Amazon.com Widgets The Swingles' Dramatic Developments: January 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kerry Butler believes


Every Wednesday that I'm in town the songs of Xanadu keep my afternoon lively as the matinée of the Broadway hit reverberates through the Helen Hayes Theatre where I keep my office.

The movie Xanadu is considered to have put to death the movie musical, but this stage musical has fixed a number of things that kept the film from coming close to the success of Olivia Newton John's earlier blockbuster, Grease.

My friend, Retta Blaney said she read an interview with Kerry Butler, who plays the lead, Keira, in which she sensed that Butler is a believer. I just came back to the theatre as the actors were leaving the building, so I asked her. She said she is a Christian, and "we pray before every performance."

When I told my wife, Joyce I'd run into her, she said, "I hope you told her what a great job she does." Joyce is right. Butler nails Newton John, but goes way beyond an impersonation. Her vocals and comic timing are great, and the whole cast is quite strong.

Pray for Butler and the cast. Though the play is farcical in nature, contains a few worldly elements and features Greek gods and demigods I actually came away (both times) inspired as an artist and believer.

The second time I saw it was from the stage. I now know why that's such a popular place for seats on Broadway these days! Though very little is blocked for that audience, it truly makes you feel like you're in the show...which you are in a sense, especially at the end when you get to dance and wave your glow stick. It made me yearn to be back in a musical. The last one I did was Judah Ben Hur in Singapore crossing from 2001 into 2002. Right now I'm gearing up for performances of my one-man play, Beyond the Chariots in Asia during the Olympics. We have volunteers translating it into five languages so far! Maybe after that I'll work on my arpeggios and dance moves.

The view that launched this farmboy


I've posted shots of Chicago at night in the past. Here's another view of the city that inspired me to travel as a third-grader on the first of eight road trips from coast to coast.

Compassion won!

Compassion won the contest I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to any MySpacers who voted!

Here's the press release: Compassion International Receives Award From MySpace: Ministry Honored in Poverty Relief Category by Social-Networking Site

Monday, January 28, 2008

MWF planning

I just left snowy Winona Lake, where we just held our MasterWorks (http://MasterWorksFestival.org) department head planning session. It was so great to get together. Dr. Patrick Kavanaugh said he feels that '07 was the best in the festival's 10 year history, and I think we all sense that this summer is going to top it.

More to come soon on the theatre department.

States

States in which I've performed, taught and/or directed:
Oregon
Washington
California
Idaho
Illinois
Utah
Arizona
Colorado
Oklahoma
Kansas
Minnesota
Missouri
Louisianna
Tennesee
Indiana
Michegan
West Virginia
Viginia
Maryland
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Florida
Ohio
Pennsylvania
New York
Massechussets
Connecticut
New Jersey
Vermont
New Hampshire
Maine
Wisconsin
Kentucky
Texas
Arkansas

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Good Morning, Arkansas

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

En route to my 36th state

I've actually visited every state but North Dakota, however, after leading some Graceworks (http://GraceworksInc.com) workshops in Arkansas this week, that will make it the 36th state in which I've either performed, directed or taught.

Back in the land of rocking chairs

Friday, January 18, 2008

Help Compassion Win MySpace Impact Award!

This is a great opportunity for those of you MySpacers to help Compassion...

 

 

By Becky Tschamler, Advocacy Communications Specialist, Global Ministry Center

 

 

 

We are pleased to announce that Compassion has been nominated to receive MySpace's Impact Award. Each month, MySpace gives the Impact Award to an organization who is making a positive impact on our culture. This month's category is Poverty Relief and Compassion is one of three organizations to be nominated!

 

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to raise awareness about the needs of children in poverty and we need your help! The winner will be determined by online voting. You need to be a MySpace user to vote, and each person is allowed to cast one vote per calendar day through January 24th.

 

The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000, as well as featured placement on MySpace for a month, reaching over 75 million active members. In the event that Compassion wins, the prize money will be used to help even more children break the cycle of poverty.

 

So here are some ways you can help Compassion win:

 

  1. Pray for this opportunity to raise awareness about children in poverty
  2. If you are a MySpace user, log on to www.myspace.com/impactawards each day and vote for Compassion.
  3. Forward this e-mail to your friends, family and co-workers encouraging them to log on and vote.

 

Vote early and vote often!

 

Vote for Compassion here.

Visit Compassion's MySpace page.


from the air


Growing up I wanted to be a pilot. As I've performed my plays around the world I've been able to do enough flying to fulfill that desire. For more shots from the air, visit RichDrama.com/Air.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Young Eric Liddell



Jesse, who attends our church, Westchester Chapel, asked for some input on a paper and presentation he did for his whole school on Eric Liddell. He was in a wax museum lineup along with FDR and the like. It sounds like he held his own.

Kris Becker in NYC


MasterWorks alum, Kris Becker stopped by while he's here in NYC for the Young Concert Artists' international auditions. He's gone through two rounds and is waiting to hear back about the next. His music is available at KrisBeckerMusic.com

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eve deBeaumont March 4, 1914 to January 15, 2008

From Eve DeBeaumont
When I first moved to New York City at the age of 23 I was quite overwhelmed. One of the first things I did was visit my relatives in New Jersey. I had met them when I was in third grade on a cross-country trip our family took. A dozen years later my relatives welcomed me with open arms and made this native Oregonian feel, in some ways, like I was coming home. My Aunt Eve was one of those that made that transition so meaningful to me. My mother was named after her, and Mom's father died when she was three months old, so Aunt Eve and her siblings really looked after my Grandma and her two little girls until the Grandpa I know came onto the scene. Aunt Eve told stories about her brother's youth: the highlights of him playing trumpet (as I ended up doing) as a part of evangelistic meetings, as well as the funny stories of how they got into trouble. These rounded out my impression of who he was, and therefore who I am. I don't know how much time Aunt Eve had spent in New York City, but she had plenty of advice on what to do and what not to do, always shared with a twinkle in her eye and usually followed by a contageous giggle. She'll be sorely missed.

I'm sharing this page with relatives and friends, so please post a comment below to share condonlences or memories.

If you have any photos please post them on a photosharing site like Picasa and then create a comment below to share the link.

If you'd like to share this page with others, you can send them to RichDrama.com/EveDeBeaumont.

The 39 Steps

I was told not to miss The 39 Steps when I was in London, and how glad I was that I didn't! How glad I am for my friends in New York that it's moved to Broadway. The New York Times loved it just as much as I did: Spies, Blonde and a Guy Go North by Northwest.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Invitation to the Oxbridge 2008 - C.S. Lewis Summer Institute

Our friend Melanie Jeschke, author of The Oxford Chronicles, sent an invitation to Oxbridge, a conference held on the campuses of Oxford and Cambridge, which is sponsored by the CS Lewis Foundation.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Broadway Blessing

Retta Blaney invited me to perform an excerpt of Beyond the Chariots at Broadway Blessing, an event she organizes each year to bless the city through the theatre community. This year the event will take place on September 8 at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Watch RichDrama.com/Itinerary for the time.

Retta, author of Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life through the Eyes of Actors just announced my performance on her blog: http://uponthesacredstage.blogspot.com.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Small World

I just got off the phone with my friend Brent Grosvenor (pictured here, playing Billy Sunday). He was wanting me to recommend someone for a role in The Passion of the King, a play he's directing this spring.

He mentioned that he had run into Boyd Owen, who played John Proctor in The Crucible last summer at the MasterWorks Festival. Boyd was still in Winona Lake, IN, after the festival closed down, and was there to see Brent perform Sunday in Manhattan, his one-man play on Billy Sunday (who lived in Winona Lake). Boyd didn't know Brent and I were friends until he visited his website and saw that Brent had posted a very kind blurb about how I'd done some voiceover work for Sunday in Manhattan.

If you're anywhere near Manchester, CT, make plans to see The Passion of the King. I'm sure it will be at the very high level of Brent's one-man plays.