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Saturday, 15 May 2010 13:40

Broadway Review: EVERYDAY RAPTURE

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Sherie Rene Scott in EVERYDAY RAPTURE
Sherie Rene Scott in Everyday Rapture
The dictionary defines rapture as "the carrying of a person to another place or sphere of existence." Sherie Rene Scott's Everyday Rapture is rapturous indeed. What a joyous and delightful way for the 2009-10 season to end.

We have Megan Mullally to thank for Ms. Scott's presence on Broadway. Ms. Mullally quit the production of Lips Together, Teeth Apart leaving the Roundabout with a slot to fill. Everyday Rapture had a successful run at Second Stage in May of last year, extending twice and being nominated for two Lucille Lortel Awards. The very funny book by Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott is quasi-autobiographical, based on Ms. Scott's trajectory from Mennonite fag hag to Broadway semi-star (fag hag).

Michael Mayer, who also directed this season's American Idiot, directs this one woman (and two back-up singers and one very gay teenage boy) show with a light hand and helps give it its comedic edge. Tom Kitt, a recent winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Next to Normal, did the terrific orchestrations. The small ensemble was just the perfect size for Ms. Scott and her two "Mennonettes."

Scott is conflicted by her love for both Judy Garland and Jesus, whom she refers to as her "other absolute, all-time favorite." This results in an hilarious segment with Scott as Judy Garland singing "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," "Get Happy" and "You Made Me Love You," with Jesus replacing Clark Gable in the latter. A montage of familiar and some not so familiar drawings and paintings of Jesus plays on a screen overhead. (Thank goodness she wasn't raised a Muslim.)

Lindsay Mendez, Sherie Rene Scott and Betsy Wolfe in EVERYDAY RAPTURE
Lindsay Mendez, Sherie Rene Scott and Betsy Wolfe in Everyday Rapture
While growing up Ms. Scott's family tried every church in town (117,893 by her count). Apparently even ending up at the church run by the infamous Fred Phelps and his family church, the Westboro Baptist Church (no relationship to mainline Baptists) known for picketing the funerals of soldiers. He whips up attention to his cause by railing against "sodomites." Ms. Scott says "I wasn’t really sure what a sodomite was, but obviously it had something to do with show business."

Around this same time Scott found everyone's neighbor Fred Rodgers, who as it happens is also an ordained minister. She refers to Fred Phelps and Mr. Rodgers as her two Rev. Freds. Thankfully Fred Phelps is exposed for what he truly is, a nasty, mean, unchristian monster who has bred an entire family of hate-mongers.
Along the way Scott finds a young man on the internet who lip-syncs to her songs on camera. Eamon Foley is outrageous as this spirited young man in search of an audience. Mr. Foley contorts his face into the most curious and funny positions. The sequence of emails back and forth between Scott and this young man are hilarious but could be one or two verses shorter.

Scott doesn't dance in Everyday Rapture so much as bounce through Michele Lynch's choreography. It almost seems perfect on the tinker-toy/outer space inspired stage designed by Christine Jones with a skittles-colored lighting pallet by Kevin Adams. Both Jones and Adams worked with Mayer on American Idiot.

Despite the modesty demanded by her half-Mennonite self, Scott learns that she can have both humility and greatness as Broadway's "biggest, brightest semi-stars!" I loved this show, thanks Megan!

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Last modified on Friday, 18 June 2010 11:37