Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Upper Midwestern Modest: What a Hoot!

Wow! Everyone had a blast at our late evening performance at GA. This was my first time performing at GA rather than being a presenter of a workshop. Throughout the program, waves of love and positive energy burst from the audience, washing over the cast before returning to the listeners in an endless cycle -- just like the wave pool at Noah's Ark (in the Wisconsin Dells)! It felt soooo good!!

Thanks so much to everyone who came to the show and especially to the cast, some of whom endured hardship to get to Minneapolis. Soprano Melissa Simonson missed the FUS Madison chartered bus because of a power outage, but found a ride with Lauri Schwarz & Abby Swetz Wednesday morning. Amber Nicole Dilger was the last of us to arrive. Driving up Thursday morning, her car broke down! Thank goodness she made it to GA in time to hear Peter Mayer's concert Thursday evening. Both women are sopranos in the Meeting House Chorus at our church.

Special thanks to youth cast members Robin Delaquess, Noah Huber and Willy Bernstein, all members of the 2009-2010 Saturday Coming of Age class. As we know, youth are our present (not just our future), so it would be weird not to have any in our Revue. It was quite an honor to be in their presence, not just at the performance, but at rehearsal. All three helped refine our skits and program order.

Below is a list of the main cast members. Several more FUS folks sang "Uma Familia" with us at the end of the show, including former Meeting House Chorus member Joel Gilbertson-White, who recently graduated from Starr King.

Abby Swetz, duet of "Amazing Grace" and, like, poetry reading, you know?
Amber Nicole Dilger, soprano soloist
Dan Broner, pianist & conductor of "Uma Familia"
Eva Wright, pianist extraordinaire
Joe Harris, guitar
Lauri Schwarz, duet of "Amazing Grace" and the voice of the UU Translator
Lynn & Richard Scoby, writers of the Mustard commercial
Melissa Simonson, singer-songwriter
Nick Schweitzer, writer & lead character of the Guy Gris skit
Noah Huber, electric guitar
Robin Delaquess, accordion & fast-talking youth
Samuel Bates, Guy Gris announcer and Emcee support
Vicky Jones, actor in Guy Gris and coach
Willy Bernstein, the voice of the UU Translator 2.0

I was the Emcee, writer of the UU Translator & the News from UUUSaFe, and producer.

Thanks to the GA Planning Committee, for believing in our performance application.

Monday, June 7, 2010

"Upper Midwestern Modest: A Pretty-good Revue"

at General Assembly June 25th in Minneapolis

I'm having a great time preparing to be one of the choices for late evening entertainment at GA in Minneapolis, Friday June 25th at 9:30 pm in room 208 A-D of the Convention Center. Not just me, of course; we've got a cast of seventeen or so -- 25 for one choral piece. The cast includes our music director Dan Broner, lots of singers and actors, two guitarists, a pianist and an accordion player. I've gathered quite a mix of ages, from teenagers to much older (ahem).

Upper Midwestern Modest is a variety show in the style of a long-running Minnesota radio show, with lots of music, a few skits and a commerical or two -- commercials for products every UU needs. I hope lots of people come because the show is going to be great! Well, pretty good.

I thought of doing a show like this a number of years ago because I wanted more of an outlet for celebratory UU humor and to showcase some of the musicians at my huuge congregation. Knowing that in 2010 we'd be in Minneapolis (a mere five hours from Madison), I focused my energy on getting a spot on the schedule. I applied way back in mid-November. My friend, actor & singer Vicky Jones, helped with the title and the description.

So, if you'll be at GA and somewhat awake late Friday evening, come to room 208!
Elizabeth (emcee)