Sunday, October 31, 2010

Carnegie Hall, October 29th 2010



When I was a kid, we used to listen to the same music for our frequent car trips from New York City to New Jersey. (We had relatives to visit and supermarkets to go to in NJ.) Our favorites were showtunes (lots and lots and lots of showtunes), Frank Sinatra (of course), Mandy Patinkin (who falls into the "showtunes" category for the most part) and...Michael Feinstein. Last year, I was fortunate enough to work on Michael's Broadway show and when the show closed, I finally decided to tell him about my family's history with his records. (I didn't want to tell him this sooner...in case he wondered, "Why is this girl I don't even really know rambling to me about her father who died who used to play my albums on family car trips?") Michael is a lovely, gracious person and it was wonderful to work with him as a person and a performer.

Almost eight years ago, as a young, wide-eyed intern, I met an actor who had recently moved to New York City and immediately landed a role in a Broadway musical called Thoroughly Modern Millie. I thought he seemed very nice and looked him-up and sent him an email. He wrote back, an email correspondence that would continue many years was born, and soon that chorus boy slash understudy would be a star in his own right...his name is Cheyenne Jackson. I always say if I had to pick an older brother, I would choose Cheyenne Jackson for that role.

On Friday night, these guys joined forces for a beautiful evening of musical and comedy. They're both funny...very funny...and bounce-off each other very well.

Lately, I have been feeling like time is going by very quickly and I am getting up-there in years. One cure for feeling slightly old is going to see such a concert at Carnegie Hall.

The two women next to me, for example, discussed how much they have shrunk over the years. (One claimed she started-out as 5'10 and is only 5'6. Now, I am 5'0. I am going to be very, very short in fifty years, aren't I?)

There were two very special eighty-somethings in the audience...Michael's parents, who stood-up and waved as he dedicated "How Do You Keep the Music Playing" to them. Cheyenne and Michael sang "We Kiss in a Shadow" from The King an I which, of course, takes on a new meaning when two men sing it.

There is something a bit surreal about being in the gorgeous and historic Carnegie Hall and watching two men perform on the stage together...one with a voice that immediately reminds you of childhood car trips and the other you consider a friend that you have watched skyrocket into stardom over the past few years.

I'm happy and grateful I was able to experience it firsthand, in my third row seat, surrounded by shrinking ladies...

Diana Rissetto