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Review: CVP mounts “9 TO 5” an anthem to workplace feminism penned by Goddess-of-Backwards Glam Dolly Parton

Rene Little, Jeanette Roach, and Amanda Telebrico star explode the corporate glass ceiling in CVP’s production of “9 TO 5.”

Just in time to mark the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, the Cocoa Village Playhouse mounts a victorious production of “9 TO 5,” a bold and campy anthem to women’s equality in the workplace as penned by Goddess-of-Backwoods-Glam Dolly Parton.

In this familiar story, based on the 1980s film and featuring Parton’s platinum song of the same title, Parton’s three female protagonists team-up to triumph over objectification and systemic discrimination in their coup to fracture the corporate “glass ceiling.”

This production is a tremendous victory for the all-volunteer cast who have kept the plot and songs fresh during the five months of sheltering since auditions were held in March. Major kudos to returning CVP soloists Jeanette Roach, Rene Little, and Amanda Telebrico (“Violet,” “Doralee,” and “Judy”) for their face-shredding power ballads. Rick Roach adeptly toes the line as the bigot we love to hate and Sally Kalarovich slays as his horny sidekick. New-to-me Tate Telebrico and returning Larry Jones equalize male representation as “good guys.”

Returning “Rising Star” Torie D’Alessandro—home from touring in Sesame Street Live!—takes on the double role as salary-activist “Maria” and the production’s choreographer. In her brief preamble, D’Alessandro remarks that she’s “Happy to present this production especially with what’s going on in the world” by which she might mean the misogyny that continues to haunt business, politics, and media.

D’Alessandro’s choreography features light-footed men and women in contemporary moves that are a delight to watch from the balcony for their patterns and angles. They are accompanied by 11 live musicians led by J. Tom Black. Daniel Hill’s rainbow of sequined or corporate attire delights the eyes while firmly anchoring us in the 1980s world of big hair and shoulder pads. The plot’s fractured ceiling is represented by Daniel Allen’s prismatic proscenium—beautifully rendered in technicolor mosaic—with a retro-modular set that seems to explode from the brewing feminism.

If you are willing to brave the climb, the balcony has plenty of space to spread out. While the Playhouse was at nearly 50% capacity, safety is stressed for the audience in the form of requisite temperature checks and convenient hand sanitizer stations. Posted signs ask for masks to be worn for the entire performance yet concessions are still available for sly snacking.

The Playhouse, and in fact all of Brevard’s magnificent community theaters, would be grateful for your patronage in order to keep their doors open both now and in the future. Season passes are on sale at CVP for their upcoming season; which begins in October with a series of plays by Edgar Allen Poe and continues with musicals of LITTLE WOMEN and NEWSIES. Call (321) 636-5050 or visit https://cocoavillageplayhouse.com/ for tickets.

Posted 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

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Ms. Springer performs at CVP!

In costume in “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” at the Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse.

One of my great joys as a musician is performing at Brevard County’s terrific community theaters!! Combining outstanding performers with talented set and costume artists, musical theater is truly the highest art form!

I’m happy to be playing the fun and sinister role of “Hilda.” Thanks Mom for the 🌹 and thanks to the friends and family who came out to see us.

Posted 1 year, 6 months ago.

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Ms. Springer is Performing at the HENEGAR CENTER

I’m having a wonderful time in the ensemble of this quintessential October musical. Please come out and support the Henegar Center by seeing SWEENEY TODD (rated PG-13 for violence and adult humor), and check out their great programming for children such as ANNIE.

Posted 3 years, 2 months ago.

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Singing with Bobby McFerrin

Circle Singing at the Omega institute

Singing with Bobby McFerrin

This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to sing in a choir setting with the incomparable Bobby McFerrin for nearly a week. The format was vocal improvisation, mostly a genre called “Circle Singing.” We sang with McFerrin and his co-teachers about six hours per day in the beautiful, holistic resort, the Omega Institute, in Rhinebeck, NY.

In this genre, the leader (standing in the center) divides a ring of singers into sections (usually by voice part) and assigns a 1-2 bar phrase to be repeated indefinitely. Each vocal section is given a contrasting, yet harmonically pleasing, part which layers simultaneously with the other voice parts. Vocal percussion, sometimes known as beat-boxing, is added, and the leader improvises on top of all (with a microphone). The effect is joyous, spontaneous, and spiritual.

As a classically-trained singer and pianist, who often rehearses many hours for each performance, the practice of vocal improvisation is liberating. The goal isn’t musical perfection, or telling a story, or even entertaining a crowd. Its about transcending expectations and flowing with the music in the moment. The magic is music that is invented, manifested, performed, and witnessed by all participants at the exact same time.

There are many musicians across the world who have learned this style of “Circle Singing,” including a couple groups in NYC. Mostly, leaders create in 4:4 time in Major or Minor tonal patterns. But, McFerrin epitomizes vocal improvisation leadership, by creating in 5:4, 7:8, 9:8, and 13:8 time. He also creates in various modes. One of his co-teachers, Chistiane Karam from Lebanon, improvises vocal music on quarter tones (see video).

Posted 9 years, 1 month ago.

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