Broadway and film legend Ben Vereen visits California Musical Theatre Music Circus’s cast of “Hair”


      This past Wednesday, August 12th, 2015 the cast and crew of “Hair” at Music Circus in Sacramento, CA was honored to welcome a special guest, Broadway and film legend Ben Vereen to grace their round stage. Vereen was in town to launch an Arts and Wellness program at the Natomas Charter School and was delighted to visit the cast for an impromptu master class.

Actor of film and stage, Ben Vereen

Actor of film and stage, Ben Vereen. *Google*

        Vereen holds the production of “Hair” close to his heart as he was an original cast member for the Broadway premier of the ground-breaking show that shatters gender boundaries, exposes drug culture and boasts ideals of hippie-loving counter culture ways of “being”. I say “being” because Vereen insisted to the cast during his talk that the way of the “Hair” culture is to “be-act” not react. He stressed the importance of living in the moment and telling your own truths. He said if the cast were to do this “the audience will sense [them] coming before [they] even enter the space. And if [they] do that, [they] have the chance to change people’s live and perspectives in those precious moments of being.” 

         It was a truly moving experience for those involved as many were moved to tears upon hearing Vereen’s inspirational words of advice. The wisdom he shared was felt by everyone in the room, including myself. I have respected Vereen’s work for years, and to be in his presence and hear his years of knowledge told in kind encouragements was a moment I will never forget. It was a moment in which you could figuratively place a pin on those precious seconds on the string timeline of your life and remember you witnessed something great, something meaningful. It was a moment that I know I was lucky to have and hold.

Vereen with the cast of "Hair" closing the class with a blessing.

Vereen (in all black) with the cast of “Hair” closing the class with a blessing. *Charr Crail*

         Music Circus’ production of “Hair” premiers this Tuesday, August 18th-23rd at the Wells Fargo Pavilion. For ticket information please visit their website or check them online at their Facebook and Twitter pages. It is a performance that will rock your soul and remind you as Vereen so aptly put to, “Live your truth, and the rest will come.”  

Some pictures taken by Charr Crail, Music Circus photographer of the special moments shared between Vereen and the cast and crew of “Hair.”

hair 5 hair 8

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The Public Theater commemorates “A Chorus Line 40th anniversary

       This is why theatre is so beautiful! 40 years of time passing doesn’t make a difference in the reason as to why we still perform, why we still work as hard as we do and why we still do what we do, FOR LOVE.

        The Public Theater in NYC celebrated the 40th anniversary of the original production of “A Chorus Line” which opened on the Newman stage on April 15, 1975. The cast of “Hamilton,” the theatre’s current production sang “What I did for Love” as a tribute to the show’s landmark anniversary. Writer and star of “Hamilton” Lin-Manuel Miranda introduced the original cast of “A Chorus Line” and invited them on stage for a standing ovation. Cynthia Lopez, an original cast member of the show presented a plaque to the Public from the Mayor of the city of NY declaring April 15th “A Chorus Line” Day.

         Watch the clip below to see the presentation and the magical moment when the “Hamilton” and “A Chorus Line” casts closed the night with a group rendition of “What I did for Love.”

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A beautifully honest reason for a human’s desire for love and attention relates directly to the desire to perform. Like water to the shriveling cactus, people thrive when recognized, bloom when praised, and survive through social love and recognition by those with whom we place our trust.
“I basically started performing for my mother, going, ‘Love me!’ What drives you to perform is the need for that primal connection. When I was little, my mother was funny with me, and I started to be charming and funny for her, and I learned that by being entertaining, you make a connection with another person.”
– Robin Williams, actor and comedian
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Oh my GAGA!! The best Oscar 2015 performance of the night!


       Who knew Mother Monster does musicals? Lady Gaga sang at the 2015 Academy Awards last Sunday in a dress made not of raw meat and plastic bubbles but actual fabric, and belted a mash-up of  songs from “The Sound of Music?!!” What planet are we on right now?! Where are her monster fans, and how have they reacted to her performance? — With overwhelming acclaim and a standing ovation from the crowd at the 2015 Oscars!

       Lady Gaga wowed all those watching the award ceremony as she sang some of the most classic musical songs, and those made famous by the incomparable Julie Andrews from “The Sound of Music.” From social media’s reaction to the celebrities in attendance, Gaga wowed with her soaring vocals and angelic tone. It was a pleasant surprise from her usually obscure but pop-centric sound. She added another accomplishment  to her repertoire and in my eyes, opened  herself up to a completely different facet of the music and entertainment industry. She is a musical genius both in business and in talent. She even out-staged the host of the evening Neil Patrick Harris, who went as far as baring almost everything as he presented an award in some freshly bleached tidy-whities.

But BRAVA to the GAGA. She continues to impress fans and music lovers alike with her ever-transforming celebrity, Mother Monster.

Update: This just announced today, Lady Gaga will star in American Horror Story’s 5th Season, “Hotel.” Watch the clip below!

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