Category Archives: Great Artists

Fan boy

I must admit to a fan-boy moment on Thursday.

Here’s the set-up: I was at the table in the audition room, thirty minutes prior to auditions starting at the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln.  This 60-something man asked me what the wi-fi code was.  He looked vaguely familiar.

My boss, Peter, turned around a minute later and said “You know who that is, don’t you?”

Turns out he was Robert Westenberg, Tony Award-nominated actor who originated the role of Cinderella’s Prince and the Wolf in Sondheim’s Into the Woods, and the role of Dr. Craven in The Secret Garden.

See, these are two of my down albums for a desert island.  I grew up as a musical theatre artist listening to this guy’s voice.

And there he was all day, sitting 15 feet away from me in the audition room.

He is now professor of theatre at Missouri State University, where he directs the musical theatre program.

I finally spoke to him in the afternoon.  He’s a sweet and kind man.

And I’m still fan-boying a bit.

 

 

Proud teacher

Ben Love and Jacob Flekier performed their senior showcase in New York City this week.  Both are voice students of mine at Webster University.

I’m so proud of these guys!

Photos from the showcase performance:

Also this trip: I caught up with Webster University Department of Music alumna Jennifer Johnson Cano, who is tearing it up on the opera and concert stage, including this week at the Metropolitan Opera.

Monday in NYC

A full day!  11,415 steps, according to the iPhone.  That’s 3.6 miles of walking. I believe it, based on how my feet feel Monday evening.

Looking west from my hotel room window, morning and late afternoon:

And looking north on 8th Avenue:

Notice how the tall buildings do not cast a shadow north of Columbus Circle. That’s Central Park territory.

Happy Socks = happy man.

Yufei and I had drinks at The Aviary at the Mandarin Hotel on Columbus Circle.  And we had some incredibly good Iberico ham.

From my walk back to the hotel tonight:

I took Jennifer Johnson Cano to lunch on Monday, and also spent a couple of glorious hours at the New York City Public Library performing arts branch at Lincoln Center.  Walking across Lincoln Center plaza with Jennifer felt like something out of a movie. And I had drinks and a nosh with my former student Jordan Parente Monday evening.

From the Library today, Jerome Robbins‘ Lincoln Center Honors award:

Yufei reminded me of why I love NYC so much:

Poem XXXII

From far, from eve and morning
And yon twelve-winded sky,
The stuff of life to knit me
Blew hither: here am I.

Now — for a breath I tarry
Nor yet disperse apart —
Take my hand quick and tell me,
What have you in your heart.

Speak now, and I will answer;
How shall I help you, say;
Ere to the wind’s twelve quarters
I take my endless way.

Poem XXXII
A Shropshire Lad
by A. E. Housman