The sporadic ramblings of Emily C. A. Snyder - devoted to God, theatre, writing, and much randominity.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Artistic Director and Co-Founder of TURN TO FLESH PRODUCTIONS. | Author of "Nachtstürm Castle," "Niamh and the Hermit." | Playwright: "Cupid and Psyche," "Math for Actors." | Classical director and educator.

Friday, April 04, 2008

David Cook, Summer Shows, Spring Dresses, and Allison Panetta

Oh my!

  • Yes, yes, I've been a negligent fool. I refer you to why. I do not apologize, much like Simon Cowell. So, to work backwards from my title, as I've been told to blog: "I love Allison Panetta. She's the best. Hurrah hurrah!" *disengages from automatic systems to write remainder of blog* (J/K Allison - do love ya. ;P)

  • For various reasons, I've taken up wearing skirts the past two days and have rediscovered, Boy! Do I ever miss wearing flouncy, brightly-colored spring dresses/blouses/skirts/colours! I even broke out the need-to-be-replaced-but-oh-so-comfy-sandals. As you can imagine, I'm attempting to encourage the weather as well as taking advantage of the fact that I don't have to dress for Boston these past few days - always a battle between the muck of a city and the unforgiving elements. Home is much friendlier to wearing inappropriate footwear indoors than tromping around Boyleston Street. (Tangent: inappropriate footwear creates a strange mental image, like tootsies wearing - what? skimpy tanktops?) Anywho, I'm glad not to be wearing scarves and heavy coats and the other accoutrements of winter! (As I was in the picture, above.)

  • I'm also increasingly psyched for Romeo and Juliet. We've closed the girls' registration, but still have openings for boys. I think it's going to be a good summer. A Hamlet-esque summer. Huzzah! Soundtrack is shaping up. Starting to get good ideas about costumes/design/make-up even. Coming together cranially. We'll be getting the informational packages (including monologue selection, etc.) out soon. In the nonce, don't forget to pick yourself up a copy of the script! And it's worth taking a look at various versions of the show.

  • Which brings me, by no segue whatsoever, to American Idol and more specifically to David Cook. OK, now I'll state that I am head-over-heels in musical love with M. Cook - and not just because of his sexyeyes performance of "Hello."

    Or just because of his tenderness in Dolly Parton's "Little Sparrow" (hint: full length studio recording a-ma-zing and in part acappella!).

    Or just because of his rockin' out "Eleanor Rigby" (which he totally did):

    Or just because of his stripped-down amazing and soulful "Billie Jean":

    Nope - he had me week one with his "Happy Together":

    The fact that he's a lefty is just icing. However, truly, the reason why I'm such a David Cook fan is that not only is he a fantastic musician with true connection to the melody, lyric, audience, instrument and self, but he also is an actual contender to change American Idol.

    Hefty order? Yeah. But unlike Chris Daughtry or Blake Lewis, he actually has a shot. Daughtry was great - but in rewatching him, he has a sort of cold personality, and he tended not to show many facets to himself as a performer - he was solely rock. Blake had the ingenuity to play with arrangements, but he was limited vocally - and he had all those weird affectations.

    However, David Cook's personality is warm, assured, jubilant and - yes - attractive. (I feel bad writing "sexy" twice. Oops! ;) More, he's been consistent with his performances. I find myself waiting anxiously to see "what he'll do" with whatever song he's chosen - will he slow it down, strip it down, build it up, rock it out? What facet of himself as a musician will he reveal tonight? I find myself - a consummate NON-concert-goer - thinking that I'll probably buy tickets to his concert whenever he goes solo. Yup. That good.

    But it's what it might mean if David Cook wins American Idol that has me the most twitterpated. For the first four seasons of American Idol, I didn't watch. It was a stupid Star Search reality show nonsense thingy. It was hokey. It was cheesy. It produced such things as some To Kelly or something movie. It produced a few ubiquitous songs that I suffered through as a chaperone at interminable school dances.

    Then, in what turned out to be season 5, two things happened: my students kept bugging me about which contestant I thought was best and therefore completely derailing class time and I got a new computer that turned out to also be a TV. So, since I now had control of the remote and was determined to learn two things about the show so I could shut up my students and get on with the Ten Commandments, I tuned in. And tuned in again. Little did I know this was THE season to tune into - if only for Chris Daughtry. I gasped with the world when he was voted off. I tuned out the rest of the season. I was unsurprised when Taylor Hicks' and Cat McWhatshername-of-the-thousand-runs sold almost no albums.

    And I tuned back in for season six - hopeful for more Daughtry-esque music. The best last season (abysmal) could muster was Blake Lewis. Once again, America crowned a vocalist with no real musicianship. And this is the real reason I didn't credit American Idol as much of anything for the longest while.

    American Idol - and really, American popular music - has been overly dominated lately by producers, not musical artists. Hence we get a bunch of songs that non-songwriting artists cover and it's ends up being not a vision, not a poem, but kareoke on tap. The other likely winner (and, if America is dull again, probable winner) of AI is of this brand: a beautiful vocalist with no artistic sensibility. I mean of course David Archuleta. But take a look at his floundering arms and his veneer of attachment to the lyric - he's thinking of what he ought to be doing, rather than doing. He's singing, but he's not making music. (And apparently he can only sing ballads.)

    So, here's to hoping that David Cook is crowned - and America returns to the singer-songwriter - one who, in the words of Joss Whedon - gives us something to sing about.

    Mood: Joyeux
    Music: "Hello." And I'm shameless about it. So there.
    Happiness is: Jules and I are going to see Eddie Izzard at the end of this month! YAAAY!


    Anonymous Sarah Batista said...

    R&J! I'm so excited. I discovered that I still have my Freshman Literature book, which has the entire play. Yay for free scripts!

    10:22 AM  

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