Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Burning Bush & "Turnin' On"

I was all prepared to add a truly bizarre video clip to my blog - - another one of those "I Can't Believe This Is Actually A Musical" things - - and as I googled around for an image from the show...

I stumbled into an old friend.

Ladies and gentleman, I give you (on the far right) the fabulous Bridget Crawford!

This is a pic from a musical called I LOVE MY WIFE. We'll get to that later.

I met Bridget during the 27 week run of FALSETTOS I did for Porchlight Music Theatre.

I met so many incredible people during the run of that show. That was my first show for Walter and Eugene. That's where I met the fabulous Jeanne - - stage manager supreme who took such good care of us all and became a wonderful friend.

That was the first time I met Mark Mavetz and Carrie Beth and Janna Cardia and Jacob Hoffman - - all incredible people doing amazing projects all the time.

That's where I met David Nash, the big L.A. actor now, and his mom Cindy - - and as soon as Cindy realized that we were both from Tennessee and both graduates of UTK, she adopted me on the spot.

And that's where I met the lovely Gary McNulty.

Here's me with Gary hovering over me and cute- as- can- be Jacob on the left in a picure taken during a show one night in "Jacob's Bar Mitzvah" scene.

It was Gary who kept me from reading a review that would have hurt my feelings. I imagine because it said I wasn't pretty enough to play Whizzer... or that I was too fat.

Check out my chunky legs on the postcard above and you'll see how much heavier I was back then.

But Gary saved me from those who would make fun of me. He's an amazing guy.

Sadly, even though this little "Production- That- Could" was only 8 years ago, two of our "teeny tiny band" are no longer with us.

We lost the amazing MaryBeth Thiels a few years ago. And just last year, we lost our incredible producer and friend Fred Solari.

A few months ago, I was travelling with Cindy Nash and she put in a tape she made during one of the performances of FALSETTOS and I curled up in the back of her minivan and listened to our performance. And when MaryBeth started singing, I cried out of some sadness, yes - - but more out of the joy of hearing her beautiful voice again.

That was an amazing 27 weeks. We knew it then - - how amazing it was. But I guess in some ways we didn't know just how special that was.

Here's the whole crew in a cast pic.

There's Bridget over on the right.

Ok, enough "Looking Back with Melancholy." Let's talk about Bridget.

Bridget came into the show to replace MaryBeth for some reason or another, and here is the EXACT exchange we had when I first met this fiery redhead. I remember it verbatim:

Walter: "Stephen this is Bridget. Bridget this is Stephen"

Stephen: "Is it true?"

Bridget: "About my pubes? Yes."

She knew EXACTLY what I was oh- so- cattily referring to and one- upped me immediately. I fell in love with her.

She went on to tell me she preferred her nickname to be "Fire Crotch" or "The Burning Bush."

What's not to love about Bridget?!?!?!?

Ok, weird segue. Other than the fact that Bridget did a revival of musical called I LOVE MY WIFE at a theatre in New Jersey and that show contains this song, there is no reason for my adding this clip to this posting...

...well, maybe also because this clip features Rock Hudson AND Bea Arthur...


...about drug use.

Don't get any ideas about lifting the song and doing it in your cabaret shows - - I am claiming this for my own RIGHT FRIGGIN' NOW!!!


Lance Noe said...

OK that song is HIGHlarious! what show is it originaly from? do you have and USE any messengers? i have yahoo and msn. launcue at both. i would love to chat through them if you have them.

Stephen Rader said...

Lance - I will grab an msn name and we will chat like you would not believe. I'll email you the name when I've got it. WOOHOO!!

Jeanne said...

Oh what joy that brought to my heart! Sometimes I need reminding how amazing that experience truly was and how it shaped the person I am today. Thank you for the reminder my friend. Look for Barb and I in the front row of Suessical this Saturday(2/10). I'm looking forward to a bitchy Cat in the Hat!