When it gets to be 2:00 am and I’m still up, my mind gets very busy discussing all kinds of things. One of the recurring themes is this — how does one account for all the truly talented people who never get seen or heard and the many not very talented people who end up having careers, even very big careers?
There will never be an answer to this. Life isn’t fair (although I will always hate that).
Yesterday we went to “Legally Blonde”, the musical about to open on Broadway based upon the movie (which I didn’t see and didn’t want to see). The show is loud, frantic, and silly, but the theater was filled to the brim with young girls and their parents who obviously thought it was terrific. I think it will run a hundred years and I appreciated the enthusiasm of the performers (they were all good), but I kept wondering what it was like to sit there in the famous PALACE THEATER and see George Burns and Gracie Allen or maybe even Al Jolson back when there was no amplification and you had to use your lungs and your chops to reach the audience.
If I were a billionaire, I would buy the PALACE (which sits alongside and underneath the who-knows-how-many stories – 50? 60?- Doubletree Hotel) and start Vaudeville again. Bob Marks, who is my friend and Broadway’s coach extraordinaire, was our host, along with his wife, Elayne. He said I would have an empty theater, and I think he’s right, but I wouldn’t care. Live people doing what live people do with an unamplified orchestra…..now THAT would be really new and different. What if all there was to rely on was the voice? Would people pay to hear someone who was inaudible? What was it like when you sat in the last row and the sound of someone’s voice still reached out to touch your ears and mind, not because it came from a speaker, but because it came from their body? What was it like?
Tomorrow we are taking our granddaughter, Ondraya, age 3, to see Laurie Berkner and her band in Central Park as a part of Earth Day. Laurie is my student, and a “rock star” with the toddlers. I could see Laurie, Susie and Adam at the PALACE. I think they would do a great job and I think you would hear them just fine if they played their instruments without amplification (guitars and piano).
Not a bad dream. Guess it’s time to see if it shows up when I am actually asleep.