Shoshana In Excelsis

Guten Tag!
It’s 5:30am but I just really wanted to write something on my blog.  Fortunately I have something to write about.  OK, so a few years back I was flicking around Broadway.com & I hear about how this new Elphaba had taken to the stage in Wicked & she had the coolest name: Shoshana.  Without ever hearing her I decided then & there that I must love her simply so I could talk to people about her & say her name repeatedly.  A few YouTube videos later I realised that this woman is regarded as one of the best Elphabas to ever grace the role, so imagine my excitement when Harvest Rain Theatre Company announced that they were bringing her out to have a bit of a sing!  Well last night was the night.  After a couple of months of waiting I was finally able to actually see her live &, in my usual way, I’m going to bundle up my opinions about the experience in blog form & launch them at your head through the Interwebs.  This is…

Shoshana Bean: The Review


Executive Summary: HOLY FREAKING UNICORN DROPPINGS!!!

Review: I have to admit, as a singer I find the idea of me reviewing someone of Shoshana Bean’s level of talent & fame completely ridiculous.  I find all of my reviews ridiculous but this one especially so.  This is a woman who needed a little help when auditioning for Elphaba so what did she do?  She called Stephanie J. Block, the original Elphaba, (yes she is the original, look it up) & got her to sing to her down the phone!  When you have people like that willing to help you I don’t think you’re siting there waiting to hear what The Ninja Chicken has to say of you but never the less I’m going to say what I think anyway & damn the torpedos.  (You aren’t really going to shoot me with torpedos are you?)

As you may have guessed by my intro, I’m a bit of a Bean fan.  That should probably be a good indicator that there isn’t going to be a lot of negative stuff to say in this review.  Be that as it may, every reviewer knows that you won’t be treated as a legitimate reviewer unless you can always find fault with the subject of your review, even if that fault isn’t really there.  With that in mind, here are the things I didn’t like about the show:

  1. I wore too much cologne
  2. My suit coat felt a little scratchy
  3. Shoshana didn’t have a six-foot Maltese guy with a blog about martially trained poultry standing next to her staring at her dreamily/creepily while she sang to just him for the entire concert.  (I really feel this would have made the whole night awesome.)

Sorry to complain so much but I had to say it otherwise I’ll never be taken seriously as a reviewer.  Now, on to the good stuff.

SHE WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME!!!!!!

I don’t mean the “Hey, I won $250 on a scratchy. Freaking awesome!” level of freaking awesome.  I mean the “Chuck Norris & Christopher Walken walked into my living room & started playing Stairway to Heaven just as Wolverine finished baking me sugar cookies.” kind of awesome.  She seriously blew my mind.  The Powerhouse was the perfect venue for the evening’s entertainment.  If you’ve been there then you know it’s distinct, graffiti look & feel.  Combine that with some very simple, dusty lighting & it was almost like sitting in a jazz bar somewhere in down town New York which suited her style perfectly.  The great thing about the Powerhouse is that it only seats about 500 so every seat is a great seat.  I was somewhere around the middle of the audience but I think the only way my seat could have been any better was if they had placed a La-Z-Boy on stage at the feet of her amazing accompanist James Sampliner & let me watch her from there.  I do think this is a concert that needs to be seen up close & personal at least once however.  Don’t get me wrong, Shoshana Bean is a true performer.  If she was performing to a packed 15 000 seat theatre I have no doubt every person in the back row would have gotten a great show but being as close as I was meant I could see all of the little things she did as well.  Especially for the quieter numbers.  It just added an extra layer of enjoyment & if Shrek taught us anything, it’s that layers are important.

In all honesty I do not know how she does the things she does with her voice.  She can go from absolutely belting her hair off to the most beautiful, gentle rendition of My Funny Valentine in a heart beat seemingly without any effort at all.

Finally, perhaps my favourite part of the night & something that I thought really showed off what an awesome woman she truly is, Shoshana Bean stuck around to sign autographs.

I am possibly the only straight man to own one of these.

I know a lot of you might be thinking “she only did that so people would buy her CDs to get them signed” but you would be wrong.  While speaking with Harvest Rain‘s CEO, Tim O’Conner (i.e. the guy who brought Shoshana Bean to Australia) I learned that Shoshana didn’t think she would have anything like the following she does here so she only brought 50 CDs with her for her whole tour.  They were sold in about half a second.  (I managed to get one but only because I was willing to punch out an old lady & ride off on my horse.)  She must have signed at least 300 autographs on little Shoshana Bean cards she handed out for free.  Plus she posed for a photo with me so if you say anything nasty about her I’ll punch you.

Just hanging out with Shoshana.  As you do.

Yes, she did say she liked my shirt.

In conclusion, this was a fantastic night.  The best thing about seeing stars like Shoshana Bean is that she brings out the real music theatre buffs so you know everybody was just as excited to be there as I was.  She now moves on to Adelaide & Sydney so if you happen to be in the area don’t miss this show.  Details can be found on www.eventful.com so check them out.

Did you see the concert?  Let everyone what you think in the comments section below.

Unless there is a next time,
Goodbye forever.

Luke Venables
Left Handed Alien Salesman

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