By: Eugene Paul
|Everyday Rapture star Sherie Rene Scott || |
|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. That’s all.
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.
ęCopyright 2001-2014, Jack Quinn, Theaterscene.net. No content may be reproduced without written permission. You may link to the site at will.