RE(nt)–Cap (My Day, The Limited Musical)

Posted: December 9, 2009 in Road to RENT

December 6, 2009

I glared at my GPS attempting to burn some knowledge into it or simply to intimidate it into sending me in the right direction. I stared towards the sky and yelled at Big Brother, the legal tracking satellite, which was supposed to know and direct my every move:

“If you are watching me so, then point me in the right direction to go!”

As I tore my eyes between the gibberish on my navigation system and the clock that kept ticking forward, my thoughts stuttered as if I were the Alice in Wonderland rabbit:

I’m late, I’m late, For a very important date.
No time to say hello, good-bye,
I’m late, I’m late, I’m late

I wound down unfamiliar paths and found myself on a desolate two lane road. Traffic moved closely in both directions, trees jumped out of the woods, and I entertained thoughts of Sweeney Todd enticing me into a shave, his freshly wiped razor bleached of the bloody stains.

I shuttered.

I plunged down one more stretch of dreary road and I saw it:

I’m getting married in the mornin’!
Ding dong! The bells are gonna chime.

No, My Fair Lady, I was not getting married in the morning, but I did see the church and my GPS began to ring confirming my destination

I backed my truck in, nearly assaulting a tree, its leaves pressing against my trunk, and I made my way to the steeple of the church, my thoughts polluting my urgency:

“How did the music director discover this place, of crosses and hymns and the saving grace?”

I pressed through the towering double doors, quickly coached myself towards the most sensible entrance and found myself whisking passed pews ready to join my family.  They had already begun without me, singing the cousin of a familiar tune, their parts already given.

As I climbed to a seat between two voice and my dance partner, I waited for that familiar twinge of fear to highlight my uneasiness. I banged against the doorway to my emotions looking for my familiar companion. Someone answered, sounding like RENT’s “Light My Candle“:

Confidence: What’d you forget?

Me: Where’s my fear?

Confidence: Hey, you know me, I’m, I’m Confidence!

Me: I know when my singing is weak

That you always help me stand on my feet

When did you light my candle?

What are you smiling at?

I searched for fear in every corner of my being, only to find all the rooms swept clean. I settled into my new emotion and waited to be taught. Two voice entered, my solitude he caught:

“Hey, I think you are Group 2!”

I pressed my eyes towards the music symbols trying to decipher what that they meant. To my right my dance partner and glowing ring were immersed in their melody and I tried to join in. I was lost, I pressed my lips together, tore my head around the room and waited for someone to clue me in. My Seasons of Love partner chimed:

“You’re in Group 1!”

I sat quietly twiddling my thumbs still wondering what that meant. I looked to the music director, direction he lent:

“Yes, you are in group one!”

All right, I had found my position. I still had no idea what group one meant and quickly received my answer. Two voice joined in, again:

“Oh, my bad. You do what I do!”


I was good at following a vocal leader and two voice was always poised ready to lead if I needed guidance.

I fell into position, repeated the phrases a millisecond behind two voice, and stood on my own when I had gotten the gist of the song. Oddly, it felt like clockwork. I cuddled within my new emotions of grandeur only to be interrupted by someone later than I.

The first pounder came bursting through the door. I flashed a smile. She didn’t see me. And next to her a friend tagged along, our brother.


My emotions lit up and clothed themselves in the completion of the unit. Even more, I relished in having seen him in his element.

The fist pounder had generously posted the arrival of the manifestation of one song glory’s dream. I jumped at the chance to see him in action. I was unfamiliar with the play, but that didn’t stop my want to support a family member.

As the night of the performance came about, I twisted between the Wilmington Streets, trying to find his playground. With the fist pounder blindly guiding my every move, I eventually found my way. We took our seats in an intimate setting – the fist pounder, the director, loud beep, tall photographer and friend, and myself – and I couldn’t help but notice a quaint pale-skinned, charming girl waiting patiently behind us.

I started to ask about her tattoo, strewn across her chest, but I refrained. It was a wise decision.

As the music began and an insane homeless figure spoke to people unseen, the quaint pale-skinned stood up and sent my heart into a cardiac stutter. The sound that escaped her body was larger than life. And each subsequent time she sang, my body was jolted to the same attention.

Her voice was a beautiful, powerfully trained instrument and I held back my urge to tap on her throat and request the bellowing of The Phantom of the Opera. Then one song glory appeared and I waited for him to break character as he recognized his family supporting him. He stood true to his being. I was washed over with awe.

And as the play progressed, the cast was washed over with blood:

What am I watching?

I stood on the edge of my seat, my reactions pure and sound escaping my lips at inappropriate times. I wanted to jump on stage and kill the judge, I wanted to grab Ms. Lovett by the neck and force feed her arsenic. And then, when I had reached the pinnacle of emotions, he stared at me.

Seven feet away, as I admired the beautiful voices all around, a tall, slender, blonde cast member looked me square in the face. I pulled my top lip back over my teeth and wide eyed him.

Audience participation was overly abundant, but each time, my image had been overlooked. But in that instance, he connected with me. I lost all traces of what to do:

Um, am I supposed to look away, applaud, smile, laugh, get up and move, groove?

I didn’t know proper theater protocol, so I stared back, knowing that he would soon, at any second, intertwine himself back into the musical number and release me from my uneasiness.

The pauses, between phrases, up to that point, were short.

However, I had picked the longest pause to stare at the only person who decided to participate with me.

The seconds seemed to move on for hours, my inner nerve squad screaming within:


My face began to grow further into an idiotic stupor, as the sound, UHHHHH, escaped my lips.

Then it happened.

I detected an exaggerated smile on his face, his lips pressing together as if he were holding back a laugh, an eruption of hilarity. He seemed t be caught off guard by my clownish expression.

The war began.

My face was causing him to quake and I was too untrained in theatrics to know if I was supposed to retreat, considering the dark mood of the play. The time pressed forward and my head screamed:

“When is he going to sing again? I want to see what the girl in fishnets is doing!”

Finally he broke away. I laughed and thought to myself.

I hope I can make a connection too, for in La Vie Boheme the audience won’t know what to do!

Later in the production, the psychotic homeless girl caught my eye. That time I was ready. I breathed into my head, acting as Jigsaw from the franchise Saw:

“Would you like to play a game? This time, it won’t be the same.”

She stared menace into me; I matched her gaze with anger of my own.

Then I did it.

Before she could sing again, I turned away. I knew she would move on to someone else. I wanted to see if my game had worked. I turned back, sharply. My emotions jumped, hitting full soprano:

“Oh, Helloooooo!”

She was still grimacing at me, her gaze growing more menacing, and her glare evoking discomfort.

I looked away, and turned back again. The same expression decorated her face only growing harder as if saying:

“You look away from me one more time, Sweeney Todd, your bones, he will grind.”

I loved it. I felt the fear, the weariness and the aura of the play rush through me like a cannon firing hair-sized needles. It was glorious.

I vowed to do the same. Theatre pulsated through my veins!

So as I silently welcomed one song glory back to the family, I retreated into rehearsal with new blood washing away the old guilty stains. Basement voice soon began his ode to his dead lover:

“Live in my house, I’ll be your shelter…”

I stood ready. I got a solo and I had practiced it until the melody itself seemed foreign. It was heavily etched in my vocal chords, and when the part came, I sang with pride leaving behind prejudice. The music director stopped me:

“Um, Jeremy, you are singing the wrong part!”


The heavenly voice chimed in:

“Yeah, he is up there with me!”

I thought:

Uh huh, I see

The music director motioned for the dark-haired dude to play my part on the piano. I stared confused, wondering how I was going to reboot my vocals and place these new notes. He talked me through them, I readily tried them and we attempted the solos again.


I bathed myself in the life preservers expression as she approved of my new melody. Once again, I searched for fear only to be struck by a soft inner voice:

“Not while I’m around!”

I smiled. We moved forward, finished the song and started over.

I found myself at the solos, standing next to the heavenly voice, and I poised myself to join in:

“With a thousand sweeeetttt…”

I squawked like a crow. Instead of shame, I began to laugh. Again, the voice shooed Embarrassment away:

“Not while I’m around!”

The music director, jumped in to help me, I grabbed a hold of his life support and anchored myself. Soon, after harassing the dark-haired dude to rehearse it with me, him clothing me in assurance that I could not only do it but:

“Belt it out boy, as loud as you can!”

I was yelling my part to the top of the rafters.

It felt GOOD!

The last song came about and I took my seat next to two voice again. Seeing that he was already familiar with the piece, and I looking for an easy way out, I muttered:

“Can’t I just do what he does, another folly may just ruin my buzz?”

Half joking and half pleasantly hoping we shared the same part, my anticipations were stroked. The music director placed us on the same stoop and I learned my part happily, only leaning on two voice when I direly needed to. I didn’t want to over tax him, plus, I enjoyed the mistake and create process.

I was learning how to correct my blunders and hold on to parts taught to me, however, two voice offered his assistance to me anyway. As I struggled a bit, trying to put together new melodies, two voiced leaned over to me:

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you!”

I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do. I leaned into his assurance pulling me through.

With warmth in my heart and bleeding into my face, I gave two voice a thankful embrace:

“That is why I love this guy!”

He laughed, and I retreated into my thoughts of Ohana!

Throughout the night I readily grabbed pictures of the cast, a new digital camera, and I rejected the feelings to fade into the background.

I caught up with Mojo only to be shot with her declaration:

“You are so creative!”

I stood wide eyed wondering what she meant:

Was my sideways walk intriguing, did I have a pretty zit pattern, did it resemble Saturn?

I broke:

“Uh, what do you mean?”

She spoke:

“Your blog, the things you write, it’s creative. I sit and try to figure out who you are talking about.”

I had never done it before, but after that I couldn’t stop myself. My body lunged at her. Soon I was choking her, embracing her with my appreciation. I let go and laughed. She looked shocked. I walked away with a glide in my stride, a pep in my step, a bounce in my pounce.

And I left that night with my new budding friend singing to me:

Nothings gonna harm you, Not while I’m around.

I cradled myself into its comfort, just as I did as a child leaning to my mother for affection. And as it rang in my head something deeper within, bigger, a more booming voice took over where my singing friend left off:

Nothing’s gonna harm you, not while I’m around.
Nothing’s gonna harm you, no sir, not while I’m around.

Demons are prowling everywhere, nowadays,
I’ll send ’em howling,
I don’t care, I got ways.

No one’s gonna hurt you,
No one’s gonna dare.
Others can desert you,
Not to worry, whistle, I’ll be there.

Nothing can harm you
Not while I’m around…

And even if something does, it won’t matter because as Hairspray put it:

Cause the world keeps spinning
Round and ’round
And my heart’s keeping time
To the speed of sound
I was lost till I heard the drums
Then I found my way

‘Cause you can’t stop the beat

Ever since we first saw the light
A man and woman liked to shake it
On a saturday night
And so i’m gonna shake and shimmy it
With all my might today
‘Cause you can’t stop
The motion of the ocean
Or the rain from above
They can try to stop this paradise
We’re dreaming of
But you cannot stop the rhythm
Of two hearts in love to stay
You can’t stop the beat!

-Songs from Alice in Wonderland, RENT & Rent (remix), My Fair Lady, Sweeney Todd and Hairspray

  • City Theatre Company
  • Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • December 4 – December 19, 2009
  • One Song Glory – Anthony


The Full Light my Candle Remix Coming Soon!!!


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