A quick request for Hugh Panaro's web site...
If any of you have stage door or backstage photos of Hugh (from any show), we'd love to have them posted in the Gallery pages at HPN.
You can either send me a message here, at his MySpace or e-mail me at his site: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all in advance!
Just to let you all know there have been a lot of scheduling changes with the Barbra Streisnad tour. Rome and Nice are canceled, the tour will open in Zurch on June 18.
I'm adding the dates and information as it becomes available. I'm supposed to get a revised schedule from the press people sometime this week.
Also, a few people have asked if this tour will delay Hugh's own CD. As far as I know, it won't. Hugh and the label have both said "autumn" for the release. I'll keep you posted.
First, Hugh will be one of four performers touring with Barbra Streisand on her first European concert tour this summer.
He told me about that last week, but we needed to wait until it was official to get the word out.
Second, Hugh has had to cancel his concert appearance with Anne Runolfsson at Wolf Trap. Aaron Lazar will replace him. If you want your tickets refunded, the information is on the main page of his site.
Third, Hugh has also had to cancel his May 9 appearance at the Lincoln Square Barnes & Noble. The Any Wednesday event will take place, but he will not be performing.
Also, Hugh recently recorded "Tonight" with Kristin Chenoweth for a "West Side Story" tribute album due out in August.
You can't imagine how excited I am about this one - two of my favorite Broadway performers together in one concert!
Hugh and Anne will be performing at Wolf Trap in Virginia on July 21. The concert, conducted by Marvin Hamlisch is "From Hollywood To The Great White Way."
I bought my ticket the day it was announced and I know a group of lovely friends will be gathering for this. It'll be like the Bucks County group...but better since many of them are bringing friends or family.
However, if you're interested, get your ticket soon. I went to check on sales today and got this message at the on-line ordering page:
"The event you are requesting is experiencing very high demand."
I couldn't be happier!
No, not my mind.
About two years ago, I had a devastating computer failure that took with it a nearly-completed book manuscript that I had been researching and writing for well over ten years.
Yes, I backed it up...on a floppy disk. After I spent the money on a USB floppy drive, I found that disk was corrupted.
But I somehow found my original files on the old computer. The draft of the book, the bibliography. All of it.
This was my big project, my baby. I'd been working on it non-stop since I got out of high school and the subject matter fascinated me much longer.
You can't imagine how happy I am to have it back. I cannot wait to finish my research (Brooklyn, here I come), make the revisions, and publish it.
I'm going to celebrate with a vanilla iced latte and poundcake.
Well, I've mentioned this on MySpace and a few other places, so I might as well say it here.
Today marks two years since I first saw "The Phantom of The Opera" on Broadway. It was the matinee. It was a mixed experience. Partly because I went in with half-a-lifetime of too-hight expectations.
The rise and fall of the chandelier were great. Awesome Carlotta (Anne Runolfsson) and Piangi (David Gaschen). I didn't care for my Christine at all (Marie Danvers) and I barely remember Raoul (John Cudia).
The Phantom was some guy named Hugh Panaro. Was he any good? I have no idea. The woman behind me chattered away through much of the show. She didn't shut up until partway through "Point of No Return." Just when I was starting to appreciate his performance, this Hugh Panaro fellow spit right in my eye.
After the show, however, I had a chance to hear him sing "You're Already There" on the "Broadway's Fabulous Phantoms" CD and I've been totally enchanted by his voice ever since.
Two years later, though, I've seen the show nineteen times and it never loses its appeal for me.
And a lot of awesome things have happened since I saw it and because I saw it. I've met some interesting people and made some great friends. So many things have happend...from the Lestat premiere to flying for the first time to see "Company" in Seattle.
And then there's that guy...Hugh Panaro. I've gotten to know him pretty well since then. He is, without question, the most beautiful person I've ever met. And I'm not talking about his looks, though he's certainly gorgeous. I admire him for his amazing talent. I love and respect him for the smart, funny, caring wonderful he is. Alice Ripley was right when she described him as a "walking heart."
But he still won't say he's sorry for spitting in my eye. Said it's my fault for sitting in the front row.
Oh, well...I still feel blessed to know him.
Now, back to working.
And don't forget, Hugh is asking for song suggestions for his CD. Let's get some ideas that aren't Broadway or pop...let's give him a chance to show off that magnificent voice. E-mail me at email@example.com and I will forward them to him.
To all of my friends here who celebrate it - Happy Easter!
To all of you who celebrate it - Happy Passover!
I'm unusually nostalgic today. It snowed this morning. And it's the first "white Easter" I can remember since I was four. Not that I remember it myself, but for a photo.
In it, I'm in my little winter coat and my little red boots. I'm standing on the steps of the Old State Museum building near the church I used to go to. I'm smiling and holding up my Easter basket.
For about ten years, I'd look at that picture and wondered what happened to that smiling child, wonder how the heck I got so cynical and shy. But, over the past two years, I've come full circle. The cynicism is gone, for the most part. And the shyness? It's probably still there, but I've dealt with it.
I've become the woman that little girl was meant to be. And to those who've helped me reach this...those two who won't even know I've posted this...thank you so much.
On a totally unrelated note...how awesome is Betty Buckley as a concert artist? I had the chance to see her perform a month ago at the City Center's Broadway For Medicine benefit. Her "With One Look" was just astounding...and this is coming from someone who didn't care for the musical version of "Sunset Boulevard" (though I love the film) and she totally reclaimed "Memory" for me...I'd gotten sick of the song as badly overdone in recent years. She was amazing and I'm so glad I didn't let the immature behavior of others discourage me from going that night.
Now, if you don't mind...I'm going to spend some quality time with my iPod and coffee.
It's a Common Loon, a beautiful bird. When I was a little girl, I wanted one as a pet. Not that I'd even seen a live one. The Hall of Birds at the NYS Museum had one on display and I suppose that's what got me interested in them.
Somewhere along the way, I had a gorgeous plush loon, too.
But, it wasn't until I was in my early twenties and I saw loons and a shooting star at once.
However, I'd forgotten loons until I dreamed of them recently. Or, rather, dreamed I told a friend that I wanted to see loons "dance" on a lake. After I had that dream, I talked to an old acquaintence of mine. He's part Ojibwa, part Kanienkehaka. He's a native drummer and his knowledge of legends and lore is dizzying. His mother and grandmother were honored as great storytellers.
I asked R------ about loons. He told me that a loon's dance is not a mating ritual or some random way of showing off. He said the loon, in legen, represents protection. A loon will rise up and beat its wings endlessly on the water to protect its eggs, its young, its nest, other loons, or even the lake itself.
In many ways, I must be a Common Loon. I will see this dance through as long as I must.
To tell me what I already know. But it's a cold, rainy day and I want an excuse to avoid that pile of research and footnotes on my desk.
It's been almost a week, so it's time for a little update on Hugh's request for songs suggestions for his debut solo album.
We've had well over one hundred songs so far and, for the moment, I'm all caught up on forwarding them to him.
He did say his label isn't interested in Broadway songs for this CD, but the majority of songs have been...you guessed it...Broadway.
But, really, we've had people offer everything from Puccini to Ozzie.
The most requested songs are "The Music of the Night," "Con Te Partiro," "Empty Chairs At Empty Tables," and "Being Alive."
One of the more original requests is "Promise of Another Day" from "Broadway Damage."
As Hugh said, this should be an interesting experiment at least.
But, PLEASE, keep the suggestions coming...especially non-Broadway, classical, and semi-classic pieces...let's give Hugh a chance to really show off his amazing voice.
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll keep you updated and, in the meantime, check for the latest at http://www.hugh-panaro.net/Album.ht
(And, while you're at it, feel free to join the HPN forum...the link is on the site).
Now, I have to give a major plug to Scratch Bakery in Albany, New York.
I cannot say enough good things about this tiny, cute cafe on Madison Avenue near Washington Park. They have the best coffee I've had outside of Seattle (and y'all know I loves me some good coffee). They've got awesome grilled sandwiches, pasta salads, soups. Everything is nice and fresh...made from scratch, hence the name. They've got amazing baked goods, too. I'm madly in love with the strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting.
And, from the owner to the lady who works there on weekday evenings, the entire staff is so incredible and nice!
Check them out!