BWW Blog: Libby Servais of Transcendence Theatre Company's 'Broadway Under the Stars' - Another Openin, Another Show
Another Openin, another show....or another 6 shows, rather!
Our gang for the next upcoming Broadway Under the Stars concert, "Music of the Night" has arrived and rehearsals are well underway! I must admit, I'm feeling completely fortunate for all of the incredible new and old friends I get to collaborate with all summer long. I've recently observed that each group of artists that travels here collectively creates a unique energy as a whole. It's so exciting to absorb that fresh new energy every few weeks and to creatively soar with the new bunch! Every morning to start rehearsals, our artistic director Amy Miller sets aside 30 minutes of "company alignment time" for us. This is an incredibly powerful way to unite and focus our artistic minds before we jump into an intense day of rehearsal. For the first alignment, Amy explained to our new company members how our shows at Transcendence Theatre aren't just Broadway songs under the stars...they actually have a deeper underlying message woven throughout. Perhaps that is why the community here is SO completely supportive of this new theatre company. They are aware of our mission and feel a deeply inspiring connection with us. Many of the community members actually volunteer for us, too! The people here inspire me to live life to the fullest and always with gratitude.
On Monday we had orientation with the Music of the Night cast followed by a traditional family dinner at Kaz Winery. The amazing Kaz family is always generously hosts our "family dinners." They are beyond special evenings of socializing, delicious food, wine, games, merriment and a lot of people making toasts...usually led by our very own Brad Surosky. It's also a fun chance for any cast members with canine children to have puppy play time! After a thrilling first day, this cast is already so inspired to create magic together!!
Prior to our new cast arrival, TTC closed the family show, had a fun Hollywood-themed "Skits Under the Stars" community night at Benziger Winery and just this past weekend, Carrie Manolakos and Morgan Karr shared an amazing run of their combined show as part of the TTC's artist series. Morgan and Carrie are both remarkably gifted artists that are so stinkin' talented that you'll start to question whether or not you're dreaming while watching them perform. They shared many of their own original songs as well as some phenomenal covers. The audience's loved them so much that they had about 3....maybe 4 encores. Their concert under the stars was located at the beautiful and picturesque Landmark Vineyards in Sonoma Valley.
Though we are currently in rehearsals for our next upcoming show, "Music of the Night," we have many other exciting shows and events happening here. Along with this concert, we're also preparing for our upcoming artist series concerts which includes Ben Vereen's one man show, "Steppin' Out," opening this weekend at Jack London State Park! After Ben Vereen's show, we have 4 other original works to prepare for including the new Broadway bound musical, "Witness Uganda." We are also coordinating our final Skits Under the Stars, the "Music of the Night" concert and our final "Gala Celebration" concert. To conclude the TTC artist series, Stephan Stubbins and Leah Sprecher have their duet show at Paradise Ridge August 28th.
Speaking of Paradise Ridge....I'd like to interrupt this blog for a brief commercial announcement.... if you're planning a trip to wine country, you MUST make a stop at Paradise Ridge. The wine, the scenery, the food...all spectacular! The sculpture gardens are tremendous and the views are breathtaking. My handsome boyfriend, Stephan Stubbins (I get bonus points for writing that) and I just sang at an event here and he gave me a tour of the amphitheatre he and Leah will be performing in. I can't wait to go back! I was not only stunned by the glorious views but also the kind hearted people that own and run the winery. After Stephan and I sang a few of our favorite show tunes, many appreciative audience members shared sweet affirmations of gratitude with us. One man in particular deeply moved us. He approached us, almost in tears and thanked Stephan and I for bringing light into this community's hearts....he continued to admit that until he'd encountered the Transcendence Theatre Company, he had never emotionally connected to any sort of theatre performance but somehow we had touched his heart last year and he can hardly watch us sing without crying now....well his sincere comment tugged at my heart strings as another honest reminder of why we do what we do. To be able to provide light into one's heart where there was once darkness is unbelievably special! Knowing that we have the ability to spread this light throughout the world, it would be a crime not to! Acting, singing, dancing, directing, painting, engineering, teaching....any form of artistry, it's all for service!
Today during alignment, Stephan Stubbins, my handsome boyfriend (YAY! double bonus points!!!) shared a quote by Beethoven that I would like to leave with you: "Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken."
Meet and greet with the "Music of the Night" cast! Photo by Marjorie Lewitt
Stephan and I give a thumbs up to Carrie and Morgan's radiant show!!
Love is in the air. Pearl and Twiggy.
A few of our TTC canine babies: Fenway, Buddy, Pearl, Stella and Twiggy.
The "Music of the Night" cast and crew.