So tonight I achieved a weird milestone I didn’t even realize I was tracking: I have now sung onstage at each of the major performance spaces in Lincoln Center1. I certainly never thought it would happen. But last week a seriously cool gig fell out of the sky and into the laps of a small group from the Juilliard Choral Union, and tonight it came to pass: I sang onstage at the Metropolitan Opera House, backing up Kristin Chenoweth.
I’m gonna say that again: I sang at the Met. At Kristin Chenoweth’s big recital. Packed house, tickets that cost the moon and stars. She was amazing—as a number of people whose opinions I respect said this evening, “She is the real deal.” Operetta, Broadway, even a Styx tune: she sang the hell outta all of it. And she’s funny, and she’s beautiful, and she seems very nice and very real.
Her encores were “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide, which in her hands was both hilarious and pyrotechnic; and “What Makes Me Love Him?” from The Apple Tree, the show she’s doing right now at Studio 54. I had no interest in seeing The Apple Tree. I’m broke as all hell right now. But that song was so… so sweet, so romantic, so touching, so perfect that I think I’m going to try to land a cheap ticket somehow, just to hear her sing it again.
And best of all? If she was aware that I was one of those black-hearted folks who sent her to the bottom of the ocean back in July, she showed no grudge. Thanks, KC.
Singing at the Met was a fabulous thing. The huge hall, the cavernous backstage, the biiig curtains—all awesome. The experience was a lot like singing at Carnegie that way: I’d be in my blasé ‘ho hum, it’s another gig with the chorus’ headspace, and then I’d snap to and realize where I was and why. The JCU can be a lot of work, and it sometimes takes up a huge chunk of my personal time. But damned if it hasn’t presented me with a lot of amazing experiences in return. Thanks, Juilliard!
1 That would be, from south to north: the New York State Theater, the Metropolitan Opera House, and Avery Fisher Hall. For those of you not in New York. I’ve also performed in a few of its minor spaces—Rose Hall (Jazz at Lincoln Center), and Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard Theater, which are part of the Juilliard School.