Posted on March 20, 2017 at 8:43 pm
On Saturday night at SubCulture, you had raging violin solos, killer guitar playing, a Broadway hunk singing his heart out, a countertenor, a mandolin solo, and world-class tap dancing. Let’s face it, if there was anything you wanted to see at that show that you didn’t get to see, you just don’t want to see the right things.
Noah Racey and I have been bumping into each other for years, and I’m such a huge fan of his dancing and his talent that we always end up saying, “We have to do something together!” But then we never do. Until! Noah was commissioned to create a new dance for an upcoming event at Symphony Space, and he asked if I would build it with him. We created “The Fix,” a sadistic tap dance for Noah and the wonderful Danny Gardner, and we premiered it Saturday night at SubCulture. (You can see it at Symphony Space next week.) I love tap dancing – that sense of creating rhythm and movement simultaneously is so joyful and powerful to me – and to have two masters up on stage with me tapping their brains out was a highlight of my year.
The main event of the night was my reunion with the other star of The Bridges of Madison County, the magnetic Steven Pasquale, who has spent the past three years getting manhandled by Leslie Kritzer and Greg Hildreth and planting evidence at O.J.’s house. Not only did Steve unleash his powerhouse baritone on “It All Fades Away” (you’ve seen The Eggs of Madison County by now, right?), he also did magisterial takes on “The Old Red Hills of Home,” “She Cries,” and “Someone To Fall Back On,” to the accompaniment of two hundred swooning audience members audibly sighing.
But there was one number I really wanted Steve to do that presented a problem. The huge second-act set piece from Bridges, “One Second and a Million Miles,” requires a duet partner. I knew that Kelli O’Hara wouldn’t be available, so I racked my brain for an alternative – it seemed to me that any other soprano would face an impossible task as the audience would be comparing her to Kelli for the whole song rather than watching the performance, so what could I do? And so I put out the word on Facebook: someone find me a countertenor who can act. And amidst the recommendations that came back to me, lo and behold, there was my answer: Patrick Dailey.
Patrick, a glorious singer from Nashville, agreed to come up from Tennessee to make some music with us, and we were all very lucky that he did. In addition to duetting on “One Second and a Million Miles,” Patrick also sang my song “Hope,” putting a very different, heartbreaking spin on it. And at my request, he took us to church with “I Got A Home In-A That Rock.” You don’t have to take my word for how thrilling Patrick is: we got written up in OperaWire.
Saturday was the 24th concert in this residency, and I’ve gotten to discover and explore some incredible things at every show. I can’t wait for #25 – Betsy Wolfe joins us on April 24! Get your tickets now!
NOAH RACEY & DANNY GARDNER: The Fix (choreography by Noah Racey) (world premiere, 2017)
You Made The Wait Worthwhile from Honeymoon In Vegas (2015)
STEVE PASQUALE: She Cries from Songs for a New World (1995)
STEVE PASQUALE: The Old Red Hills of Home from Parade (1998)
Hallowed Ground (2016)
PATRICK DAILEY: I Got A Home In-A Dat Rock (Traditional spiritual)
PATRICK DAILEY: Hope (2016)
PATRICK & STEVE: Before and After You/One Second and a Million Miles from The Bridges of Madison County (2014)
STEVE PASQUALE: Someone To Fall Back On from Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes (2005)
Cassandra from The Connector (2016)
STEVE PASQUALE: It All Fades Away from The Bridges of Madison County (2014)
Jason Robert Brown: piano, vocals
Steven Pasquale: vocals
Patrick Dailey: vocals
Noah Racey & Danny Gardner: tap dancing
Jamie Eblen: drums
Justin Goldner: guitars and mandolin
Randy Landau: basses
Todd Reynolds: violin
Gary Sieger: guitars