- This past weekend I participated in a series of concerts with International Voices Houston, which I did not publicize on this blog for a mixture of reasons not worth delving into here. (I did publicize it on Facebook, for what that's worth.) I have now sung in the IVH's low tenor subsection for four consecutive performance cycles—i.e., since April 2018. The choir rehearses mostly on Mondays; last spring, no longer having Green Party duties on Monday nights, I gave in to the entreaties of some fellow choristers at First UU Church and (sort of) auditioned.
- I am a vicarious psychonaut—i.e., I have never (to my knowledge) consumed hallucinogens, but I enjoy hearing and reading accounts of trips from people who have, including some friends and acquaintances. The reason I don't indulge is that, in my 20's, an acid-eater friend of mine informed me that LSD amplifies your emotional and mental states; even as a youth, my emotional and mental states tended to be pretty dark most of the time.
- For decades, I have suffered from literal nostalgia: per Webster, a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition. In my case, I've caught myself weeping as precious memories leap out of their boxes when I hear songs I associate with poignant moments—even goofy songs like "Rock Lobster." Don't you dare judge.
"The World Is a Stage" was a concert featuring a couple dozen songs from about 20 different Broadway musicals spanning more than 80 years, from Porgy and Bess to The Greatest Showman (adapted from the film). When it comes to musical theatre, I have pretty particular tastes, and at the outset I worried that this show would be an exercise in pandering. Happily, it wasn't. Artistic Director Mark Vogel's taste in musicals is roughly similar to mine.
I was particularly grateful for the inclusion of the medley from Hair, "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In." It closed the first half of the show. (The second half opened with a heart-tugging "I Know Where I've Been" from Hairspray.)
Even more gratifying, we didn't just stick to what the middle school–level arrangement prescribed: Providing a more graceful segue between the parts, our two sightless and soulful sopranos Jessica Callahan and Jennifer Parrish wailed out "Flesh Failures" minus the "Manchester England England" part. By the time we got to "Let the Sunshine In," I could barely sing for the lumps in my throat.