audience (dinner was served first).  For the stage, a raised platform was set upstage.  From the performers’ vantage point, we could clearly see, not only our onstage audience, but the huge house just beyond them.  For any performer, it was a thrill.  As in true cabaret form, we (the other 7 performers and I) each had our moment or two in the spotlight.  After our opening production number of “Seasons of Love” (Rent), I stayed on stage to start the rest of the evening, with “No Man Left For Me”, a very belty, bluesy tongue-in-cheek showstopper sung by Will Roger’s long suffering wife (Will Rogers Follies).  Bear in mind, the whole evening was about fundraising for the next season of musicals at the theatre, so you might start to notice a “theme” here.  The rest of the first act went beautifully, with the singers sticking to better known music (didn’t want to get too avant-garde on the nice people with the checkbooks) –songs such as “Big Spender” (Sweet Charity), “Mr. Cellophane” (Chicago), and “Hopelessly Devoted to You” (Grease).  The second act went just as smoothly.  As I made my way onstage again, I decided it was time to “take the lights down for a moment” (please — so kidding) but I did sing a beautifully written ballad that I’ve always loved from Jekyll and Hyde called “Someone Like You”, which seemed to go over very well.  The evening ended too soon (as shows always do for me) but the performers were left with very heartfelt accolades from our audience (and very generous donations, as we were later told by the producer).  Another successful night at the theatre.  Oh, and we literally sang for our supper: because the performers arrived at the theatre fairly early that afternoon for rehearsal, we actually never had dinner.  You never saw so many hungry singers scarfing down a bunch of boxed dinners at 10:00PM.



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