Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nice Work if you Can Get It

Sherie Rene Scott is a conventionally pretty, unconventionally gifted, phenomenally hardworking and very alive woman who has, apparently, been trapped for several seasons inside 'The Little Mermaid.' In 'EVERYDAY RAPTURE,'this Almost One-Woman show, (two back-up singers, a cutely nerdy teenage boy plant in the audience and a four piece band) she exhibits talents, wit, and irreverence that made Ben Brantley, the theater critic for the New York Times for those of you who are someplace else(Mars, the Moon)swoon in public. Having escaped(not too easily) her Mennonite upbringing in Kansas, like Judy Garland, one of her idols, she isn't there anymore, having lifted herself with energy and grace into the semi-Big Time. She herself cites having played secondary roles in a musical or two(I have seen her in only one, in which she was not particularly memorable nor was the musical) and it was fun for me to get to know her and the probably great range(she sings full throttle, and does a fine Judy Garlandesque 'You Made me Love You' not to a picture of Clark Gable but Jesus, in various renditions-- the paintings not the song.) She is self-deprecating in a way that suggests she does really like herself which was a relief after watching a loved friend belittle herself a little too sincerely in cabaret. So Sherie likes Sherie, and we do, too.
I used to enjoy the Playbills the way they were so you got a little background that wasn't just credits, and you knew what the performers had come from, where they'd studied and with whom, and they could lie sometimes like Brando did saying he was born in Calcutta. As it is, we know from the show itself that her life is an open book with songs and a husband and a three year old son and some truly endearing tricks of magic, the old kind, and she deserves the first lead in a really first rate show. The person I went with was not as impressed as I, saying she liked her better when she was in a role. Well who wouldn't, and where are they? As it is, it was a treat to meet her as herself, which I hope she will be for the rest of her life, with some upstart, flashy, conniving and outrageous characters to hide behind when and if they materialize. In the meantime, Salutes.