By: Eugene Paul
|Everyday Rapture star Sherie Rene
|photo by Carol Rosegg
Did you know what Everyday Rapture is?
Gosh you didn’t? Either? Well, not really “either” because now I know.
Sherie Rene Scott thinks Everyday Rapture has capital letters in front,
partly thanks to her half-Mennonite heritage which assures her that every
day one must prepare to be ready for the Rapture which will suddenly swoop
you up to Heaven where you will be in Rapture forever more. And partly
thanks to her boundless zest for life. As a star. Not a semi-star, which
she’s been, sort of, for a while. Or a second lead which she’s also enjoyed.
Well, not really enjoyed, more like endured until her everyday rapture
buoyed her along to this Broadway miracle which happens once in a blue
moon but is in the back of every unrapturous performer’s mind on and off
and off off off Broadway. Stardom. In your own, your very own show. Your
very own musical. In which you are on stage every single minute singing
and dancing and spilling it all out about you you you and not ever realizing
that you are so extraordinarily beautiful all you’d have to do is stand
there. And pirouette a little. And smile. Talk about Rapture.
Which this unsuspecting goddess does. And
having seen her before in her semi-star state, her second leadedness, it’s
Revelations, over and over again. She’s been hiding in plain sight. In
a way, she still is; she hasn’t a clue to how breathtakingly beautiful
she is. She thinks she’s pretty. And talented. And funny. And can sing
practically anything and can act. And can dance, which is really just her
moving around delightfully which may be the same thing. But she doesn’t
even have to. She is so beautiful. In spite of the clothes, in spite of
the makeup, in spite of the carefully careless tousle of hair. She is so
beautiful. And to have those gently funny things spoken by that—that face
is so incongruous it’s – funny. Or those belted songs? From that once
in a blue moon face? Seventy years ago a movie director would have made
himself famous forever for turning this half-Mennonite into a movie goddess
on a glamorous par with Dietrich, Garbo, Gardner. Her glamorous poses would
plaster magazine covers, billboards, marquees, but this Sherie would laugh.
Let’s get down to cases although it’s
not easy. Sherie Rene Scott writes, too? Yes. She and Dick Scanlan wrote
this whole show. And they know how to integrate music and story, the whole
enchilada, the book, the lyrics, the music. Tutti tutti tutti. No stopping
and starting, it’s all one. Oh, yes, there are deliberate song borrowings
which serve as springboards but it’s their enchilada from beginning to
end and thoroughly digestible as you enjoy every inch, which is also its
originality. Taken element by element, director Michael Mayers has chosen
a structure familiar to him since he’s also using it a couple of blocks
in American Idiot, the saga of Sherie’s journey from the plains
of Kansas to the fancies of Manhattan very like the journey of one of the
Idiots in search of his self. Mayer has the good sense to leave the frenzy
of AI back there with AI. Everyday Rapture has its own tempo,
nor is there anything as rapturously beautiful in any other show around
as Sherie. She is Singular Rapture.
Yes, there are others in the company, three
of them, a madcap, oleaginous talented kid, Eamon Foley, and two effervescent
singers, Lindsay Mendez and Betsey Wolfe who do everything else from back
up to very minimal costume changes. The skits they appear in range from
the outrageous to the inrageous, all woven into Sherie’s life journey,
a little country girl following her dream. Oh, blarney, that’s not the
show; the show is Sherie, even more than she, herself realizes, even more
than her director realizes. The settings by Christine Jones are at once
interstellar and intercellular and fitting. The costumes By Tom Broecker
do not obstruct your paying attention to what really matters and Kevin
Adams’ lighting, Brian Ronan’s sound handling and Darel Maloney’s cheeky
projections do just as they should. The half-Mennonite rules.
Everyday Rapture. At the American
Airlines Theater, 227 West 42nd Street. Tickets: $66.50-$116.50.
212-719-1300. Tue-Sat 8 pm. Mats, Wed, Sat, Sun 2 pm.
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