Thursday, January 07, 2010

You've Got To be Carefully Taught - Part 2

You've Got To Be Carefully Taught - Part 2

Regular Steve On Broadway readers may recall that last summer, I offered a tribute to Sonia Simonsen, the excellent teacher who not only taught music in my high school, but also directed me in my one big stage outing.

Well, look what has surfaced after over 32 years. Photos from the way back machine!

Courtesy of classmate Cynthia James DeVore, these are the only three photographs I have of my one and only musical effort back in high school. I portrayed Lt. Joe Cable in a production of South Pacific in 1977 at Homestead High School, Mequon, Wisconsin.

In the first photo, my expressionless face is looking at Pam McNeil Elgin as Bloody Mary. She's no doubt telling me about what a "sexy lieutellen" I am and how she'd like to hook me up with her daughter Liat.

Now, Pam could act!

In the second picture, my expression-less face is "respond-ing" to Michael Silhol as Cmdr. William Harbison.

Michael clearly had great chops as an actor. Just look at his face. And that pointed arm movement!

But given I have about the same look and body position as I did in the first photo, I'm not so sure about me! Although I do remember one night when the three of us in this particular scene cracked up laughing by a stage mishap.

The more obscured third photo is from my love scene with Liat.

At least it doesn't show me just gazing.

The final photo is not of me. It's of classmates Darrell Smith (Stewpot) and John Shanahan (Luther Billis).

That snapshot helps me bring this post full circle to current times. A week from Saturday, I'll be back in Las Vegas. I'm going to be in one of the final audiences for Bette Midler's The Showgirl Must Go On at The Colosseum in Caesar's Palace. I'm a huge, huge Bette Midler fan, but the real reason I'm going? It's to see Darrell Smith perform his keyboard magic as part of the Divine Miss M's band.

Darrell was one of my best friends in high school. In addition to being a great friend, I'll always remember him as one of the most gifted classmates I ever had. He wrote some of the most amazing music I ever heard, even way back in the day. To be honest, I could listen to him tinkling the ivories for hours on end. He was, and is, that good. He certainly taught me a thing or two about performing and timing.

You may not know Darrell Smith's name, but given some of the biggest names in entertainment he's played keyboards for, you really should. Now, next weekend, I'll get to hear him play live once again for only the second time since leaving high school -- my first chance to see him perform was during one of Cher's early "Farewell" concerts back in 1999.

It'll be great to see this old friend up on stage with one of our greatest contemporary entertainers. See you next weekend, Darrell!

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 07 January, 2010, Blogger Esther said...

Wow, what a terrific find! You look good in a uniform, SOB! And just as handsome back then as you are now. Wish I could take a trip via the way back machine and see you perform.

And very cool about going to see your friend with Bette Midler. You'll have a blast!

At 07 January, 2010, Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

Thanks Esther. Trust me, better to have Matthew Morrison's take on Lt. Cable in my head than my high school rendition!

As for Bette, I'm very excited to see her and Darrell.

At 08 January, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're being too modest about your Cable, Steve. The pix show it all: the bearing of a military man, the entitlement of a Philadelphia Mainliner, the earnest politesse, the concern about America's as-yet unsuccessful military efforts in the Pacific, the interest in a possible bride. Magic, pure magic.
-- A Cable from the '60s, AKA Bill from NYC

At 18 January, 2010, Anonymous Ginny Mazzoni said...

Ok....back to South Pacific!!! I played the little french girl and would luv to find any existing pictures!!! Help Steve!!!


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