It is a little bit before 2:00 PM and the doors to the auditorium at Long Beach City College open. Patrons begin to file in and take their seats as musicians slowly start to make their way onto the stage. I sit and listen to various instruments as musicians start to tinker-a harp-violins and the piano. There is a cacophony of sound as various instruments get tweaked as more musicians come onto the stage. The choir enters and takes their place.
The house lights are dimmed as the Dean of Music walks onto the stage to greet the concert goers. The dean introduces the first conductor, Skye Angulo, a woman. Funny I have never thought of a conductor as female–I have only seen male conductors thus far. She is wearing a long burgundy velvet skirt with a matching top. The first piece is the Anvil Chorus which has a fast tempo. As I listen to the music it reminds me of the scene in Snow White when the dwarves are going off to work singing, “Whistle We Work.” When the drums enter the piece the feeling is like I am in a parade. It was a fun piece to hear, quite jovial.
Susan Egan (www.susanegan.net) of Broadway Theatre fame comes onto the stage in a sparkly, gold sequined dress. But she isn’t wearing panty hose and that bothers me. It is as if she is not completely dressed for her performance. However she has an amazing voice and can be forgiven for her lack of hosery.
She is vibrant and energetic in her performances. Her first song was, “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” Her second song was cute about her first love, a boy ten in the marching band. She joins the choir in hopes that he will notice her. Haven’t we all done that at some point in our lives? We join a club or group because there is someone we have a crush on in the club. Ah the follies of youth.
Ms. Egan was quite charming as she introduced her songs. She stated that her favorite moment on Broadway was in the play Cabaret. She also commented that roles come around when you are supposed to play them and that life and art mixed together for her on Broadway.
Next the choir and two young girls from the music dept sang, “This Little Light of Mine.” The two girls had solos and very lovely voices.
The wind ensemble played, “Turkey in the Straw,” which I found quite interesting because I have only heard it as a children’s song. “Eviler Elves” was quite enchanting as it reminded me of the music of Star Wars or a sci-fi movie sound track.
Susan Egan returned to the stage to sing a song from “Beauty & Beast” and “Wicked.” What stood out for me from that set was the lyric from “Wicked”, “my future is unlimited.” These were definitely words of inspiration and hope for anyone sitting in the audience.
The school’s very own Owen Lovejoy joined Susan on stage to sing, “The Prayer.” Gone was the brightly colored mohawk that we usually see on Owen replaced by a conservative short hair-cut and a lovely tuxedo. He looked absolutely professional on stage and his eyes shone with joy as he sang. I got chills as I listened to them sing.
The final peace by Ms. Egan was titled, “Momsense”– this was quite a fun piece and one I am sure the moms in the audience related to. The song is about the things a mom says in a day to her kids sung to the William Tell Overture.
A standing ovation followed. The stage lights dimmed while the house lights came up and the audience slowing flowed out of the theatre…..
- Susan Egan Plays The Cabaret at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis Tonight, 9/29 (cabaret.broadwayworld.com)
- Disney, Broadway favourites coming to Bronte stage (insidehalton.com)