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Holy crap, harmony
August 25, 2013 11:23 AM   Subscribe

On August 23, 2013, voice teacher Sarah Horn went with her friends and family to see Kristin Chenoweth (previously on Metafilter) in concert at the Hollywood Bowl. When, after intermission, Ms. Chenoweth asked if anyone in the audience knew Wicked's "For Good", Sarah Horn volunteered that she did. What happened next (closer video here) has gotten more than 300,000 views since it went up Friday night.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (104 comments total) 151 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hard to be cynical about this, fan or not (and I'm pretty much not). This is just cool.
posted by mintcake! at 11:33 AM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


This gave me goosebumps and made me teary eyed. I watched it on public transit and the guy next to me looked a little concerned that I was suddenly about to cry.
posted by chatongriffes at 11:35 AM on August 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh my God, that was one of those moments of wonder. Thanks for the post, 317
posted by Fibognocchi at 11:38 AM on August 25, 2013


That was fantastic.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:38 AM on August 25, 2013


Oh!
posted by de at 11:44 AM on August 25, 2013


Well you know what they say, "if you can do, please teach."

Okay, they don't say that but they should.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:48 AM on August 25, 2013 [70 favorites]


There should be a Metafilter tradition of the Sunday morning happy cry. This was perfect.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 11:49 AM on August 25, 2013 [27 favorites]


I also love the pure force of the hug that Kristen Chenoweth gives her at the end. She's so genuinely amazed and excited for this supremely talented stranger!
posted by c'mon sea legs at 11:50 AM on August 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yeah, her 'this voice is teaching our children' line was just lovely.
posted by mintcake! at 11:50 AM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is wonderful. Thank you for this.
posted by pecanpies at 11:51 AM on August 25, 2013


This the kind of thing you can only pull off in a city where half of the population is in the entertainment industry and the other half is trying to break in.
posted by PenDevil at 11:51 AM on August 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


How is it possible that this video, which contains neither babies nor baby animals, is the cutest thing on the Internet?? Thanks so much for sharing.
posted by estlin at 11:55 AM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that was just plain awesome.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:59 AM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, just wow. So often the "pull someone out of the audience to do a song" thing just doesn't work. And sometimes, it works so so so well!

This is fantastic. Thanks for posting!
posted by hippybear at 12:04 PM on August 25, 2013


!!!!!!!!

So. Good. !!!!
posted by cairdeas at 12:05 PM on August 25, 2013


That was beautiful.
posted by double block and bleed at 12:06 PM on August 25, 2013


This is great. The reddit thread has a bunch of other "audience member kills it" videos involving Buble, Kendrick Lamar, Lenny Kravitz, Billy Joel, U2, etc which are all heartwarming and my night was gone watching them all. This one is the best though. Also a staff member shows up in that thread to address whether the woman singing with Chenoweth was a plant (no).
posted by jamesonandwater at 12:07 PM on August 25, 2013 [15 favorites]


Hooray for cool and happy things! More like this pls.
posted by Glinn at 12:09 PM on August 25, 2013


That was really swell...

For those who want to see more random audience participation during a live concert, check out Billy Joel, Josh Groban, or Michel Buble.
posted by JiffyQ at 12:12 PM on August 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


It makes me so happy to see something like this. It's a little like watching someone's dream come true right there in front of you.
posted by I have no idea at 12:13 PM on August 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


I usually don't love YouTube videos of concerts from the crowd, because you hear the audience member closest to the camera can be heard over the performers, but the, "Holy crap!" from the folks in the audience here was just terrific to hear.
posted by xingcat at 12:20 PM on August 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


I loved how she described the audience "disappearing" as she was singing. That kind of intense focus is so much fun when it happens!
posted by gjc at 12:20 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


This was great, but an evil part of me totally wants to see a set of videos where audience members are invited up and bomb.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:24 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


That was great. I don't like that song, and I've never heard of Chenoweth, but that was a lot of fun.
posted by OmieWise at 12:27 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


JiffyQ, I just watched Buble's reaction to that kid's voice like five times. Haha, priceless.
posted by Glinn at 12:31 PM on August 25, 2013 [12 favorites]


I went to see "Wicked" a few weeks after my mother died unexpectedly. I started to bawl during this song and really couldn't stop, no matter how hard I tried. We were up in the nosebleeds, surrounded by a school group of 8 year olds who were completely mystified as to why this (40 year) old lady was crying her eyes out. Not one of my finer moments.

I'm crying again a little bit this morning, but this time it's because I'm happy. This video is awesome. Thank you for posting it.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 12:33 PM on August 25, 2013 [26 favorites]


This the kind of thing you can only pull off in a city where half of the population is in the entertainment industry and the other half is trying to break in.

Really? I mean, I'm completely incompetent to tell merely solid singing from really good from world class. But ex ante, I would have guessed that there are hundreds or thousands of communities across the US where the local voice instructor(s) or at least a couple of talented amateurs could knock a song out of the park.

Even the top 0.5% of singers would put a few in most every community of more than a couple of thousand people.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:34 PM on August 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not one of my finer moments.

Actually, that is a perfectly fine moment. There is no shame in feeling deeply, even in public.

Hell, I completely lost it at an Indigo Girls concert recently during their song Ghost, which has a deep history for me, and ended up as this tall, leather-capped, giant-bearded hippie standing at the foot of the stage being pulled into a hug by a woman just in front of me and then two or three other people joined in, surrounding me with love while I leaned into the hug and let the intensity of my emotions move through me and out of me. It was amazing.

Music does this. And it's perfectly fine to be that way.
posted by hippybear at 12:39 PM on August 25, 2013 [74 favorites]


Wow.
posted by limeonaire at 12:40 PM on August 25, 2013


I was able to catch Kristin Chenoweth in Wicked earlier this summer, she does a great job with the role. Thanks for this post, it's delightful!
posted by HuronBob at 12:50 PM on August 25, 2013


Kristin Chenoweth is literally an angel.
posted by rollick at 12:51 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aw, so fun to watch how happy they both are at the end of it.
posted by aka burlap at 1:09 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Every time I see Kristen Chenowith I am amazed by her tininess.

(and this was a good post, sniffle).

I actually don't like the book Wicked at all, never saw the musical, but talent is talent. And I do think there's a lot more of it out there than ever gets on TV.
posted by emjaybee at 1:33 PM on August 25, 2013


I think her rates just went up.
posted by EmGeeJay at 1:35 PM on August 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


Years ago now, I had the joy of being in the audience for a rendition of this. Without the audience participation, it would be a (pretty fucking impressive) parlor trick. With the audience participation, it turns into something transcendent. The video doesn't do it justice; but short of herding you all into a resonant, dimly lit room in front of that beatific smile and letting you sing it yourselves, it's the best you're gonna get.

I guess it helps that once his fifteen minutes of fame ended, the guy's entire fanbase was singers and music teachers who were so utterly gobsmacked by his technique that they'd follow him to the end of the earth. Wherever he goes, he can be pretty confident that he'll be able to whip his audience into a better-than-average church choir on short notice. Must be nice.
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 1:40 PM on August 25, 2013 [32 favorites]


I used to love Kristin Chenoweth but have become less enamored as time goes on...she always seems just so amazed at herself and "look at me and how tiny and cute I am!" and I don't care for that sort of thing.

BUT. This was amazing. Full stop. I loved watching Sarah watch Kristin sing, knowing that she was about to knock it out of the fucking park. And holy crap, she surely did.
posted by altopower at 1:46 PM on August 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I find it hilarious that Sarah Horn looks gigantic compared to Kristin Chenoweth. Sarah Horn is 5'2".
posted by Justinian at 1:49 PM on August 25, 2013 [74 favorites]


It makes me tear up a little more because I have to think that for Sarah Horn, the stakes were much higher than for you or me. It's not just about being a little embarassed for her. Fairly or unfairly, if she'd flubbed it, it would have destroyed her credibility with her students. And can you imagine the swell of pride in their teacher that those same students must have when she walks onstage unprepared, and unrehearsed, and nails it at a pro level in front of a huge audience?
posted by tyllwin at 1:49 PM on August 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


Truly awesome.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:56 PM on August 25, 2013


SO GREAT!! This made my day!!
posted by Wordwoman at 2:17 PM on August 25, 2013


Wow. I had actual goddamned goosebumps watching that.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:21 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


This was great, but an evil part of me totally wants to see a set of videos where audience members are invited up and bomb.

Exhibit A: my good friend Johnny boy, who heard Sloan had been asking for audience trumpeters, brought a trumpet to their Vancouver show, was pulled up on stage, and stank so bad that Sloan lost their shit laughing.
posted by Beardman at 2:24 PM on August 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sarah Horn is 5'2"

That can't possibly be right. Chenoweth must be 4'.
posted by OmieWise at 2:29 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Internet says she's 4'11". So Horn must be taller than 5'2", or be wearing wicked platforms.
posted by hippybear at 2:32 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's Horn in a Graduate Recital singing Girl in 14G. She's not a one hit wonder.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:39 PM on August 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


5'2" might not be super far off, Idina Menzel looked like a giantess next to her at 5'4".
posted by cairdeas at 2:40 PM on August 25, 2013


Yep, all it takes is a couple extra inches of heel.
posted by Justinian at 2:50 PM on August 25, 2013


These things do nothing for me, ever...but I may or may not have felt a small choke over this one. Wow was that cool. Thanks for posting!

The reddit thread has a bunch of other "audience member kills it" videos involving Buble

Sam's video was cool, but I confess I broke out laughing at the top-rated YouTube comment, "He must be glad he wore his best dragon shirt for this."
posted by cribcage at 2:56 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Wai!.. Wha? reaction of the director as he turns around at 1:14 is pretty cool.
posted by klarck at 3:02 PM on August 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


The "closer video" link is unwatchable due to the high pitched squealing of the video taker. Why the fuck do people do this. At least it's not a vertical video.
posted by desjardins at 3:07 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I now fully expect Sarah Horn to be on the next season of "The Voice". She fits multiple narratives the show seems to like in its contestants. She already had the classic "talented singer selflessly dedicated to the noble cause of teaching music to children while her own singing aspirations are sadly put on hold". Now she can add "Singer who had a brush with stardom by brief association with famous person (former backup singers are big on the show, for example) who now wants a chance to shine on her own" and also "Youtube sensation".

Hint: Pick Blake.
posted by The Gooch at 3:16 PM on August 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm sure everyone has seen the Sting one by now... But...

I was at a U2 show way back when. I'm trying to remember the year. 1989 maybe? Anyhow, it was one of those "Day on the Green" shows in the bay area where there were a bunch of bands, and a sunny afternoon in a stadium. U2 was the headliner (though the Pretenders were better). They had a song where they brought someone out of the audience and had them play guitar. Turned out the dude they brought up was better than anyone in the band (not hard to do) and they had to take the guitar away from him. I had to laugh because U2 was a great band (at the time) who had a non-traditional guitarist who didn't know better, and terrible bass playing. Dude from the audience totally blew away the echo driven Edge guitar playing, and bested the rhythm the bass player struggled to provide. I don't know what ever happened to the kid they brought from the audience to play, but U2 went on to great fame with their band members. Just goes to show you don't need to be really good to be famous.
posted by Eekacat at 3:31 PM on August 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, and I can totally see my wife pulling this off, though in Spanish...
posted by Eekacat at 3:40 PM on August 25, 2013


That was quite a night for Sarah, but I imagine it must have seemed like just a lovely unexpected gift for Kristen too. How nice for both of them.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 3:46 PM on August 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


I was at a U2 show way back when. I'm trying to remember the year. 1989 maybe? Anyhow, it was one of those "Day on the Green" shows in the bay area where there were a bunch of bands, and a sunny afternoon in a stadium. U2 was the headliner (though the Pretenders were better).

That would be 1987, part of the Joshua Tree tour, when The BoDeans, The Pretenders, and U2 were the big bands for two nights of Day On The Green shows. You either saw the show on Sat Nov 14 or Sun Nov 15.
posted by hippybear at 3:54 PM on August 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


OK so I can't figure this out - is there somewhere I can actually watch the whole musical online? I can't find anything to buy.
posted by odinsdream at 3:59 PM on August 25, 2013


There are probably plenty of bootlegs online, but you'd have to go to Lincoln Center to see a full video, or just see the show on tour or in NYC.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:15 PM on August 25, 2013


is there somewhere I can actually watch the whole musical online? I can't find anything to buy.

There might be a bootleg out there somewhere, but it's a stage musical and no film version has yet been made, though one is reportedly "in development."
posted by dnash at 4:18 PM on August 25, 2013


So it isn't something on DVD yet? I'd gladly pay for it if it exists.
posted by odinsdream at 4:19 PM on August 25, 2013


Or just wait a bit. The film version is in the works.
posted by hippybear at 4:20 PM on August 25, 2013


Total Susan Boyle moment. I love the moment when Kristen looks at the audience with a "CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS" expression when Horn is singing.

This the kind of thing you can only pull off in a city where half of the population is in the entertainment industry and the other half is trying to break in.

Nonsense. There are lots of very good singers out there who just never pursued music professionally, and there are many more who could learn to sing quite competently if they had ever had any real vocal training. My mother, a retired schoolteacher, complains quite frequently that singing just isn't really taught in schools anymore, and I think she's right. It's only really seriously taught in high schools as an elective when it should be taught to everyone in grade school, and so many kids never even find out whether they can actually sing or not.
posted by orange swan at 4:22 PM on August 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


So it isn't something on DVD yet?

As far as I know, it hasn't received the Great Performances filming-of-a-live-performance yet. That'd be likely the only way there would be a live filming of the stage play.
posted by hippybear at 4:22 PM on August 25, 2013


Wow. "Holy crap harmony" is right.

Way cool.
posted by sio42 at 4:51 PM on August 25, 2013


Thanks for posting. I just pulled a muscle grinning. :-D
posted by ariel_caliban at 5:00 PM on August 25, 2013


Only thing missing from this is a Defying Gravity encore.
posted by Kosh at 5:05 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nonsense. There are lots of very good singers out there who just never pursued music professionally, and there are many more who could learn to sing quite competently if they had ever had any real vocal training.

I don't disagree with this, at all, but.. That Girl in 14G, holy crap! Looks as if Sarah Horn is really a stand out, spectacularly talented.
posted by Chuckles at 5:19 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


What a treat. Also thanks to those who posted the JOSH GROBAN and MICHAEL BUBLE videos. Equally surprising, heartwarming and enchanting!
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 5:28 PM on August 25, 2013


I used to love Kristin Chenoweth but have become less enamored as time goes on...she always seems just so amazed at herself and "look at me and how tiny and cute I am!" and I don't care for that sort of thing.

I tend to agree. I saw her in "Wicked" and found her performance too muggy. I read her memoir and nearly lost my eyeballs at all the name-dropping. And did you see her on "Say Yes to the Dress" last week, trying on wedding dresses at an appointment for her assistant? Eesh. It's too much. That said, the woman can sing. And this was a nice duet for two people who never rehearsed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:35 PM on August 25, 2013


Kristin Chenoweth was in Pushing Daisies so you can step off before somebody gets cut.
posted by Justinian at 5:37 PM on August 25, 2013 [25 favorites]


yeah, this was really good - one of the things i noticed was that when kristen came back in, her voice was a little shaky - she seemed to be excited and maybe a little nervous - what had been a casual sing-a-long with a member of the audience had suddenly turned into a real opportunity for a great performance, and a challenge, because she knew the woman she'd picked out could really sing and really knew the song and it was time to bring her best stuff and make it happen

really, i'd never heard the song or of kristen before - i'm impressed by the song and both of them
posted by pyramid termite at 5:49 PM on August 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love the look of pure joy from Chenoweth at 2:45.

I imagine that at her calibre, performing with other amazing talents becomes a bit ordinary.

Times like this remind me that famous musician and vocalists started out as music fans too. When amazing talent comes out of left field and takes them by surprise, they go right back to being the gobsmacked teenager they were years ago.
posted by bpm140 at 6:38 PM on August 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


she always seems just so amazed at herself and "look at me and how tiny and cute I am!" and I don't care for that sort of thing.

Oh it depends on the role, I suppose. I think it's kind of endearing. Let me show you a clip (which is unfortunately badly synced) that starts out that way, because the role demands it. This song, Will I Ever Tell You, is the most underrated and the toughest ensemble piece in this show, especially considering what she's singing against. This clip makes me cry every time.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:40 PM on August 25, 2013


Thanks so much for the post: almost 100% like, love and appreciation from those who responded--thanks for that also. Entertainment, a surprise and feel good.
posted by rmhsinc at 7:17 PM on August 25, 2013


Truly awesome.

Dare I say, wicked awesome. :)
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:28 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


This kicks ass! Go Sarah!
posted by Area Man at 7:32 PM on August 25, 2013


This the kind of thing you can only pull off in a city where half of the population is in the entertainment industry and the other half is trying to break in.

I saw Chenoweth in Melbourne in June and she always pulls someone from the audience to sing For Good with her. Here she ended up with an actress who had understudied Elphaba on the WICKED tour of Asia. It was amazing.
posted by crossoverman at 7:42 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think she's fine in most roles (yes, including Pushing Daisies)...it's her IRL personality I don't care for lately. It really crystallized for me when she did red carpet stuff for the Oscars this year and couldn't stop commenting on her size relative to those she was interviewing, specifically Adele, who looked like she wanted to crawl in a hole and die.

That being said, girlfriend can sing, and I agree that she had to really step up her game...it probably felt really great for her to stretch like that.
posted by altopower at 7:53 PM on August 25, 2013


what had been a casual sing-a-long with a member of the audience had suddenly turned into a real opportunity for a great performance, and a challenge

I got that impression, too. That she's started out thinking she was going to have to carry an audience member through a number put there to help her bond with the audience, and is a bit taken off guard as she realizes she needs to turn on her A game for a moment that everyone at the show is going to talk about. I have no way to know if she's as genuinely delighted by the turn of events as she seems, or if she's just calling up her skills as an actor who's won an Emmy and a Tony, but either possibility is to her credit, in one way or the other.
posted by tyllwin at 8:44 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I mean, the idea that two totally random people can live their lives, and on one night, crash into each other like that and sing together in harmony.. That is supremely touching.
posted by phaedon at 9:22 PM on August 25, 2013 [11 favorites]


Kristin's facial expression at 2:02 is the facial expression I have in my mind the entire time Sarah is singing. Listening her sing is like soaking in a hot tub.
posted by cairdeas at 10:23 PM on August 25, 2013


The reddit thread has a bunch of other "audience member kills it" videos.... There are lots of very good singers out there who just never pursued music professionally....

Yes, many many people could do the 'show' part of show business, but for whatever reason aren't able (or willing) to put up with the 'business' aspects of being a star performer. Nice when one of them, like the woman here, gets her chance for a few minutes in the limelight and makes the most of it.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:51 PM on August 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


This was great, but an evil part of me totally wants to see a set of videos where audience members are invited up and bomb.

May I present: Janet Jackson and the over-excitable superfan.
posted by dontjumplarry at 11:14 PM on August 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ugh. If you're looking for another reason to choke up, at around the 3:00 mark of the "closer" video, Kristin and Sarah hold hands and the camera is overcompensating for the darkness so much that they look like angels. Fuck you, music!
posted by phaedon at 12:25 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hello, happy thought for the week!!!
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 12:57 AM on August 26, 2013


Dude from the audience totally blew away the echo driven Edge guitar playing,

"Even a troll like figure can re-create them"
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 2:19 AM on August 26, 2013


"Even a troll like figure can re-create them"

re-creating something is easy - it's creating it and making it work in a song that's hard
posted by pyramid termite at 2:31 AM on August 26, 2013


This was great, but an evil part of me totally wants to see a set of videos where audience members are invited up and bomb.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:24 PM on August 25


Lol, you kidder.

Say, where's Abel?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:57 AM on August 26, 2013


I saw Chenoweth in Melbourne in June and she always pulls someone from the audience to sing For Good with her. Here she ended up with an actress who had understudied Elphaba on the WICKED tour of Asia. It was amazing.

I've read some suggestions that Chenoweth's people somehow pre-select people to have a chance at this, in order to prevent embarrassing disasters. I'm not clear how they do that, but it does make some sense.
posted by dnash at 5:20 AM on August 26, 2013


Well, that settles it; I had already purchased on iTunes the Original Cast Recording of the song "Defying Gravity" from Wicked (having discovered it long ago through its use in the first season of Glee), but hearing this song so wonderfully performed by Chenoweth and Horn has inspired me to buy the full album.

I've found that the more familiar I become with broadway music, the less enamored I am of The Producers, the Mel Brooks musical that introduced me to the genre. Far too many winks in its songs for my taste, and not enough hugs.
posted by The Confessor at 6:12 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Once upon a time, something happened, and a little part of me died inside.

This sort of thing fixes that sort of thing. It is wonderful.
posted by Goofyy at 6:13 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a video of a different audience member singing the next night. Most of Kristin Chenoweth's reactions are pretty much the same, so she is probably playing a role to a certain extent, though she did seem genuinely surprised by Sarah Horn. And — no offense to the conservatory student — Sarah was noticeably better. It can be hard to judge from cell phone videos, but by comparison Sarah gave a convincingly professional-level performance and had no trace of nerves.
posted by stopgap at 6:22 AM on August 26, 2013


I love the forbearance with which Horn took that "I'm still singing" line, and then calmly stuffed it right up Chenoweth's tiny nose.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:48 AM on August 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, that helped wipe out the horror that was Miley Cyrus at the VMAs. Thank you.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:51 AM on August 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


I've found that the more familiar I become with broadway music, the less enamored I am of The Producers, the Mel Brooks musical that introduced me to the genre. Far too many winks in its songs for my taste, and not enough hugs.

Well, if The Producers was your true first exposure to Broadway musicals, what you're kind of missing out on is that the whole thing is a giant parody of a Broadway musical. The whole show is winks, nods, and tongue shoved as far into the cheek as it can go. This made it a huge breath of fresh air to the Broadway world when it opened.
posted by dnash at 7:22 AM on August 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


but by comparison Sarah gave a convincingly professional-level performance and had no trace of nerves.

What blew me away was not that she knew the song or that she can sing, but that she can sing the song she knows when she isn't expecting to have to sing it, in front of thousands of people, on stage with an Extremely Famous Person. To have the mental wherewithal to read her cues and follow them, to not break her composure when Chenowith makes comments or exclamations. Holy wow.

This gave me shivers and I love those shivers. Thanks for the post.
posted by rtha at 9:04 AM on August 26, 2013 [11 favorites]


This was way cooler than that time Bruce Springsteen pulled up someone from the audience to dance with him and it happened to be Courtney Cox.
posted by mkultra at 10:12 AM on August 26, 2013


Patti LaBelle & some Dutch & (one New York) fan improv Lady Marmalade. (Gets good around the 5:00 mark.)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OVZgVJNr3g
posted by NorthernLite at 11:27 AM on August 26, 2013


This was way cooler than that time Bruce Springsteen pulled up someone from the audience to dance with him and it happened to be Courtney Cox.

Except Courtney Cox was not at all yet "COURTNEY COX" when that video came out. In fact at the time, she was "hey, that girl looks like Martha Quinn."
posted by dnash at 11:52 AM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


wenestvedt: "I love the forbearance with which Horn took that "I'm still singing" line, and then calmly stuffed it right up Chenoweth's tiny nose."

With all due respect, that's not how I read it at all. But, full disclosure, I have a background in theater and music, which is why I felt it differently.

When Chenoweth said "still me," she was cueing Sarah, because when you're performing, everything is BIGGER! to reach the AUDIENCE! and when you play HUGE!, well, it can also mislead your fellow performers.

Because you're amping up the charisma and the level of everything, it's really easy to lose track of the subtle emphases that would normally signal "okay, your turn" in a "normal" conversation. Because everything is ENORMOUS! and you're right next KRISTEN CHENOWETH, you're in sensory overload, and you really don't know when you should go. I mean, you kind of know, but at the same time, you're on stage in front of the entire crowd and there is a real actual famous person singing at you and you're pretty sure you know this song but your brain has shorted.

So, when Kristen says "still me," your reaction is more "OH THANK CHRIST" than "what a COW", because she just cut through all the HARGLBARGLARGHFSDAFGHL and let you know that, nope, you didn't miss your cue, it's all great, follow the sound of my voice, pay no attention to all those people, it's just you and me, and I'm going to make sure you get through this okay.

If you read Sarah's own account, she actually thanks Kristen for saying this:
When she was done with the first verse she said, "Still me!" so I'd know not to sing so I pressed my lips together and held my mic down like a good girl until it was my turn.
People with a theater background are reading between the lines, because there's an implicit otherwise I would have completely stepped on her because I was SO EXCITED in there. Because we've all done that onstage. Everyone who's ever performed with anyone else has done it. It's kind of the waking nightmare of every performer.

And Kristen helped Sarah skate past it.

So, my $0.02.
posted by scrump at 12:05 PM on August 26, 2013 [22 favorites]


There's a video of a different audience member singing the next night.

i noticed that the conductor didn't turn around for her - she was pretty good, but sarah OWNED that stage with her first note - and she also had kristen's timing down cold
posted by pyramid termite at 1:03 PM on August 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


oh and my real introduction to the musical theater was fiddler on the roof - i was motel the tailor and on dress rehearsal night i started singing "wonder of wonders" and NOTHING CAME OUT

oh.my.god i was mortified - but my co-stars bucked me up and told me it was just nerves, i'd be good

and i nailed it the next two nights

you're right, scrump, it's a scary world out on that stage and things happen and you're out there to help each other with it - after playing motel in fiddler and charlie brown in you're a good man charlie brown, i was cast as an extra in brigadoon - i was disappointed at first, even though i did have 4 singing lines, but then learned that being an extra, helping make the background and the scene real for an audience is real hard acting work and a challenge to do well - it makes the difference between a bunch of actors saying lines and a cast performing a play

yeah, people on stage look out for one another all the time ...
posted by pyramid termite at 1:15 PM on August 26, 2013


Well, if The Producers was your true first exposure to Broadway musicals, what you're kind of missing out on is that the whole thing is a giant parody of a Broadway musical. The whole show is winks, nods, and tongue shoved as far into the cheek as it can go. This made it a huge breath of fresh air to the Broadway world when it opened.

And ever since then, there have been so many musicals that have been parodies of musicals that it's hard to appreciate The Producers in that context anymore. And it's easy to resent that show because of it.
posted by crossoverman at 4:29 PM on August 26, 2013


I've heard this line my whole career, and I think a lot of performers have heard something similar: "Luck is when when opportunity meets readiness. You don't control the opportunity. You control the readiness." Sarah Horn didn't — couldn't possibly! — control the opportunity of her night. But man, was she ever ready. Were there other people at that show that night, and every night of that tour, that sing as well as she does? Oh, probably; maybe even certainly. But to actually deliver? Under those conditions? Unreal. She didn't just "get" lucky. She was ready.
posted by Charity Garfein at 7:45 PM on August 26, 2013 [9 favorites]


I've found that the more familiar I become with broadway music, the less enamored I am of The Producers, the Mel Brooks musical that introduced me to the genre. Far too many winks in its songs for my taste, and not enough hugs.

Oh, man oh man oh man... I'm to tempted to just start listing musicals here that you might enjoy...

Stephen Schwartz (who wrote Wicked) has a kind of a checkered history as far as successful musicals go, but his music in even the least successful shows is always pretty good.

There's always Sondheim, but he's so deep and complex, he's nearly like a masterclass in musicals. Still, there is a lot of treasure to mine there, if you're up to it. Even his flops are amazing.

But if I was going to recommend to you ONE show that you should know, it's the musical of The Secret Garden. It's a book you've probably read (and if you haven't, you should), it had a very quiet and powerful non-musical film adaptation that still moves me to tears even after many viewings. And the musical is... it's...

Here's two bits -- Wick, where Dickon explains about the life force that pushes through anything that wants to grow and bloom, and Lily's Eyes, where Archie and his brother Neville both mourn the woman they both loved.

Just get it. You won't be disappointed.
posted by hippybear at 9:23 PM on August 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


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