Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I'm Certain That Cur Will Bark Itself To Death

Rent SoundtrackI've been so busy that I forgot about that the new RENT soundtrack came out last week! 

I got it today, and it freakin' ROCKS!  THIS is the cast recording that I've been wanting all these years.  It was produced by Rob Cavallo, who produced the brilliant American Idiot album for Green Day.  This recording has a wonderfully rich, robust sound and very imaginative orchestrations. 

I've always been a fan of BOOMing, thunderous drums and ultra-crunchy electric guitars, and here they're suppilied in generous amounts:  "Rent" (the title track) is finally the hard-driving rocker I knew it could be. On the other hand, "Tango: Maureen" has a true, playful Latin flavor to it and has the potential of being a real show-stopper.  The tinny, sometimes corny sound of the Broadway versions of "Today 4 U" and "Out Tonight" ALWAYS bothered me -- this re-imagining is a much welcome improvement.  Many of the rock songs have been fixed with a more appropriate, faster tempo.  Even the snippety songs like "Life Support" benefit from the rethinking.  Dare I say this is better the Original Broadway Recording?  Yes, I do.

P.S.  And hooray for Tracie Thoms!  Brilliant as "Mahandra" on the thoroughly-missed series Wonderfalls (damn you, Fox!), I'm so happy for her success and that the world will find out that the girl can SANG!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Boyz, Sides... and Serenity Now!

On Friday night, I went to a brief reunion of sorts.  I hung out with Grace, Johanna and Misti -- former castmates from Fools in Love -- at Grace's boyfriend's FAB-ulous apartment near Times Square.

Unfortunately, I couldn't stay long and missed out on seeing the rest of the cast, because I had tickets to see Sides: The Fear Is Real at 10.  GO AND SEE THIS SHOW!  It's a hilarious take on actors and the audition process, written and performed by six very talented Asian-American actors. Jane Cho is hilarious with her one-woman Lion King, and the boys... what BODS!  They're good actors too... :-)  Coincidentally, Anthony Rapp had a cameo at the beginning of this performance, as the "Famous Guy" they encounter at the audition.  It's only running for another month, so buy your tickets now!  Check out the New York Times Review.  (Oh, and in case you don't know, the title refers to the pages of a script an actor is given during an audition.)

On Saturday, I drove down to New Jersey to spend the day with my parents.  It's always great to see them, but heartbreaking as well.  My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in June and is now undergoing chemotherapy.  She had a mastectomy shortly after the diagnosis.  It's still a shock to me to see her in a wig, and the fact that it was slightly too small for her head... it just breaks my heart.  But it was a family reunion, and it's always good to see my folks.  They care about me so much...

On Sunday, I met Erika at the 42nd Street AMC to see Serenity, the latest creation from genius Joss Whedon.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and wish I could have discussed it more with her, but I had to go straight up to Dodger Stages to catch the 7 PM show of Altar Boyz -- which was GREAT!  A lot of fun, and this second cast is phenomenal! These boys are all enormously talented and adorable: dancing, singing, sweating pretty much straight through for 90 minutes. The show is a tongue-in-cheek satire of boy bands -- this one, a Christian boy band on the last night of their tour.  I just have to mention that the understudy for Matthew (Kevin Kern) and the new Luke (James Royce Edwards) are unbelievably beautiful and such fantastic singers/dancers.  And the new Mark, Danny Calvert -- what a VOICE!  He packs an amazing range is such a little body.